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Back On Birth Control And Feel Like A Failure

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#1 mammasay

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

I haven't posted here in a while. My skin was almost 100% clear for years until I went off birth control. A few months being off Nuvaring and my skin EXPLODED. The most severe acne I've ever had or ever SEEN. I woke up with several new HUGE, excruciatingly painful pimples every morning, and it just kept getting worse and worse and worse. It was awful and I was the most depressed I've ever been. During that time I tried EVERYTHING short of Accutane, and nothing worked. I was on Accutane as a teenager and I refuse to go on it again. Anyway, long story long, I went back on birth control a few months ago. Almost immediately, really within days, my skin started improving. It's still not great, but it's mostly old pimples and scars now, and much easier covered with makeup. There is no more swelling or pain and I rarely wake up with a new pimple. I feel significantly better about myself and I'm confident that I'll be able to get my skin back to "normal" on the pill, and perhaps with the help of a peel or scar treatment. It's getting better every day and I'm really thankful for that.

 

But I'm really terribly disappointed that I had to go back on birth control. I think it's possible that my problem might be that I've been on birth control for so long (11 years now) that my body doesn't know how to regulate itself and that's why my skin was so bad when I stopped regulating it with the hormones I was taking. I talked to someone recently who said she went of birth control after being on it for more than a decade and that it took TWO YEARS for her body to get back to normal. I couldn't have given it two years at this point in my life. But I'm still just so upset that this was the only solution. There are so many terrible side effects of birth control, both short term (like mood swings and migraines for me) and long term (like increased cancer risk) and I feel terrible that my body can't function properly without it. It makes me feel unhealthy. I feel like a failure for not being able to fix my skin in a natural and healthy way, though not for lack of trying. I also can't be on birth control forever. In addition to the risks, I probably want to have children someday. Even without that, what am I going to do, be on birth control until I reach menopause, and then have to be on some other kind of hormone controlling substance after that since my body still won't be able to function on its own? My only hope is that someday when I have health insurance again I can go to a doctor or doctors who can help me get my body back to normal and wean off the hormones somehow, without such a drastic reaction in my skin. Who knows if that's even possible though. I don't know if I'm making any sense. Basically, I don't want to be on birth control but have no other choice right now, and am disappointed about that and constantly worried about what's going to happen when I inevitably have to go off it again. I guess I'm not really even asking for advice, but if anyone understands how I feel I'd appreciate the support.


Edited by mammasay, 25 January 2013 - 12:31 PM.


#2 WishClean

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:38 AM

I haven't posted here in a while. My skin was almost 100% clear for years until I went off birth control. A few months being off Nuvaring and my skin EXPLODED. The most severe acne I've ever had or ever SEEN. I woke up with several new HUGE, excruciatingly painful pimples every morning, and it just kept getting worse and worse and worse. It was awful and I was the most depressed I've ever been. During that time I tried EVERYTHING short of Accutane, and nothing worked. I was on Accutane as a teenager and I refuse to go on it again. Anyway, long story long, I went back on birth control a few months ago. Almost immediately, really within days, my skin started improving. It's still not great, but it's mostly old pimples and scars now, and much easier covered with makeup. There is no more swelling or pain and I rarely wake up with a new pimple. I feel significantly better about myself and I'm confident that I'll be able to get my skin back to "normal" on the pill, and perhaps with the help of a peel or scar treatment. It's getting better every day and I'm really thankful for that.

