Do Your Research|All Birth Controls are NOT Created Equal

So PCOS sucks. We all know that by now.

One of the most popular ways that Doctors “help” Cysters with our horrible PCOS side effects is by prescribing us Birth Control. Granted, it can seem like it is helping, but all it is really doing is putting a mask on its ugly face.

When I was first diagnosed back in 2011, my OB-GYN discussed my options. She recommended I begin taking birth control and Spironolactone, which is a drug that blocks excess Androgen’s (Testosterone) and helps to alleviate some of those manly features… Facial hair, scalp balding, blah blah blaggh. Honestly, it really did work! Within just a few months i noticed my side burns dissipating, my hair was growing back nice and full, and my tweezers were collecting dust, #smoothchinwhodis.

Fast forward 3 years. Yay! Me and Mike want to start a family. First step: Stop the medications. Within weeks the crappy side effects began to return. The changes were gradual, getting worse over time. After two years of trying with no success, ,I decided it was time to go back on the pill to “reset” my body. I was feeling badly about myself and I [knew] this would help.

It’s now been nearly two years since I made that decision, and to my confusion there really has been minimal improvement. I still have excess hair, except for where I want it… on my head! The thinning on my scalp has been so severe that I have considered seeing a dermatologist. Also, PMS has been DEATH on this pill, followed by little to no period. I can miss periods on my own, thank you very much. So why is this happening? Why did it work wonderfully last time, but there has been no positive changes this time around?

Well my friends, because all birth controls are not created equal. 

A few weeks ago I began doing some research. I knew there were different types of birth control… The pill, injections, patches, on and on. However I didn’t realize that the mixture of “ingredients”, so to say, could severely impact the make up of your body. There are different levels of hormones that should be selected carefully for each woman. These were some of the informational charts that I fell upon:

One thing that is common between these two charts is Low Androgen levels and high Estrogen is best for women with PCOS and Ovarian Cysts. Makes sense.. we already make too much Testosterone, no need to pump it into our systems daily.

The list below shows common birth controls in order of their Androgen levels, from low to high. It also discusses the havoc some pills can cause on your hormones/scalp hair:

Can anyone guess which pill my OB-GYN prescribed to me, after knowing that one of the reasons I needed it was because of hair loss and abnormal hair growth?? If you guessed Loestrin, the pill with the highest Androgen levels and lowest Estrogen, then you are correct! WAIT WHAT??!?

Firstly, I am really pretty upset with my OB-GYN. I go to her with my most intimate concerns and expect she will do everything she can to help. She specializes in women with PCOS for crying out loud! Secondly, I am kind of upset with myself in one sense. Yes, I should be able to fully trust my Doctors suggestions, but why would I take something without even doing a little bit of research? The damage that could have been caused from the last two years frightens me.

So that’s why, I’m ditching the pill.

Maybe me doing my research was a sign it is time to start trying for a family again. Maybe it is just time to stop causing more “bad” to my body than I already do with my unhealthy habits. Either way, changes are-a-comin’.

I have one week left on birth control before I begin my journey to detoxing my poor body. I have ordered Ovasital, which I am sure many PCOS ladies have heard of. I will most likely do a blog on that in a few months once I [hopefully] see some positive changes. And I again, begin my life long journey of a healthy lifestyle. Because I only get one body, and so far I’ve been pretty rough on it. Big things coming (I hope) in the future.

This blog is just a friendly reminder to everyone out there… advocate for yourself. Ask questions. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t dismiss it just because your Doctor did. Fight until you get the answers you need. This is YOUR life, and YOUR body. Make sure you take care of it!

 

American Hair Loss Association   Great source for those dealing with hair loss!

 

Cyster Love,

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Hello! My name is Heather, and I am a 30 something year old looking to share my experiences through PCOS, Infertility, and my journey to Self Love.

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