My long-term relationship with birth control

I have been on birth control since the age of fifteen when I was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst. My mom freaked out, and so I freaked out, and what was found out by going to the doctor was that I also had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. My doctor liked to describe it as:

Have you heard about the bearded lady? Yes? That’s what you have!

Which of course terrified me and I thought I’d grow a beard within a few days and I kind of wanted to cry. I had a ring of cysts around my ovaries and this kind of explained why I would go 3-5 months without getting that time of the month. It would be extremely painful for me when it did come so much so that I’d be doubled over in pain and physically sick from the cramps. My doctor prescribed birth control pills to control my symptoms, help me with my pain, and hopefully help me with my ovary sized cyst I had.

I never told anyone, I never really have told anyone about it I’ve met or known. I’ve done research about it because I’ve been on birth control pills since I was fifteen and I didn’t even start dating until I was eighteen. I didn’t start seriously dating someone until I was nineteen years old, and I’ve tried to go off it to see if maybe I don’t have to rely on it but this never works.

I end up months without a period, which may be too much information, but when it does come I am in tremendous pain. I’ve been put on pills that literally made me sick, I even tried the patch but that caused an allergic reaction and made me want to scratch my skin off wherever the patch was placed. I think that with losing weight my symptoms are supposed to get better, less hair, hopefully, and I’ve read it’s one of the few things I can do to help the PCOS. This is part of the reason for trying to get myself down to normal weight, I may not be able to cure myself, yet maybe I can somehow make it better. Last time I was checked for the cyst that was the size of my ovary it was supposedly gone, though I know the tiny cysts will come and go and it’s part of having PCOS.

So, birth control is something I need and that has made my life better with the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It’s the only thing they seem to be able to do to control it. I will try to be in tune with my body and if it changes, and if something seems fishy, I’ll let my doctors check it out and see what we can do.

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7 Comments

  1. I don’t have PCOS but I do have cysts and I’m high-risk for ovarian cancer (which, apparently, in terms of pre-cancerous growths – they can often be controlled by BC pills and this angers me that these ridiculous lawmakers try to make a religious issue out of it…but whatever, stupid old men without ovaries). Anyway, I also have a neighbor who have lived with PCOS and yes, she was overweight and developed facial hair, everything we’ve heard, including how difficult it would be for her to ever get pregnant (without the use of BC pills). After nearly 20 years of marriage, she DID have a baby AND she’s pregnant again!!!!!

    Do me a favor – VOTE for those who will help keep BC pills available to women who use it strictly for medical purposes. I am terrified that some a-hole politician actually thinks he has a f**king say in whether or not I’m to be more susceptible to cancer. Obviously, this makes me angry. 🙂

    Reply
    • I definitely have the same anger for this issue which is why I thought I’d at least make a post about it explaining I don’t even use the pill for birth control and didn’t for many years, it’s just what I use to keep the pcos in check. Birth control has made my life easier with less painful periods, and shortening the time I have to deal with that time of the month. When I was first put on it it cost me $75 a month for one packet of pills, seriously! Now, luckily, with my current doctor she has it for medical purposes and it’s only $15 a month but for those of us who need it… We need to be on it, for sure. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to go without it, but that means 6 months or so without getting a period and then getting put on serious medication to induce it, I don’t want to be going through that again.
      And I know pcos is one of the number 1 reasons for infertility in women but that is awesome yor friend was able to get pregnant! That is part of the reason we will see with me and my husband if we ever get to trying.

      Reply
  2. I was recently diagnosed with PCOS as well – I have a similar story to you. I was put on birth control at 16 to regulate my rare periods and stayed on it until about a year ago – I noticed that I began to put on weight and I was unable to lose it no matter how much work I put in or how much I depleted my caloric intake. I also began to get terrible cystic acne on my chin that I couldnt get rid of and chin hairs as well (YUCK!) I checked with my doctor and he diagnosed me with PCOS. Rather than go back on the pill though, I did some reasearch and began taking an all natural supplement program designed to help combat the symptoms of PCOS called Insulite – so far I have been taking it for a month and I have noticed a difference AND I got a normal (albeit, extremely painful as usual) period. My weight hasn’t changed, but I really haven’t been working ou a lot this month, but my skin cleared up and so did the random chin hairs…

    Reply
    • Ugh, I so can relate to what you went through, I forgot to mention the horrible cystic acne I got on my chin and shoulders which made it difficult to sleep it was so painful! The pill was the only thing that coward that up plus I didn’t get chin hairs but I did get stomach hairs though. 😦 the pill I am currently on is supposed to help out with weight but all of the other pills I would get considerable weight gain with them. I’m glad the natural way is working for you, that is fantastic! The acne is something I never had a problem with until pcos, go figure! I’m glad the symptoms are getting better with the natural supplement!

      Reply
  3. Thanks for drawing attention to PCOS. I can imagine it’s a really isolating condition to have if you’re not comfortable talking intimately. I very much hope the guy that’s for birth control pills being available to women stays where he is.

    Reply
    • It is a very isolating condition, and for me, quite embarrassing too. I have depended on both control pills for a long time controlling it so I need them and I know I am certainly not the only one!

      Reply

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