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\*\Club Contraceptives/*/ Rants/Reviews/Etc. on safe-sex methods

Hiya, Vegwebbers!

With the helpful backing/suggesting from the Diva Club, I made this thread as a place where we can all discuss various modes of birth control and/or safe sex. Even as an animal-rights kinda place, I know lots of us are concerned about cruelty-free and/or natural lifestyles...So if you're not a fan of cow-exploiting, skin-scorching latex rubbers, or of the way hormonal b/c pills screw with your body and mind, HERE is where we can all help each other.

This can be a place for advice or general information on various methods/devices...like If you want to know what hormones in your pills are doing what, and how that will affect you, etc.; or if you want to know about materials used in different kinds of condoms (and which aren't vegan!); or just how effective such methods are statistically...HERE is where you can tell what you know, or find other reference sources. HERE we can help each other learn what works best for each of us in regards to our own needs/situation.
Sound fun? HELLS YES.

Condoms
Female Condoms

Dental Dams
Diaphragms
Spermicides
Pills
IUDs

Nuva Rings
Injections
Cycle-observation/timing

Herbal Solutions

...and other Good Resources for many/all of the above methods


*****
Feel free to suggest important links or resources,
and I'll add them to this post as a sort of reference library.
******

let's go!

:-\
I'm sorry to hear about Your...er, misfortune, hon.

...I will definitely take these things into account when/if I decide to get an IUD. back-up is needed, it seems. arg, looks like I'm still going to be stuck with pull-out/timing/ouchie vitamin C spermicide.  :P

weelittlebuddy
:
In the meantime, please refer to Sister Zeus's guide to choices, but use at Your own discretion. Make sure You know how long it's been since conception occurred, at least within a 1-2 week ballpark, that'll be pretty crucial.
I also posted about my own experience with using fresh parsley to induce a rather "delayed period" HERE. It had been almost 2 weeks late, and my uterus needed help..uh, discharging that (probably fertilized) egg.

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Carrot_wench thank you much. I went to my gynecologist on Monday and she did a vaginal ultrasound. Since I have only been pregnant about 6 weeks (they calculate that number by counting the weeks from the beginning of my last period to the day that I went into the doctor's office), they could not tell using the ultrasound where the fertalized egg was (hence, either a normal pregnancy in the uterus or an ectopic pregnancy). I am definitely going to terminate this pregnancy, so my Dr. took me in for blood tests which will test my HCG (HUMAN CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN) count. I'm going in tomorrow to get this HCG re-counted. If it doubles in the next 48 hours, that should mean a normal pregnancy. If not, that should mean an ectopic pregnancy. Thankfully there is a medical abortion offered for both types of pregnancy.

I just can't wait to get this over with. It's been the hardest 5 days of my life. We found out Friday April 10. I just want this over by *hopefully* next week.

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carrot: I read your post about the parsley (just out of curiosity) and I noticed the vitamin C thing. This is I guess a question for anyone, but I recall reading something about vitamin C messing with the effectiveness of birth control pills. Does anyone know if this is true?

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wlb:
You are most welcome, hon. Again, I commend You for handling this so well.
On the matter of abortion and the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, it is worth noting (particularly for those against abortion in general) that ectopic pregnancies are medical emergencies and must be terminated ANYWAY.
...If You read online about herbal abortifacients and "home remedies" like the link I provided, You'll also find some backlash from the "Pro-Life" community....there was a case described by one such woman who replied to Angry for a Reason's Parsley + Vit. C method. She insisted that using herbal abortifacients will KILL the mother, because a woman in the 90's tried similar techniques and died. Thus, "abortion is always wrong."...BUT the woman had an ectopic pregnancy and would have died ANYway if the fetus hadn't been removed; the problem was in the young woman's lack of professional medical care, NOT the fact that she was ending the pregnancy.
/end rant

........on a side note, the past 7 days have been a a very grueling experience for me, nursing my sick Pippin back to health. Honestly, I wouldn't trade my experience for Yours, weelittlebuddy.  :ouch: Your sitch has gotta be rough. Again, keep on keepin' on.  :-*

pc:
dag, Yo..I've never heard of anything like that....I wonder if the correlation has anything to do with digestion--like if You're vomiting or having diarrhea just after taking the pill, You won't absorb the hormone properly or somesuch--because high doses of C can cause quickly-passing, loose stools.
I just pop a 500mg C tablet in like a spermicidal bullet, let it sit up there to dissolve for at least 10 minutes, and go about business as usual. The *only* issue is that it stings sometimes, but no definitely no more than nonoxonol-9!

