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Date of last update: 9/5/2017.

Forum Name: Pharmacy & Drug Topics

Question: birth control questions

 hparker - Fri Dec 31, 2004 12:44 pm

I have some questions that i feel like i should ask before i go further with this decison. i am currently on the birth control mini pill (Camila). is this just like a normal birth control pill in regards to the "not getting pregnant" part? my partner and i do not use any contraceptives other than that and he ejaculates very frequently in me. so i was wondering if it has the same protection as the rest. also, after the 3 months of taking this mini pill i am going to take the birth control injections (depro-pravera). i would like to know the pros and cons of both the depo AND the camila. Does the injection affect me getting pregnant afterwards? is it harder to become pregnant afterwards? i would like to know everything (good or bad) that anyone has on these two things. i recently had a miscarriage where i had to receive the D&C surgery and i do not want to go through that again. however, i do not want this to affect me getting pregnant later, or whenever i decide to. please reply on this subject. thank you.[/b]
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Jan 01, 2005 6:59 am

User avatar Mini-Pills are progesterone-only birth control pills. Mini-Pills come in packs of 28 pills and one is taken every day. They have a synthetic form of the progesterone hormone and no estrogen. The Mini-Pill affects the mucus around the cervix and makes it harder for sperm to enter the uterus. It also affects the transport of the egg through the fallopian tubes. In these ways, the Mini-Pill prevents fertilization. Mini-Pills are more than 95% effective, slightly less than regular birth control pills.
The most common side effect for women using Mini-Pills is irregular bleeding. While many women on Mini-Pills have normal periods, others may have irregular periods, spotting between periods or no periods at all. If you do not bleed for 60 days, call the clinic to arrange for a pregnancy test but continue taking your pills.
Other possible side effects of the Mini-Pill are mood changes, headaches, and lowered sex drive.
Some of the typical side effects of regular birth control pills, such as nausea, and breast tenderness, usually do not occur with Mini-Pills.

Depo Provera is a hormone injection that lasts for 3 months to prevent pregnancy. The injection contains synthetic progesterone and no estrogen. It is usually given in the arm or rear, delivering a high level of progesterone into the body. Depo Provera stops the ovaries from releasing eggs. Depo Prover causes the cervical mucu to thicken and changes the uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to enter or survive in the uterus. These changes prevent fertilization. Depo Provera is a very private form of birth control because it cannot be seen on the body and requires no home supplies. It does, however, require a clinic appointment every 3 months. Depo Provera is 99.7% effective as birth control.

Studies released in 2004 show that Depo Provera is associated with the lost of bone density resulting in an increased risk of osteoporosis. The bone loss appears not to be reversed when the woman goes off Depo Provera. Depo is not recommended for long term use and especially not recommended when the young woman is still growing her bones. Women on Depo are advised to exercise and take in plenty of calcium. If you have taken Depo Provera for more than two years, it might be a good idea to get a bone density test.

Some women have allergic reactions to Depo Provera.

If a woman becomes pregnant while using Depo Provera, and continues her pregnancy, there may be an increased risk of premature birth.

The effects of Depo Provera on breast cancer are still unknown.

70 % of women using Depo Provera gain weight. Almost half of the women using Depo Provera gain more than 5 pounds after one year of use. Many women gain more than 10 pounds.

Irregular, heavy, or no bleeding are common side effects of Depo Provera. After a year of use, many women stop having periods. Lack of a period becomes increasingly common with longer use.

Other side effects of Depo Provera can include headaches, nervousness, mood changes, bloating, hot flashes, decreased interest in sex, breast tenderness, acne, hair loss, and back ache.

After the last shot of Depo Provera, it can take over 6 months for the drug to leave the body. Side effects may linger until the drug is completely gone.
 hparker - Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:00 am

is there any way to reduce the chance of gaining weight? also, i know that you said that that if i got pregnant during the use of depro-praveran, then there would be a higher risk premature birth. you also said that it is 99.7% accurate for preventing pregnancy, so is this a risk i should worry about? and the last question i have for you is, as a medical advisor, and in your past experiences and knowledge, would you recommend depro-proveran or just a regular birth control pill?
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Mon Jan 03, 2005 11:25 am

I will answer only your last question, because Dr Fouad has given you all the important details and I believe you should be counselled about the likelihood of very important side-effects.

At your age, it is not recommended to use Depo-Provera for the following reasons:

* reduction of bone mineral density which you do not want at age 18
* likelihood of menstrual disturbances including the absence of menstruation for long periods.
* potential for a delay in return to full fertility which may occur after discontinuation of
treatment (there is no evidence of permanent infertility).

