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\*\Club Contraceptives/*/ Rants/Reviews/Etc. on safe-sex methods

Hiya, Vegwebbers!

With the helpful backing/suggesting from the Diva Club, I made this thread as a place where we can all discuss various modes of birth control and/or safe sex. Even as an animal-rights kinda place, I know lots of us are concerned about cruelty-free and/or natural lifestyles...So if you're not a fan of cow-exploiting, skin-scorching latex rubbers, or of the way hormonal b/c pills screw with your body and mind, HERE is where we can all help each other.

This can be a place for advice or general information on various methods/devices...like If you want to know what hormones in your pills are doing what, and how that will affect you, etc.; or if you want to know about materials used in different kinds of condoms (and which aren't vegan!); or just how effective such methods are statistically...HERE is where you can tell what you know, or find other reference sources. HERE we can help each other learn what works best for each of us in regards to our own needs/situation.
Sound fun? HELLS YES.

Condoms
Female Condoms

Dental Dams
Diaphragms
Spermicides
Pills
IUDs

Nuva Rings
Injections
Cycle-observation/timing

Herbal Solutions

...and other Good Resources for many/all of the above methods


*****
Feel free to suggest important links or resources,
and I'll add them to this post as a sort of reference library.
******

let's go!

Bumping an old thread, but I thought it an appropriate place for my *rant.* 

Ok, so in my freshman year in college, I went on birth control pills because my periods were so awful.  I was not sexually active at the time and didn't plan on being sexually active...those thoughts were not really on my mind.  Anyway. 

So, the years pass and I remained on the pill.  I had sexual relationships and thought they were pretty normal...I thought my sex drive was normal.  I mean, I liked sex, but I didn't want to do it all the time or anything. 

So, last July (2008) I went off the pill.  I hadn't been sexually active for a while, so I was thinking about it, but then my health insurance lapsed, so I stop taking the pills.  After I stopped taking the pills, I wanted to have sex more that I have ever wanted to in my life.  I thought it was just because I was going through a "dry spell," but then I recently had to start taking the pills again, and my sex drive has plummeted!  WTF?!?  So, my conclusion is that birth control pills are effective in part, because they kill your sex drive.  Ugh.  *end rant*

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I noticed that too!! Before I started taking the pill (and in like the first month or two), I wanted to do stuff all the time, so much that the boy would complain I was too much for him and wearing him out.
But lately it's only been once a month, and I get sad because I want to want to do things, but I can't make myself. Sigh. I'd stop taking the pill too, but one of the reasons I started was because of killer cramps that were interfering with school and living in general. It's a bummer because I didn't really get any other lasting side effects really..

Harumph.

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I noticed that too!! Before I started taking the pill (and in like the first month or two), I wanted to do stuff all the time, so much that the boy would complain I was too much for him and wearing him out.
But lately it's only been once a month, and I get sad because I want to want to do things, but I can't make
myself. Sigh. I'd stop taking the pill too, but one of the reasons I started was because of killer cramps that were interfering with school and living in general. It's a bummer because I didn't really get any other lasting side effects really..

Harumph.

I am exactly the same way!  It makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one.....I always feel so disappointing....
I had a feeling the pill had something to do with it, but I'm not ready to stop taking it.
At least I'll have something to look forward to....

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LAD - did you ever get an IUD?
i had pretty much the same experience with mine as WLB... but strings out of your vagina? holy mother... did they not trim them at all?!?!

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You really should still use some other sort of contraceptive with an IUD. I got pregnant when I had one..

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what kind of IUD did you have, mmmorgans?
i'm planning on using another form in the near future, but the paragaurd/mirena are supposed to be as effective as sterilization.

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I have a mirena IUD and I have not had a period since it was inserted in November.  No PMS, no cramps, and an awesome sex drive.  IUDs for all!!!

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what kind of IUD did you have, mmmorgans?
i'm planning on using another form in the near future, but the paragaurd/mirena are supposed to be as effective as sterilization.

The copper one with NO hormones, as I did not want anything introduced into my body... maybe the Mirana is better, it is a low dose but also costs $360 which is a bit ludacris to me

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I'm currently off the pill since october.  Its been an awkward couple of months...
I spotted in November and nothing until April 29.. which was light spotting and very little fresh stuff.
I hope my body is back to normal...