 

But I'm really terribly disappointed that I had to go back on birth control. I think it's possible that my problem might be that I've been on birth control for so long (11 years now) that my body doesn't know how to regulate itself and that's why my skin was so bad when I stopped regulating it with the hormones I was taking. I talked to someone recently who said she went of birth control after being on it for more than a decade and that it took TWO YEARS for her body to get back to normal. I couldn't have given it two years at this point in my life. But I'm still just so upset that this was the only solution. There are so many terrible side effects of birth control, both short term (like mood swings and migraines for me) and long term (like increased cancer risk) and I feel terrible that my body can't function properly without it. It makes me feel unhealthy. I feel like a failure for not being able to fix my skin in a natural and healthy way, though not for lack of trying. I also can't be on birth control forever. In addition to the risks, I probably want to have children someday. Even without that, what am I going to do, be on birth control until I reach menopause, and then have to be on some other kind of hormone controlling substance after that since my body still won't be able to function on its own? My only hope is that someday when I have health insurance again I can go to a doctor or doctors who can help me get my body back to normal and wean off the hormones somehow, without such a drastic reaction in my skin. Who knows if that's even possible though. I don't know if I'm making any sense. Basically, I don't want to be on birth control but have no other choice right now, and am disappointed about that and constantly worried about what's going to happen when I inevitably have to go off it again. I guess I'm not really even asking for advice, but if anyone understands how I feel I'd appreciate the support.

 

Sorry you had to go back on birth control..sounds like it was your last resort and also a quick fix, which unfortunately when we are desperate we tend to go back to what has worked in the past, regardless of long term side effects. I was on birth control on and off from 18 until 25, tried many brands and even other hormonal treatments such as an estrogen patch and androgen suppressants. Going off BC was hard because my skin exploded too, but I was patient and experimented with herbal treatments and my body finally began to respond. It took me years to get back to feeling comfortable in my body again and to get my metabolism back on track, so now -- even though my skin had a huge reaction when I went off vitex and evening primrose -- I'm still trying out herbal remedies. I figured my body's internal health is more important than how my face looks externally ...when the internal is fixed, so will the external hopefully. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. I am making slow progress with new dietary changes and saw palmetto... it won't be a quick fix, but at least the side effects are minimal.


Edited by WishClean28, 26 January 2013 - 11:40 AM.


#3 mammasay

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:47 PM

Sorry you had to go back on birth control..sounds like it was your last resort and also a quick fix, which unfortunately when we are desperate we tend to go back to what has worked in the past, regardless of long term side effects. I was on birth control on and off from 18 until 25, tried many brands and even other hormonal treatments such as an estrogen patch and androgen suppressants. Going off BC was hard because my skin exploded too, but I was patient and experimented with herbal treatments and my body finally began to respond. It took me years to get back to feeling comfortable in my body again and to get my metabolism back on track, so now -- even though my skin had a huge reaction when I went off vitex and evening primrose -- I'm still trying out herbal remedies. I figured my body's internal health is more important than how my face looks externally ...when the internal is fixed, so will the external hopefully. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. I am making slow progress with new dietary changes and saw palmetto... it won't be a quick fix, but at least the side effects are minimal.

 

Thanks. I so hope it works for you! Sadly I tried all the things you mentioned for about a year with no results. I'm really not exaggerating when I say my skin was the worst I have ever seen, even on this site. I truly didn't know it was possible for it to be that bad. I just didn't have another year or more of that in me. My face was also starting to scar badly and I just didn't feel comfortable letting that continue to worsen indefinitely. I had to get on with my life. I also suspect I might have a hormonal imbalance that won't be fixed even when my body gets "back to normal." I know I have PCOS at the very least. The last time I was at the doctor they said my thyroid levels were way too low but I don't have health insurance or a job or money so can't go to an endocrinologist right now. :/ My mom has thyroid problems and a slew of other hormonal issues so it's likely I've inherited some of that. So I felt like I was waiting for a train that might never come. But I also believe it's definitely POSSIBLE for it to work, and I really hope it does for you!



