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thread: Long term use of the pill

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Feb 2008
    Near the Snowies!
    2,975

    Long term use of the pill

    Wondering how bad (or otherwise) it is for my health to be on the pill long term..apart from when I went off it to TTC and while I was pg with DD, the pill has basically been the only contraceptive I've used, and have been in a relationship with DF for the last 6 years. I hate that I can't/am fearful of just letting my body be and not constantly being on the pill, but it is effective and I trust it as a contraceptive, more than anything else. It took me less than a month to fall pg with DD, basically once I stopped taking it that was it, I was UTD so I am afraid that's what would happen if I decided I'd had enough of it. DF wants another, and I sort of do too but the fear of having another outweighs the desire atm.
    I don't get any side effects from it, I have no sex drive, but not sure if that's just naturally how I am (I can't really say how I was before I went on the pill, because they sort of coincided!), or if it's the pill that makes me have virtually zero libido.. Going to look into something like an amber necklace, but for libido issues instead and see if that helps as its becoming a real issue between DF & I.

    Are there any long term effects from using the pill? I know it's probably something I should be discussing with my dr, but it's hard enough to understand him at the best of times.. May be something I can discuss with my gyno specialist, I would feel more comfortable talking to him but I don't have an appt until October!




    ETA: I take Levlen ED and always have..

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Jan 2007
    7,197

    Hopefully someone who is more helpful than me will pop in but I talked to my Dr about going on the pill recently and she mentioned higher risk of stroke as you get older and didn't recommend it for me, (I am 35), not sure how old you are, but this could be an issue too if you have been using it for a while possibly? Might be worth finding a Dr who you can talk to comfortably (and understand!) if you can!

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Feb 2008
    Near the Snowies!
    2,975

    I'm 24, if that helps. So I've been on it, except for about 10-12 months or so, for say 5 years.
    I wouldn't mind going off it, but I fear that I'm one of those women that other women hate who fall pg at the drop of a hat (well, drop of pants maybe..lol), and definitely don't want baby after baby after baby! I probably wouldn't trust myself to know when I'm 'ripe' and when it's safe, and DF wouldn't care either way..he refuses to use condoms so I dont know what else I can trust, especially for long term contraception, and I don't want it to be permanent (and have heard not so good things about the depo shot and mirena)

    I'm inclined to stick with what I know works for me, but not if it's going to be bad for my health constantly taking it!
    Last edited by ss_storm; May 9th, 2012 at 09:48 PM.

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Jan 2008
    Central Coast NSW
    2,160

    Ive had the Implanon implant (in my arm) and like it. It did cause some weight gain (that's what I blame anyway) but I didn't even get a period for the first 18 months or so. It doesn't suit everyone though.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Jan 2009
    5,235

    I took Levelen for many many years for period control with endo, pain, etc. I have been off it for a good 18 mths now out of choice - I don't need a contraceptive being single and I don't like how it makes me feel while I am on it. I do think the sex drive thing is alot to do with the pill - I know those urges are practically non existent while on it but come back when off it - for me anyway. I also feel like I don't have alot of emotional control on the pill either.

    I spoke to my gynae about long term safety of pill taking - he wanted me to stay on it full time with a break every 4 months or so. He said there is no long term danger of taking it for a long time, however the skeptic in me isn't confident of that (and I find I have far more painful cycles on the 3 on 1 off cycle than a natural no pill cycle).

    I have no idea if there is any actual evidence to prove it, but I've a number of friends who took the pill for a long time before having several miscarriages when wanting a family....they aren't convinced all of those years of hormone treatment aren't connected.

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Sep 2008
    Melbourne
    3,300

    I was on the pill from 17 to 31 - only the last bit was on Levelen the rest was on Microlut which you can't get here in Aus for some reason. The Microlut I loved the Levelen less so but that might have been because of a thyroid issue rearing it's head at same time. I came off pill maybe 4 months before TTC and conceived first month. For me have had no adverse issues being on it that long, I don't have to make the decision about going back on it as DH been snipped but probably would have gone back on it once finished Breastfeeding.

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne
    7,177

    I personally don't believe that filling your body with artificial hormones for extended periods of time is healthy for your body. I know for me, the pill was not good for me or my cycles, much less my fertility. I'm very cynical about how 'safe' they are said to be, I just don't trust it.

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    Victoria
    1,064

    I have always been on the pill too but my cycles have been out of whack since I had DD so I was recently put on a stronger levelen pill and the side affects were horrific! It made me depressed and anxious, gave me panic attacks, made me moody, gave me extremely high blood pressure, migraines and nausea... I was taken off of it and told no more pill for me... Not even back to the lower dose.

