1968 BC

So 2 weeks ago I went to the doctor because I had a big bloody sinus infection that wouldn’t quit. I haven’t had a regular doctor since I was like 14- basically because I hadn’t had health insurance, and thankfully, I never got sick. But then I GOT insurance, and my head exploded, so off I went.
I just picked the first name that popped up on the list of General Practitioners that Blue Sheild puts together for you. The receptionist said I could come in that day and the office was so close I literally walked to it. I should have had an inkling that this might not be the doctor for me, however, when I told her I what I thought I had and quick as a wink, she scribbled out a prescription without ever laying a finger on me.
I said I’d also been thinking about birth control and she scribbled something else… “How about Yasmine?” and then shuffled me downstairs to the pharmacy where they tried to give me somebody else’s pills.
“You don’t have a stomach problem? Okay, one minute.”
I realized all of the other patients in the waiting room were upwards of 80 years old. Maybe this wasn’t a match made in heaven.
So I took the antibiotics and eventually I stopped wanting to cry everytime I tried to open my jaw, but I still hadn’t started the BC.
I don’t do anything regularly. I don’t get up at the same time every day, I don’t eat at the same time… I don’t do anything by any sort of schedule whatsoever. I have extremely negligible faith that I’m going to remember to take some little pill every single day at roughly the same time for the rest of my reproductive life on peril of eternal parenthood.
I thought I should explore some of my options and maybe ask the good doctor for something else. And when I went back for my follow-up appointment, I did.
Her: “So, have you started the birth control?”
Me: “Actually, no. I’m really nervous about forgetting to take a pill… Can you tell me more about other types? Like maybe the ring?”
She had no idea what I was talking about. She thought I meant a diaphram. Oh boy.
“Yes, yes. This is okay… I don’t like hormone.”
“Um, I’m pretty sure it has hormones…”
“You know, condom is best. It’s really best. But you don’t have to use it all the time.”
WHAT. WHAAAATTT? For real? Did she for real just say that?
“You only have to use… maybe 5 days a month. Here, I’ll show you. I have a book…”
She goes into the other room and comes back with a book- not a happy pamphlet or something- a musty, dogeared volume of a medical encyclopedia from 1968. NINETEEN SIXTY EIGHT.
I KNOW it was from 1968, because that’s what it said on the copyright next to the little ovulation illustration she’d cracked the tome open to.
“I used this when I went to medical school!!”
And yes, I realize women’s bodies haven’t changed all that much since the dawn of time, but CONTRACEPTION certainly has. In 1968, the Pill was 8 years old. Roe v. Wade was still 5 years down the line…
Moral of her story is: it’s hard to get pregnant. There are only 5 days or so every month when fertilization is possible. Use condoms during those days, and otherwise throw caution to the wind!!
DUMBFOUNDED. My doctor was prescribing the Rhythm Method.
“Wow. That sounds really really RISKY.”
“Ohh no. It’s SAFE! But, if it doesn’t work, then you have a beautiful Gift from God! Right?”
I shit you not. That’s a direct quote.
CHECK PLEASE.
I just kind of smiled and nodded, because I’d prefer to make fun of people on the internet than to calmly explain to them how ridiculous they are in person.
She also told me to stop eating dinner.
She didn’t ask if I ate dinner in the first place. Or if I ate any other meals besides dinner. Just No Dinner! It solves all problems. Except, of course, for the beautiful Gifts from God.
Anybody near Downtown LA know a doctor with a slightly more recent encyclopedia?

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45 Responses to “1968 BC”


  1. 1 sizzle March 18, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    If you have trouble remembering to take the pill, I’d suggest the Patch like OrthoEvra. You only switch it out every week for a new one for three weeks. Easy. Peasy.

    That doctor sounds archaic.

  2. 2 Joy Nash March 18, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    yeah.. she was a dinosaur.
    For some reason I thought you can’t use the patch if you’re over 200 pounds… Is that baloney?
    Do you know what the side effects are like?
    I don’t know why I’m being such a baby about this whole thing…

  3. 3 Bri March 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    That.is.SCARY.

    It is horrifying to think she is preaching this sort of (mis)information to people who are putting their trust in her as a medical practitioner.

    Here’s to finding a doctor who exists in a more modern realm, preferably somewhere in the 2008 range…

  4. 4 kateharding March 18, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    OMFG.

    As for taking the pill at the same time every day, if it’s the combo pill, you’ve got a lot of leeway — the progestin-only pill needs to be taken at exactly the same time if you don’t want a gift from God, but based on both my personal experience and what docs have told me, the combo pill pretty much just needs to be taken at SOME point every day.

