Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How we Handle Contraceptives

I've been reading a lot of contraceptive posts lately so I thought I would address the subject myself!

*Please keep in mind that I'm not a doctor. All I can do is give my own thoughts on my own experiences with contraceptives. Its up to you to make your own decision, about what you would like to put/not put in your own body. I'm not here to tell you what to do or make you feel guilty over something you have/haven't done :)
I've tried a few types of contraceptives, and to be honest, I've ended up hating all of them.

First I tried the pill. It made my feel nauseous for about two weeks, and after that it seemed fine. But then my ankles started swelling. And I started getting spider veins. My doctor told me that I have circulation problems in my legs and that the pill aggravates (as in, makes worse) this issue. He said I should not take the pill if I have this medical condition. It does say this on the bottle, but I had no idea I was predisposed to this before taking it.

So then I looked into the IUD. Please don't think I am judging you with what I am about to say. My doctor said that the IUD can sometimes cause a sperm and egg that have already met and formed a zygote to not adhere to the wall of my uterus. As in, the joined sperm and egg will be flushed out of my body with my period. Because of what I believe about life, and when life begins, I could not morally use this kind of contraceptive. If you use this, I am not trying to judge you. This was just my decision based off what my doctor told me.
So, before Mr. Adventure and I married, we discussed my previous experiences with birth control. Yes, I realize this means I tried birth control before I got married. Thats a whole other topic, and involves my salvation story. Maybe one day I'll tell it. I told him under no circumstances would I take the pill because of how sick it made me previously. We decided we would use condoms and spermicide. To make a long story short, my husband dislikes condoms. So we just started using the spermicide. Turns out, the spermicide not only attacked me (not really the correct medical term for what happened) causing me a lot pain and discomfort; but it also contributed to helping me catch a nasty urinary track infection. I tried to cure the UTI twice with antibiotics before realizing that the spermicide was causing it. So this month I'm on my third round of antibiotics sans the spermicide. Hope it works, because I'm seriously tired of having a UTI.

This month we aren't using any contraceptives. Perhaps next month I will be announcing my pregnancy? Probably. 

After I get rid of this UTI, I don't plan on trying to use any more contraceptives. I told my husband that when he is tired of me having babies he can go to the doctor and do whatever it is men do to themselves when they want to stop knocking up their wives. Mr. Adventure said that he would never ever let someone with a knife near his manly parts--but I'm sure if I end up having six kids in the next six years, he might change his mind.
now add six kids to this picture
This is the decision we made together after a lot of discussion and after visiting the doctor. I came to understand that when it came down to it, for me, the main reason I wanted to take birth control is because having a baby right now just doesn't sound like a lot of fun. It would inconvenience the way I want to live my life. Mr. Adventure and I are financially stable and 100% able to have kids--I just don't like the idea of it right now for purely selfish reasons. Once I realized that, it was easy enough to forgo the birth control and to give my selfish reasons up to God.

Maybe we will have kids, maybe we can't. I'm sure I'll find out soon :)

What about you? What kinds of birth control have you tried, and what have you found to work the best? Do you use birth control?


deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

what you said about the IUD is another reason that i have problems with it. no one mentioned that i could be implanting, and just not conceiving. thinking about that every month drives me crazy. when i first read about it, i think my jaw dropped.

peppy is going to get the ol' snippity snip on friday, and then i can FINALLY have this dang IUD removed.

before kids came along, i tried every kind of pill and the nuvaring. hormones and my body just don't mix well. and as soon as i have this IUD out of my body i am going to take a nice, long sigh of relief. (i may have tried to remove it myself over the weekend. stupid titled uterus.)

Cliffie said...

Hmmm, tell Mr. Adventure that when it comes to a vasectomy, he doesn't sound very adventurous! ;)

Anonymous said...

If you don't want to have kids right now, don't have kids right now. God doesn't care if you want to make that sort of choice for your own personal reasons. It's your life. Do what you want to do with it and don't burden yourself with a child when you don't feel ready. There will be plenty of time to have kids once you've accomplished your life goals, but if you rush it, all you'll have time for is regret.

Shary said...

I actually hate the idea of hormonal birth control, and I'm not even religious! I am having baby number two because my ovulation tricked me! Sneaky bastards. We love him and it's all fine so there's no bitterness behind this "mistake." What will be will be. Who am I to change that?

Good luck on your adventures!

