“I don’t like to change something if it’s working.”
I was 18 when I first went on the pill - I’d had regular but heavy, crampy periods and part of it was to help with pain management. I’d heard from friends that the pill helped with symptoms of periods. My cramps were so bad that I took one Tuesday off school every month, and I think my teacher was starting to worry that she was doing something wrong! At uni I got my first proper boyfriend and we wanted to be safe. We actually went to get the pill together - it’s quite embarrassing when you’re only 18 and with your first boyfriend, and I had expected the doctor to do a whole range of things, but he only asked me one question - was I generally moist or dry? My answer seemed to make his mind up as to what to give me. I hadn’t known what to expect but it seemed a bit odd, he didn’t ask me anything about skin problems or weight issues.
I was prescribed Cilest (the combined pill) and I’ve basically been on that ever since. It’s the one with a break so you do get a period.
It definitely helped with pains and I’d not had any problems, until I changed pill for a few months. At one of my regular check ups the doctor switched it to a newer version of the pill - I think it’s cheaper for the NHS - and straight away I started getting stronger cramps and boob pain. I went back to the doctor and we had a chat about it, he was really helpful and was fine to put me back onto Cilest
At my last check up the nurse said my BMI was at the top end of the scale for the combined pill, so I may need to change to the progestogen only pill. I didn’t want to do it straight away as I was coming up for my wedding so didn’t want to risk anything like irregular periods or cramps, but I have started to have a look online for other options. I’m 35 now and thinking about babies, so it might be that I come off the pill and then look at other options later on.
I have friends who use implants and injections and they work for them, but I actually like having a period as it gives me peace of mind, so that’s been the deciding factor for me in not changing.
I’ll definitely have a look online and chat to my friends who’ve tried different things - my friendship group are very open about this sort of thing, but I’d always also look it up on the NHS site and talk to the doctor about it - use as many resources as I can to get something that works. I don’t like to change something if it’s working, but I will ask for help when the time comes.
Thank you to Natasha for sharing your experience with the combined pill. It's encouraging to hear when someone has found a method that works really well for them. If any one else is interested in sharing their contraceptive experience via a case study, please reply to this post!