Friday, March 25, 2011

Hormonal confusion

I have been on the birth control pill since November of 1988.  I'm 40 and I'm starting to wonder if I should think about a different birth control method.  Do I really need to have artificial hormones in my body every single day of my life?  It's not that I feel bad, necessarily, but I wonder if I might feel better without all the artificial hormones.  Would it be easier for me to get fit and lose weight without artificial estrogen? Would I have a better/worse time with perimenopause without the pill? I have so many questions I don't know how to answer.

I'm still young enough to get pregnant without reliable birth control, so figuring out another method would be one thing to consider. My husband has even said he would get a vasectomy if that was what I wanted.  After all, I've taken care of the birth control all of these years, so maybe it's his turn. 

The other, and maybe even bigger question is how I would feel without the hormones. What if I felt awful? I had bad periods when I was a teenager, but I have no idea what my body would be like on its own as an adult.  In a way, I'm already on hormone replacement therapy even though I'm not old enough to be in menopause yet.

Have any of you made the switch and if so, do you feel better? Worse? I'd be really curious to hear some stories from real people who have made this decision.


  1. I'd say give it a shot and see how it works for you. I tried and decided the side effects (bad periods, extreme mood swings) weren't worth going off it for me, but your experience might be very different. Good luck!

  2. I had horrible periods and cramps and have gone from the pill to the depo shot (gained 50lbs) and now I have the Mirena IUD. Aside from the initial cramps and bleeding after it was put in I have been really happy with it. I haven't had any kids, but I wanted to keep the option open. Apparently if you decide it's time to have kids once you have the IUD taken out you can start trying right away.

    That's my two cents - I like the IUD much more than the pill and it's good for 5yrs.

  3. I LOVE my copper IUD, no hormones. No worries, good for 10 years. SO glad I made the decision to go with it, I have never looked back!

  4. i have never been able to take the pill - i get horrible vertigo and nausea - like feeling motion sickness the whole time - its dire! after experimenting with a few different brans I just decided it wasn't for me.

    for the last 6 years i have used a copper IUD - its the 'set and forget' method. the insertion can be painful (but its a very quick process) and then cramping as this foreign object settles into place - i had my second one inserted about 6 months ago and it will be good for 10 years.

    i don't think there is one right method for everyyone, but if the idea of having chemicals in your body doesn't feel right, then the IUD is worth exploring :)


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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07