#4 WishClean

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

Sorry you had to go back on birth control..sounds like it was your last resort and also a quick fix, which unfortunately when we are desperate we tend to go back to what has worked in the past, regardless of long term side effects. I was on birth control on and off from 18 until 25, tried many brands and even other hormonal treatments such as an estrogen patch and androgen suppressants. Going off BC was hard because my skin exploded too, but I was patient and experimented with herbal treatments and my body finally began to respond. It took me years to get back to feeling comfortable in my body again and to get my metabolism back on track, so now -- even though my skin had a huge reaction when I went off vitex and evening primrose -- I'm still trying out herbal remedies. I figured my body's internal health is more important than how my face looks externally ...when the internal is fixed, so will the external hopefully. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. I am making slow progress with new dietary changes and saw palmetto... it won't be a quick fix, but at least the side effects are minimal.

 

Thanks. I so hope it works for you! Sadly I tried all the things you mentioned for about a year with no results. I'm really not exaggerating when I say my skin was the worst I have ever seen, even on this site. I truly didn't know it was possible for it to be that bad. I just didn't have another year or more of that in me. My face was also starting to scar badly and I just didn't feel comfortable letting that continue to worsen indefinitely. I had to get on with my life. I also suspect I might have a hormonal imbalance that won't be fixed even when my body gets "back to normal." I know I have PCOS at the very least. The last time I was at the doctor they said my thyroid levels were way too low but I don't have health insurance or a job or money so can't go to an endocrinologist right now. :/ My mom has thyroid problems and a slew of other hormonal issues so it's likely I've inherited some of that. So I felt like I was waiting for a train that might never come. But I also believe it's definitely POSSIBLE for it to work, and I really hope it does for you!

 

Yeah, I know what you mean....acne puts life on hold and it's also costly to treat. I inherited some of my mom's hormonal issues, but she was lucky enough not to have bad experiences with acne or facial hair. Do you feel better about your face now that you are back on birth control? If your face is clearing up, then at least that's consolation :)



#5 mammasay

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:59 PM

 

Sorry you had to go back on birth control..sounds like it was your last resort and also a quick fix, which unfortunately when we are desperate we tend to go back to what has worked in the past, regardless of long term side effects. I was on birth control on and off from 18 until 25, tried many brands and even other hormonal treatments such as an estrogen patch and androgen suppressants. Going off BC was hard because my skin exploded too, but I was patient and experimented with herbal treatments and my body finally began to respond. It took me years to get back to feeling comfortable in my body again and to get my metabolism back on track, so now -- even though my skin had a huge reaction when I went off vitex and evening primrose -- I'm still trying out herbal remedies. I figured my body's internal health is more important than how my face looks externally ...when the internal is fixed, so will the external hopefully. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. I am making slow progress with new dietary changes and saw palmetto... it won't be a quick fix, but at least the side effects are minimal.

 

Thanks. I so hope it works for you! Sadly I tried all the things you mentioned for about a year with no results. I'm really not exaggerating when I say my skin was the worst I have ever seen, even on this site. I truly didn't know it was possible for it to be that bad. I just didn't have another year or more of that in me. My face was also starting to scar badly and I just didn't feel comfortable letting that continue to worsen indefinitely. I had to get on with my life. I also suspect I might have a hormonal imbalance that won't be fixed even when my body gets "back to normal." I know I have PCOS at the very least. The last time I was at the doctor they said my thyroid levels were way too low but I don't have health insurance or a job or money so can't go to an endocrinologist right now. :/ My mom has thyroid problems and a slew of other hormonal issues so it's likely I've inherited some of that. So I felt like I was waiting for a train that might never come. But I also believe it's definitely POSSIBLE for it to work, and I really hope it does for you!

 

Yeah, I know what you mean....acne puts life on hold and it's also costly to treat. I inherited some of my mom's hormonal issues, but she was lucky enough not to have bad experiences with acne or facial hair. Do you feel better about your face now that you are back on birth control? If your face is clearing up, then at least that's consolation smile.png

Yeah, with all my mom's problems with hormones she somehow doesn't have acne. She's on birth control for PCOS though too so that could be why. I feel A LOT better about my face. It's still not back to being clear, but the improvement is enormous. I would say it's about 70% better and so much easier to cover with makeup. When I have makeup on, I really don't feel self-conscious at all, whereas before I went back on the pill, I'd put all my makeup on and then look in the mirror and burst into tears because it still looked so terrible. Really the only thing I don't feel good about is thinking about eventually having to go off birth control again. Even the increase in migraines is an acceptable trade-off to me. That's how bad it was!



