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I started Seasonique (same thing as Seasonale - the birth control pill that you take continuously for 3 months so you only have 4 periods a year) on May 6... 4 days after starting my last real period. I stopped bleeding the next day. 10 days later, I started "spotting" and haven't stopped since (except for maybe 2 or 3 non-consecutive days). On several days (at least 5-7), the spotting was on the heavy side. But even on the light days I need at least a pantyliner (and often that's not enough).

So I'm now almost two weeks into the second pack of pills (6 weeks total). According to the PI sheet, 29% of women in the clinical trials experienced 20 or more days of spotting during the first 90 day cycle. It went down to 16% during the second 90 days, and then 10% during the third and fourth 90 day cycles.

I guess I should at least stick with it for the first full cycle (another 6 weeks), but if I'm already at 30 days halfway through the first 90 day cycle, I can't help but wonder what the odds are that I'm not going to end up in that 10% group six months from now.

I had pretty much the same problem when taking Yasmin 3-4 years ago, but I think I only stayed on it for two months. Does anyone take this (I think they call it "Yaz" now) for three months consecutively (no placebo week)?

BTW... the main reason I went on it was to regulate PMDD and menstrual migraines and it seems to be helping (but hasn't completely cured - especially the latter) in that regard. Otherwise, I'd be off this stuff for sure!

Any thoughts/experiences/ideas?

Edited to change topic title.

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I take Levora continuously and I've had that problem for awhile (although I'm not quite to 90 days yet). I just wear black underwear and pretend it isn't happening. I've sort of accepted it as a fine alternative to PMDD symptoms, and hope it stops one day. Eventually, I'll haul my ass back to Planned Parenthood and ask them about it, although I'm reluctant to change pills since my PMDD was so debilitating. I'm just glad it's gone.

When I took Zovia (continuously) I didn't have the, erm, problem. But Zovia (it has more hormones) made me lose my sex drive. So I've chosen my battles.

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seasonale fucked up my skin. i miss yasmin, it was perfect for skin.

This is interesting because my acne problem (which had been under control for a few years, but had started coming back) got worse since starting it, too (I just went on antibiotics for it, actually), which surprised me because I thought BCPs were supposed to help. I read tonight while doing research on BCPs that Yaz/Yasmin is now FDA approved to treat acne (as well as PMDD). I'm definitely going to ask my OB/GYN about switching, but only if I can take it continuously for at least three months. I'm not convinced it will help with the spotting, though. Why'd you quit the Yasmin?

I take Levora continuously and I've had that problem for awhile (although I'm not quite to 90 days yet). I just wear black underwear and pretend it isn't happening. I've sort of accepted it as a fine alternative to PMDD symptoms, and hope it stops one day.
While it's helped with the PMDD a great deal, I'm still debating if it's worth it. While neither my b/f or I are completely averse to having sex through all this, it certainly isn't ideal. I also researched Levora this evening, but it's the same active ingredients as Seasonique/Seasonale (albeit at very slightly different doses), so I doubt switching would change anything. I could probably get away with the black panties thing on most days, but then there's that occasional and unpredictable heavy day.

When I took Zovia (continuously) I didn't have the, erm, problem. But Zovia (it has more hormones) made me lose my sex drive. So I've chosen my battles.
I've noticed a definite dip in my sex drive since starting this stuff. On the other hand, in addition to noticeably helping with the PMDD, it's reduced the frequency and severity of my migraines (but not eliminated them). So I'm REALLY struggling with the decision to stay on it.

Arghf.

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seasonale fucked up my skin. i miss yasmin, it was perfect for skin.

This is interesting because my acne problem (which had been under control for a few years, but had started coming back) got worse since starting it, too (I just went on antibiotics for it, actually), which surprised me because I thought BCPs were supposed to help. I read tonight while doing research on BCPs that Yaz/Yasmin is now FDA approved to treat acne (as well as PMDD). I'm definitely going to ask my OB/GYN about switching, but only if I can take it continuously for at least three months. I'm not convinced it will help with the spotting, though. Why'd you quit the Yasmin?

i quit yasmin b/c i get menstrual migranes and my insurance won't pay for stacking and also my dr. thinks it's dubious b/c it was just my internist not a gyno (i need a new gyno) but for some reason he was ok with seasonale.

i'm going to call tomorrow to ask them to call in an rx for "yaz" so my menstrual migranes are at least shorter.

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Sunshine,

There are lots of different pills you can try. They all have the same type of estrogen, but some have different types of progesterone, in different amounts. I would go back to whoever prescribed Seasonale/ique for you and try something else.

I'm still not sure why Yaz and Seasonale are designed to make you bleed 4 times a year. There is no medical need for this, and in a lot of cases it just gives women PMS/PMDD symptoms needlessly. So bear in mind that you can use any low-estrogen birth control pill (I believe they are all low-estrogen now) and use them continuously. If you want more info on this, just PM me - I have done a lot of research.