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LAD - did you ever get an IUD?
i had pretty much the same experience with mine as WLB... but strings out of your vagina? holy mother... did they not trim them at all?!?!

Nope, didn't get one yet. My last pap smear came back irregular so I have to wait 6 months to get another pap (which should be next month now) and if it comes back fine, I'm going to schedule my IUD then. My doctor recommends the Mirena & I already know my insurance will cover it so I'm all set.

It will be nice to have less hormones going through me & not worry about taking a pill every day but my main concern right now is I have been on the pill for a very long time & am approaching thirty, which gives me a higher risk of blood clots. A friend of mine in her upper 30s and on the pill had a blood clot that almost killed her.

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I've tried all kinds of birth control:
abstinence
withdrawl
naturopathic birth control
4 different kinds of pills (progestrone only and combination)
NuvaRing
condoms

Right now I have the Paragard IUD. I am not really into artificial hormones (some of them come from animal sources, unless I'm mistaken?). I like Paragard because I can have it in for 10 years, my husband doesn't feel it, and there are almost no side effects.

Shelloid, I read your post about pain after insertion ... I have a few friends who had similar aftereffects, but that wasn't the case for me. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I've already given birth.

Anyway, I'm all about the hormone-free IUD! It's the best thing I've tried so far.

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I'm doing FAM charting.  I like how it's completely natural and non-invasive, but my cycles are hard to interpret.  So to help me figure it out I got a thing called "Maybe Baby" which is basically a little microscope for my spit so I can tell if I'm ovulating or not (it's actually for people who are trying to get pregnant, but I use it to avoid pregnancy).  It's not the most fail-safe method(s) ever, but I'm pretty happy with it so far.

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I plan to do the temperature and stuff too once my cycle gets back to normal.. which I hope will be by the end of this month (cross your fingers I bleed, lol)
I'm going to get that Take charge of your Fertily book.
I'm excited.

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I plan to do the temperature and stuff too once my cycle gets back to normal.. which I hope will be by the end of this month (cross your fingers I bleed, lol)
I'm going to get that Take charge of your Fertily book.
I'm excited.

get it now! i am reading through the whole thing (except the "how to achieve pregnancy" section) and am hoping i will be done with it and start charting in about a week when i start my period (i'm almost done). i am pretty damn excited to do it and i really think it is something everyone should do... regardless of whether they want it for birth control purposes or not.

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I have been on many different birth controls. (I have already posted about them in this thread somewhere)

I lately decided to go off the pill, mainly because I could only afford my Lexapro or the BC and my mental health was waaaay more important at that point. I have been abstaining from sex for the past two years, but I have recently gotten into a physical relationship after all that time. I am currently just using condoms, but it makes me extremely nervous.

I see some of you guys are talking about charting. I had already thought about doing that myself for safetys sake, but I dont know much about it. Could any of you recommend some good websites? I am currently in Germany so I do not have much access to English books and trying to read about it in German might be a little tough for me.  :)

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I have been on many different birth controls. (I have already posted about them in this thread somewhere)

I lately decided to go off the pill, mainly because I could only afford my Lexapro or the BC and my mental health was waaaay more important at that point. I have been abstaining from sex for the past two years, but I have recently gotten into a physical relationship after all that time. I am currently just using condoms, but it makes me extremely nervous.

