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The many side effects of birth control

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Birth control pills have about a bazillion side effects. Most arent so good, but not everyone gets all of them... and some don't get any side effects apparently. I have tried every pill under the sun and every single one of them regardless of the dose gives me migraines. Never fails. These migraines are so bad that I puke, get vertigo, cant eat, etc and I have to miss work until it goes away. And these migraines are due to the estrogen withdrawel when I come off the pill for my little period break. I also get moody on some pills, cry and yell for no reason... and one of them made my boobs bigger but that went away quickly when I changed pills. A few of them killed my libido as well and made me feel like a zombie.

But I have to say, the migraines are the worst of it. I've taken BCP's since I was 16, now 29. NEVER have I had acne as a side effect and I changed pills left and right to try to find one that didnt cause migraines. Then a decade later Im sick of the migraines and I fianlly quit the pill when I was 26ish. BIG no no. Withen 3 months I have acne that doesnt go away... but guess what NO MIGRAINES!!! Which was nice, but now I feel really ugly every day of the year rather than just a migraine a few days a year.

So what do I do, I get back on the pill. Doesnt help. I try all of the pills Ive taken before in the past and I give them all several months to work. They dont work. I even try new pills. they dont work either. IN fact, some of the BCP's actually make the acne much worse... as if it was possible. And I just dont get it because I have taken pills for a LONG time and I never broke out... until I quit for a few months. So what is up with that??? I figured getting back on the pill would fix it... but no.

And the funny thing that I believe is my real issue in this post... I still get all the other side effects. Moody, crying, cranky, angry... and those damn migraines. I quit these pills because of the migraines years ago. And now I have acne so I get back on the pill, decide to deal with the migraines for the sake of looking decent again... but for what??? The acne isnt clearing no matter what pill I try. So now I have acne AND migraines. Ive been back on the pills for 4 years now and I only took a 3 month break 4 years ago..... Look what it did to me!!! Just because I stopped for 3 months!!!!

And I would think... if I get all the other side effects then these pills must be doing something... so why is my skin still breaking out, why is it still oily? Why isnt it working? I dont want acne and migrianes?!?!?!

And yes, ive seen the derm... almost for 4 years now and I dont feel like wasting my money on them anymore because I know the BCP's is what started all this. Spiro, topicals, etc didnt work either. Horomones were tested... all normal.

Perhaps someone needs to talk to the makers of all these pills and leave a warning that girls will have irreversable acne if they stop taking the pill. I know Im not alone. In fact, I read about lots of girls with the same issue and I have yet to find one who has gotten rid of the acne after being clear until one day quiting the pill and then acne starts the first time.

No one in my family has ever had acne. I know its the quiting of the pills that started all this initially. I think it made my body sensitive or something... and now Im back on them and it doesnt help... even after 4 years. Right now Im one week into zovia. I havent tried that one before. Its not helping. The only one left for me to try is diane 35, but I hear that this is one of the worst pills to come off of becuase all girls that quit that pill break out once they quit and it never goes away.

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Ive asked about it but my dr thinks its a bad idea because I tend to have bad reactions to everything and she said it wouldnt fix the acne :(

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i get terrible migraines frequently as well..... at this point in my life i don't think it's wise for me to get off of birth control, but i guess you really have to be aware of what kind of pill you're taking. is it really worth taking the BC pill you're on right now if it gives you migraines? you could alawys take the really low dosage BC pills but they wont really help your skin at all

but i totally hear ya. i took the pill for years and years and then i went off it for a few months.... BAM my skin goes haywire 10x worse than before. and now i'm back on the pill again but my skin is no better.

migraines and terrible skin! BLAGH

although honestly i would say migraines are worse than acne..... seriously... wiht acne u have a choice to go out or not. but with migraines all you can do is SLEEP and you have no choice...

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Very true. I figured I'd suck it up and tough out the migraines in exchange for clear skin again... but now I have acne and migraines and it is hardly worth it. 11 days into zovia right now and no improvement, in fact Im a tad worse. I just dont get why if birth control worked before then why isnt it working now? the zovia Im taking now is high in estrogen which is suppossed to be what stops the acne... but thats what my dr said about all the other 8 million pills Ive tried.

