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spiro + yaz

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hmmm that's interesting about exercise lowering estrogen levels! that kinda sucks too. it seems like it doesn't affect most women though, or all female athletes would have acne, and i meet so many who have perfect skin. maybe some women have lower levels to begin with and exercising just makes it too low.

day 26

not much to report. still is still pretty clear, mostly just have a few healing pimples and lingering red marks from old ones. it's still very dry and flaky too. haven't gotten around to that exfoliation, hehe.

mood-wise, i was fine for most of the day, except for right after i got to work for a couple hours. i was working 12-8 instead of the normal 8:30-4:30, and i walked into a bunch of busyness. i am off tomorrow and only had a little time to accomplish a lot of work today..which proved to be impossible. i guess i let it go at some point though, realizing that the world would not fall apart, and i would just work to catch up next week. then my mood got better.

i am still dreading those fasting blood tests tomorrow morning :'( i had to move them even earlier into the morning, because i have another appointment that was conflicting..so i am leaving my house, starving and without caffeine at 7 am tomorrow to arrive at 7:30 and be tortured by phlebotomists who jostle needles in my arms for up to 20 minutes because the blood will not flow. :'(

i looked at my arm hair again today heheh :D unless it hasn't finished fully growing out yet, i think i can say that it looks even better than it did in jan 2008, when i had some problems, but they hadn't begun escalating yet (like they did when the cystic acne started later that summer). that seems pretty good to me. could be all in my head though.

okay that's all! bye! :D :D

thi

I know what you mean. It does seem that if that were the case, more female athletes/runners would have acne. Most of the female athletes and runners I know do not suffer this problem. I'm not sure why this happens either- like you said, it could be because some females have lower estrogen levels to begin with, or maybe due to a higher sensitivity to changing hormone levels.

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day 28

today is the last day of my first full cycle of off-brand yaz! somehow i still have one day of spiro left...don't know why only 29 come in a bottle.

went to refill both rx's today, and i found out that since yaz has a generic now, i would be charged $35 instead of the $20 i used to pay before the generic were around. i only pay $10 for the generic (until my copays possibly increase in january), so a $25/mo increase did not seem worth it at this point. i did not experience any significant problems during this first month of gianvi, except for the anxiety, but i also experienced that on name-brand yaz. so for now, i will continue with gianvi.

these pharmacists ALSO gave me a hard time about taking spiro and yaz together. one of them didn't seem fully knowledgeable though, because she kept saying that taking yaz is the equivalent of taking 23 mg of spiro..and i kept agreeing and saying that it wasn't enough, so that's why i was taking 100 mg spiro on top of it. i DID get my blood tests done (surprisingly easily) yesterday, so i promised her my potassium levels are being monitored, and i will stop taking them together if it proves to be dangerous. i expect to get my blood test results sometime next week.

acne is still much better. skin is even looking 'good' now - like i feel proud of the way most of my face looks, except for the few marks & little pimples around my chin and mouth. no improvement to facial hair.

mood is good, energy is about a 7.5 out of 10. mm can't think of anything else to report on. can't believe it's only been a month so far though. this past month has been a long one! i hope to see more improvement in my skin this next month, as well as the anxiety symptoms remaining absent. still seems to early to hope for improvement in hair, but you never know! :D

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day 31

mm slight downward progression :( a few new, inflamed pimples on the left side of my face along my jawline. it's either from the four days of placebo pills that would've corresponded with the period i didn't have (days 25-28) or from my pillowcase hehe. oh OR it could be from resuming exercise & sweating!

not too bothered by it. anxious to hear back from doctor concerning results of bloodwork - maybe i should call them tomorrow. sometimes they forget about me :( my vision's been kinda weird - i injured my head a couple yrs ago (:P), which makes one of my eyes get blurred vision under stress or fatigue. i wasn't really feeling either of those today though..maybe it's the potassium! heheh i'm such a hypochonriac - i just don't wanna miss anything though!

energy's been weird - i have felt like crap the past couple mornings and called out sick both yesterday and half of today. i did have a couple late nights over the weekend (not drinking or anything..just up late), but i thought i'd made up for with extra sleep. maybe it's the potassium!! heheh :D

okay, speaking of staying up late, i better go to sleep! i have to get up early again for PT, then drive for hours to see family for thanksgiving, remain in family-mode for almost 48 hrs, and drive back friday morning to work at 11 am. (please help me, God :D)

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day 31

mm slight downward progression :( a few new, inflamed pimples on the left side of my face along my jawline. it's either from the four days of placebo pills that would've corresponded with the period i didn't have (days 25-28) or from my pillowcase hehe. oh OR it could be from resuming exercise & sweating!

