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Question: Continuous BCPs Question: Continuous BCPs

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Unread 11-21-2003, 08:19 AM
Question: Continuous BCPs

I still have both ovaries. I take continuous BCPs which I began when my doc thought I might have ovarian cycts several months ago. When I say continuous BCPs it is truly that. I take an active pill every day .... no breaks at all. No skipping and only one or two pills that I took 8 hrs late.

So, here's my issue: I swear I am now on some shortened 3 week cycle. Every 3 weeks I get mild acne breakouts, moodiness, bloating, pain with intercourse and some pelvic pain. DH calls it my phantom period. Every 6 weeks I have severe pelvic pain for a day, usually starting on the left and migrating across to the right and through my pelvic floor. On the pain scale, it can reach 9-10.

I have trained myself to intercept that with the darvocet at about 7. I used to try and tolerate it and hope it would go away on its own, but it would just get to the point where it would be hard to control. I am not on much darvocet. I might use 3 pills every 6 weeks.

Anyone have a similar experience and what worked for you? I am considering trying to stop taking the BCPs. Unmedicated, my cycles are right at 28 days. But, before the continuous BCPs I was having pain almost daily. I've also put on about 5 pounds .. .my appetite and sugar cravings increase on the BCPs.

Color me confused. Any help, experience wise or perhaps pointing me to good reading material is appreciated.
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Unread 11-21-2003, 09:01 AM
Question: Continuous BCPs

Dear Michelle,

I have been put on continuous BCPs for a possible endo problem (again). I recently stopped because I wanted an idea of whether or not they were helping and how much of my pain was hormonally related.

I found when I was on the BCP continuously that I got to a point where the pain was about 5-6 average and then every 4-5 weeks I would have an increase in pain (7-8) for multiple days with acne etc.... so it seemed that I was having perhaps a minimal cycle. Before the TAH when I tried continous BCPs after the first month I would just start bleeding all the time so it never worked very well for me.

When I stopped the BCPs I had horrendous pain (9) about 36 hours later lasting for a couple days.... but then I was actually better on average (4) for several weeks before the next horrendous pain cycle landed me in bed for a day and a half. I did think this was helpful because it reconciled me to the possibility that there could still be endo and that the BCP was helpful. After this last horrendous pain episode I felt better (4) for about 2 weeks before it increased to a 5-6 yesterday/today.... I think it must be ovulation or something related as I am having left ovary pain.

The Gyn said it can take 6 months before the continous BCPs really limit your cycle. I was on them for about 4 months. I do think they help with the really bad pain episodes. I am going to go back on them. I just really needed to know for myself what was happening because I was skeptical that I could still have endo.... but with the apparent hormonal link endo seems possible to me now.

Keep me posted!

Unread 11-21-2003, 02:29 PM
Question: Continuous BCPs


Thanks for the reply.

The first 3-4 months or so (after the initial week of feeling terrible) the continuous BCPs were great. I felt great and had a terrific summer. Such a blessing. I really thought I'd cleared my last hurdle.

I just wonder if its possible that my body needs a forced cycle to keep from cycling too often. In other words, possibly I should take a week off of the pills every couple of months and force an end of cycle/begining of the next. Kinda like hitting the reset button.

I think my body has adjusted to the BCP as just a higher hormone level (since it is a constant feed) and has decided just to do its own thing .. cycle on its own ... every 3 darned weeks.

I will be setting up an appt with my gyn to discuss these thoughts and will let you know what he says. Perhaps this is just a part of my body responding to the continuous BCPs and this too will pass.

In the meantime, I am going to keep my weekend as stress free as possible.

You take care and keep me posted as well.
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Unread 11-21-2003, 02:43 PM
Question: Continuous BCPs

I start on BCP Continously and felt great for three months, then I started breakthrough bleeding. We tried adding progesterone which only made the bleeding worse, after 3 weeks of that I finished my active pills and my GYN suggested taking a month off, so basically had bleeding for 6 weeks straight. I decided not to go back on them since I'm scheduling my hyst for Jan and figure why bother, although my last regular period was a killer. I never really had alot of pain between cycles but now that has started which only tells me that my adeno is getting worse.

