Birth Control Methods

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Birth Control Methods

Post by Wondering on Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:46 pm

So, I'm wondering what sorts of birth control methods you (or your relevant partner) use.

I had my baby several months ago, and I don't ever want to be pregnant again, for a host of reasons involving age, diabetes, economics, my long and miserable recovery, etc. Do not want again ever. Ever.

However, I've never been on hormonal birth control, and I don't want to be because insulin is a hormone, and pregnancy and nursing did enough to mess up and make difficult my diabetes management, so I'm especially interested to know what sorts of methods people use or have used that aren't hormonal. I have never been that sexually active and have only used condoms. My OB was fine with this, but I'm finding that I'm not. I'm too worried about being the 1 in a million case where it breaks. (And since I got several "it only happens to a few women" instances with my pregnancy and postpartum time, I'm more on edge about those fringe cases.) Abortion isn't an option for me, so I don't have a fall back position if I do get pregnant.

All of this worry (which I'm sure is related to my pp anxiety but is there nonetheless) is making me not want to have sex because that's the only sure thing, right? And that's not what I want and not what my husband wants. So at this point, I'm just kind of curious what other women are doing to prevent pregnancy now, or when you used to be sexually active or when you plan to be sexually active. Just an informal sort of poll for my own curiosity.

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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by Caffeinated on Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:21 pm

I've always been a hormonal birth control person, but I'm currently considering a switch, either to an IUD for me or a vasectomy for my husband. It seems like all my close female friends have IUDs these days, some the kind with hormones and some the copper kind, and they all swear by them.
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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by Prajnaparamita on Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:21 pm

So I tried the pill, hated it, there was no way I was possibly going to remember to take it nearly regularly enough. I'm on a 3 year hormonal IUD and I think I like it enough to stick with it. I don't know if it's having any side effects on me (it possibly might, in regards to some unexplained vaginal itching and discomfort), but I used to get very heavy, long, painful periods and now those are gone, much to my relief.

Have you considered a copper IUD? It might not have been suggested to you before because they can't give them to women who haven't given birth before (because it's much heftier than a hormonal IUD and normally the cervix isn't big enough) but it's non-hormonal, very reliable, and can last for decades. My mom uses one, she had it put in after I was born (so 20+ years ago) and it's worked really well for her, the only downside being that it makes your periods a little bit heavier, sometimes just initially but for some women it is consistent.

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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by Wondering on Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:26 pm

Huh, no. No one's suggested that, but I had a c-section, so I'm guessing I still wouldn't qualify in that case. Smile

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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by eselle28 on Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:36 pm

Over the years, I've used condoms either alone or as a back up, several different kinds of birth control pills, the patch, NuvaRing, and currently I have a hormonal IUD.

My friend who's had at least one (and I think maybe two? - she already had her first child when I met her) c-section has a copper IUD, so I don't think it absolutely rules it out, though I know you're not supposed to get any kind of IUD right after having a baby.


Last edited by eselle28 on Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by Guest on Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:36 pm

So... I was on hormonal birth control (the pill) for 8 years. In that time, I got pregnant twice, and felt sick approximately all of the time. My body just did not like the pill. Given all of that, since then, I've basically just say, "Fuck it, wear a condom if you want sex." I've considered IUDs, but I find the idea actually terrifying. I've heard some horror stories, and I'm sure the extreme exception, but part of my brain is convinced that it will be excruciating pain. I'm actually considering going back to hormonal birth control, but I'm never going to do that again without really, really clear conversations and expectations about what will happen in the event of pregnancy.

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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by reboot on Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:22 am

I got my tubes tied when I was 30 since I knew that having kids in my marriage was a bad idea and I feared passing on my birth defect. It was an outpatient surgery, I was back at work that Monday and I recovered fully in two weeks. Only thing I had to hold off on during recovery was running. I tried but ow!
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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by BiSian on Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:01 pm

Oooh, my favorite topic (I used to work at a family planning clinic).

Wondering, if you're trying to avoid hormones, your best options are the copper IUD or your partner getting a vasectomy. Actually, you DON'T need to have given birth to get an IUD, copper or otherwise. That's a completed out-dated recommendation. A provider who knows what they're doing should have no problem inserting an IUD into almost anyone.

I personally use a hormonal IUD (Mirena) that's good for 5 years at a time. The hormone levels are quite low and have the added bonus of having deleted my period after the first 6-8 months. I adore it! The insertion was crampy and not-fun, but after a couple days of cramps I felt fine. It took a few months for my cycle to calm down, and then my period gradually faded away. I check my strings (very thin verson of fishing line that hang thru my cervix) about once a month to ensure correct placement but other than that I don't really have to worry, ever! As long as the IUD stays in place, the odds of accidental pregnancy are so tiny.
A bunch of my good friends have the Paragard (a copper IUD) and their experience with the insertion was about the same--crampy and miserable as a bad period with a short recovery time. We were recommending it for up to 12 years of protection AND the copper device can work as emergency contraception (Plan B like) if it's inserted within 5 days of unprotected intercourse.