not too bothered by it. anxious to hear back from doctor concerning results of bloodwork - maybe i should call them tomorrow. sometimes they forget about me :( my vision's been kinda weird - i injured my head a couple yrs ago (:P), which makes one of my eyes get blurred vision under stress or fatigue. i wasn't really feeling either of those today though..maybe it's the potassium! heheh i'm such a hypochonriac - i just don't wanna miss anything though!

energy's been weird - i have felt like crap the past couple mornings and called out sick both yesterday and half of today. i did have a couple late nights over the weekend (not drinking or anything..just up late), but i thought i'd made up for with extra sleep. maybe it's the potassium!! heheh :D

okay, speaking of staying up late, i better go to sleep! i have to get up early again for PT, then drive for hours to see family for thanksgiving, remain in family-mode for almost 48 hrs, and drive back friday morning to work at 11 am. (please help me, God :D)

At the advice of my mom, I have decided not to proceed with the progesterone therapy at this time. She, along with everyone else, seems to think that consistency is best and that I should just stick with the birth control pills. I am going to give the bcp's another few cycles, and if I still don't notice any improvement, I am going to try the progesterone therapy.

Last week my skin was actually pretty clear- so clear in fact that I went several days without makeup! No leftover red marks, and no new pimples either. Of course that was short lived, as this week I have three nasty new unwelcome visitors on my face.

I am going to the dermatologist on Wednesday for my second appointment. At this point, I don't really feel like any progress has been made with my skin- the only difference I noticed was the initial breakout, which was definitely not a good difference. I feel like my skin is just back to where it was before I started treatment. I have noticed that my skin has been relatively clear in it's normal breakout zones (along right jawline and chin) since the initial breakout. I now just have three spots in random places. I am interested to see what the dermatologist will say, but mostly, I am just sick and tired of dealing with breakouts.

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day 31

mm slight downward progression :( a few new, inflamed pimples on the left side of my face along my jawline. it's either from the four days of placebo pills that would've corresponded with the period i didn't have (days 25-28) or from my pillowcase hehe. oh OR it could be from resuming exercise & sweating!

not too bothered by it. anxious to hear back from doctor concerning results of bloodwork - maybe i should call them tomorrow. sometimes they forget about me :( my vision's been kinda weird - i injured my head a couple yrs ago (:P), which makes one of my eyes get blurred vision under stress or fatigue. i wasn't really feeling either of those today though..maybe it's the potassium! heheh i'm such a hypochonriac - i just don't wanna miss anything though!

energy's been weird - i have felt like crap the past couple mornings and called out sick both yesterday and half of today. i did have a couple late nights over the weekend (not drinking or anything..just up late), but i thought i'd made up for with extra sleep. maybe it's the potassium!! heheh :D

okay, speaking of staying up late, i better go to sleep! i have to get up early again for PT, then drive for hours to see family for thanksgiving, remain in family-mode for almost 48 hrs, and drive back friday morning to work at 11 am. (please help me, God :D)

At the advice of my mom, I have decided not to proceed with the progesterone therapy at this time. She, along with everyone else, seems to think that consistency is best and that I should just stick with the birth control pills. I am going to give the bcp's another few cycles, and if I still don't notice any improvement, I am going to try the progesterone therapy.

Last week my skin was actually pretty clear- so clear in fact that I went several days without makeup! No leftover red marks, and no new pimples either. Of course that was short lived, as this week I have three nasty new unwelcome visitors on my face.

I am going to the dermatologist on Wednesday for my second appointment. At this point, I don't really feel like any progress has been made with my skin- the only difference I noticed was the initial breakout, which was definitely not a good difference. I feel like my skin is just back to where it was before I started treatment. I have noticed that my skin has been relatively clear in it's normal breakout zones (along right jawline and chin) since the initial breakout. I now just have three spots in random places. I am interested to see what the dermatologist will say, but mostly, I am just sick and tired of dealing with breakouts.

I went to the dermatologist this morning, and she definitely agreed that after nearly 8 weeks of treatment, there has been no improvement in my skin. She switched my topical medication from differin to tazorac, and she gave me a prescription for spironolactone. 75mg/day. I think spiro is going to help, and I hope I see results as quickly as you did. I will keep you updated!

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I went to the dermatologist this morning, and she definitely agreed that after nearly 8 weeks of treatment, there has been no improvement in my skin. She switched my topical medication from differin to tazorac, and she gave me a prescription for spironolactone. 75mg/day. I think spiro is going to help, and I hope I see results as quickly as you did. I will keep you updated!

yay, now we're both on spiro! :D i hope it works well for you too :D keep me updated! and i'm glad to hear you're on 75 mg - i always feel bad when i see someone on 25 mg, bc i imagine they would not be able to see as many results as they would on a higher dose.