#6 WishClean

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:12 PM

I know that feeling! The bumpy acne is impossible to cover up with makeup...my face looked lumpy and deformed. It's gradually improving now, but I am making a lot of sacrifices with careful dieting and not drinking...cutting out all the fun stuff, but I hope it's all worth it.

It's so encouraging being able to cover up the acne and scars with makeup. I just need to find a decent foundation that matches my shade...I'm looking into your suggestions shifty.gif



#7 Shannanigunz

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:08 AM

Aww, I feel for you :(

 

I've been on birth control since I was 14, and every time I've changed BCPs or tried to abandon it all together, my skin acts up. I am currently in the process of adjusting to a new BCP, Ortho Tri Cyclen, and my skin is just...ugh....

 

I had a breakout issue like this ONCE before (never in puberty), but when I was about 19 or 20, I stopped BCPs all together, and my face turned on me. It took me about a year to clear up, and this was after I had started a new birth control. It just sucks you back in because you have no choice.

It's that feeling of being helpless that really eats away at you.

I'm 25 now and still at the mercy of birth control. It sucks.

 

I try to look at it like this, and sometimes it makes me feel better... Think back to just 10 years ago, how little we knew about skin in the medical field; and all of these new treatments that have surfaced. Modern medicine is advancing at a rate that we can't comprehend. It's amazing. There are so many non-hormonal options to keeping your skin clear, and they're only going to come out with more solutions to this acne epidemic.

 

Eventually, there will be a treatment that works for you. It could be sooner than you think. Birth control doesn't have to last forever.

You can get YOUR hormones back one day, maybe in the not-so-distant future, just because of all the progress the medical field is making.

 

Can you imagine the massive BUCKS that someone is going to make one day for finding a cure to acne? Scientists are motivated. The cure is coming.



#8 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:33 AM

I understand exactly how you feel (the feeling of being a failure). Sorry for plugging this everywhere but I wanted to share my most recent blog in case you didn't see where I posted it in the other place: http://thecircledanc...ng-when-to.html

 

It's basically about this exact topic. Not birth control. But having to change your plan when the natural route fails you.

 

It sucks. I know.

 

Just consider yourself lucky that you can take birth control. I'm one of the few women on this planet whose acne actually becomes much worse from any sort of hormonal pill. I've tried so many different pills and they all cause the sort of acne it sounds like you experienced going off the pill--which is interesting. It almost sounds like you and I have the complete opposite hormonal situation happening. Maybe one of us should just find what works and then the other can do the opposite, lol. If only it were that simple!

 

Anyway, I wish I had better advice for you. I do believe that birth control can permanently alter your body. I never had cystic acne until I took birth control for the first time. But it never got better even after going off the pill. :( It makes me sick that this stuff is so easily handed out in our society with no warning whatsoever. Whether it causes acne like it did for me, or whether it makes you dependent on the pill in order NOT to get acne like it did to you, either way it's crap that I believe is bad for women.



#9 Lily87

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:13 PM

Hey, i've sort of had the same issues but I can't go back on the BC pill so I'm trying to manage through diet change. I also have PCOS and 4 weeks into my diet change I can honestly say my skin has improved. I feel better in myself generally too. Basically I'm following a low GI diet. Blood sugar affects insulin production, which affects your other hormones such as testosterone, and testosterone is usually high in people with PCOS and contributes to the acne, so basically a diet which keeps your blood sugar stable is a good way to help with the underlying causes of acne.

 

I am writing a blog about my attempts to battle acne and PCOS without medication. I have tried everything but roaccutane in the past but diet seems to be really helping...and vitamin D supplements too.

 

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