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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Birth Control Decision

As the title indicates, this might also be TMI? Just sayin, giving fair warning for anyone that would rather not know!

So the Valentine's Day plans definitely inspired the previous post about birth control, since I have to start worrying about it again.

Me and birth control have a long and sordid history (or not, depending on how you look at it). I tried the pill for about 6 months while I was in college and the basic result was a lot of depression. I was horrible about taking it at the same time every day (or even taking it every day), and perhaps as a result of this, my emotions and hormones were all over the place and I ended up in not a good place. I noticed a significant improvement when I stopped taking it.

And condoms, well, they give me yeast infections. Every SINGLE yeast infection I have ever gotten came on the heels of sex-with-a-condom. Maybe it's the latex, I don't know. I also plain just don't like them. Some people don't notice them, I guess but to me it feels like a foreign invasion!

I've thought about an IUD (intra-uterine device), but basically ruled it out immediately for many reasons: most of them are hormonal, most of them have lots of side effects, we don't want to do anything that long-term, etc.

There are obviously other options, but none of them really feel right to me. So, we'll probably end up going the "withdrawal" method from here on out. Don't knock it, it is 97-98% effective when done correctly and consistently, which is about the came as the pill. For us it is probably perfect.

I guess it doesn't mean much to say that this has always been my primary birth control method since I apparently was never making very mature eggs and had an early miscarriage that seemed like a normal or few-days-late period every SINGLE time I got pregnant and didn't supplement with progesterone. So who knows how many times that happened to me without me even knowing it. But, according to the research, withdrawal IS quite effective.

We might combine it with the Fertility Awareness Method, basically keeping in touch with your body and looking out for signs of ovulation (increased cervical mucus, etc), in which case we would either abstain for a few days or be more careful.

Honestly it still feels a bit weird to me to do ANYTHING to prevent pregnancy after THREE YEARS of trying to conceive James. FAM feels the least strange to me. However, like I said, I'm really not ready to throw caution to the wind, so that's what I finally decided.


Marilyn said...

can't you not get pregnant again until your period returns? I thought that could take up to like 4/5 months? I would think you wouldn't have to worry about any kind of birth control until your period does return?

Iris Savea said...

Have you looked into VCF? Its basically a film thats a spermicide. Its what we are using because I have similar issues with almost every birth control method out there! Condoms give me UTIs (EVERY single time!), birth control makes me sick (ive tried over 20 different brands since i was 15), no way ai am getting an IUD because my cramps/bleeding is bad enough without it... so that really doesn't leave many options!

mpence said...

Marilyn, most women will ovulate before having their first period after having a baby, so you can get pregnant before af returns!

My husband has now started praying for a new baby after we dtd...this is a first, even for us, and it is definately earlier than ever before, lol! I still think I will have at LEAST another 3-4 months before pregnancy!

justadrienne said...

Mare--Lactational amenorrhea (infertility caused by breastfeeding), can be used as a effective birth control (about 97%), but the mom/baby must meet a set of conditions, like the baby must be younger than six months, must be exclusively breastfeeding, etc. One of the conditions is that the baby can't go longer than 6 hours at night (or 4 hours during the day) without breastfeeding. James goes much longer than that at night, typically 8-4/5. I do usually pump before I go to bed (11/12) but it's still pushing it in terms of relying on it exclusively for birth control. However, I think I would know if I was fertile again, but I could miss it . . .

cheryl said...

We are still trying to figure out what to do after baby is born for BC. I really don't want to take the pill again or anything that has hormones in it. Hopefully we will figure it out soon.

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