day 41

posts are fewer and farther between these days, sorry. but i'm still here! hmm how's my skin? well i guess i feel like it's about a 7/10 right now. it had worsened between cycles, but it's back to being pretty good, with a small number of new pimples and some recovering ones too. haven't gotten anymore cystic ones since the in-between-cycles outbreak, which is great. those hurt. my skin is still dry and flaky. maybe the weather, maybe the spiro (i haven't been drinking water..!!). still don't have much of an oily-face problem like i did before.

i'm pretty happy with my skin right now though, because even though i have some pimples, my skin's clear where it matters most to me, and the pimples i have aren't painful or colossal. my forehead and cheeks look great. chin and jawline are still struggling some.

ohh i almost forgot to include something significant. soo last year when i first started yaz, i lost my appetite, lost 5 lb, couldn't sleep, and felt queasy sometime during the second month. i have dealt with that this time too (this being my second month). none of it bothers me too much (i kinda like losing weight) except for the insomnia - that's super annoying because i just lay there all night feeling irritable, itchy, and insane hehe. since i'm a vegan, and i stopped taking my b-vitamins a couple months ago (which vegans have to take), it's possible that this is being caused by a b12 deficiency. i will go buy some more vitamins soon.

the insomnia and lack of appetite could be caused by excitement, because i've been starting a relationship with a guy i've liked for some time, and i get that way when i'm excited. OR it could be caused by the yaz (gianvi), which is why i thought it was worth mentioning. it didn't last long last year when it happened, and so far this has lasted two weeks..which seems longer and is making me want to attribute it to the excitement.

mood-wise, i've been great - pretty stable and happy. i have not been angry and irritable like i was during the end of the first month, yay! conditions at work have improved, but there's been some stressful drama surrounding this new guy, so i still have stressors, but i think i'm better-able to handle them right now, which also makes me think the yaz really was causing the anxiety and irritability during the first month.

energy-wise - well, the insomnia is making me tired, and i was spending a bunch of time hosting guests and fostering a stray dog over the past couple of weeks, so i only exercised once. i need to get back into that. despite not getting around to exercising and not getting sleep, i have not been feeling too lethargic, so i think my energy is okay. you gotta watch out for depression on these hormone-pills though!! that's why i always talk about this stuff :D

hair - no improvement to report. i was all happy about my arm hair a few posts ago, because i thought it had fully regrown and looked sparser than in the past, but alas, it appears it had not finished growing out, and it looks how it did before hehe. oh well - i am not supposed to be expecting results on this front until april or so, but i notice my hair everyday, and it makes me impatient.

okay, hopefully i'll write again soon :D

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ohhhhh i forgot to include something big!

got bloodwork results, and for the first time EVER, ALL of my levels were normal!! hormones, potassium, everything!! so i can keep taking spiro for now, and apparently, my hormones are reacting well to it :D

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ohhhhh i forgot to include something big!

got bloodwork results, and for the first time EVER, ALL of my levels were normal!! hormones, potassium, everything!! so i can keep taking spiro for now, and apparently, my hormones are reacting well to it :D

The spiro is making a huge difference in my skin! I definitely have not had broken out since I've been on it, and I haven't really had any significant blemishes come up either. I am really amazed at how quickly it works. I go back to the dermatologist in early January, and I think she will be pleased with the results I have had so far!

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11 weeks, 1 day (day 78)

hello! whew i have gone a long time again without posting - sorry! i was so busy over the holidays, and i have been traveling every weekend for a couple months now.

anyway - AAV9186 - i'm glad to hear that you are having success - did you go to the doctor this month? did your doctor acknowledge your progress? are things still going well?

things are still okay over here..but just okay i guess. i feel like i haven't made any progress since the first couple weeks when i noticed that immediate improvement. i've pretty much stayed at that level ever since. i hardly ever have any cystic acne appearing anymore, and my pimples are reduced (from pre-spiro/yaz) and pretty manageable.

i have begun to suspect my tweezing as the culprit behind my pimples..i mean..i guess i always have suspected that. i tweeze my chin/jawling area at least once a day, and as a result, i end up with a lot of irritation, hyperpigmentation, ingrown hairs, and also some real pimples. but they all look like pimples if you just look at me and don't think about it.

i guess i've always chosen tweezing for a few reasons - it completely removes the hair for at least several days, leaving it smooth; it has a reputation for not causing your hair to grow back thicker (like shaving..though i hear that's a myth); and it seems easier and less painful to me than options like waxing or depilatory creams.

well i was reading tonight that tweezing facial hair is like the worst option for women with PCOS (me)! since our blood's hormone levels are already whack, when we tweeze, causing blood to flow to the hair follicle, it messes the follicle up even MORE and make the hair even more manly.

and also, it causes all those things i complain about - hyperpigmentation, ingrown hairs, irritation, and pimples.

this is why i'm not simply satisfied with a pill that reduces acne..i need a pill that also reduces excess hair, because even if all my pimples are decreased/gone, my chin/jawline will still have the appearance of having acne if i'm still having to tweeze it all the time.

