Lauren, 32
...not quite what I was going for when I opted for the convenience of the implant.
Unique Strength Self Reflection

I was on tri-sprintec for almost a decade, from the time I was a teenager on accutane which requires birth control even though I wasn’t sexually active to the age of 25.

Around this time, I started having chronic pain issues and painful sex that heightened around my period, and my OBGYN started suspecting possible endo. To see if it would help, we switched my birth control to seasonale, a progesterone only pill. I did *okay* on that, but we still proceeded with explorative surgery because my pain didn’t change.

Long story short, I didn’t have endo and my pain was actually caused by a dietary related inflammation. Without needing to consider possible endo in my BC choice, I got the Nexplanon implant. I bled for three months straight, and then didn’t bleed again while I was on it. However, after about a year, sex started becoming painful again and I noticed I was experiencing extreme vaginal dryness, almost like tampon chafing constantly. One episode of sex could leave me uncomfortable for days. My OBGYN said that the progesterone-only formulation of the implant was leading to vaginal atrophy…and I ended up spending almost $150 a month on estrogen suppositories and feminine probiotics to try to thicken and restore my vaginal tissue to health…not quite what I was going for when I opted for the convenience of the implant.

It took about 6 months after removal for me to feel some semblance of normal regarding my libido and the health of my tissues. I went back on tri-sprintec, which resulted in only a slight decrease in libido but mostly just the inconvenience of a pill, until my partner and I decided to try for a family. Frankly, I felt the best I ever had relying on temperature readings and barrier methods as we avoided while my body regulated after so many years in hormonal birth control, but I knew it wouldn’t be sustainable in the long term.

Post-partum I switched to the copper IUD so I don’t have to worry about hormone influences on my sex life or reproductive systems anymore. My periods are decently heavy and I am crampier than I remember but I’m not sure how much of that is normal changes postpartum. Either way, it’s not debilitating and is easily treated with heat and ibuprofen, so I’m happy where I’m at now.

Have you ever switched birth control methods because of the side effects?

Have you ever switched birth control methods because of the side effects?
two women smiling at camera

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