Pmdd And Birth Control, And What To Do When It Just Doesn't Work.

I've had nasty, painful, debilitating periods ever since my first one at age 14, which actually caused me to faint at school. But the pain is nothing compared to the mental anguish I've suffered through from the PMS.

I turned into a different person when I got my period. For the 7-10 days before I got my period and through the duration of my period, I was a bitter, unstable, mean, and coldhearted b****. I could barely keep my relationships together, and I had suicidal thoughts and absolutely no hope for the future.

For most women with PMS, birth control is the answer. At 16, I was finally put on ortho-tri-cyclen lo, which helped some, but still wasn't enough to take care of the symptoms. It also isn't approved to prevent pregnancy. After about three months on that one, I was put on to lo-estrin 24 by my doctor, a stronger and more effective birth control. WORST. PILL. EVER. I can't even believe they give that stuff to women. It's chock full of androgens, which are basically male hormones that all women have small amounts of. It made me angry and my face erupted in acne and my hair fell out. I also had too much breakthrough bleeding.

And then Yaz came into my life. I saw the commercial for it, and at my next gyno visit, asked to be switched to it to control my PMDD. The first few months were hell while I adjusted to it, but no worse than what I would go through without the pill, just different. Then, FINALLY, I turned into a normal human being that wasn't controlled by my hormones. After about 8 months on Yaz, the only way I knew I was getting my period was because I needed to wear a tampon. The PMDD was literally non-existant. My moods didn't change. I didn't have pain. And I was all around mellow and friendly and stable 24/7, more than I had been in my non-PMDD states before the pills. Yaz was my miracle drug. Unfortunately, three years later, I was forcibly taken off the pill because of the health risks. I literally begged my doctor to prescribe it to me, but he said that they'd soon pull it from the market and that under the hippocratic oath he couldn't write me a script for a drug that was killing women by causing blood clots. Although yaz made me feel great, and cleared up my complexion, it actually did permanent harm to my body. I am very deficient in B vitamins, which Yaz depletes the body of, including folic acid, which caused women who did get pregnant while on the pill to give birth to babies with severe birth defects. I was tired all the time.

The new pill I was prescribed was Lo-Loestrin, which I should have turned down immediately but couldnt even get my thoughts together because I was so upset about not being able to stay on Yaz. The doctor chose that pill because it gives you two extra days of estrogen during your period to try to help with symptoms. It didn't matter, because it turned me into a psychob**** for the entire three months I was on it. About 30% of my hair dropped out. My face looked like a pizza. I almost broke up with my beloved boyfriend. I was a different person. I called a different, FEMALE, gynecologist in tears one day because my boyfriend told me that if I didn't change, he couldn't stay. She immediately prescribed me Ortho-Cyclen, which would help cancel out the androgen activity of the previous Lo-Loestrin, and vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps maintain mental regularity and really improved my moods. I felt better. However, after 5 months on the Ortho, I still wasn't at the level I was on Yaz, and my face was AWFUL. As in THE WORST acne I've ever had, and I'm 20 1/2.

A different gynecologist then prescribed me Kariva, the generic for Mircette (which is on backorder... otherwise I'd go with the brand name because I think the TEVA pharmaceutical generics are not good quality and may be causing some of my acne). Kariva (desogestrel) is the lowest birth control on the androgen activity scale, meaning it is anti-androgenic in nature and will help eliminate those still active in my body. It has a 7 day period, but honestly... I'm shortening it to five. The period block has two completely inactive pills followed by 5 estrogen-only pills. I skip the inactives and take the 5 days of estrogen only before starting the new pack, so that my estrogen levels are always the same. I've only been on it for two months, but Kariva is helping a little bit with the moods. My hair is growing back in well. My acne is still bad though.. but I'm looking at Yaz as the culprit for changing the vitamin balance in my body.

I've decided that unless this starts to have really serious side effects, I will not change birth controls again. Changing birth controls is damaging to your body and your fertility. I remember how good I felt in my last year of being on Yaz because my body was so used to the hormone. I want to get back to that. To help, I've started a vitamin regimen for hormone regulation and stability and hormonal acne problems that I've put together from reading through countless hours of personal experiences and medical information online.

Each day, I take:

1200mcg folic acid twice a day (2.4mg total). Folic acid can help regulate hormone levels in the body and is very beneficial to women's reproductive health. In the few days before my period until the end of it, I'll raise the dose to ~3mg per day.
200mg B6 as prescribed by my doctor (100mg x 2 doses).
400mg magnesium malate (the best form for max absorption) twice a day, without food, morning and night. Magnesium elevates my mood and helps with anxiety.
2g B5 (megadose) for acne. Several doctors have written research reports on B5 megadosing for stubborn and hormonal acne. This is literally the ONLY thing that has helped me so far, including topical medications. I didn't take it for two days in a row last week because I was moving in to school, and I woke up the next day with a cystic blemish. I took my megadose of b5 and woke up the next day with it practically gone. Oil production on my face has basically ceased. I also have much more energy.
Acetyl L-Carnitine, 500mg/1xday with the B5. They have a synergistic effect and the ALC makes the B5 more effective.

As a side note, you can't overdose on B vitamins, as they are water soluble.

I've been doing this for about three weeks. I get my period in the next few days and I'm not PMSing at all currently. I'll really be able to tell how steady my hormones are by how much acne I get during my period, which is usually a ton. I'll try to update this after my period!

Hang in there, ladies, and don't always trust your doctor to know what's best for you. PMS/PMDD is such a fickle disease... everyone is different. However, don't let a doctor talk you into "trial and error" on birth control being your only option unless you want to risk years being miserable.
costanteeny costanteeny
18-21, F
1 Response Sep 8, 2012

yaz isnt off the market ive been on the pill since i was about 13, i got my first period when i was twelve, im severly anemic and im forever fainting, collapsing and getting really dizzy but this may also be because i have problems with keeping my blood sugar levels up, the first few years i was put on loads of different ones for three month trials then i was put on yaz not sure how long ago exactly but im still taking it so it is still available