i used a depilatory cream tonight, and i think i might try to transition over to doing this instead of waxing until my excess hair situation improves significantly. my skin is sensitive, so i have to be careful (my face is itchy and tingly and a little painful and irritated right now), but i HAVE experimented with depilatory creams in the past, and i know if i just use them sparingly, my skin will be able to handle it.

my hope is that the way my hair grows in will change a bit, because instead of tweezing daily and having all different hairs regrow at different times, i will be addressing ALL the hairs at once on a regular schedule, and they will regrow together and not require me to pay attention to them every day, due to them all growing on different days (due to being tweezed on different days). dunno if that makes sense.

also, i am hoping that the hyperpigmentation, ingrown hairs, etc (everything that resembles acne) will go away, and i will be able to look at my face and actually feel like my acne is gone. cuz right now..it's pretty much gone, but it doesn't really look that way with my chin/jawline situation.

sorry..i know this whole site is devoted to acne, but i'm going to talk just a little bit more about the hair (since acne hasn't changed much and isn't even bothering me very much).

i think i HAVE noticed a slight change in my body/facial hair. my stomach is still pretty hairless compared to the past, and my thighs even look a little better (slightly lighter hair). my arms look a little better too (could be imagining it). but on my face, the change is funny. i think the hair strands are getting just a little bit thinner, and because of how terribly i tweeze my face and the thick skin that's developed on my chin over time, the thin hairs are having a hard time growing in right through the skin.

so i'm getting MORE ingrown hairs, which looks worse. but it's actually making me hopeful. because even though it looks bad now, the ingrown hairs work themselves out usually, and since the hairs are thinner, i won't need to remove as many of them over time (i'm only worried about the thick/dark ones). so the quantity doesn't seem to have decreased, but the thickness does, and that makes me happy.

as for mood and energy level, my mood has been great and stable. i really attribute that to the yaz, because this is how i felt the first time i took yaz (i'm seeing a correlation :D). (oh and i'm still on the off-brand yaz (gianvi), but it's easier to say yaz, cuz no one will recognize 'gianvi' (or hardly anyone).

my energy is only decreased in how it relates to my exercising. i was an exercising fiend before..running the half marathon and all. i remember the other time i was on yaz, i was also less motivated to exercise, and when i did exercise, i kept it light. i almost feel like my heart just doesn't want to do anything too rigorous. i don't mind, except that i was getting interested in the idea of doing more running or biking races, and i don't feel up to it. i also don't want to lose my tone. i was proud of my muscles before.

i HAVE lost about 10 pounds on this combo of yaz/spiro. i guess it's mostly water weight, but my body looks a little different - my legs are leaner, and my pants fit a lot looser. the combo of not exercising (losing muscle) but simultaneously losing weight has made my body composition different from before. i'm smaller and skinnier, but also a bit pudgier in ways..like my arms are squishy, and i feel like i see more fat on myself. overall, i probably look just a little bit better, but i wish i could keep my tone.

i messed around with the weight loss to see how profuse it is..over the holidays (and even this week/today), i ate soooo unhealthily - carbs, sugar, carbs, sugar, and more sugar. i've had like 2x the recommended amount of fat each day, but i'm still not gaining any weight back. so that's making me think the weight loss is very profuse. even eating TONS of junk for a month did not reverse it. i wonder if i would've lost even more weight if i'd been eating healthily during that time. i guess i could test it by starting to eat healthily again..i've been meaning to get around to it hehe.

i'm not used to having to buy new clothes because my clothes are too BIG though. i'm already kinda small. i started around 118, and now i'm between 106 & 111 depending on when i weigh myself (fluctuates during the day). i don't want to lose too much weight, or then i have to spend a bunch of money on all new pants!

sorry..i didn't have much to say about the acne. and i hope no one felt obligated to mull through the rest of the rambling i included, but it's helpful and enjoyable for me to be able to keep a record of my thoughts and progress in this way (even if i'm not being as consistent as i'd hoped).

i hope i can remember to update again soon! :D

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20 weeks + 2 days (day 142)

helloooo! updates! sorry, but i was not strong enough to test out my non-tweezing theory. that required letting hairs grow in, and i really feel too uncomfortable if i do not remove them daily!

but as for my skin, it's pretty great! little to no pimples, and my face looks so much clearer in general. i am hardly wearing any makeup compared to before (just a little powder in the morning).

i found out a month ago that i have MONO! AND i've had it since november! i didn't know what was wrong for the longest time (i've had sooo many different symptoms, it's ridiculous), so i wasn't resting at all. it about killed me, literally, but i'm doing much better now.