    I had the same fears when I started on the pill years ago, so I made it part of my nighttime routine. Wash face, brush teeth, take pill. I’m much more likely to forget a pill when I’m just-woke-up groggy than when I’m tired at night. Also, I’ve found that not wanting to get knocked up is a pretty damn good motivation for remembering it. I’m much better about it than I thought I would be.

    Finally, for female stuff, I highly recommend finding the L.A. version of this, or even just going to Planned Parenthood. I’ve done both, and although PP is a bit of a pain in the ass, because they’re super busy and scheduling appts. can be hard, places like that have the most up-to-date info presented in the least judgmental way.

  5. 5 Twistie March 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Wow. That doctor sounds as good as the one my beloved saw when he broke his arm at fourteen. He kept insisting there was nothing wrong with the arm. He even pointed right at THE GIGANTIC BLACK BREAK LINE IN THE X-RAY to prove the arm wasn’t broken. Yes, it was a fourteen year old with no medical training that pointed out the break on the X-ray to the licensed doctor.

    I’d say if you can, it would be a good idea to try some of the other doctors on that list and see if you can find one who will actually talk to you before prescribing medication.

    And yikes! but I’m concerned for all those elderly folk going to that doctor. No discussion of symptoms or lifestyle coupled with a pharmacy that hands out the wrong medication? That’s a malpractice suit or five waiting to happen.

  6. 6 Halle March 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    well, FAM is really a fairly responsible way of fertility management, IMHO — and this book, known as “TCOYF” http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Charge-Your-Fertility-Anniversary/dp/0060881909/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205880708&sr=8-2 is the bible of that as far as I can see. And it’s is no relic from 1968. I was definitely a sceptic, but I learned a lot of stuff from that book I wish they’d have covered in 8th grade health. But still I might have taken the pill. FAM is not as easy as “using condoms 5 days a month” — there’s daily measurements of all kinds of body processes, and charting and calendaring that makes my head swim. I would need a lot of support and motivation to seriously use a system like FAM. But I am glad I know about it. I was under the impression that natural fetility methods were some backwards moralistic thing. As I said, I wish someone had told me about the things I learned from that book when I was a much younger woman.

  7. 7 Nicole March 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Wow, that’s some quality stuff! She’s right in that it is actually harder to get pregnant than not, but you better believe that the only time I have used Natural Family Planning was when I was actually trying to get pregnant. All the rest of the time I’ve generally used the pill. Frankly, my mental health is worth more than the constant worrying about an unplanned gift from God.

  8. 8 Toni March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Wow. I seriously thought this was a work of fiction! OR like the doctor who told me – at 21, single, in college, no job – that getting pregnant was really the best cure for my menstrual irregularities.

    I’ve heard that all the hormonal based birth controls, weight can be an issue. But a doctor who is actually informed about medicine in 2008, should be able to help you sort that out.

    I’ve never had luck with the patch – I can’t get it to stick for a whole week, especially with exercising, swimming, frequent wardrobe changes. Depo Provera is good if it works for you – just once every 3 months. Problem with that is if you don’t do well on it (too many side effects), you’re stuck with it for 3 months until you can try something else.

    There are lots of pills to choose from, so it’s easy to find one that has just the right combo of hormones for you. And I do like Kate, take it right as I get into bed every night, so I’ve hardly ever missed one.

  9. 9 Tori March 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    I use the Ring and am in LOVE with it. Super easy for me as I’m about as absentminded as it gets — a pill every day would drive me to distraction. My gyno recommended the ring for me because I’m over 200 lbs, which lessens the efficacy of the patch (or so she said), and, like I said, I don’t like the idea of having to remember a pill everyday. (It was recommended with a remarkable lack of judgement about my weight on her part as well, which I appreciated.)
    The only thing I don’t like about it is the fact there is no generic version of the Nuvaring on the market as yet, which makes it super expensive, even with health insurance.

    But oh man! The rhythm method? Sure, if you’re a woman without access to contraceptions living in the Feudal era, go ahead, it certainly can’t hurt … But in 2008? One good thing at least (for now) is that we have options now!

  10. 10 Kristen March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I totally understand your qualms about remembering to take the pill. It’s true that there is a weight cap for the patch, but I’d give the pill a shot if I were you. I was on Yasmin for a couple of years, and I really liked it. Some folks have side effects of course, but Yasmin is a pretty low dosage compared with some others, so it’s less likely to induce the crazies. I’m not sure about the ring – I’ve heard mixed reviews on that one.