Sorry you have to deal with all that pain. At least you are trying different things and getting some relief but it still sounds uncomfortable.

Good luck
Unread 11-21-2003, 03:18 PM
Question: Continuous BCPs


I do think that your body can only sustain everything so long with the BCPs.... I know before the TAH that after the first month I would have alot of breakthrough bleeding.... so if you have endo I think that your endo could start bleeding more frequently and thus cause more frequent pain flare-ups. I was amazed that when I stopped (and after I got past the really bad pain) that I actually felt better on average for several weeks than I had while I was on the BCP.

I think I will ask my Gyn what he thinks of maybe doing 6-9 weeks of pills and then taking a week off to reset everything....

Let me know what your Gyn says about our "theories"

Unread 11-21-2003, 06:49 PM
Question: Continuous BCPs

Michelle, I read your post and I could swear that that could be me writing the post. I am on BCP's continuely also. This is my 4th month doing so. My Dr. also suspected endo coming back or just having heavy ovulation every 3 weeks too. I would get intense pain for 1 day every 2-3 weeks and then just back to normal. Strange. Let me know how you feel and how you progress. I can't believe we have the exact same story. When was your Hyst? Why? Thanks in advance. LORI
Unread 11-22-2003, 09:08 AM
Oh how I can relate to this post!


I was put on continuous BCPs at 9 weeks post-op due to cysts on my remaining ovary. The first few months it was great, then slowly the PMS/cycle issues started coming back.....every 3 weeks instead of 4. I was MISERABLE and w/o insurance so, I stopped taking them the beginning of June. I wrote my GYN a letter explaining what was going on and asking for some words of wisdom/ other options. I never heard a word from her!

Fast forward to now.....I STILL have the PMS/cycle issues but they are coming every 4- 41/2 weeks instead of every 3. I've also got some other things going on (re: Still on the Road and Frustrated) and know I need to go back to the GYN. Do let us know what your GYN says and I hope you are able to get it all straightened out. We should not have to endure this kind of misery.
Unread 11-28-2003, 11:06 AM

Thanks for the support, sisters!!!!!

It took me a few days to back and check for posts. Its been a little hectic.

I was pretty certain about the 3 week thing, but still had enough doubt to not be 100% sure I wanted to present this to my doc. I feel much better after reading your posts.

I am going to wait the current 3 weeker out and then see my gyn. If I schedule a lap it will be for the next expected 6 week most painful time, so that everything in there will be nice and inflamed for him to get a good look at and hopefully cut the problem stuff out, while leaving my ovaries in tact.

Anyway, I'll talk to my gyn, probably during the week before Christmas. I'll post again after that or PM you.

s to you all!
Unread 12-09-2003, 09:07 AM

I promised an update after I spoke with my Doc's office. So, here it is.

Last week, I had a bad bout with depression. Actually my mood has been off for several weeks now according to my DS. Yesterday she told me that she has been really worried about me and wondered what the problem was.

Anyway, I stopped the yasmin after Tuesday night last week. It was the only thing I could think to do. There was nothing going on beyond my normal coping abilities and I felt desperate. I do feel more like me now (emotionally speaking).

So, I called my doc's nurse yesterday to let them know and find out what to do from here and apparently my doc thinks I did the right thing. His instructions are to stay off of it for awhile and see how it goes. I am supposed to call back if I feel worse.

Today is fairly rough. My pelvis is really cranky. The good news is that I do have some darvocet left if it comes to that.

Anyway, thanks for listening and for the great support.

s to you all!
Unread 12-16-2003, 09:39 AM
Question: Continuous BCPs

I hope that you are feeling okay now that you are off the BCPs. Did you happen to see Dr. Phil the other day -- the one about hormonal imbalances? They had some "expert" doc on their that said BCPs is definately the WRONG choice when it comes to PMS. She mentioned that estrogen dominance was responsible for many hormonal symptoms and could be relieved with natural progestin suppositories. Just a thought.

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