I see some of you guys are talking about charting. I had already thought about doing that myself for safetys sake, but I dont know much about it. Could any of you recommend some good websites? I am currently in Germany so I do not have much access to English books and trying to read about it in German might be a little tough for me.  :)

Here's a good site: http://www.menstruation.com.au/periodpages/chartingcycles.html

If you're looking for more information, just Google "ovulation cycle charting" -- there is a wealth of information out there. And don't be too nervous about just using condoms. They have a very low failure rate. I have a friend who used cycle charting and condoms exclusively and in the 5 years I knew here never ONCE got pregnant. How do you like that?!

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The best ever day of my life was the day I got Implanon.  I don't know what the equivalent of Implanon is in the States but basically its a small plastic rod, about the size of a matchstick, that is inserted into the inside of your upper arm (pretty much where the two muscles meet, but only just under the skin).  You get it inserted on the 1st to 5th day of your period.  They just inserted a local anaesthetic into the area, made a small incision about 1/2 a centimetre long and then used this big sterile needle thing to insert the implant just under the skin.  Then they just used a medical suture (those little pieces of white tape) to keep the skin together and I just had to keep that on for a couple of days.  The only thing I felt was when they put the anaesthetic needle in, and it felt a bit funny for about a week after, just the feeling of having something under the skin (it freaks people out so much now when they touch it!)

Basically the implant is filled with a hormone that is released slowly into your bloodstream for 3 years to prevent pregnancy by making your cervical mucus too thick for sperm to enter, and it is also able to inhibit ovulation.  You leave it in for 3 years and then they can either replace it or just remove it entirely. 

Three of my friends have had it other than me, one of them had no symptoms at all, and the other two bled for 6 months straight but then had 2 1/2 years of no bleeding or symptoms at all.  I have spotted twice on it and had one period on it, with no other side effects, and I've had it in since March last year.  The side effects are pretty much the same for the pill, eg acne, weight gain, fluid retention, spotting, etc, but the only one I've had is spotting and like I said, I've only had it twice (plus one period).  Depending on when in your cycle you have it inserted, it can change the outcome of how it works for you, for example if you get it put in at the wrong time, you can just bleed and bleed until they make you take it out.  I got it on the 3rd day of my period and it has been perfect.  It's not affected by medication like the pill either, which is fantastic as I have had heaps of antibiotics for tonsilitis and it hasn't affected it, whereas when I was on the pill I had to use extra precautions if I had antibiotics.  Although it is a long term form of contraception, it is also very safe, the hormone is untraceable in your blood stream after a week of having it removed and the majority of women ovulate within the first month of having it removed. 

The best thing about it, in my opinion, is that you can pretty much shag all you want because you rarely ever bleed, if at all, and it's more than 99% effective.  Obviously though you would still use protection if you weren't with a long term partner as you wouldn't want to get an STI.  But its great if you're in a long term relationship, and I seriously think it increased my 'urges', I don't know if it's all in my head...but my partner thinks it's the best thing ever, for obvious reasons!!!

The second best thing is that it only cost me about $50 for three years contraception!!!  Woo hoo!!!  ;)b

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The best ever day of my life was the day I got Implanon.  I don't know what the equivalent of Implanon is in the States but basically its a small plastic rod, about the size of a matchstick, that is inserted into the inside of your upper arm (pretty much where the two muscles meet, but only just under the skin). 

I think we had something similar in the States (Norplant). However, they have discontinued its use.

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The best ever day of my life was the day I got Implanon.  I don't know what the equivalent of Implanon is in the States but basically its a small plastic rod, about the size of a matchstick, that is inserted into the inside of your upper arm (pretty much where the two muscles meet, but only just under the skin). 