  9. #9
    2013 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Nov 2008
    baldivis
    964

    Long term use of the pill

    I was on levlen for about 8 years in total (not including pregnancys etc)
    I had a good libido until after ds1 as I went back on the pill and just thought it was due to lack of sleep chasing a lil one about. But I've been off levlen for 5 months and 100% feel better for it.
    My libido is back to normal, I do not get nausea, and we only dtd on safe days. The last straw was I ended up with a constant migraine for about a week (never suffered migraines before going onto the pill) I do not think my body was handling all these hormones. I tried other pills anything stronger made me a very angry easily, I was very moody and dh was like I don't think they agree lol.

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    summer street
    2,708

    For me libido issues were 100% related to the pill. I went off it after five years and felt like a huge cloud had been lifted from my mind and spirit. I know the pill does effect fertility for some, but you're most likely to conceive the first month after going off it because of the sudden change in hormones.

    We use a combination of withdrawal and condoms. Have had two very planned pregnancies and fell pg first month of trying with each, and we have been together nearly thirteen years.

    I agree with PZ there is something inherently wrong with the way women are forced to artificially control their hormones. E should be a male pill, or at least other options that are less invasive IMO.

    As for long term effects, the only one I know of is stroke, which increases with length of time on the pill, age and smoking.

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Jan 2010
    Shoe Heaven
    4,839

    My gynae is loathe to put me on the pill again because of my age & inherent risks, which I'm glad, I like my cycles, I like getting in tune with my body and fully experiencing the fluctuations of hormones and watching my body during my cycle. OK the waves of intense horniness is something I'm gradually getting used to (and poor OH being away is missing out on the "I want to rip your clothes off and just jump you" stages but has enjoyed those while he was here & will again when he is back).

    I was on the pill for over 20 years and the day I could go off it was the happiest day in my life, I hated the flatness of things. I have gone on it a few times in the 5+ years since I finally went off it, for a variety of reasons, but didn't stay on it more than 3-4 months each time.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Dec 2007
    Geelong
    3,438

    After our third child I went on Levlen for the first time ever as we were not going to have any more children and wham I fell pregnant. So needless to say I have absolutely no faith in the pill.

    Regards,
    Dianne

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Oct 2006
    Melbourne
    1,798

    I've spoken to two different doctors about possible long term effects and gotten two very different answers. I've done a little bit of research myself and the data does seem to be very conflicting. Confused much lol!

    I'm on a low dose pill at the moment (microgynon) and I've been taking the pill on and off since I was 18 (only stopping to have my two kids). I'm 34 now and I don't think I'm comfortable taking it for too much longer. However the other contraceptive choices honestly don't sit well with me either! I have PCOS too so I'm terrified that going off the pill will bring back my crazy long, painful and heavy periods.
    No idea what I'm going to do yet.

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Nov 2007
    Off with the fairies.
    4,370

    I've been on the same pill as you for a while. I took it between having my kids, they're 4years apart, and no problems here. I fell pg with DS2 straight after going off the pill. I take it now and have done since after DS2. It works well for me and my dr is happy with everything.

  15. #15
    Registered User

    Jan 2009
    5,235

    OK the waves of intense horniness is something I'm gradually getting used to (and poor OH being away is missing out on the "I want to rip your clothes off and just jump you" stages but has enjoyed those while he was here & will again when he is back).
    Happy to hear someone else has those 'waves' during her cycle. I, sadly have no one to jump though!

  16. #16
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Sydney
    7,896

    No more artificial hormones here either. I had no ill effects from about 12 years regular off and on pill usage, but the three months of cycle weirdness after the Mirena made both DP and I decide condoms and timing only for us. It can't be good to mess up my natural hormones like that.

    We are not planning any more children but this method worked for about nine mths before TTC DD2 and is working atm, although no AF yet. We'll see if it can work for the next six years or so!

  17. #17
    2012 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.
    Add AngelPants on Facebook

    Feb 2010
    Under the rock
    1,320

    If you want something like implanon or the pill there is a hormone ring that goes around your cervix and you or your gp can change it every 3 months I think.
    Personally I found all the pills horrible for my body and mind and have used condoms in between pgs.

    sent from my watzamajig so may not make sense....

  18. #18
    Registered User

    Apr 2006
    Perth
    4,203

    I've been on the pill of some sort for the better part of 20 years. I was on Levlen for at least 10 years because for that time I felt it helped with my migraines as well as period pain. After DD2 I struggled badly back on levlen with shocking migraines so ended up on Yaz for a while - my understanding is that its designed for older women (I'm almost 42). That was good for a couple of months but then gave me even worse migraines and no period for months and then whammo, enormous blood loss. FWIW, I didn't find any libido issues but I think we're all very different when it comes to that sort of thing.

    In the past the benefits of being on the pill outweighed (for me) the potential side effects of long term use, but my body and hormones have obviously reached the point now when they don't take kindly to oral contraceptives so I'm weighing up my options for what to do next. Like you, I fall pregnant seemingly just taking my clothes off if I'm not on the pill so there is no way I'll wing it. DH seems to be struggling with the idea of a vasectomy, which significantly limits my options given that my migraines make me more than likely unsuitable for things like mirenas.

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