that weight loss i was mentioning was most likely all due to mono (not spiro/yaz), since i weighed my least at its worst & and now gaining most of it back as i'm almost feeling normal again. mono actually permanently damaged my vision though :( hard to explain, but it basically caused my eyes to swell so badly at one point that it caused a posterior vitreous detachment.

as for my energy, well..i cannot make any comments about how yaz/spiro are affecting that until the mono is gone - i just feel tired a lot & have for awhile now. my spirits are good though!

i haven't had a period since i started yaz/spiro in october. that's not healthy, so the dr. told me to start skipping my spiro pills during the four inactive yaz days each month & see if that makes my period return.

back to my skin, i went through a period when it was really dry all the time. i previously attributed that to the spiro/yaz, but now that my skin is not as dry anymore, i'm wondering if it was actually just correlating with having mono. mono dehydrated me to the point of hospitalization. my skin's fine now - hardly any dryness.

as for the excess hair, i still feel like i have seen mild improvement on my thighs, arms, and stomach (well especially stomach..that's still looking good). but my chin/face is still bothering me. i almost wonder if i've tweezed and messed with the hairs so much that they are at a point of no return, and they are permanently 'terminal' now. i still have hope though, since i was told to not even expect improvement until the 6-month mark. i have not yet hit the 5-month mark. they said it was because it took 6 months for a hair cycle to complete & the new hair to grow in.

i wonder if anyone reads this. at least i have a little bit of history to look back on and track my own progress. for anyone considering yaz or spiro, i am still satisfied with them at this time and don't feel that i'm experiencing any negative side effects (besides no period) - i would still recommend them! :D

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22 weeks + 6 days (day 160)

wow, it's only been 2 weeks, and i'm posting again already! that mono really wiped me out for awhile. i'm finally feeling well again & have walked twice this week for light exercise (first exercise in months!).

i wouldn't have thought to update except that i was looking in the mirror today and noticed that my skin looked pretty nice. AND yesterday, someone was looking at me in the car (which is a scary spot for me with the sunlight shining in on my face), and they told me i had really nice skin...! i was like "WHAT?! ME?!"

i remember the last time i took yaz, people would compliment me on my skin too, which was so absurd to me. even though there's been such great improvement, and i'm mostly clear now, i still think of myself in my head as a bad-skin person.

did i mention the weird red, rough patch of skin that has been growing on my cheek last time? i think it started at the very beginning of my mono, and it's gotten bigger. it's a dark, dented looking spot covered in rough, dry skin, and it looks like it has some faint red dots in it that are latent pimples or something. it's still very small, but it has grown from being about the size of a pea to the size of a dime. i googled like a hypochondriac and found everything from rosacea to skin cancer. it's not very noticeable (my boyfriend swears he can't see it, but i think he's lying), but i'm so OCD about this stuff. just thought i'd mention it.

hair issues are the same. the end of this month will mark 6 months, the 'earliest' point at which i am allowed to expect improvement on that front. i still feel like my arms and legs are better. not my face though. :(

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22 weeks + 6 days (day 160)

wow, it's only been 2 weeks, and i'm posting again already! that mono really wiped me out for awhile. i'm finally feeling well again & have walked twice this week for light exercise (first exercise in months!).

i wouldn't have thought to update except that i was looking in the mirror today and noticed that my skin looked pretty nice. AND yesterday, someone was looking at me in the car (which is a scary spot for me with the sunlight shining in on my face), and they told me i had really nice skin...! i was like "WHAT?! ME?!"

i remember the last time i took yaz, people would compliment me on my skin too, which was so absurd to me. even though there's been such great improvement, and i'm mostly clear now, i still think of myself in my head as a bad-skin person.

did i mention the weird red, rough patch of skin that has been growing on my cheek last time? i think it started at the very beginning of my mono, and it's gotten bigger. it's a dark, dented looking spot covered in rough, dry skin, and it looks like it has some faint red dots in it that are latent pimples or something. it's still very small, but it has grown from being about the size of a pea to the size of a dime. i googled like a hypochondriac and found everything from rosacea to skin cancer. it's not very noticeable (my boyfriend swears he can't see it, but i think he's lying), but i'm so OCD about this stuff. just thought i'd mention it.

hair issues are the same. the end of this month will mark 6 months, the 'earliest' point at which i am allowed to expect improvement on that front. i still feel like my arms and legs are better. not my face though. :(

Hey there :)

I am exactly one month behind you with spiro. I am glad its working out for you. Its going alright for me as well. I am specifically just taking it for my silly monthly acne due to periods. Like yourself, I consider myself an OCD and a hypochondriac. lol Also, I am a bad picker, if nothing else I would just pick off my dry skin. I am kind of going through the same with a bigggggg pink extremely flakey mark on my cheek but mine was after mindless picking. which left a huge nail mark cut on my skin, and then of course I totally forgot to put any antibiotic ointment on it. And it ended up getting infected. So here I am, even if I am not getting pimple, I am giving myself stupid marks. I wish it would just end soon.