    The reason I’m such a big proponent of the pill is that it’s something that you personally can control on a day to day basis. I have a knee jerk reaction against anything that requires a doctor’s removal or that lasts for long periods of time. Women having control over their own bodies is really important to me. My best friend went on Depo a few years ago, and all I could say was, “Nooooooo!!!”

    Can’t help you out with a doc in your area, as I am in Northern California, but I found my gynecologist by asking other folks where they found theirs. My gyno is fat friendly and very knowledgable, and I found her through my (also fat) co-worker.

    Good luck!

  11. 11 MaryK March 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Delurking to say that although Pasadena is a bit of a schlep from Downtown LA, my ob/gyn is just wonderful: http://www.girlfriendsmedical.com/

  12. 12 Molly March 18, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Um, yeah, the rhythm method is not a very good bet. My mother had four children and an abortion using the rhythm method, and during the three months I worked at an abortion clinic I think I saw more women who had been using the rhythm method than anything except maybe people using no method. The statistic they taught us in training was that a couple in their twenties having regular unprotected sex has an EIGHTY PERCENT CHANCE of having a “gift from God” within a year.

    The nuva-ring is supposed to be very good if you don’t want to take a pill; the shot is more effective but less reversible, and for the love of god get a new doctor.

  13. 13 mrs.millur March 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Depo was the right solution for me- only remembering every three months. The day of the injection was… err… not my most emotionally stable day. It also may have contributed to the delayed arrival of a very much-wanted ‘gift from God’. But the evidence for that is all anecdotal and therefore meaningless.

    I’ve had a lawyer share religious views with me in a professional context, but not a doc. That’s just not right.

  14. 14 Bekbek March 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Be cautious of the patch, they are more likely to give you blood clots/stroke because you absorb a much higher dosage of hormones through your skin than through your digestive tract. Also they don’t stick well, and leave a big weird ring of lint trapped in the edges of the adhesive stuck to your skin. Also, wouldn’t it have been funny to look at her and say “Abortions are a gift from God?!”

  15. 15 Piffle March 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Hormonal contraceptives always made me too moody to live with, so I used a diaphragm it worked fine for me; but then I found when I wanted to get PG that I was nearly infertile. Now I’ve had my tubes tied, and that is *really* my favorite method.

    You might want to look into an IUD too. I’ve never used one, but some friends have told me that they’re really good now.

  16. 16 JeanC March 18, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Ye Ghodz! Our doctor sounds like she’s stuck in a time loop and needs to break out and enter the universe here in the 21st century.

    In regards to the pill thing, the thing to do is have a very established routine, like brush teeth, rinse, take pills. Of course one has to remember to do it every day 😛

    For birth control, you might look at an IUD. I switched to the Miren (5 years with progesterone) and have been very happy with it. It is a pain to have put in (literally, my hubby thought I was going to crush his hand), but one nice side effect is my periods have reduced to nil and I have less problems from the perimenopause. But there are LOTS of wonderful BC options out there, just a matter of researching for the best one for you.

  17. 17 Andrea March 18, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Here’s my natural family planning manual:

    http://www.amazon.com/So-You-Want-Be-Lesbian/dp/0312144237

    It’s so effective!

  18. 18 Susan March 18, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    My friend who weighs over 200lbs has a very sweet child she refers to as her ‘patch baby’. Cheers Susan

  19. 19 Noe March 18, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I’m disappointed you didn’t post the information I previously wrote in support of natural contraception. Email me to discuss if you’re interested in learning more.

  20. 20 Rachel March 18, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    I can only assume the good doctor’s sage advice to skip dinner was in reference to weight and weight loss. Does she not understand how much weight one will gain if one should be saddled with one of these “gifts of God?”

  21. 21 meowser March 18, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Oy. Freaking. Vey. No wonder you were able to get a same-day appointment. And I thought the doctor who told me to put baby lotion on my adolescent acne when I was 14 was a fruit-and-nut bar. Agree with Twistie, this whole place sounds like a malpractice suit waiting to happen.

  22. 22 Joy Nash March 18, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    wow… so much to think about.. I really really appreciate all of your comments and advice. I feel like I’m so late in the game starting this all at 27 🙂 But it’s seriously so nice to get all this info from you all. Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!

    Noe- I think you may have posted your comment under the PSA post?

