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December 01, 2007



The Mirena IUD? Or another form of IUD? I don't have any personal experience with them, but I have a number of friends who have them and love them. Their periods have basically stopped, and it's my (very limited) understanding that upon removal, your "back to normal" fertility is similar to going off the pill, or quicker. And once placed (during Dr. office visit), it's good for five years or until you have it removed.

Don't know about the fat/zit side effects.

Sorry you're dealing with the awful periods of doom. Ick.

The Domestic Goddess

I also use the Diva CUp (and sometimes Instead, when I am on vacation and such). As for the Contraceptives, I take Loestrin. I barely get a period. I went from AWFUL, PUKING, PAINFUL, HEAVY, ANEMIC periods to scant, barely noticeable and a back twinge here and there.

Now, I only pay $5 a month copay for it, but it costs about $20 a month. If cost is an issue then going to (dare I say it) PP is a suggestion. I got it there in college VERY CHEAPLY because they have a sliding fee scale so I paid a few dollars.

Yes, remembering is a pain. I put it next to my other meds so I never forget it (unless I have the flu, forgot once). I hate the fact that I have to take it, but two months after beginning it I felt like a NEW WOMAN!


I can't sing the praises of the Mirena IUD highly enough. I've had one 6 months, and no period, just some light spotting every once in awhile. The copper IUD is different; it makes periods more painful & heavier. Stay away from that one.

One last note in the spirit of full disclosure: I called my family doctor & asked her if she had ever placed one, and if she could do it for me. She said yes, she had placed IUDs before. When she inserted it, she had a little trouble. I passed out, the IUD popped out, and I poohed. [Hello internet friends!] A few months & one pregnancy scare later, I was willing to try again. This time I called my OB/GYN and got her to do it. I was a much, much different experience. I barely felt it, and after a couple of motrin, I was pain free. So my advice is go to somewhere that they do this every day, not once a year or so. I started out by calling Planned Parenthood, because I figured that they're probably the real experts at this, but it would have been much more expensive to go there than to go to my regular doctor.

Hmmm... speaking of TMI ...


I reeeeeeaaalllllly would be wary of the mirena IUD, since it gives you all the fun of a regular IUD, plus all the joys of hormonal birth control. Feh.

Honestly, you may have to prioritize from among your list up there... for instance, as a fellow PCOS-er, I can tell you that a high-estrogen BCP will solve a lot of your Menstrual Misery, but it may make you gain a bit of weight. A high-progesterone pill will possibly make you psychotically nasty, however, so... pick your poison.

I don't know. I'm in the same boat with you where another pregnancy would really suck for me... unlike EVERY OTHER WOMAN on the the planet, my MS actually gets WORSE when I'm pregnant. Go figure.

If you find some nice birth control, then, please tell me. Seriously. I'll send you a thank-you note.


This is a link to a message board for women using something called Centchroman. It apparently isn't the most effective form of birth control, but it's non steroidal and women report having much longer cycles. I personally just started taking it, I am in my 5th week with it. I have yet to start my period, which is nice since I usually have 20-25 day cycles. There have been a few side affects that I haven't liked, but there is a 3 month adjustment period while you take 2 a week to build it up in your system; then everything is supposed to even out by the time you start taking them once a week. I've had some tenderness in my lower belly and excessive discharge. On the plus side, I've had less brain fog (which I attribute to excess estrogen in my system due to being overweight).
It is widely used in India but it's not FDA approved here in the US. It costs 80 cents for a package of 8 (which will last 2 months after the initial dosing), but the shipping from India is over 20$; you could always get a years worth. MyrtleWarbler on the board is a biologist and has lots of info about it and the supplier website has a doctor that answers questions about drug interactions and other issues.
I've been on birth control pills and felt really awful on them. I've also had the copper IUD, which was very wrong for me. I'm not really sure if Centchroman is the answer for me yet either, but I thought I'd through it out there since it isn't very widely known about here in the US.
I wonder if your awful periods mean that you might be having a reoccurrence of your PCOS?


My best guess was also the Mirena IUD. I don't know a lot about the specifics other than it is supposed to greatly reduce (or eliminate) periods and have few side effects.


So with you on the vagina needing a little breathing space once a day.

How about Seasonale? It's a birth control pill with all the same BCP side effects as any hormonal treatment, but it only makes you have 4 periods per year.


My ex the OB/Gyn said that in med school all the women just used ordinary BC pills to skip periods. It shoul dwork with whatever you can get cheap through PP or wherever.

You just skip the week of sugar pills and go right on to the next month's round of real pills and you skip your period too.

There's no medical reason to have a period though there may be more than one not to take hormones so I can't advise on all the other issues on your list. But apparently it doesn't take any special pill to skip a period.


Personally, I LOVED the Mirena. I don't know how well it would work with PCOS (if you had to have a laproscopic surgery, I'd definitely check with a doc to see whether an IUD is an option at all.) However, only 1/3 of women totally lose their periods, according to their literature. I was one, and loved it, though. Lastly, it's PRICEY - mine wasn't covered, and was ~$500 including the insertion.

Other than that, I've had a doctor friend who swears by the NuvaRing - you insert it once a month, and you can avoid having periods with it by just always keeping one in. She really liked the localization of the hormones, which was a plus for me with the Mirena. I'm not sure what price would be on that.

Lastly, I've known friends who had BC prescribed for their menstrual symptoms under a non-contraceptive code, because that wasn't the main reason for the Rx. If you have a sympathetic doctor, you might inquire as to whether that would help with the insurance issues.


Since I am an OB/GYN, I had to delurk for this. Your readers are so smart! I agree that it sounds like the Mirena IUD would be the best choice for you. Estrogen containing birth control pills are probably not the best choice due to your issues with hypertension and renal dysfunction. Plus, they are associated with increased risk of clots, strokes, heart attacks. I hate depoprovera, as it can cause reversible osteoporosis and extremely irregular bleeding. Progestin-only birth control pills would be another good option for you, but they would not help very much with the bleeding.

There are risks, albeit small, associated with the Mirena IUD, so you would need discuss it with your GYN. I use Mirena a lot solely for dysfunctional uterine bleeding. The first 3 months can be slightly worse, but most of my patients are VERY happy with it. The amennorheic rate is near 80% after 2 years of use! And, it can help decrease the risk of endometrial cancer that is associated with PCOS. Though the cost maybe more up front, the Mirena ends up being a savings over 5 years of use as compared with oral contraceptives.

Hope this helps. And I am so happy to hear that you've recovered from the eye injury!


You go to all the trouble of buying organic foods and then want to seriously screw with your system and stop a natural body process? I just can't help but think that birth control can't be all that good for your system. Since pregnancy isn't the pressing issue you should try some herbal stuff, or maybe it's related to the stress you've been under recently? Was that year-long period during your really horrible year where your mom was sick, etc? Maybe your body is trying to tell you something by this.


I am a huge, huge fan of depo provera. It cost me half as much as the Pill and it stopped my periods. I was on five years and when I went off I started having the beautiful 28 day cycle that I never had before. It also has the benefit of only having progesterone so you aren't pumping up on the estrogen.

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