Did giving hormonal birth control another go fuck up my cycles forever?
April 10, 2012 7:23 PM   Subscribe

Long shot: would taking hormonal birth control (HBC) for several weeks continue to affect my premenstrual moods for several months?

I asked this question back in October, after having taken Lo-Loestrin Fe for 6 weeks. I went to the clinic and ended up being prescribed Microgestin Fe 1/20, and took the rest of the Lo-Loestrin for 2 weeks, and then an additional 2 weeks of the Microgestin before I just couldn't take any more. Suicidal thoughts, neediness, paranoia about my relationship, bursting into tears at the slightest provocation. Fucking terrible.

So I was on HBC for a total of 10 weeks. Before this round of HBC, I had pretty decent periods; a little grumpiness, cramps for a few days, bleeding usually lasted 7 days. I'd say the physical symptoms were much worse than the emotional. Starting with this round of HBC, my physical symptoms decreased pretty dramatically (maybe half a day of cramps now) but my emotional symptoms are far worse. It's now been... about 5 months since I've taken any HBC. Within a month of quitting it my cycles became as regular as they were before (25-29 days).

Now a week or so before my period I have days (today is day 5, though there was a brief respite yesterday) of crying at anything, feeling desperately lonely when most of the time I am a very comfortable introvert, actual soul-crushing depression (I've had clinical depression, and this is like that, but shorter), near complete loss of appetite/eating disorder crap resurfacing, and occasional suicidal thoughts (don't worry, like I said, I have had and dealt with these, I'm not a danger to myself, but they're disturbing).

Could that brief round of HBC have changed everything? Of course I will be making an appointment at my ladyparts doctor tomorrow, and I can, I'm sure, talk to my old therapist if need be after that, but is this even possible?

Or did this happen to you around this age? What is wrong with me?

Helpful?: I'm soon to be 30; date of LMP was March 16.
posted by fiercecupcake to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm glad you're going to your doctor, and I hope s/he is understanding and helpful.

I have been off and on HBC for years and have never noticed a difference with my moods when off. BUT HBC mood change experiences are so incredibly varied, I really really doubt that anecdata is going to be helpful for you at all with this.

If you want to read anecdata even though it probably isn't going to help, the LJ community VaginaPagina is the place to go for all of your ladyparts anecdata needs.
posted by snorkmaiden at 9:19 PM on April 10, 2012

IANAD, but if it's been about 5 months, any effects from the HBC should be long gone by now (a good rule of thumb is 3 months to see any significant change on/off birth control when it comes to PMS/hormonal changes/symptoms). Have you had your thyroid checked? If not, you might want to look into that. Also, HBC effects can vary greatly depending on the exact type you take. You might need a different brand. Good luck!
posted by katemcd at 9:21 PM on April 10, 2012

Glad you're going to talk to your doctor about this (I still haven't talked to mine, oops), but your question made me feel tons better about my own recent experience with Microgestin.

Starting taking it in January. After the first two weeks, I felt so emotionally messed up that I just stopped taking it. I didn't even try to get another prescription because I didn't want to risk taking more HBC that made me feel that crappy again.

Anyway, here I am 3 months later, and I finally and just now, feel back to normal. I didn't notice any other side effects during the last 3 months, except in the week right before my period. I was just as emotional/weepy/hormonal as I was when I was taking the pill, and for a solid week before my period started. It was awful.

I was a little worried it was just my new PMS self (age-related, or something), but when I didn't experience any of that this time around, I decided, entirely unscientifically, that it probably took that long for my hormones to reset. I can't tell you what a relief it was to feel like myself again.

Purely anecdotal, of course, but I felt better reading about your experience, so I hope this helps ease your mind a bit.
And hope you feel better soon! You're not alone!
posted by bluestocking at 5:51 AM on April 11, 2012

« Older Can you get a job with a prostitution arrest?   |   How do I prevent myself from taking things too... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.