  23. 23 Noe March 19, 2008 at 2:36 am

    Natural Contraception is along the same lines as HAES/Fat Acceptance. Here’s why.
    To self: Idiot!
    Ok, here’s the post mistakenly posted elsewhere…

    There are actually natural methods (not the rhythm method as that is outdated and risky) that do in fact work. We’re just not told about them because they don’t make the big pharms any money. It may be hard to believe that such a thing exists because we’re told repeatedly by the traditional medical field/media/etc., the same people that tell us our BMI of over 30 makes us obese and therefore unhealthy/unattractive. The Sympto-Thermal ‘Double-Check’ method is not only 98% effective but doesn’t pump the body with synthetic hormones that dramatically increase chances of being infertile well after stopping the pill, along with the many other horrible side-effects like depression, weight gain (if I’m gaining weight, I sure as hell would have liked food to be the cause), lowered libido as well as countless others. Just take a good read to that wee paper that comes with the Pill every month.

    Ok, off soap box now.

    🙂

  24. 24 Shannon March 19, 2008 at 4:55 am

    Yikes! I have no words.

    Count me as another voice in support of the ring. I’ve used pills, and this is much, much easier for me. I’m a responsible person, but with my ever-unpredictable schedule, this makes me far more comfortable. Also, the insurance co-pay for me is like $20, so not unreasonable.

    But the best choice in BC is the one that works for you…and there’s nothing wrong with trying a few until you find out what that is.

  25. 25 Kellie March 19, 2008 at 5:49 am

    I’ll add an enthusiastic vote for the Nuvaring. I haven’t had any serious side effects, and that includes no weight gain, no mood issues, and no forgotten pills. Before that, I went through three different kinds of pills before I found one that I liked. Some people have the horrible side-effects and others don’t notice a change at all. And hormonal control didn’t work well at all for a couple of my friends.

    Birth control depends so much on individual bodies that I recommend finding a doc who will let you try different things for about three months at a time. The Well-Timed Period (http://thewelltimedperiod.blogspot.com/) has a collection of useful, clinical information on birth control.

    I believe that I saw an ad for a cell phone add-on that can do the thermal cycle check. 🙂 I’m sorry that I can’t link it now!

  26. 26 Shinobi March 19, 2008 at 7:15 am

    I’ve been on Yasmin for 2 years now and it has worked really well for me. I actually take it primarily to help with my extreme mood swings, grumpiness, cramps, headaches and other issues related to me being a girl, and it is amazing for that. I was on Ortho-tri for a while and it actually turned me into a bigger bitch, which… is kindof hard to comprehend.

    I also recommend the tried and true, set an alarm on your cell phone method, mine goes off every night at 10 and reminds me to do my thing. I also keep a couple extra pills in a pill box in my purse in case I am not at home when my alarm goes off. (Next to the tylenol.)

    Anyway, re: the nuvaring, I have 2 friends now who have gotten preggars on that. Not statistically viable, but still freaks me out. One ended up with a miscarriage AND an ectopic pregnancy, for the price of one late nuvaring. I don’t know if this is related to the nuvaring, or if it is just her crazy uterus. Anyway, USE AS DIRECTED!

  27. 27 katriona March 19, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Yeah Noe! I was going to say something about the sympto-thermal method yesterday, but you beat me to it.

    It is NOT the same thing as the rhythm method, and it is 98% effective. I am just starting with charting and temperature-taking now, so it will take a couple months before I have it down pat, but really, it’s free (no money for the bigpharma, which I can always get behind) and zero pumping artificial hormones or other questionables into your body.

    It’s not simple, but once you get the hang of it, it just becomes another part of your life. Basically you test and chart cervical mucus as well as basal body temperature to get a more accurate picture of your body’s fertility, and either dont have sex or use barrier methods on your fertile days.

    Of course, if your doctor was recommending the rhythm method…yikes!

  28. 28 Noe March 19, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Katriona! There ARE others like me! Yeah!

    Nope, it isn’t simple but once you’ve learnt the method its totally doable and becomes like brushing your teeth, just a part of daily life.

    The bigpharmas exists only to make cash and dash. The amount of research that goes into medication for women vs. men is nearly nil. I can’t reply on the mainstream medical profession (made of up mostly males) to tell me what’s ok and what isn’t for me since really, they don’t know my kind. The Pill is terribly unsafe, especially in the long-term. I can’t stress this enough.

    Keep the message moving my fellow, Sympto-thermal Methodites!