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Actually it's not estrogen that prevents acne...the main thing that's important is the progesterone componant - you have to use one that is an actual antiandrogen not just one with 'low androgenic activity'

Can I ask why you chose zovia? That's really like straight estrogen, so I don't think it would work. It seems like you are just choosing pills at random and crossing your fingers.

You sound like a good candidate for accutane. Are you really sure you are allergic to it? How do you know?

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Actually it's not estrogen that prevents acne...the main thing that's important is the progesterone componant - you have to use one that is an actual antiandrogen not just one with 'low androgenic activity'

Can I ask why you chose zovia? That's really like straight estrogen, so I don't think it would work. It seems like you are just choosing pills at random and crossing your fingers.

You sound like a good candidate for accutane. Are you really sure you are allergic to it? How do you know?

Accutane contains soy and Im deathly allergic to it. But I wanted to take it anywaysbecause I cry about my skin for the last few years... so to be safe... my allergist scratch tested me with an accutane swab and my arm got the size of a grapefruit. Hence, he said I cant take accutane and I'm allergic . And to be honest I tend to react bad to a lot of meds for some reason.

My derm and my gyno said the estrogen is what attacks acne and that the progestin is what can be an issue and often causes the acne, thats why there is less androgenic pills.. as in less likely to add to an acne issue????? The only anti androgenic BCP's that I know of is yasmin/yaz which I got hives and a rash all over my body from and diane 35... which I havent tried yet because it is harder to get.

Im actually not crossing my fingers... ive tried ALL of them and Ive given all of them a fair trial of 3 to 6 months with no luck. Zovia just happens to be one at the bottom of the list that I havent tried yet. It has a progestin in it that isnt in any of the other pills I tried so my dr figured why not try it?

Prior to all this, I used to take ortho tri cyclen and ortho cyclen with good results for about 10 years. I even took depo for 2 years in between ortho cyclen and ortho tri.. and I never broke out once... I I never had acne prior to bcp's.. but my skin was gorgous for a decade. But when I QUIT birth control a few years ago, the acne started... and I only quit for 3 months and I got right back on ortho tri cyclen right away to correct the acne issue, but it didnt work like it used to. Nor did ortho cyclen. So I tried the new fancy yasmin and I got hives and a rash all over my body for 2 weeks and a nice hospital stay. I also tried a bazilion other pills over the last 3 years, spiro, antibiotics, topicals,etc.

My dr says that when girls stop BCP.... it is quite notrmal for many of them to get acne and it will be a million times worse than it ever was before. He said it is because we get androgen sensitive due to the birth control pills. I was clear all my life actually... I WAS taking birth control for birth control. I had no idea that stopping it would make me have acne like this, and I know Im not alone because i read gilrs all over this site complaining about the same issue.

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It sounds as if your allergic to the binders in the accutane pill rather than the isotretinoin itself. I'm wondering if all brands of isotretinoin contain soy or just Accutane? Perhaps the same thing with spiro/Yaz?

I can say from personal experience there is a VAST difference between the pills that actually have an antiandrogen and pills that are just low-androgenic when it comes to acne. Low androgenic pills in my experience just don't make acne worse, they don't improve it, unless you get lucky. Antiandrogens will actually attach themselves to the follicles of your skin and prevent acne directly, rather than just lowering blood testosterone levels. Hormone tests will only reveal blood levels, they don't test how much androgenic activity there is on your skin.

I heard excessive estrogen can actually be converted to testosterone in some ppl - yikes.

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holy crap it can convert to testosterone????? Knowing my luck.....jk.

There is a generic accutane (sotret I think it was)that I got scratch tested for too and I was allergic to it. I dont know if it had soy in it or not. As for yaz/yazmin... it really tried to kill me., and I got huge cysts on top of the rash in just a few short days of taking it. I did try spiro for 6 months and I didnt get a rash, but I had a viral infection every day until I stopped taking it and it did nothing for the acne, it only got worse until I got off of it:( Funny thing, my horomone tests have always been normal.

I know what antiandrogens are "suppossed" to do... thats why im wondering why the heck the spiro didnt work. And if they work so good, then why are there so many girls that get worse acne when they take yaz or diane? I just dont get it, it would seem it isnt doing what it is suppossed to be doing then right?

