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Need Birth Control To Begin Accutane, Options?

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Hello members, I am a newly registered member of this website, although I have been a frequent anonymous browser over the past few years, I just now decided to actually create an account. I am a 21 y/o female with moderate/severe cystic acne. I am one of those people who had normal breakouts during my teen years. I never felt that I had bad skin and never imagined that my skin would do a complete 180 on me when I turned 20. The main problem is the cystic acne, especially before periods. I don't mean I get one or two. Before my last period I got nearly 10, yes TEN cysts pop up on my face before my cycle. They hurt like hell.

Anyway I finally made an appointment with a derm, and she was really pushing Accutane. Of course I wanted to try other options first, so I am on 100mg Doxycyline twice daily as well as Duac in the morning, Epiduo before bed, and a sulfur wash called Prascion twice daily. It has only been three weeks, and I have seen some improvement, many of the cysts are gone completely down and some are still there just not as inflamed and painful. However, I have developed a couple of new cysts, small ones that are not as painful.

Anyway, so l have been reading up on Accutane and looking at people's fabulous results in the gallery and I think I am ready to give it a go. The problem is the birth control requirement for the iPledge program... When I was 17, I broke my femur bone while playing softball (just landed on it, it snapped.. some kind of freak accident) Following the surgery, the doctor discovered I had developed a pulmonary embolism. I was also taking an oral contraceptive at the time. Since then, I have not taken any form of hormonal birth control. Derm and OBGYN both say that they I should be fine taking it due to the fact that the embolism developed following the orthopedic fracture. However, my primary care physician said that no one can guarantee that I will be completely safe, that even though there is risk for any woman on a BCP, I would be in a higher risk bracket because of that incidence. And she said just because it developed after the femur injury, we do not know what effect me being on the BCP had on the development of the embolism. It makes sense.

Almost every primary birth control method approved for iPledge has the warning about blood clots, etc. The only two that I noticed that did not, were the non-hormonal copper IUD and the single hormone shot. I don't feel comfortable about an IUD and one of the warnings with the single hormone shot is that it may cause bone loss or weakening bones... I really need that, huh?

Whatever method I choose I will only need for about 8 mos. (1 month before treatment, the approx. 6 mos. of treatment, and the 1 mo. following treatment.) I don't know if it would be ok to just take an oral contraceptive for that short amount of time... Would that make my body go crazy to be on them for 8 mos and then just stop again?? Are the chances of developing clots significantly higher for women who take the pill for longer periods of time versus for less than a year like I would be taking it?

Any input or recommendations is greatly appreciated.

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Hi, I know you wrote this a long time ago, but did you decide to do Accutane and if so how'd it all go, and hows your skin now? I am currently in a similar boat to what you were in when you wrote this, though no broken femur, (but I did play softball in college LOL). I'm 34 had acne since my teens and went on BC last year and got lumpy really dark bruises in my legs that were possibly beginning clots, scary! So I went off in a hurry. I want Accutane so bad, and the past 2 derms wanted me on it and I was to scarred, now I have a new derm and he wants to put me on duac and spironolactone and I'm really nervous about spiro and playing with hormones because I want to have children in a few years, (and I'll just have to go off it at that point and then what will happen...) I just want to try Accutane and see if my acne improve a lot once and for all...I'm thinking of trying the copper IUD, since there is no hormones involved...

I'd love to hear how it all went for you,

All the best!

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