  29. 29 Eve March 19, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I use the Patch and I weigh over 200 lbs. My nurse practitioner said the difference is negligible. I’m afraid of forgetting to take the Pill and when I was on the Nuvaring it made me hella moody so I quit it. I suppose I’m risking a little with the Patch, but it’s the best method available to me at the moment. I’m looking into getting an IUD since my copay for the Patch has just shot up by $25 a month.

    I know a woman who got pregnant while on the Patch, and she’s quite small, well under the 200 lb. thing. There’s always some chance if you’re having the sex.

  30. 30 Erica!!! March 19, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I’ve been using the sympto-therma method for around 6 months now, I started after taking a visit to planned parenthood and finding out I have a condition called “migraine with aura” which means that if I take hormonal bc then I will get totally fucked up. any way, the doctoe at pph then tried to put me on fuckin NORPLANT. That shit will Kill your ass dead, AND make you infertile. any way, I started charting my temperature and such and the ONE scare I had, because I was lazy one month and didnt take my temp for 5 vitally close to ovulation days, anyway, around the time I thought I should have been menstruating but wasnt, I just had a cup of mugwort tea and started within an hour. I totally agree with you Noe, and I am so glad to hear other people are taking control of their health.

  31. 31 julietjames March 19, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    Holy fuck. That’s just nuts! I mean, did she even ask if you were in a monogamous relationship before telling you you don’t need condoms all the time??? Geesh.

    I would run from the Patch. I’ve heard way too many horror stories about it – and not ones related to weight (though those exist, too). I’ve heard good things about the Nuva Ring though.

    Geesh. I mean, yeah, okay – I know first hand after dealing with infertility for a year that it’s not as easy to get knocked up as they make it sound in high school health class, but still! If you don’t want a baby, don’t take a chance and clearly if you’re asking for birth control you don’t want a baby!!!

    BTW, my own experience with Yasmin was awful. It made my periods spotty and irregular and I had awful mood swings. I was so crazy my husband locked them away when I went back to Ortho Tri Cyclen. LOL. Of course, everyone is different and a lot of women love Yasmin. I just wasn’t one of them. I was borderline Michael Myers on those suckers.

  32. 32 Noe March 19, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    When I first heard about HAES and the FA movement it was pretty similar feeling to the feeling when first hearing about the sympto-therma method.

    “You mean, I have options that don’t make me ill and potentially sterile and gawd-knows-what later on?!?!? Why have been living like this pumping myself with poisonous shit on a daily basis on purpose? All because some dude years back was in cahoots with the pharmaceutical companies to make cash on a new drug that’s smal side effect harms women??”

    “You mean I can not hate myself and actually think of myself as sexy, gorgeous, etc?!?!? Not hate myself because the media is actually full of shit and really is in cahoots with companies to make me think I need something in order to be happy?!?!”

    Exactly the same thing. It’s all part of taking power back. My body, myself. Me. It’s mine to what’s best for it.

  33. 33 Mary March 20, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Scary, scary, scary. How can this person still be in practice giving advice like that?!? And it’s really scary that she’s probably giving the same advice to young girls that don’t know any better.

    I say try the Ring. You only have to think about it twice a month…when you put it in and when you take it out. I too don’t do so well taking pills and didn’t want the panic attack that would likely happen if I happened to remember that I’d forgotten to take one.

    The only negative thing I have to say about Nuvaring is that it did alter my mood slightly. Before I’d become irritable and a little bitchy during PMS, now I just get a little sad. So you might have a slight hormonal, mood shift but that’s still better than missing a pill and having a Gift from God that you weren’t planning for.

  34. 34 Michelle March 21, 2008 at 2:20 am

    OK…is it just me? My doctor told me the pill isn’t effective (like it DOESN’T WORK) if you are over 200 pounds. I wanted to go on to regulate my painful and horrible periods. She told me the only thing that would work is losing weight. HA! Needless to say, I haven’t gone back to her. All this time, I’ve believed her. Anyone else get this info?

  35. 35 Kimocean March 22, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Oh Michelle, that’s totally not true. I’ve been on the pill to regulate my period and it works great and I weigh well over 200.

    I used the Fertility Awareness method for about 2 years with my former partner and we had plenty of the sex with no resulting “Gifts from God.” We were in a place where if it had happened we would have been able to handle it though. I don’t know if I’d feel confident relying on it when I wasn’t in that situation. I actually didn’t mind being on the pill either and I’m with the crew that takes them as they go to bed.

    There are also some little computers that help you do Fertility Awareness that I’ve heard some good things about. http://www.babycompusa.com/

    I’d also recommend looking into the IUD options. I have two friends who absolutely love theirs.

