Friday, May 4, 2012

I thought it was just me...

She told me I was making a very adult decision by sticking with birth control pills after she had pointed out that it was 99% safe. She wasn’t concerned about any side effects – as the worst thing that could happen to me was that 1% chance of getting pregnant. I trusted her, I trusted my OBYGYN. 

I had been taking different types of birth control pills for four years up until that point. But since nothing had really worked for me as I was having heavy bleedings in-between periods on every pill I had tried I was told that Yasmin was the new and great pill. I was told it was so good and safe that I had to go with it. There were really no other options left for me in the way my gynecologist was speaking to me. You would have thought that she could have recommended me to use any of the non-hormonal options that are available but that was not even discussed. At that point however, I did feel hopeful; a new and improved pill... 

That new and improved pill, Yasmin, soon became the one and only reason I visited doctors with all sort of specialties, only I didn’t realize it. I did not understand that it was all linked to the pill, how could I when it had nothing to do with my cycles or uterus?!  My bleedings had become a little bit better so in my mind this new and wonderful pill was truly much better than the rest! And no doctor even raised an eye brow when I told them I was on Yasmin either so it never even occurred to me. 

Unfortunately the real truth was that I had started to have heart palpitations, insomnia, my hair was falling out, I developed allergies, was having headaches more often than not, and became extremely depressed and sensitive. But at the same time I was also very busy with college and I blamed it all on school. I used to lay awake all night listening to my heart beat and was so afraid of falling asleep in case I would not wake up. When the morning came I used to open my dorm room door wide open and fall asleep so that in case I didn’t wake up, someone would find me.  

Every time I went for an EKG my heart beat was ok, go figure, so instead of being a patient that needed help I soon became a hypochondriac in the eyes of the doctors and my complaints were ignored. I never knew what to do about my insomnia besides for let myself fall asleep whenever I could, which wasn’t long or often but it was the best I could do. The depression and sensitiveness grew on me and I didn’t realize it – I thought it was just the new, more adult, and mature me. 

Then the bleeding came back full force. I was bleeding more than I wasn’t in every cycle. Having a relationship was hard and embarrassing for me as I felt extremely dirty all the time. I went back to my gynecologist who sent me to a specialist and after doing the examination he found nothing wrong with me but prescribed me two different antibiotics just in case and before leaving the room the specialist looked at me and said: “your bleeding are probably caused by you being depressed, go and do something fun”. 

I felt so worthless after that point and was embarrassed of being me. I started to shut down. I would not tell anyone how I was feeling even though more and more symptoms grew on me. But still I had no idea that it was related to Yasmin, in my mind it was all just me; something that was pretty much verified by the doctors I had been seeing… So I kept taking Yasmin for another five years and became a person that was more or less a shell of the old me... 

~ Helena, Sweden
Used Synthetic hormones for 11 years, 6 years on Yasmin
Hormone free since October 2009 :)

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  1. Anonymous5/06/2012

    you have just described my experience on yasmin almost exactly- six years after I first started it, I am still crippled with insomnia and anxiety. Two months ago I took my last pill. As yet, I see little improvement, but the side effects of quitting are probably masking any progress so far. I just hope that things will look up as I get my own body working for itself again. Thanks to blogs like this and the yaz survivors forum, I feel I can hope for a better future.

    1. Yes, getting off them is a struggle you never thought was possible. I probably felt worse my first 3 months off then the worst months on Yasmin. I am glad you are a strong fighter!! Keep it up - there is a light at the end of the tunnel. xo

  2. Anonymous5/07/2012

    Thank you so much (for your reply, but mostly for broadcasting this vital information to women across the world). There clearly needs to be more research into the side effects of the bcp so that doctors have the necessary info and evidence, instead of just brushing off young women who are ill and desperate for answers. In addition to the above, I also developed thyroid problems,thinning hair, increased allergies and skin problems. As yet, no medical professional has ever mentioned any link to bcp- not surprising apparently. The 3 month mark is my milestone- just counting down the days til I feel like myself again. Thanks again and good luck to all the other 'survivors' out there x

    1. I agree with you! It is a very unaware audience we are talking to. Both professionals and women them selves.

      Blood clots seems to be what most women are afraid of getting... but forget that the other more common side effects are horrible as well when you have them for a longer time. They completely change who you are.

      I actually just recently heard a woman say that her daughter should stay on it so her blood don't get so thin as she was suffering from getting bruised easily... Now that is a good reason if any to take BCP.. HORRIBLE!