Fitness Magazine

For Women Only

By Wendiw80 @asouthernyogi
I say that because this is about women's cycles and birth control which I know that guys don't like to discuss. So...
For Women OnlySource
I've been wondering if I've had issues with hormones for a long time because I do get headaches, I do have sex drive issues (I realize this is personal info but I'm just trying to help anyone else out there that might be struggling with the same things) and I do tend to experience most of the side effects of taking a hormonal form of birth control. 
I am currently on Nuvaring. The list of possible side effects include - 

Risks of NuvaRing

• Blood clots

The hormones in NuvaRing may cause changes in your blood clotting system which may allow your blood to clot more easily. If blood clots form in your legs, they can travel to the lungs and cause a sudden blockage of a vessel carrying blood to the lungs. Rarely, clots occur in the blood vessels of the eye and may cause blindness, double vision, or other vision problems. The risk of getting blood clots may be greater with the type of progestin in NuvaRing than with some other progestins in certain low-dose birth control pills. It is unknown if the risk of blood clots is different with NuvaRing use than with the use of certain birth control pills.
If you take hormonal contraceptives and need elective surgery, need to stay in bed for a prolonged illness or have recently delivered a baby, you may be at risk of developing blood clots. You should consult your doctor or health care provider about stopping hormonal contraceptives 3 to 4 weeks before surgery and not taking hormonal contraceptives for 2 weeks after surgery or during bed rest. You should also not take hormonal contraceptives soon after delivery of a baby. It is advisable to wait for at least 4 weeks after delivery if you are not breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, you should wait until you have weaned your child before using the Pill (see PRECAUTIONS, NURSING MOTHERS in the Product Information).

• Strokes and heart attacks

Hormonal contraceptives may increase your risk of strokes (blockage of blood flow to the brain) or heart attacks (blockage of blood flow to the heart). Any of these conditions can cause death or serious disability. Smoking greatly increases the risk of having strokes and heart attacks. Furthermore, smoking and the use of combination hormonal contraceptives, like NuvaRing, greatly increases the chances of developing and dying of heart disease. If you use combination hormonal contraceptives, including NuvaRing, you should not smoke.

• High blood pressure and heart disease

Combination hormonal contraceptives, including NuvaRing, can worsen conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and problems with cholesterol and triglycerides.

• Cancer of the reproductive organs and breast

Breast cancer has been diagnosed slightly more often in women who use the Pill than in women of the same age who do not use the Pill. This small increase in the number of breast cancer diagnoses gradually disappears during the 10 years after stopping use of the Pill. It is not known whether the difference is caused by the Pill. It may be that women taking the Pill are examined more often, so that breast cancer is more likely to be detected. You should have regular breast examinations by a health care provider and examine your own breasts monthly. Tell your health care provider if you have a family history of breast cancer or if you have had breast nodules or an abnormal mammogram.
Women who currently have or have had breast cancer should not use hormonal contraceptives, including NuvaRing, because breast cancer is usually a hormone-sensitive tumor.
Some studies have found an increase in the incidence of cancer of the cervix in women who use oral contraceptives. However, this finding may be related to factors other than the use of oral contraceptives. There is insufficient evidence to rule out the possibility that Pills may cause such cancers.

• Gallbladder disease

Combination hormonal contraceptive users may have a higher chance of having gallbladder disease.

• Liver tumors

In rare cases, combination hormonal contraceptives, like NuvaRing, can cause noncancerous (benign) but dangerous liver tumors. These benign liver tumors can break and cause fatal internal bleeding. In addition, it is possible that women who use combination hormonal contraceptives, like NuvaRing, have a higher chance of getting liver cancer. However, liver cancers are extremely rare.

• Lipid metabolism and inflammation of the pancreas

In women with inherited defects of lipid metabolism, there have been reports of significant elevations of plasma triglycerides during estrogen therapy. This has led to pancreatitis in some cases.

The common side effects reported by NuvaRing users are:

  • Vaginal infections and irritation
  • Vaginal secretion
  • Headache
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
In addition to the risks and side effects listed above, users of combination hormonal birth control methods have reported the following side effects:
  • Vomiting
  • Change in appetite
  • Abdominal cramps and bloating
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Temporary infertility after treatment
  • Fluid retention (edema)
  • Spotty darkening of the skin, particularly on the face
  • Rash
  • Weight changes
  • Depression
  • Intolerance to contact lenses
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of scalp hair"
info is from the Nuvaring websiteIt sounds so scary but in actuality, most people do not suffer from these symptoms. My symptoms seem to be headaches, lowered sex drive, possible acne (which I'm hoping doesn't get worse instead of better when I get off of it), and weight gain. After learning more about some of this stuff and reading some posts on Healthy Tipping Point, I decided to go on a quest to learn about birth control and alternative methods. I talked to my current obgyn who basically dismissed my concerns and told me to continue on with Nuvaring. That irritated me so I thought, instead of battling with him, why not find a different gyno who might actually listen to my concerns. Bring me to today, and she suggested an IUD. I chose her because on her website, she describes her interests as:"...adolescent medicine, preventive medicine, minimally invasive surgery, alternative and complementary medicine, and high risk obstetrics. "
I was like, okay, this is more of what I'm looking for. And it was. She was very helpful, explained a little bit of everything and answered a lot of questions I had about lots of things. I forgot how much nicer it is to have a woman gyno. So, next week, I am scheduled to get the Mirena IUD which I am very excited about. It does still contain a small amount of hormones (progesterone vs estrogen) but it typically remains in the uterus and will help will volume that time of the month. She said that it will be a great compliment to my Africa trip as well. And, when we're ready to have a baby, we just get it taken out and BAM. I am scheduled next week, so I'll give a report once it all happens! p.s. I am filing this under alternative medicine because even though it's not like, the Fertility Awareness Method, it is a nice solution to birth control in a non hormonal wayNamaste

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