    So sorry you had a bad experience with this crappy doc! Wish I had a doc recommendation for you but my best doctor ever just moved from LA to Texas.

  36. 36 Andrea March 23, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    @michelle, ugh, that sucks. You should maybe send the story of being told that dirty lie to First Do No Harm.

    http://fathealth.wordpress.com/

  37. 37 fatinthefire March 23, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Hey Joy,

    Sounds like everyone else has the BC questions answered and I can’t help with a gyn in LA, BUT, I can suggest a website http://ratemds.com/

    Maybe you can cross-check against your insurance provider list to see what other people have said about prospective doctors before you subject yourself to any further craziness.

    Maybe you can also look up that whackjob you saw and see what her rating is.

    If her medical book was from 1968, does that mean she’s been in practice for 40 freakin’ years? Holy Christ on a Crutch!

  38. 38 Bunny March 24, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Hmmm…

    Can’t help you with the Doc as I like outside of the US, but personally if you have a problem with remembering to take the pill, or worry that you may have, I’d recommend Implanon.

    It’s a little flexible tube, about the size of a hair pin, that is implanted under the skin in your arm, up near the armpit. It lasts for 3 years, and you get a little credit-card sized thing that states the expiry date of the item, and about a month before it expires you go to the doc and get an appointment for a replacement.

    I’m about 2 years into my second implanon and it’s worked great for me.

  39. 39 Sharn March 26, 2008 at 5:54 am

    I’m like 2500 miles from LA so I can’t recommend a doctor, but Planned Parenthood where I live is really knowledgeable and up-to-date, and I’ve only had one bad experience in the 4+ years I’ve been seeing them.

    I got a Mirena IUD about 3 1/2 years ago and it was seriously the best thing I ever did. The insertion didn’t exactly tickle and I felt mildly crampy for a few days after, but I was able to resume my regular routine that same day. It’s got a really low dose of hormones, so it doesn’t turn me into a raging psycho. I’m free to have sex whenever I want with nothing to remember to take or put on or remove, I don’t have to remember to get a prescription refilled or buy more condoms…And it’s good for up to five years, but if I do change my mind before the time’s up, I can have it removed and be able to get pregnant again right away.

    Unfortunately, it did set me back about $500 ($360-ish for the unit itself and and 3 office visits at $40 a pop) since I had no insurance at the time, but since it’s good for 5 years, that works out to about 30 cents a day, which I can definitely afford.

  40. 40 Alicia March 26, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I moved from LA about a year ago, and Pasadena isn’t all that close, but I saw a Dr Marcia Jablon who was pretty damn awesome.

  41. 41 Syna March 31, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    That doctor sounds like she should stick to treating people over the age of 80, at least menopause has come and gone and theres no risk of pregnancy!

    I hope you find an up to date, competent, friendly doc real soon.\

    btw,

    Had my Mirena for 4 months and loving it.

    No periods no cramps (aside from just after insertion) and it’s a hell of a lot more reliable than nothing.

  42. 42 Natalie April 4, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Okay, what is not nice, my dear, is making me laugh when I’m attempting to get over a cold. I nearly hacked up a lung. I had to tell my husband about that, and he thought it was hilarious, too.

    I just love you, girl.

  43. 43 Kdina May 2, 2008 at 7:07 am

    As someone who uses natural family planning; she’s right, there are only about 5 days that you have to worry about. HOWEVER, using natural family planning is far more involved than just using a condom 5 days a month. I take my temperature every day and check cervical mucus. But yeah… hooray for misinformation that can cause life shattering results!

  44. 44 Jan Andrea May 27, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Like Noe and several other previous posters, I have also used NFP/FAM to avoid (and achieve) pregnancy. But yeah, it does only work if you’re in a monogamous, trusting relationship, and there is more to it than just using a condom 5 days a month 🙂 I was on a triphasic pill for years, and couldn’t figure out why I was gaining 10 lbs/year despite eating well and exercising regularly. It also killed my libido (how’s that for birth control?) and made me depressed. When I went off it, I was amazed at the difference in my quality of life, honestly. (And yes, I did try several formulations.)

    Obviously, not everyone reacts this way, and hormonal methods are terrific if they work for you, but you really need to be aware of the potential for side effects.

  45. 45 MaddieT October 6, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    My mother has an old sex encyclopedia from 1963 or 1965 that she let me read in lieu of “the talk.” And she wonders why she was a grandmother when I turned 19!


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