I think we had something similar in the States (Norplant). However, they have discontinued its use.

oh man, that sucks hey!  it baffles me as to why the US, Canada, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, etc, all major English-speaking countries with similar culture, etc don't have the same things.  drives me crazy. 

totally off topic, it really P*SSES ME OFF that we have pretty much NO good vegan stuff over here.  i hear about all these awesome yummy vegan foods that you guys have in the US that you just pick up from your local supermarket (ie vegan cheeze, tofutti cuties, fakin bacon, etc) and we have nothing like that here, at least nothing that doesn't have egg whites or casein, etc in them. 

and yet we have implanon and you guys don't.  my head hurts from trying to figure it all out  :P

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Kaiser Permanenete offers the Implanon!  :)

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Kaiser Permanenete offers the Implanon!  :)

Thank you, wlb. I will have to look into that. I didn't know we had anything like that available to us. (Should I be as happy as I am about this bit of info?!) :)

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Wow.  Good to know,
but I think it'd freak me out to have something in my arm. lol.
and not bleed.

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that's awesome weelittlebuddy!!!  thanks for that!  i'm sure there are some US girls out there who will definitely appreciate that bit of information  ;)b

teade, i'm totally with you there, it is just the wierdest thing ever when you first get the implant, although the skin and everything settled down after about a week, it was still wierd for ages that i had this little thing in my arm, and i couldn't stop touching it...and the bleeding thing too is so wierd, after nearly 10 years of being on the pill (i went on it early for hormone problems), it was the wierdest thing ever to not have a period, but again once you get used to it, you feel great cos you can just forget about it (oh and shag heaps too, forgot to add that part again...)  some people do still bleed though, they have percentages of people from the trials and their bleeding habits, hang on i'll just get them from the site:

"  bleeding approximating normal 35%;
  infrequent bleeding 26%;
  amenorrhoea <absence of period> 21%;
  frequent and or prolonged bleeding 18%. "
source: http://www.thewomens.org.au/Implanon

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I've been holding off posting on here, but I just need to RANT.

BC #1: kinda/sorta combination of rhythm and withdraw. Condoms for "dangerous" times. I am like clockwork--could time my period down to the hour on most months. So it worked--thank goodness. Not the smartest move for a college student, though.

BC #2: the shot. Once every three months. I HATE shots, but it was worth it. Really didn't notice any side effects. But, there was concern over bone loss with "the shot" so I moved onto:

BC #3: the patch. I got "the boobs," as they were referred to previously, but it was PAINFUL and accompanied with leakage. So, not good. But the worst part was a notable increase in migraines. I didn't even make the connection until my primary-care physician pointed it out, but yeah--they started right around when I started the patch. So, I changed to

BC #4: low-dose birth control pill. It helped with the migraines and "the boobs." So that's good. But the bad news: since starting this I have felt 1) much more prone to really freaking out with stress, especially the first week of a pack, 2) NO sex drive, and 3) weight gain. I have struggled with weight in general (not by much, but doctors have said I'd be due to lose about 15 pounds and keep it off), but this feels different. Usually it's stress weight and it goes right to my belly, but this is distributed differently. Also I feel like my body is more resistant to changes that come with working out/eating healthy. In some ways I'm stronger than ever--I can now run several miles at a time, something I couldn't do before--but I just feel so gross.

Needless to say I'm frustrated. Very frustrated. I'm tired of being miserable, and not being able to take advantage of my husband actually living in the same state as me. (The lack of sex drive wouldn't have been nearly as much of an issue last year). Most of all I'm tired of my clothes not fitting, and of feeling like I have to work four times as hard and cut out all sort of food in order to fit back into them. This just compounds my feeling miserable and the lack of sex drive.

I'm thinking of going back to BC #1. Pregnancy, at this point in my life, as a possible consequence just isn't the deterrent that it once was. DH also has encouraged this (offering to go back to condoms--I just hate it b/c we're married.)

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caroleena, check out taking charge of your fertility by toni weschler.. it sounds perfect for you. i read it all in the time i got it from the library, copied the charts that i wanted and am now starting to chart. hopefully it will all go fine... i just can't decide what time to take my temperatures in the morning (i usually wake up early and pee and then go back to bed for a bit, but you have to take your temp first thing with this, so i fear i will have to set an alarm every day... oh well). i already ahve an IUD... but i figure it won't hurt to have an iud and use condoms when i am fertile.

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