I wish you luck. And sorry for renting on and on...

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Why not try laser hair removal for the hair on your face? I had it done on my Armpits and Bikini line and it's fantastic, I no longer get ingrown hairs and red bumps in those places :)

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Miss CP - thanks for the suggestion! i've read a lot about laser hair removal, and i have been regarding it as my last resort for several reasons.

1) for me, the excess hair and acne are signals of an underlying problem related to PCOS & an enzyme deficiency. i am trying to cure them by treating the cause (through medication & diet) if possible.

2) it is too expensive for me right now.

3) not everyone seems to have as much success as you experienced.

it's encouraging to hear that it worked for you though, and if i still have this problem in a few years (when i have more money & have tried everything else), then i will definitely pursue it!

asar - thanks for your message. i'm a bad picker too (and always have been). i didn't start to improve in that area until i read stuff on this website about how touching and picking make acne worse. i still have problems with from time to time i have found that putting ointment on a pickable spot helps to heal it more quickly and to moisten it so much that it's not tempting to pick anymore (no longer flaky & such).

25 weeks + 2 days (day 177)

next monday marks 6 months! my skin still looks incredibly better, but i actually got my first cystic pimple in ages this week! it's painful and swollen on my right cheek. i have a theory that i caused it from sleeping on an unclean pillow case. or...my boyfriend has exzcema, and i believe that the lotions he uses on his face clog my pores when our faces touch and have caused pimples on my face at least a few times. this could also be his lotion's fault!

i know i'm always talking about my excess hair, but i can't help it. it's the only area that i'm really still looking for significant improvement to happen in. i wish i had close-up pictures of my arm hair from several months ago. i swear it looks different to me now than in the past, but i have no way of knowing for sure whether it's just in my head or not. it looks blonder and lighter. i had very obvious, darker hair on the backs of my upper arms before too. i still have hair there, but that also seems lighter and sparser to me now.

starting next monday, i can presumably start looking for and expecting to see excess hair improvements. i think by 9 months (july 26), i will be able to make a real call on whether or not spiro/yaz have done anything for my hair problems.

i am moving to another city 3 hrs from here on may 6. i suddenly got a job there, and they gave me one month to pick up everything and go there. i'm super excited (especially b/c i was blessed with a $1400/mo luxury townhome all to myself for $450/mo through july 31), but moving, leaving a job, and starting a new job are all stressful things. pray for me! :D

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36 weeks & 4 days (day 256)

as far as acne is concerned, mine is pretty much completely cleared up now! the other day i realized i didn't have a SINGLE pimple anywhere. i still get 1-2 pimples during the placebo-pill days when i'm not actually on the meds, but that's it. i haven't had a cystic pimple in a LONG LONG time!

as for my excess hair, my arms and stomach still look considerably better than they did in the beginning. the darker hair appears to be being replaced gradually by blonde hair. i THINK my legs have improved a little, but it's hard to tell, and i'm still not seeing any difference on my face. in fact, i wonder if it's gotten worse. but i'm still tweezing, and i don't think people can tell. the tweezing does leave irritation and ingrown hairs, and i think that part is noticeable, but it's pretty subtle.

as for energy & health - well i thought i was over mono when i started having extreme digestive problems for 2-3 weeks. then i got a UTI. i was put on antibiotics, which made me feel like crap. right after the antibiotics, i had a sore throat, headache, and fever for about a week. i've been unusually tired for the last month or so. i've even been feeling depressed.

i asked my pharmacist this week about the possibility of spironolactone acting as an immunosuppressant (due to something i'd read on wikipedia). she said she'd need to research it & call me later, and i got a voicemail from her saying that spiro might actually weaken the immune system in the same way that long-term steroid use weakens it. THAT would explain why i have been sick with something almost NON-STOP since two weeks after starting the spiro.

the pharmacist said spiro can also cause fatigue & weakness, which would explain why i still haven't been able to pick my exercising back up. i just feel so weak now everytime i try to exercise, and i've only been able to run maybe a dozen times since i started spiro. i was running ALL THE TIME until i started spiro - remember the half marathon?

so am i going to stop taking spiro? no, not at this point. i am not yet convinced that spiro is the cause of my poor health since november. i'd like to give it more time so i can see the full extent of its benefits (as they apply to hair at this point) and so i can see if my malaise/illnesses will eventually stop. i suspect that having contracted mono & getting beaten up by that for months could be independently predispose my immune system to a lot of the trouble i've experienced recently.

oh and i haven't been to the doctor in a long time because of the move. i didn't get a chance to see her in march as i'd planned, and now that i've moved & have a new job, my good health insurance won't begin til sept. i'm on some cheap, crappy interim health insurance in the meantime. come september, i'd like to find a doctor in the new town i live in, get their opinion, and have some labs run. :)

