this is the cheapest bcp i can find, we have no prescription card. is this med save for her?
Dear Concerned Mom,
I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's challenges. I sympathize with her as I was put on birth control at 17 by my gynecologist for the same symptoms your daughter has, plus I had severe dizziness, fatigue, bloating, nausea, sweats, trouble concentrating and standing up, plus an insane appetite! My doctor prescribed me Ortho Tri-Cyclen birth control, but it made things worse for me. He took me off it after about 3 months due to the side effects of vomiting, dizziness, and depression. I continued to suffer from these conditions every month for years without taking any medications or birth control, because the doctors couldn't figure out any reasons for my monthly sickness other than I had high estrogen.
Years later when I was 26, I went to a free clinic (when I no longer had health care) to try and receive help for my terrible period. I told the doctor about my birth control experience when I was 17 and let her know I may have high estrogen. The doctor then recommended I take a birth control called Aviane. Shortly after I started it I had serious side effects (loss of vision in my right eye, extreme vertigo, nausea, fatigue, and the heavy bleeding continued). I researched Aviane and found out it was too high in estrogen for me! I reported my conditions to the clinic, immediately saw a doctor at Planned Parenthood and found out it was dangerous for me to take!
Birth control is not for everyone, and in my case, it was prescribed to me a bit carelessly. I now live medication-free and use diet, exercise, and a few additional lifestyle changes as the main way to reduce my heavy period, as well as the cramps. For the last 2 years I have made these changes, and they have truly given me my life back!
1. I stopped using tampons and I switched to a menstrual cup called "Instead". It has significantly reduced my period flow by a day and a half, not to mention alleviated most of the cramps! They are safe and can be worn up to 12 hours. They are disposable, but many women re-use them by washing them with a non-fragrance soap and warm/hot water. There are a few different types of menstrual cups on the market (Diva Cup is very popular also), so if you're daughter is interested, she could try a few out and see what works best for her! They have been a miracle for me, as nothing is worse than having to leave in the middle of class to change your tampon every 1.5 hours!
2. I discontinued eating soy products (which are known to be estrogen-boosting). Soy is found in pretty much every processed food item, so having a keen eye is much needed. It may seem frustrating at first to read all the labels, but after some practice you will learn by heart which products to avoid and which ones are safe.
3. I avoid dairy, sugar, and salt a week before my period. I also never drink caffeine. These will help reduce cramps and bloating significantly.
4. I re-introduced red meat into my life at least 1-2 times a month. I usually have it around the time I am PSM'ing (12-15 days before my period starts, eek!), and just before my period as it seems to help balance my iron level. But of course, this is personal preference. ;)
5. I downloaded the iPhone application called iPeriod! It keeps track of my cycles, symptoms, moods, flow, and lets me know when my next period is due! This is such a huge help and relief, and has helped educate me on just exactly what I'm going through every month. It's really given me knowledge about my body and the feelings and emotions I go through. I don't feel like a crazy person anymore, and now when my boyfriend asks me why I'm so moody, I can say "my hormone levels are dropping this week. No worries, I'll be feeling better soon hun, I just need some alone time." :)
6. Yoga is amazing for reducing periods and PMS symptoms! It is found in almost every city, and community classes can be very inexpensive!
7. I drink Dong Quai & Red Date tea during the time when I don't have my period. This really seems to help regulate my hormones and reduce my symptoms during my period. This is easy to find in any Chinese or Asian market, as well as online and the instant kind with honey tastes very yummy. :)
This is all I can think of right now... I hope this helps!
I understand what it's like to not have health care and need help, but if you're daughter is interested in knowing more about herself and making educated decisions in her life, I would recommend she try making some dietary and exercise changes first and see if that helps her! Plus, she will be saving a lot more money a month, since the pill can be costly without a free clinic or health insurance provider.
My best wishes to your daughter!
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