CONTRACEPTIVE 101: EXPERIENCES WITH THE PILL

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The thought of choosing a contraceptive method can be a scary one. It’s very normal to have many questions running through your head such as ‘How will it make my body react?, ‘Will I have painful periods’ etc. One thing that can help with the decision-making process is hearing about other girls’ experiences with different methods to see if it worked well for them.

In this post of Contraceptive 101 I’m sharing two bloggers stories with the contraceptive pill:

This is Beka’s Story:

Hi everyone, today I’ll be talking to you all about something a bit personal – my contraceptive pill story. It’s not too gruesome or wild, or anything like that. But I think it’s good to highlight that, no matter how long you’ve been using a form of contraceptive, it sometimes doesn’t work out.

I started taking Rigevidon (a combined contraceptive) at the ripe old age of 18. Then some ~vaginal~ issues arose that we thought were down to my pill, so we tried a different one for a while. I can’t remember exactly what it was called but I do remember it started with an M.

A few years later I told by a nurse that these two pills were essentially the same but with different names, but despite this, I just didn’t get on with M. I was bleeding while still taking the pill, which was frustrating but also could indicate that it wasn’t working as it should. Not exactly a risk you want to take with a contraceptive.

Having found out my original issues didn’t have anything to do with the pill, I switched back to Rigevidon and I’ve been on that for around 4 years now. (In the interest of being open and honest, the issues ended up being bacterial vaginosis. Sounds gross lol and honestly it was, but thankfully it went away with antibiotics.)

Even though I’d been on the same pill for years, I started having issues again last summer. I’d miss entire periods, start bleeding whilst I was still taking my pill packet or both! The bleeding was usually aggravated by sex, too. Having to apologise for bleeding all over someone was not what I expected to happen going into that situation…

This continued to happen on and off from May to October, and obviously, I was concerned. I’m the type of gal who takes her period on the exact same day, every 4 weeks, like clockwork.

After blood tests, many panicked pregnancy tests and an internal examination (which was one of the strangest experiences of my life???), it turns out there was no real reason for it. It was put down to a “hormonal” thing, and that was that. Frustrating, right? I was told to keep taking the same pill, and wait to see what happens.

My periods ended up returning to normal. No more abnormal bleeding and no more pregnancy scares! A bit anti-climatic, isn’t it? But I’d rather it be stressful but anti-climatic than anything more serious – which I thought it was for a long time because, y’know, anxiety.

But the whole point of this blog post isn’t to give you a wild and entertaining story, but to bring awareness to the fact that not all contraceptives work for everybody. Not all pills (despite them being essentially the same thing) may work for you. And even the pill you’ve been on for ages might give you the run around after a few years. It’s all trial and error to find what works best for you, and sometimes it’s a bit of perseverance, too.

That’s why I think Bryony’s contraceptive series is so important! Growing up, and honestly, until a few years ago, I’d never heard much about other methods of contraception. I knew of them, but nothing about how they worked or what their stats were. It’s so important that we know all about the options available so we can find a method of contraception that works best for us!

I hope hearing about my experience with the pill has helped you, or has been something you can relate to. If you have any questions about my experience, please find me on any of my socials and ask! I’m more than happy to go into more detail with any of you, so don’t feel embarrassed to contact me. Sometimes it can feel awkward to speak out about our contraceptive story, but I think that’s something that needs to change. It shouldn’t be embarrassing to share the bad side of our experiences.

Thank you to Bryony for having me! If you haven’t checked out her contraceptive series yet, go do it now. It’s so informative, and I’m really enjoying it!

Beka https://bekadaisies.com/

This is Ellie’s Story:

I decided to go on the pill about 6 months ago because my periods were pretty much unbearable and with the GP turning me away I read that the pill could make your flow lighter and help ease the pain of intense cramps. I ended up getting mine through Superdrug doctors online who suggested I try a Desogestrel tablet. I ended up going with a brand called ‘Cerazette’ and started taking it religiously.

With the Desogestrel you don’t miss a week like you do with other pills so you constantly take it. Pretty much straight away I saw an improvement in my periods, I had a much lighter flow and zero cramps, about 2 months in I actually stopped having periods altogether, sometimes the odd 2 days flow here or there but it was such a change from what I’d experienced when I wasn’t on the pill. I did actually suffer quite bad with my mental health about a month in and this was something I’d read about online but I told myself I’d stick to it until I couldn’t take it anymore and soon enough my mental health became manageable.

