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lemna

Accutane to prevent pregnancy acne

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I've struggled with cystic acne since I was 16. One thing that worked great for me was birth control pills (plus a half-dozen other things). However, I became concerned that they might be rendered ineffective by the minocin I was taking for acne. I switched to Nuvaring because the gyn told me that the antibiotic-bcp reaction happens in the digestive system and Nuvaring skips that.

Two years ago, I finally took Accutane, and it worked for about 6 months afterwards, then I was back to the old cystic/nodular acne, just a little less severe than before (i.e. more nodules than cysts now). It occurred to me that I might switch to a bcp that treated acne as well. Now I'm on Apri, and it's working great. I've been completely clear for 2 months, and the marks are finally going away! :D

However, the time has come when I might want to start trying to have a baby (wow! that's the first time I've typed it. :redface: ). I'm really concerned about going off the bcp and the acne coming back. Who knows how long it'll take me to conceive, then the 9 months I'm pregnant. I wouldn't want to go on anything else, because, of course, I could be pregnant at any given time. I would have to stop it anyways when I found out I was pregnant.

So I'm thinking of asking my derm for another round of Accutane BEFORE I go off my BCP. I know I would have to wait another few months for the Accutane to leave my system before TTC. I'm willing to deal with that.

I'm wondering though if she'll give it to me if I don't show up in her office with an active breakout. As I'm sure you guys can understand, the prospect of going 1-2 years without any acne medication is scary. I know with 90% certainty my acne would come back with a vengeance when I go off bcp. Wouldn't it be better for my future baby to get the acne over with and be able to go through pregancy/breastfeeding without any acne drugs?

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Hey there!

Have you ever considered trying to clear your acne holistically? With improved diet, emotional health, exercise, sunshine, and sleep, so that your body becomes healthy enough to get rid of acne on it's own? (it actually does work... I got rid of severe acne this way). You can start this before you go off birth control so that it minimizes the effects of any hormonal acne afterwards.

I understand that a lot of people don't want to go this route, as it's not as easy as meds, but the thing is... I mean... accutane is a pretty strong drug, and it didn't even really work for you in the long term. Plus... if you're thinking about having a baby, why not start getting healthy so that you can carry that lifestyle into your pregnancy... you're reducing your acne, AND giving your baby the best possible nutrition and chance for health.

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Hi Tangerine,

I think I'm already doing pretty well in that department, for various reasons.

1) I've been vegetarian since I was 17. I recently gave up dairy because of problems digesting it, but hopefully that works for the acne too. I avoid processed foods and drink only water, green tea, and the occasional coffee.

2) I sleep at least 7 hours a night, 9 on weekends. I've learned that sleep deprivation is not for me (though that calls having a baby into question! :rolleyes: )

3) I exercise about 3 hours a week and 5 hours a week during triathlon season. I weight train and bike now, am getting back into running now (from an injury), and will start swimming when the weather gets warm. My DH calls me an exercise freak, but for me it's therapy.

4) Anxiety is probably my weak point, but it's well under control now. I take Celexa and go to weekly therapy and aside from the exercise and sleep, I try to do yoga and/or meditation a few times a week. Time is an issue, though. My therapist actually thinks I'm a little too into the healthy eating/exercise thing, because there's not enough time in the day for 8 hours of sleep, full time job, exercise, healthy food prep, and yoga/meditation. Nobody's perfect, but I sure try to be! :)

I don't see it as black-and-white. I live a generally holistic lifestyle, but when I have a genuine medical problem, I take medicine.

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