Rachel said...

This is hilarious because the whole thing was like trial and error and this was probably my first time ever reading a blog on contraception. Oh..and this isn't Rachel, I hacked into her stuff, it's her other half.
So, I can't believe Rachel didn't tell me about this story because it's so funny. Rachel would never ever talk about or write about contraception and she would also probably never ever either comment on a story about contraception, so I'm doing it for her. I would answer the last questions, but I know Rachel will disapprove, even though I can give good medical advice. Hilarious post though *Attacking spermicides!

HLBurke said...

For me the least symptomatic I've ever been on birthcontrol was the mini-pill, the progesterone only one they give when you are nursing. I also did "okay" on the subdermal (three year insert in your arm, progesterone again) implant but there was a lot of spotting, no regular cycle(which also meant no real PMS or cramping; my periods were really light when they did come), and some days I would just get sick, like I would feel like I had morning sickness again (Maybe once every three months or so. I had it in for two years). My doctor said the last couldn't possibly be the birth control but I haven't had any occurrence of that particular malady since getting it out (except for the real morning sickness since I got it removed so we could get pregnant). The "real pill" caused me to bleed for weeks straight. I started it about a month before my wedding and stopped taking it about a week before because the symptoms were bad and never looked back. Right now we are trying a mix between condoms and timing though eventually my husband has promised to get "snipped" because we are planning to stop at the two we have.

katie said...

oooh, fun topic! i'm a medical student and LOVE talking about women's health. =)

i'm a big fan of the IUDs, and recommend them. true, if you hold that life starts at fertilization, perhaps not the best option -- but honestly, none of the non-permanent birth controls would sit well, if that's your stance, since all of them have the potential to prevent implantation. however, it is *not* their MOA (method of action) to terminate an implanted pregnancy -- if that happens (and it does, commonly -- it's estimated that 25-30% of pregnancies miscarry early like that), it's more likely an aberration in the conceptus itself like a chromosome anomaly, or some underlying health cause in the mother. personally, i hold that life starts at implantation (which IUD doesn't affect), and while IUDs are *the* most reliable birth control they can (very, very rarely!) fail, so our stance was that if the Lord intended us to have a child, it would happen regardless. =)

also, there are lots of different "The Pill"s! not just different brand, but different hormone combinations. i'm not sure if the circulation issue you describe would be a contraindication for all of them -- i think so, but it's something you should ask your doctor about. i get the condoms = no fun part, and yeah, spermicide on its own is actually not very effective (70%, ish, while most other BCs are in the 90s?). have you considered trying a diaphragm? a barrier method, it's a little more hassle than some others, but also one of the least morally objectionable.

personally, i've done a bunch of different things. i was on the pill for years as a skin treatment before needing it as birth control. it worked, but i'm terrible at remembering to take it, so i wasn't comfortable with it as contraception. if i were to go back to hormonal birth control, i'd probably do the patch (3 weekly patches, worn on the back/arm/thigh, then one week off; similar hormone composition as some pills), because of the not-daily attention. i had an IUD for a year (mirena, the hormone one) and love them for their convenience, recommend them for patients and would use them again, though probably the copper, non-hormonal. i *was* one of the super-rare bad reaction patients, but it was still worth it and absolutely the right decision at the time. now, we're on faith/stress/fertility awareness -- i pay attention to some things that let me know when i'm fertile, we're intentional and open about how things stand, and choose together to abstain or not for two or three days. we started this hoping but not actively trying, trusting in the lord's timing; circumstances have changed and we're hoping not, the time would be very poor, and we are still doing that trusting. =)

also, as far as permanent option for down-the-road go: 1) dudes of the world, it's not a knife, it's a teeny little incision and an office-visit procedure and you are VERY well medicated. man up! =) and 2) there are non-surgical options for women as well -- "tubes tied" is of course a surgery, but you can also have them obstructed from the inside (you ever get those washcloths that came packaged like little pills, and you get them wet and they expand a gazillion time? like that, only much healthier materials) in an outpatient procedure (for which you are also probably well medicated!)

so...that was a lot of info. (let's see if blogger lets me post it all!) it is well-informed, but i am NOT a physician (yet!) and so encourage you to do your own research and ask your doctor and all that. ask me if there's something more you want to hear about, but don't treat it as official medical advice. =) good luck! even if you are pregnant now (congrats!), this info is handy for planning for the future. =)