Yeah...I know a ton about this stuff. Smile



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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by Izmuth on Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:53 pm

If your husband is afraid of surgery complications and is therefore hesitant for vasectomy, they can actually do it with minimal invasiveness nowadays: it's called no scalpel vasectomy http://www.noscalpelvasectomy.com/about-the-procedure.

No sutures needed, even.

Offtopic: Can't wait until Vasagel hits the market! Theoretically reversible, highly dependable, non-hormonal birth control for men. What's not to love?

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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by The Wisp on Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:09 pm

Izmuth wrote:If your husband is afraid of surgery complications and is therefore hesitant for vasectomy, they can actually do it with minimal invasiveness nowadays: it's called no scalpel vasectomy http://www.noscalpelvasectomy.com/about-the-procedure.

No sutures needed, even.

Offtopic: Can't wait until Vasagel hits the market! Theoretically reversible, highly dependable, non-hormonal birth control for men. What's not to love?

Something about Vasagel rubs me the wrong way, and I don't know why. Like, it feels like it's too good to be true and it will fail in one of the trials or something, or have undesirable side-effects. Just an irrational gut feeling.

But even if it does turn out to be as good as is said, I wonder if women will ever believe men who claim to have it. You can't actually prove you got it, except I guess with doctor's paperwork or something. At least in LTRs, men can see women taking birth control pills, or feel the wire of an IUD.
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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by eselle28 on Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:24 pm

The Wisp wrote:
But even if it does turn out to be as good as is said, I wonder if women will ever believe men who claim to have it. You can't actually prove you got it, except I guess with doctor's paperwork or something. At least in LTRs, men can see women taking birth control pills, or feel the wire of an IUD.

This seems like an odd question, because I'm not sure why that matters. This would be a method that either a committed couple like some of the ones described upthread decide is the right reproductive choice for them together, in which case there'd be lots of trust, or something that a single man would decide to do on his own, in which case it wouldn't really matter what his partners' birth control choices were. I suspect that most partners of the second man who weren't terribly serious would continue to use the birth control methods they'd previously been using or ask to use condoms, and that seems like a good result for everyone, because using two birth control methods can cancel out much of the risk of failure.

Also, none of my partners since getting an IUD have felt the strings, and I've never had a sex partner who watched me take every single birth control pill.
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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by reboot on Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:27 pm

Women may never trust it as a sole form of birth control or STD prevention outside of a committed relationship anymore than they trust someone saying they have a vasectomy. However, two methods of birth control being used are never a bad thing if you want to prevent pregnancy. And, of course, if one of both of you have multiple partners it is best to use condoms for STD prevention with everyone.
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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by The Wisp on Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:30 pm

Good points.
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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by Wondering on Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:14 am

Thanks for the responses, everyone!

(ElizaJane, pregnant twice while on birth control? I can't even....)

I definitely don't want to get elective surgery for tube tying (slow diabetic healing makes that a bad option), so looking at all this, I'm thinking IUD and condom back up may be my best options. Or my husband getting a vasectomy. But that's a whole different conversation (Dude is terrified of medical stuff. When we first started dating, he had to go in a different room when I gave my shot or tested my blood. Wink )

Maybe I can get a stash of morning after pills as an additional back-up, too. Side-eye

And heck, maybe I'll go through menopause soon!

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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by Caffeinated on Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:30 pm

Wondering wrote:Or my husband getting a vasectomy. But that's a whole different conversation (Dude is terrified of medical stuff. When we first started dating, he had to go in a different room when I gave my shot or tested my blood. Wink )

I don't mean this as a particular remark about your husband, but a more general remark about husbands/male partners overall.

After a woman has gone through pregnancy and childbirth (or pregnancy and abortion or miscarriage or stillbirth), and the couple wants permanent birth control, it is totally ridiculous for the husband to balk at having a procedure done. Like, dude, seriously, all the medical shit your wife went through as a pregnant woman and now you're not ok with an outpatient procedure because it's on your body instead of hers? Come on.
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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by Wondering on Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:11 pm

Oh, yeah, that's not my husband at all. He balks at all medical stuff, him or not. Sometimes even just in theory. I was trying to explain what ketoacidosis is to him and he had to lie down. He almost passed out when my dad was in the hospital for heart surgery and we went to visit while the doctor was explaining the procedure. My husband + medical info = bad times. Smile

Also, I read Izmuth's link and "puncture" sounds way worse to me than "cut."

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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by Wondering on Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:11 am

My doctor tells me that in my state, morning-after pills are OTC, and my pharmacist confirmed they are "over on aisle 3," the feminine products and condoms aisle. (I assumed they'd at least be behind the counter even if you don't need a prescription, like blood testing strips and Sudafed are.)

So, I can have a stockpile if I want one. Wink

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Re: Birth Control Methods

Post by kath on Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:46 am

Oh for a second I read "state" and read "condition" and I was like "...?" and then I realized what you meant. *facepalm*

I'm currently on NuvaRing (but it's hormonal). I like it better than the evra patch - I got sensitive to the glue and was scratching them off. I have stopped having periods though, which I find somewhat alarming with a method I still have to do something about every month.
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