:)

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i quit yasmin b/c i get menstrual migranes and my insurance won't pay for stacking and also my dr. thinks it's dubious b/c it was just my internist not a gyno (i need a new gyno) but for some reason he was ok with seasonale.

i'm going to call tomorrow to ask them to call in an rx for "yaz" so my menstrual migranes are at least shorter.

Interesting... my migraines started about three months after starting Yasmin. Unfortunately, they didn't go away after quitting the Yasmin. I always wondered if going on BCPs and messing with my hormones is what triggered to migraines to start, even though my doctor says it's just coincidence.

I'm not sure my insurance covers BCPs. I got the first pack (3 months worth) of the Seasonique as a sample. They didn't cover my IUD. My doctor wrote "for menstrual migraines" on the script and I'm hoping they'll cover it since I'm not taking it for birth control. But I haven't had to fill it yet.

Let me know how the Yaz works.

FWIW, no spotting today. ;)

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OMG! Are you me?? I could have written this post! I have been taking Yasmin for years. My old gyno. (recently retired) had me take 3 packs in a row of just active pills, then get a period. This really helped with my migraines. BTW, I get menstrual migraines like clockwork. Two days after my period starts, lasts 3-5 days-varies in severity. I just went to my new gyno. (hottie-another thread!) and he put me on Seasonique. I haven't started them yet, got to wait for the period. BTW- I had to stop taking my Yasmin on my prescribed schedule because my STUPID F@#$@ing AETNA ins. doesn't cover Yasmin and my co-pay was 50$ (third tier). That got really expensive. About 2 months ago, I stopped taking Yasmin altogether because I was really sick of paying $50 for the pill, when I hardly ever have sex-once a month is rare-usually once every two months-once again-another thread!! Oh- my ins. also wouldn't pay for my pills until the month was up, so I couldn't do the schedule.

Nobody said anything about skin problems, dammit. I better not get any zits! Questions: 1. When you buy the pack, do you pay for a one month payment even though it is for 3 months? 2. I forgot. ;)

Let me know how the Seasonique goes.

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Nobody said anything about skin problems, dammit. I better not get any zits! Questions: 1. When you buy the pack, do you pay for a one month payment even though it is for 3 months? 2. I forgot. ;)

you pay for 3 months, so 3 copays, which can be quite a monster dent in the wallet.

i'm hoping i can stack 2 packs of yaz b/c it only has 3 inactive days. my dr won't write the rx for stacking because he's just an internist and he thinks skipping your period isn't natural. he needs to read up on this issue as he sounds like a moron when he says this. i also really need to find a gyno for my next exam so that i can have a doctor who understands that rationally it is in my best interest to stack due to migranes.

about the skin problems... i got backne from seasonale. this is a possible se from any birth control pill and i wouldn't worry about seasonale affecting your skin. most likely it won't do anything to your skin. i happen to like yasmin because it actually helped my skin. the progesterone in yasmin/yaz is non androgenic and so it can't be turned into testosterone in you body; too much testosterone can lead to acne issues. my adrenal hormones are all wacky, so i'm probably more suceptable to the effects of a progesterone that is androgenic than the normal person is. so really, don't worry about it.

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I think I mentioned this earlier, but Yaz (not Yasmin... same hormones... slightly different levels) was recently FDA approved for the treatment of acne.

I started spotting again tonight. Jinxed myself by mentioning to the b/f that I hadn't for the last two days. Grrr.

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Still "spotting" (aka bleeding). 36 straight days now. Called the ob/gyn yesterday. She agrees that it's a bit excessive, but not entirely uncommon and she wants me to give it the full 14 week cycle before giving up or switching to something else (which I was agreeable to as long as this much bleeding wasn't something to be concerned about). But ugh... that's a little more than six more weeks. And summer has officially started. Oh joy.

The good news is that she will prescribe Yaz "stacked" (so I can skip the placebo week and go right into the next pack of pills). I don't think my insurance covers the pill, anyway. So that won't be an issue.

But all this got me to thinking... I was on the pill in the early 90s and didn't have this problem. From what I can tell, it's only the "low dose" pills that have this spotting/break-through bleeding problem. So why can't I just go on one of the regular dose versions (stacked, of course)? I'm sure there's a reason, but what is it? Where the higher dose versions causing cancer or deformed babies or something? Can you even still get them?

I'm worried because I don't have a "next step" plan for managing either the PMDD or migraines. And it really sucks because this stuff is working in those two regards. But if this bleeding doesn't stop, I'm not staying on it. As harmless to my body as it may be, it's putting a strain on my relationship.

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Sunshine,

You can still get the high-dose pills (they are higher in estrogen) and they have been linked to cancer, but not deformed babies. You definitely don't want to be on BCPills if you smoke.

You might want to try Zovia. It contains more progesterone. I didn't have any bleeding problems on that pill.