I don't think I'll be taking the pill anymore though, but you never know...

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Question!: Don't you have to have kids to have an IUD put in?

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Question!: Don't you have to have kids to have an IUD put in?

I think that helps and makes putting it in easier, but it's not necessary. There was a girl on here who has one and I'm fairly certain she hasn't had kids since she's close to my age..weelittlebuddy is her name.

Maybe I'll look into the Mirena..it makes me a little nervous though because it can come out or be moved and it seems like it would be hard to tell. With the pills, the only way you can really mess up is if you miss a pill, which I'm very careful to not do.

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Question!: Don't you have to have kids to have an IUD put in?

no

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first off, THANK YOU for bumping this groovy and very helpful thread, lotus!  :)>>>
I had similar sex drive issues when I was on HBC, but I also spent much of those 2.5 years taking various antidepressant medications, sooo... Yeah, my libido went seriously downhill after starting those meds, but it was *fairly* normal during the first few months on HBC (with no antidepressants). Of course, it wasn't as high as it was before going on the pill, especially because those first few months involved a lot of adjustment/mood swings/icky spotting anyway.  :P

and duuuude...
I SO want to get an IUD. I just need some health insurance or something first. grr.

I'm currently not using any form of birth control other than cycle timing and pull-out hehh... So far, so good, but I'd love to not have to worry about pulling out the ol' abortifacient/uterine-contraction-inducing/sperm-attacking herbs, Y'know?
arggg... maybe when I get to San Diego I'll find a good gyno and an insurance/assistance plan.

oop, that reminds me..... I should have had my annual pap last month. THAT's not something I can afford right now, either. aarg! damn You, failing health care system!!!! *shakes fist*

ETA: my 1400th post!! (14 is my third favourite number)

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i got my iud 100% for free. if you don't make a lot of money i am sure there is somewhere you can go for free services.

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YAY!

Dig it!

:D ;) ;D

p.s.
You should receive an email shortly, hesp.  ;)b

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Question!: Don't you have to have kids to have an IUD put in?

Nope, they just dilated my uterus.

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and duuuude...
I SO want to get an IUD. I just need some health insurance or something first. grr.

.......

oop, that reminds me..... I should have had my annual pap last month. THAT's not something I can afford right now, either. aarg! damn You, failing health care system!!!! *shakes fist*

ETA: my 1400th post!! (14 is my third favourite number)

I've been getting all my "annuals" and IUDs inserted for FREE via Planned Parenthood. They know how to make the gov't work for you in those ways....I HIGHLY recommend you check them out!!

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/findCenter.asp

Question!: Don't you have to have kids to have an IUD put in?

I think that helps and makes putting it in easier, but it's not necessary. There was a girl on here who has one and I'm fairly certain she hasn't had kids since she's close to my age..weelittlebuddy is her name.

Maybe I'll look into the Mirena..it makes me a little nervous though because it can come out or be moved and it seems like it would be hard to tell. With the pills, the only way you can really mess up is if you miss a pill, which I'm very careful to not do.

Ponycakes, you are right. Women who've been pregnant have larger uterus' so it is easier for them to be inserted. I've never had a pregnancy go beyond the second month, and haven't had a problem with my uterus being too "small" for an IUD.

Let me just say too, that when an IUD "slips/moves" YOU CAN TELL!! Your cervix is tiny compared to so many things, and if it falls/is being "pulled" out, you will feel the tension of the two "arms" of the "T" bending "up" to be able to go through it. The most common way they fall out is during the first few periods, because your body is getting used to it.

IUDs have two strings (a little thicker than the wide type of dental floss) attached to the IUD that lead out of the cervix and they cut the strings at a certain length. If you reach up into yourself, you should be able to locate them and get acquainted to the length. It is recommended that you check them after each period. The rule of thumb though, if it has been six months and it is still in, it is there to "stay".