Dr Anthony Solomon
 harvickbabe29 - Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:40 pm

I am 15 years old. I started my second pack of pills yesterday. I also had sex with my boyfriend yesterday. But today we had sex and i forgot to take the pill at regular time. I had to take it after we had sex. We used a condom, am i safe from being prenant?? Help me!! Im really worried now. I took my pill about an hour after we had sex? Is everything okay?
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Wed Mar 30, 2005 11:22 am

You did not state if you are on a combined pill or progesterone-only pill. The critical time for loss of contraceptive protection is when a pill is missed at the beginning or end of a cycle (because this lengthens the pill-free interval). If you forget a pill, take it as soon as you remember, and carry on with the next pill at your normal time. If you are 12 hours late for a combined pill, the pill may not work. If you are more than 3 hours late for a progesterone-only pill, you are not protected. Continue normal pill-taking, but you must also use an additional method, such as the condom, or not have sex for the next 7 days.
If you used a condom and are sure that you took the missed pill within the time intervals I have described above, it should be safe.

Dr Anthony Solomon
 harvickbabe29 - Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:18 pm

I am on the combined pill. I took all of the first pills in the first pack. then when I started the new pack I took the first day pill and then on the second I forgot about it and had sex. I took the pill as soon as I got home though. What should I do. What is the chance that I am pregnant?? I am not sure that I had taken the pill in the time intervals? I had started taking them at 6 in the morning then switched because right now I am on spring break I had been taking them around 10:30 or 11 when I got up. I took the missed pill about 7:00 last night. Please tell me anything that will make me not worry about it.
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:16 pm

You have stated that although you missed the pill and took it some hours later, you used an additional contraceptive device - the condom. The condom should give you reasonable protection unless you are not sure of that statement.

Dr Anthony Solomon
 harvickbabe29 - Wed Mar 30, 2005 7:03 pm

yes there was a condom used. Im sure of it. What is the chance that I could be pregnant?
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:46 pm

You used a condom and took the missed (combined ) pill within the 12-hour protective period. These two factors should prevent a pregnancy.

Dr Anthony Solomon
 eva - Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:34 am

I am a mother who was breastfeeding until about a week ago. This is my first experience of taking birth control pills. I started taking the camila 0.35mg pill two weeks ago. Today two days into my third week of pills i get my period. I would like to know if it is ok that i started my period during the 3rd week of taking my birth control pill. Can i have unprotected sex next week when i will be taking my inactive pills? Also, I would like to start taking the patch. When is the best time to start with the patch?
 WilkyKKG - Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:59 pm

I have a question....I am currently taking ortho tri-cyclen Lo and was supposed to begin a new pill pack on Sunday. I was unable to get my prescription refilled until Monday and I began my new pack monday night. Am I able to get pregnant or am I still protected? Also, when I begin a new pack each month, do I need to use a 2nd form of protection for the first 7 days or is that only for the initial pack? Thanks!
 BabyGirl83 - Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:10 pm

I am on the mini-pill camila. I always take my pill between 11:55 and 12:20pm. Yesterday I was late. I didn't take my pill till 2pm. Now, I have some spotting. Anyway, I took the pill and took the next one today around the normal time. I was wondering when it would be safe to have intercourse w/o a condom or other form of BC. Basically, when will I be protected again to the pill's full capability? My bf's bday is tomorrow. I wanted it to be special w/o having to worry about a's harder for him to cum. Thanks!
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Fri Jul 15, 2005 3:40 pm

If you are more than 3 hours late for a progesterone-only pill, you are not protected.
Use a back-up method of birth control for 7 days if, in your own calculation, you were about 3 hours late taking the pill. The time interval between 11.55 and 2pm is less than 3 hours but it is better to be safe since Camila is not a combined oral contaceptive pill.

Dr Anthony Solomon
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:04 pm

This answers your question, WilkyKKG

The critical time for loss of contraceptive protection is when a pill is missed at the beginning or end of a cycle (because this lengthens the pill-free interval). With the combined pill, if you are 12 or more hours late with any pill, especially the first in the packet, the pill may not work.
In your own case, it was the first pill and you were more than 12 hours late, in fact about 24 hours according to your report. You are therefore not protected and must use an additional back-up method or abstain from sex for the next 7 days.

Dr Anthony Solomon
Consultant Physician, Tropical & Genitourinary Medicine

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