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41 weeks + 2 days (day 287)

hello - i am still pimple-free, yay! no progress on hair since last post. dent on cheek is still there & larger. possible causes: sinus infection scarring, ringworm. i just started using that fungal cream on the area to try & rule out ringworm...it really doesn't appear to be that.

i spoke with my pharmacist to find out if spiro is an immuno-suppressive due to something i'd read about how it negatively affected the immune system in patients with a particular illness. i wondered if anyone had researched whether or not it has a negative effect on EVERYONE's immune system instead. i asked because ever since i started taking spiro, i lost 10 lb, had mono for almost 5 months, 2 sinus infections, 2 UTI's, many gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, dizziness, and low BP.

the pharmacist said she'd do some research and then call me in a few days, which she did. she left me a voicemail saying she read that spiro's pathway is similar to some steroids, which have been shown to negatively impact the immune system.

i will try to see a doctor in september in the new town i live in & discuss this, but i really hope it's not spiro causing these things because i've liked everything else about this spiro/yaz combo.

i HAVE had a ton of stressors in the past 9 months, which can also hurt the immune system (new relationship, mono & other health problems, left my job & city & said goodbye to friends, moved twice in 2 months, started a new challenging job in a new town, was given deadline to achieve difficult certification for work, got pulled into drama at work, got engaged, started wedding planning). hopefully these stressors are the cause of my weak immune system & health problems, and they'll stop once things settle down :)

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46 weeks (day 322)

sunday was the last day that i took my spironolactone. i have decided to quit spironolactone for a test-period of time (still continuing with yaz). i had a sudden realization on sunday that ever since last october when i began yaz & spiro together, i have had constant health problems. the ONLY positive way that these drugs have affected me has been by getting rid of my acne.

i mentioned a long time ago that i have taken yaz once before in my life (2009), and i did not have any serious side effects on it. this makes me inclined to attribute all the crazy health problems i've had over the last year to spironolactone. i know i had mono for a few months, but that cannot explain everything i have experienced. this includes:

faintness when standing (including temporary loss of vision)

difficulty exercising (i was a half-marathon-runner until i started spiro. can barely walk for 30 min now)

nausea

gastrointestinal problems

headaches

UTIs

sinus infections

sore throat

canker sores

extreme fatigue

irritability

dehydration symptoms

i have been spending the last 10 months WAITING to 'get better' from all the sickness i have had. i have spent almost all of my freetime sitting on the couch feeling very tired, nauseous, and weak. it finally occurred to me that i've been waiting ever since i started spiro, and spiro might be the cause of all of these symptoms.

i had great skin success on yaz alone & mostly added the spironolactone to reduce excess hair. this should've become evident a few months ago, but i have not seen significant improvement. i am happy to return to only taking yaz and feel confident that my skin will still be clear.

i have spent so much time thinking about my health for the past week, and i've actually made a number of sudden changes:

drinking 8-12 glasses of water a day

cut out sugar & processed foods

stopped taking spironolactone

increased sleep from 5-6 hrs to 7-8 hrs/night

walking for 30 minutes every other day

i can honestly say i feel incredibly better after only a week. it is very hard to say which change is responsible for the drastic improvement, but i believe that all of these changes are positive and necessary, so i will most likely continue down this path.

i will see a new doctor on sep 21 & plan to fully share my experience with her. i have created a color coded timeline of prescriptions, symptoms, blood tests, etc. many doctors do not support taking spironolactone for PCOS symptoms, which i used to scorn, but after my experience, i believe that might be wise. i have a feeling my new doctor will tell me i have made the right decision by stopping my spiro use, and i will update here when i get the chance. :)

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Keep us posted. I just started a low dose of spiro for my daughter with yaz. THis has me worried for her. Let me know what you find out! Thanks!

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63 weeks (day 445)

well it's been exactly 4 months since I last posted & 4 months since I quit spironolactone & went on yaz (loryna) all by itself.

as far as acne goes, i'm pleased to say that yaz is pulling its weight & keeping me pimple-free all by itself. this is great because my wedding is in april, so i didn't want my clear skin to go away after stopping spiro.

as for the year of health-problems that i attributed to spiro in my last post? well, i still believe spiro was the culprit. here is a reminder of the things i experienced during spiro:

faintness when standing, near blackouts

difficulty exercising

nausea

gastrointestinal problems

headaches

UTIs

sinus infections

sore throat

canker sores

extreme fatigue

irritability

dehydration

i am happy to say i am still free of all these symptoms 4 months later. i DID have one UTI in december followed by several weeks of moodiness (i blame the antibiotic for that), but ALL of the other problems have gone away! after 11 months of suffering on spiro & watching my health spiral downward in a multitude of ways, i have had 4 months of health again. THAT is significant.