I'm on my 3rd IUD. My first one was the Paragard (aka Copper T), I bled soooo much heavier on my periods, but found out upping my dose of calcium prevented cramps. I LOVED it. I do have a "tipped uterus". Unfortunately, I am very tiny, and I had a very eager/inexperienced/well endowed partner who didn't listen to me when I told him not so deep, or not right "there". Thus, after 4 years of successful service, my little copper friend was pushed out. I felt a strange "tightening" discomfort in my uterine area, so I reached in, felt for the strings, they were longer, and I could kinda feel the leg part sticking out, so I pulled it the rest of the way out. It was like a painful period cramp, but nothing more. Considering that at the time hormones were NOT an option for me, I felt like this was successful; and from researching/talking to others, I know that what happened to me is VERY strange/rare to have it come out so long after insertion. Plus, Mirena is only good for 5 years, whereas the Paragard is now good for 15 years. (When I first got it, I was told 12, now they're saying 15....)
I decided to get a second Paragard, which lasted for a year and a half or so, until my body started freaking out cycle wise (8 week cycles w/ 3-4 week long physical PMS: breast tenderness/growing THREE cup sizes, significant weight fluctuation, etc; and 2-3 weeks of bleeding). After doing research, I found out/was told that I COULD have a certain kind of hormone after all!!! Coincidentally, the "safe" hormone is the one in the Mirena. I have had the Mirena for around a year and a half now. The first 6 months were BRUTAL for me though....I seriously considered returning to the Paragard, and the funness of the extra long/extreme cycles, but I suspected (correctly) that it was just my body getting used to the chemicals that it had never encountered before. The first three months were the mood swings. The later three, my body began freaking out/acting as if I was poisoning it. I am glad I rode the wave. However, if I was in a *new* relationship, and knew I was already pre-disposed to mood shifts, I'd probably hesitate to do the Mirena again.

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Good tip, hanashi...
... depending on where You live, I guess.  :err:

I went to the Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown ATL almost as soon as I got here, only to find out that they don't really offer much for free or even decently reduced prices. I even asked if they had any special assistance programs, like for unemployment or financial hardship cases, and they said: $50 for an initial pelvic exam, which You have to have there before getting anything else, EVEN if You JUST had one elsewhere...I didn't ask about other birth control devices, but they said the generic HBC pill cost $32 (or was it $23) each month....which is slightly higher than what I was paying at UNI. I asked if the cost could be based on a sliding scale, and no, that's the fixed price.
I can't remember if that figure was the regular cost for the pill, or if that's their "reduced" cost... either way, it's silly that it can't go any lower, because I've known people who got their exams and birth control for free, or $5/month, etc. (Edited for self-correction; a previous post contained that info)

....I think that, unless I find some kind of loophole, I'm not going to be "eligible" for any good assistance at PP in Atlanta.  :-\
it's just that I'm not nearly as...disadvantaged...as many other people in the city, so there's not a lot of financial assistance to go around.

I will give them another try, and look around for similar clinics/services around here...preferably not downtown, heh...

hanashi and anyone else with IUD experience, feel free to be as descriptive as You're comfortable with being when sharing Your stories...ups, downs, adjustments, timelines, etc. I know that every body will react differently to the same device, but I just want to get as much info as I can before I decide what I'm going to get, and IF I can get it. (goddamn, I can NOT do long and heavy periods. it wears me out and presents more than an "inconvenience" at job sites). Thanks for sharing, everybody!

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CW - I read a lot about the IUD here. It's almost too much information  :o. I basically just looked at all of the stuff that concerned me.

For me the insertion was fine... It didn't hurt nearly as bad as what I imagined. The NP putting mine in said I had a good sized uterus, even though I've never been pregnant.

The only negative anything I have had is periods that are about 1 day longer, slight spotting before, and cramps. I didn't ever get cramps too bad so having them for a couple days a month now is new, but nothing I can't deal with. I also occasionally (this is mostly when I first got it) would have intense gas pains... I have no idea if tat was related to the IUD and tried to look it up online and got nothing. I seriously woke myself up a couple of times because of them. OW! Anyway, I have only had it for a couple of months and it already is getting a ton better. I think it was a good choice  :)>>>

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I started OrthoEvra on Sunday. The boy is happy about it, and I can't wait to get boobs. :)

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