What's the deal with the BF not understanding that this is a health situation and it is temporary? If he can't deal with a little spotting while you adjust to the pill, he's going to have a hell of a time dealing when you start having PMDD symptoms again. He's supposed to be showing you support, not complaining because his sex life isn't ideal!

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my dr won't write the rx for stacking because he's just an internist and he thinks skipping your period isn't natural. he needs to read up on this issue as he sounds like a moron when he says this. i also really need to find a gyno for my next exam so that i can have a doctor who understands that rationally it is in my best interest to stack due to migranes.

This is shocking. How does someone get to be a working medical internist and not understand BASIC concepts such as how the pill works??! You aren't even having a period when you are on the pill, and whether or not it is 'natural' has nothing to do with it. "Natural" and "unnatural" are meaningless words. The question he should be asking is whether it is healthy - and so far there is no evidence that it is unhealthy to suppress your period, since you're suppressing it anyway by taking a pill that prevents ovulation.

Grrr...

The thing that sucks most is that people see doctors as authority figures, most people will not question what a doctor tells them. This dumbass is just spreading false information.

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What's the deal with the BF not understanding that this is a health situation and it is temporary? If he can't deal with a little spotting while you adjust to the pill, he's going to have a hell of a time dealing when you start having PMDD symptoms again. He's supposed to be showing you support, not complaining because his sex life isn't ideal!

He's been totally understanding and hasn't complained a bit. But he's a guy... and as such... doesn't find getting blood all over the place (including him) to be very sexy. Can't say I blame him... it's not making me feel very sexy, either. So... we've gone from having usually rather rigorous sex around there times a week to carefully having it maybe once a week. It's definitely a big dent. It's just not our normal sex life. and we're both unhappy about that part. But he's VERY understanding... is more encouraging of me staying on it than I am and everything.

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  • 1 month later...

In a PM, MG pointed me in the direction of this article (scroll down to "Extended Pill Regimens") about a potential solution to spotting and breakthrough bleeding. It's a blog entry, but there's a link to a medical journal article (which you have to register to read, but it's free). The article is about a study in which the participants stopped taking the pill for three days and then started up again. The article suggested that this was more effective to improving spotting/break-through bleeding that just staying on it.

So anyway... I decided to give it a try.

The good news: it worked. I had a somewhat normal period that lasted 3-4 days followed by no spotting/bleeding.

The bad news: it (the no spotting/bleeding) only lasted for a week and then I started bleeding heavily (heavier than my normal periods) for 3-4 days and then back to the daily spotting/break-through bleeding. Ugh.

I went to the doctor last week (a new one as my previous OB/GYN moved to Georgia in the midst of all this). I'm switching to Yaz next week. Though she thinks the problem might be the IUD (though she said she's never had a patient using both). She suggested removing it, but I'm kinda adverse to that as I just paid $450 out of pocket to have it inserted earlier this year (insurance doesn't cover birth control) and I really don't want to pay for it again if the spotting/bleeding doesn't go way with the IUD removed.

So that's the latest. I'll post again after I've been on the Yaz for a while.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Fuck.

One week after starting Yaz, I started spotting. Just a teensy bit. The next day a little more. The day after that, heavier. Today, full-on bleeding.

And Saturday I leave for a week at the beach.

To make matters worse, I discovered that my horrid insomnia has got to be hormone-related. Because I slept great the whole time I was on Seasonique. Then the week I was off it, insomnia was back with a vengeance and went away as soon as I started the Yaz. I'm taking almost nothing to sleep anymore. Before the Seasonique, I was taking 24 (yes, 24) mg of Rozerem and at least 10-15 mg of Ambien (often 20 mg). Now I'm down to 8 mg of Rozerem and never more than 10 mg of Ambien. For the first time in over four years, I actually feel like I could go off the Ambien.

God damn it.

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Sunshine, I know how you feel. I am so fed up w/ bc pills. i want to stop taking them and get my tubes tied. Then I need to figure out what to do about my migraines. I totally understand your frustrtaion.

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I'm just fed up with the bleeding (that's caused by the bc pills, granted). Other than the bleeding... I'm thrilled with the results I'm getting with regards to the reasons I went on them (PMDD and migraines) and even for reasons I didn't (insomnia). The Yaz even cleared up the acne better than the doxycycline. I just want to stop bleeding!!!

I think I might have to consider having the IUD removed. But I just had it put in in January at the tune of $450 (insurance doesn't cover birth control). My new OB/GYN has speculated that that could be the problem... though she's never had anyone on bc pills who also had an IUD, so it's just speculation. So what if the bleeding doesn't stop after the IUD is removed? Then I'm faced with having to spend another $450 to put it back in. Though I'm tempted to just have my tubes tied (I think the insurance actually covers that one).

*sigh*

But before I go down that road, I think I should try the non-low dose bc pills as I think the spotting/breakthrough bleeding problem only happens with the low dose versions. Anyone know if depression is more likely with the higher dose pills? I've noticed a slight dip in my mood, but since it's gotten rid of the horrendous PMDD, I'm not complaining.

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