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It's biologically impossible for diane yaz or spiro to make acne worse long term. I think since the IB can be so long and depressing many girls give up before they are getting results.

The only suggestion I have left for you is to try Diane - it really does clear most women up - and maybe to keep taking Zovia for a few months to see if you have any luck with that (but I can't see any logical reason why it would work if OTC and Marvelon did not). Diane really did help me a lot, and trust me, I had tried all those same pills you have tried to no avail. I also think you should get allergy tested first, what happed to you with Yaz sounds terrible! I even managed to keep my skin clear for years after comming off it, by starting a topical anti-acne regimen the second I had taken the last pill.

Funny reaction you had to spiro. I actually think antiandrogens prevent viral infections for me, since I never get the flu when I'm on them, even with ppl coughing around me!

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My dr says that when girls stop BCP.... it is quite notrmal for many of them to get acne and it will be a million times worse than it ever was before. He said it is because we get androgen sensitive due to the birth control pills. I was clear all my life actually... I WAS taking birth control for birth control. I had no idea that stopping it would make me have acne like this, and I know Im not alone because i read gilrs all over this site complaining about the same issue.

Another complainer here. If each birth control packet contained a considerate "acne warning" maybe we would not have chosen to take it... I had mild acne in hs (no cysts!), and I cleared up around age 17. Then when I started taking the pill at 18, new skin issues crept up on me (no longer clear, back to mild, and slowly getting worse...). And when I quit at age 21...(reason: acne) Bam, lots of cysts. (I expected this but saw no other quitting method).

After reading boards like these, I decided not to try the Yaz, Yasmin, Diane route because quitting those later in life guarantees a period of androgen-sensitivity and bad acne. So the thought was why get clear now only to look awful sometime in the future? That's assuming they worked at all.

I am 23 now. It took a while for the cysts to go away, but they did. I'm on the DKR and no added hormones. I am not perfectly clear, but I am definately presentable compared to 2yrs ago when I first quit the pill.

Hope this gave you guys some more anecdotal info on the acne/pill situation. If anyone is considering quitting for good, be prepared, it's no quick cure and no fun, though it might be slightly less awful than staying on the pill (depending on your situation). Yuck.

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After reading boards like these, I decided not to try the Yaz, Yasmin, Diane route because quitting those later in life guarantees a period of androgen-sensitivity and bad acne. So the thought was why get clear now only to look awful sometime in the future? That's assuming they worked at all.

Not always. My acne virtually dissappeared for several years after I got off Diane/Yamine when I got clear the first time around. My acne only came back cystic and terrible after I started taking Adderall. Before then I seriously thought I'd either grown out of acne or Yamine had cured me.

I reckon maybe OTC made my acne worse after I came off it though. ugh.

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Maybe you already said, and I didn't see it because I just kind of scanned through these posts, but how long are you "trying" each birth control for? Maybe it's just me, but it seems like pill jumping might not be the best thing for your skin. A lot of times, it can take several months for any particular birth control to clear your skin, and most of them make your acne worse before they make it better.

By jumping from pill to pill, you might be keeping your skin in that "worse before it gets better" phase. You might just want to pick a pill and stick with it (Ortho TriCyclen, I know from personal experience, does wonders for skin), and just take some kind of pain reliever for the migraines.

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Maybe you already said, and I didn't see it because I just kind of scanned through these posts, but how long are you "trying" each birth control for? Maybe it's just me, but it seems like pill jumping might not be the best thing for your skin. A lot of times, it can take several months for any particular birth control to clear your skin, and most of them make your acne worse before they make it better.

By jumping from pill to pill, you might be keeping your skin in that "worse before it gets better" phase. You might just want to pick a pill and stick with it (Ortho TriCyclen, I know from personal experience, does wonders for skin), and just take some kind of pain reliever for the migraines.

most of them I gave the 6 month trial period to... except for yasmin because that one sent me to the hospital. Sort of good news and I hope not to jinx myself... but I havent had any new acne aside from 2 small ones in 4 days.... and Im 2 1/2 weeks into zovia. yay.

On a side note.... I read birth control increases risk for cervical cancer with long time use?!?!?!?! Ive had 4 abnormal paps in a row.... I wonder if it is related?!?!?!

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