now here's a reminder of all the things i had suddenly changed back in september & thought could be responsible for the improvements:

drinking 8-12 glasses of water a day

cut out sugar & processed foods

stopped taking spironolactone

increased sleep from 5-6 hrs to 7-8 hrs/night

walking for 30 minutes every other day

out of all of those changes, i have only stuck to two of them, and those are avoiding sweets & discontinuing spironolactone use. before spiro, i ate plenty of sugar & never had all those health problems, so i believe it is safe to say that spiro was responsible for almost everything on that list. i truly believe it put me in an immunodeficient, severely dehydrated state.

so the moral of the story is:

- spironolactone didn't do anything for me (except try to kill me)

- and yaz is sufficient at keeping my skin clear

i have given up on the excess hair issue. i have switched to a consumer driven health plan for health insurance this year, which essentially means i am taking a year off from the doctor (crossing fingers). i will possibly speak with a doctor again one day about alternative methods of treating the excess hair. for now, i'm just satisfied to have my health back. and the continuation of clear skin is a plus.

as a side note, i never gained back the 10 pounds i lost when i started spiro. i kept thinking was going to gain it back once i fully recovered, but no such luck. it's possible all my half-marathon muscles have just turned to fat by now, so the permanent loss is just muscle-weight loss. i look pretty flabby for losing 10 lb from my rock-hard body a year ago (okay, maybe not ROCK hard, but i was in shape!) i want my athleticism back, so i'm going to pick back up on the exercising again soon. gotta look toned for the wedding! rolleyes.gif

i don't believe spiro is poisonous to everyone. it just didn't go over well with my body, just like yaz doesn't go over well with some women. thanks for reading my rambles. goodnight!

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i am so glad i found your log. i am a week into my second pack of yaz and have been experiencing a horrible breakout. (about 20 active pimples on my lower cheeks and jawline and 1 cystic pimple by my ear) i cant wait to start seeing improvement like i saw during the first few weeks on the first pack. unfortunately im not on spiro so hopefully the yaz is strong enough to cure my suffering. rolleyes.gif

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It's me again. Thought I'd give an update (one year since the last one!).

In August of 2012, I went off Yaz, so I no longer take Spiro OR Yaz. My skin was still clear when I stopped, but when they did blood tests on me, I still didn't have any estrogen in my body. I also hadn't had a period since Spring of 2010, which is unhealthy, so they wanted to put me on something with higher estrogen. I was also still not able to exercise like I was before I'd gotten sick, so they thought with some estrogen in me, I might have a little more energy.

So I made the slight switch from Yaz to Yasmin in August. I have had an AMAZING amount of energy since then. I've regained that weight I'd lost on the Yaz (10 lb), but I'm back to a healthy weight now. I'm able to work out almost every day again, and I have a lot more energy to do the things I like to do on a daily basis. It's been almost 6 months, and it's been great. I honestly think Yaz was keeping me dehydrated (especially in combo with Spiro). I also immediately started getting my period again on Yasmin, which was a good sign.

Unfortunately, despite my lifestyle being enhanced by the extra energy, my acne has started to return around my jawline. I'm getting multiple cysts at a time again. So it proves once again that while the Yaz was bad for my energy, it was good for my skin.

If the acne were the only bad thing that's happened since starting Yasmin, I'd stay on it, because the restoration of energy has been significant enough to outweigh the acne. But there's been some other stuff too. I've had some insomnia (apparently Yasmin can interact with your adrenals), breakthrough bleeding, and I've been more sensitive (emotionally). Something I liked about Yaz was that it tamed my emotions. I was just always 'chill'. I'm still stable on the Yasmin, but I've noticed fluctuations in my moods that weren't there before, and it's cyclical with the pills.

The breakthrough bleeding usually indicates a lack of estrogen, which was the whole point to begin with. So the doctor has just prescribed Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, which I will begin in February or March. I'm skeptical, since it doesn't have much more estrogen than Yasmin.

I hate having to switch from med to med so much in the past few years. It confirms my original impression of prescription drugs - that they are no good! I hate the idea of pumping chemicals through my body that cause obvious side effects and probably also cause unknown side effects as well. In the back of my head, I keep thinking there must be more natural solutions. I've exhausted myself reading about both natural & unnatural treatments to health problems & acne though, and I feel like I can't find any conclusive solutions.

So I'll try the Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo and see what happens. I'm also interested in focusing more on oral hygiene after reading a few posts on here tonight. Found out this week that I have 6 cavities and also need 3 sealants. I don't floss regularly or rinse with mouthwash often, so I wonder about all that bacteria hanging out in my mouth & blood stream. I didn't have any cavities when I went to the dentist in 2009 though, and I still had acne problem then. Wow...I've gotten a lot of cavities in a short period of time! And I avoided sugar too! Not fair!

Goodnight everyone :)

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