When it comes to people and contraception, it’s hard to not open a can of worms. What works for one can be devastating to another, but having collected a few experiences over the years, I thought I would share my own.
Yasmin – Contraceptive pill
I began taking Yasmin aged 17. I had suffered from awful bacne for a year or so by this point and previous medications hadn’t worked, which is when my doctor recommended the contraceptive pill. It also luckily coincided when I got my first “proper” boyfriend, which made it a double bonus.
For me, Yasmin was great, it was everything I wanted it and needed it to be. My skin cleared up and I never had any pregnancy scares.
When I moved to Southampton for university a doctor changed my pill to Lucette. They explained the pill was the same, just cheaper for the NHS (they compared it as swapping from Heinz beans to Tesco).
Again, this was fine for me and somewhere along the way, I swapped back to Yasmin with no issues.
Rigevidon – Contraceptive pill
This is where everything started to go downhill for me. I ran out of my pill when I returned home and made an appointment with my doctor on my ‘week off’.
She gave me the same talk I’d had previously about switching to a cheaper alternative. I assumed she meant the Lucette and agreed, however, a week later when I picked it up from the pharmacy and needed to take it, I realised it was Rigevidon.
I’d spoken to friends before who’d taken this pill and it really hadn’t agreed with them, but I needed to have some sort of protection, so I began taking it. Within two weeks my skin returned to what it was like when I was seventeen.
Two weeks following this I was late, and I had developed thrush. When I read through the advice leaflet to see if this was normal I discovered I shouldn’t have had a gap when swapping pills (the doctor was made aware I was on my gap) and I was at risk of pregnancy.
I contacted my doctors for an emergency appointment to treat the thrush and ask about the lateness of my period. Annoyingly the doctor was really unhelpful, she told me she hadn’t heard of the pill I was taking causing thrush, and as for the week off, she advised me to buy a pregnancy test at the pharmacy when I picked up my thrush treatment.
At this point I was panicked and upset – I had been safe for four years with my contraception, and the moment my doctor had decided to switch me, without giving me all the information, she had compromised that.
Thankfully I came on the following day, and I took the thrush treatment, but I was adamant I didn’t want to stay on Rigevidon.
Mirena – the coil
My doctor wouldn’t let me go back on Yasmin as there’s supposedly an increased risk of blood clots when you start taking it again. A friend had recently got the coil and I asked if that was an option. We talked it through and decided that was the route I would take.
A month or so later I got my appointment to have the coil fitted. At the time, the doctors found thrush bacteria was still looming and I was given tablets to treat it.
Having the coil fitted
I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s painful. Imagine the worst period cramp you’ve had… that’s what it feels like. I went alone to my appointment and it took me a little while to feel normal again afterwards to drive home.
I’d definitely recommend eating a good meal before leaving and having someone with you, I know I would have preferred it.
The actual process only took 10-15 minutes, and the pain only lasted for 1-2 minutes.
For the next day or two, it feels like a bad period. I just cuddled up in bed with hot water bottles and self-pity, but I eventually got over it.
Ten months later
Since having the coil fitted I haven’t had any issues and I’d recommend it to anyone who asked. I’m still trying to get rid of the thrush caused by the rigevidon, but apart from that its been great.
Also, I haven’t had a proper period since September (literally just a bit of spotting here and there) which means I’ve saved loads of money on menstrual products AND none of my pants get ruined anymore.
This coil will last me five years, at which point I can just have it removed and choose an alternate method of contraception, or I can have another Mirena coil fitted.
The only con is that the coil hasn’t cleared up my skin, so I’m stuck taking daily tablets and applying creams to get it under control, but as a contraceptive method, I can’t fault it.
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