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Does Birth Control Help Symptoms Overall??


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Hi Again!!

Sorry for all the questions!! Being new to this I just get so overwhelmed sometimes with what can help and what can make everything worse.....in regards to birth control? Does anyone find it helps with their POTS symptoms? I am 37 and had a partial hysterectomy a couple years ago and am pretty sure some of my symptoms may be aggravated by hormone imbalance. So even though I dont need to be on birth control I am wondering if would help to balance things out and in turn settle down some of the POTS symptoms?? I would love to hear some advice...

Bren

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I was on BC pills for many years. I really felt it helped the ups and downs of POTS. I always got more symptomatic right before and during my period and that went away when I was on the pill. I used to take them without the 7 day break to avoid menstrual migraines.

Now I am in menopause and it is GREAT.

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I'm also very curious to hear everyone's opinion and experience with birth control/hormones because I think that has a lot of influence in my personal crappy feelings. I get so much worse at certain times of the month, it's miserable.

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I am too thinking about starting a bc because I have horrible POTS symptoms the week before my period.

I was on YAZ right when I was diagnosed. I started it before POTS hit, but I also noticed it gave me panic attacks. Looking back it was most likely adrenaline surges. It stopped when I went off it. Problem is that you wont know until around 3 months how it will effect you. It takes awhile for your hormones to adjust to the pill, so your POTS could flair for a bit and then settle back down.

I have the pill that is only 4 periods a year, but I am thinking about just skipping through the bleeding!

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I am too thinking about starting a bc because I have horrible POTS symptoms the week before my period.

I was on YAZ right when I was diagnosed. I started it before POTS hit, but I also noticed it gave me panic attacks. Looking back it was most likely adrenaline surges. It stopped when I went off it. Problem is that you wont know until around 3 months how it will effect you. It takes awhile for your hormones to adjust to the pill, so your POTS could flair for a bit and then settle back down.

I have the pill that is only 4 periods a year, but I am thinking about just skipping through the bleeding!

Interesting that you mention YAZ. I believe it's what caused my POTS. I started having symptoms exactly a month after I quit.

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Be very careful of YAZ....I know 2 people personally who have suffered small strokes/hemorrages in their brain/eyes when they were on this drug for birth control. They were otherwise healthy women with no other issues.

The Docs immediately took them off the Med and instructed them not to take it ever again. JUST FYI....

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  • 2 weeks later...

I took yaz for almost 3 years. I didn't think I had any side effects with it, but I ended up quitting taking it when I was having nonstop adrenaline surges that lasted months. I realized that my symptoms have gotten worse really fast over the last 3 years since I started Yaz. I'm still not sure if it caused my problems or not. Yaz helped a lot with my pms symptoms though and now that I am off it, my periods are miserable and keep getting worse. They are super irregular (they were before I started Yaz too and were even irregular on yaz) and I have horrible depression, very heavy bleeding, mood swings, nausea, and increase in heart rate and POTS symptoms during my period. It's weird though because before my period is supposed to start (3 weeks after my last period started), I always feel really great and have a HUGE appetite (I don't eat much usually). But then when my period is "supposed" to start I start getting pms symptoms which last until my period actually does start (which can be a few days to a few months!). I almost want to go back on a birth control pill to control my symptoms, but am scared to because I think it might have been causing my POTS to get worse in the long run. Also, autoimmune disease runs in my family and almost all of my family members who've tried bc have had really bad reactions to it. (My sister developed Crohn's right after starting a bc and others have had arthritis like symptoms). Sorry this is so long! I'm just frustrated because I'm not sure what to do. :(

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I have migraines, so I can't take regular birth control pills. I have PMDD, so I have to be on some type of birth control. My doctor said the Depo shot would be best for me (I love it! No periods!). I haven't noticed any difference in my symptoms, except the gradual worsening which has been going on since before I started it.

I used to take birth control pills (ortho tricyclin lo) before I started getting migraines, but at that time I hadn't really developed many symptoms so I didn't notice any big improvement since there wasn't much to improve. It did not make my symptoms worse.

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I definitely feel worse when I am not on birth control. I was on Depo Provera for years. We did not know I had POTS and my doc asked me to take a break from it for a year just because I had been on it for so long. When I went off it, I was ok for a few months as it took about 4 months to begin to menstruate again. Then, it I had a few normal months, but then I got really bad. When I spoke to my GYN, he suggested I go back on the Nuvaring. I can't take oral birth control because it makes my GI symptoms worse (we've tried several brands). Since I'm 36, he wanted me on something that had a little estrogen to help prevent osteoporosis (Depo Provero is all progesterone, no estrogen). He wrote the prescription so I use the Nuvaring consistently without skipping a week so I do not get a period. It stops the hormonal fluctuation as well as the blood loss and I can definitely tell a difference. I was so extra sick the week I had my period. If the doctor writes the prescription that it is medically necessary to use it continualy, you should be able to get it covered correctly with insurance.

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Do you notice a cyclical nature to your symptoms? Estrogen and progesterone can have different effects on the brain, and when they're out of whack, can cause problems. For ME, my symptoms are related to my hormones; when I track them, I always keep in mind the time of month because my symptoms/problems differ across the month.

FWIW, just as an example, I went onto the progesterone-only pill (based on internet reading and groups, not, er, doctors) because I had seizures that were at the end of my cycle, when progesterone drops before estrogen (so, leaving an excitatory state of the brain, in theory). The pills helped and I stayed on them, with the doc's blessings, until I moved and a new doc demanded I go off them....and lo and behold, started having problems again. (I also had low progesterone when pregnant and had to take progesterone supplements, so this makes sense even in my Big Picture)

Otoh, a cardio recently suggested I go on antidepressants in order to reduce my responsiveness to stressors. I know others here have mentioned it, too, and can explain the theory behind the idea much better. But if I am not as reactive to stressors, I won't have the adrenaline swings, etc, and will stay more even keeled physiologically. I keep thinking about it, but am scared, frankly. It sounds like there is no magic pill that everyone on this site can go on without some people (for whatever reason) having a really bad reaction to it. And, like you probably, I just don't want to Get Worse!

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This may be of interest to folk here whom also have Ehlers Danlos syndrome:

"It has been known that there is a hormonal influence on joint laxity. The female hormones affect the ligaments at the cellular level altering the production of collagen and the cells that support it [Magnusson, 2007; Hansen, 2008]. Females generally are more lax than men which in part is due to the shape and form of the female body, musculature and types of activities in addition to the hormonal influence. Some observe that their joints seem "looser" or more unstable just before their menstrual flow (periods) [Child, 1989; Friden, 2006]. Research looking into whether or not this monthly "looseness" makes the person more prone to injury at the same time has been contradictory. [Griffen, 2000]

While both female hormones affect collagen, it is more likely that progesterone and its analogues (similar chemical hormones) increase ligamentous laxity. Medroxyprogesterone, the type of progesterone commonly found in DepoProvera, is a "true" progesterone and can increase joint hypermobility. Similar progesterone's made from testosterone (the male hormone), such as norethindrone or norgesterol, are thought to have less effect on ligaments. If one takes an oral contraceptive pill, choosing the combination with either norethindrone or norgesterol may have less influence on joint laxity."

Resources: "Hormonal Aspects of Hypermobility," by Professor Howard Bird, from the Hypermobility Association, www.hypermobility.org

--Dr. Brad Tinkle, from Joint Hypermobility Handbook: A Guide for the Issues & Management of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Syndrome´╗┐

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