I did find that if I accidentally took a pill late/forgot I’d get a period about a week later but it’s not an issue if you remember to take it at the same time every day. In terms of it being used as actual contraception, I’ve not become pregnant so it is pretty good! A couple weeks ago I went to my local family planning clinic to get 6 months’ worth of pills. I found that they don’t actually stock ‘Cerazette’ which I was really annoyed about because I knew that one works for me and my body is used to it. They just gave me a different branded one, it’s still a desogestrel based one and it has been working fine for me!

Ellie https://thediaryofellie.com/
Other episodes in the series: The Contraceptive Patch,The Contraceptive Implant.

What was your experience like with the pill?

Bryony x

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13 Comments

  1. March 8, 2020 / 3:39 pm

    Thanks for featuring me!! But its so strange how everyone has such different experiences yet they should do the exact same thing!

  2. March 8, 2020 / 3:51 pm

    What an important series, love this! There isn’t enough talk of birth control and all the options that are out there, because as Beka points out, not all options suit everyone. I was put on the pill already when I was 15 because it was part of the acne medication I was taking. Thankfully I’ve never had any problems with them, even when I switched to a cheaper brand. My best friend, on the other hand, has struggled a lot and tried almost every available option. Great post!

    Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog

  3. March 8, 2020 / 4:03 pm

    This is a great read, thanks for sharing! After I have my little one, I know I will need to go on something and that’s one of the one things I’m worried about. I just want to find the right one.

  4. Sarah Jones
    March 8, 2020 / 4:24 pm

    It’s been so great to hear these stories being shared and really understand how different everyone’s experiences are! I had one bad experience and never went on to the pill again but maybe I just didn’t find one that worked for me 🙂

    Sarah x

  5. March 8, 2020 / 4:53 pm

    Great post! This is a really important topic to bring up in this day + age and it’s great to read about other people’s experiences. It helps others understand that it can be tricky sometimes and doesn’t always work! I luckily went on the pill a year or two ago and have never had any issues – it doesn’t impact me whatsoever!

    Great post! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

    <3 x

  6. March 8, 2020 / 5:41 pm

    It is interesting to learn about how women have different experiences with the pill. Even though Beka stayed with the same pill, so much has happened. Ellie’s story is interesting as well. Thanks for sharing! I found the pill being super helpful with clearing my acne.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  7. March 8, 2020 / 6:50 pm

    I’m on the pill and have been for the past… Like, maybe 10 years? I’m on Microgynon which is a combined pill (which might be the one that Beka was talking about) and it’s been fine with me so far! I’ve heard loads of horror stories though about it like getting migraines and blood clots… So I’m going to start maybe looking for other options. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. March 8, 2020 / 7:46 pm

    My pill experiences started really young, I was 14 and put on them because my periods were so bad I was missing school every month with sickness/ feeling faint etc. Then I went on the pill and got the same symptoms as I got on my period, only now it was every single day. A few tries later and it turns out I can’t use hormonal contraception at all! So interesting how everyone has different experiences x

    Sophie

  9. March 8, 2020 / 8:21 pm

    This is such an amazing post for people who are looking to try the pill!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

  10. March 8, 2020 / 8:53 pm

    This is such an important post! I’m not on any contraception anymore but I used to be and it took a few different goes with the mini pill before I found one that suits me! I wasn’t allowed to use the combined pill because of migraines so my selection was quite limited x

  11. March 10, 2020 / 11:10 am

    I published a blog about my experience with Rigevidon as it completely ruined my mental health! It is nice to see that I am not alone in the pill always effecting other people!

  12. March 10, 2020 / 9:04 pm

    It is beautiful seeing how honest and open these two women are about their experiences in the interest of giving their fellow females a hand up. Contraceptives are a handy tool to have, especially since so many unwanted births and torn lives can be avoided when people act responsibly.
    I have never used the pill before, to be fair, but I think the biggest take-away from this post for me was that it takes trying and patience to find exactly what works for you and that it is worth it not to give up.

  13. March 10, 2020 / 11:59 pm

    This is such an amazing and important series! Thank you for sharing these experiences. I’ve never been on the pill or thought about it, but there are plenty of women and girls out there who are thinking about going on it and need as much information as possible, especially with all the different kinds there are. I hope you keep this going!

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