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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Best birth control for Lyme patients????

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Author Topic: Best birth control for Lyme patients????
lymegal23
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I'm looking to start taking birth control for the first time since having Lyme disease. I'm wondering what the best birth control is for women who have Lyme disease. I know certain birth control pills can screw with women's hormones, cause weight gain and All kinds of problems, as well as worsen some Lyme disease symptoms. So I'm wondering which one is my best bet? Thanks for the help!
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Tincup
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Lymegal,

I have no advise on what would be the best birth control method for you, sorry.

But, I wanted to be sure you knew that when taking antibiotics it is recommended that you use additional precautions.

"There are two ways that antibiotics potentially can reduce the action of birth control pills.

Birth control pills contain estrogens. Some antibiotics, e.g., rifampin, griseofulvin, cause the enzymes in the liver to increase the break-down of estrogens and thereby can decrease the levels of estrogens in the body and the effectiveness of the pills.

This can result in unwanted pregnancy. Therefore, individuals taking birth control pills should use a second method of birth control when taking these antibiotics or other drugs that can increase the break-down of estrogens."

And the second way...

"The other way that antibiotics could interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills is by reducing the re-circulation of estrogens within the body.

Estrogens, e.g., ethinyl estradiol, in birth control pills are broken-down by conversion in the liver to other chemicals which are then secreted into the intestines in the bile that is produced by the liver.

Bacteria in the intestine are able to convert these chemicals back into the active estrogen which is then reabsorbed into the body. This re-circulation is called entero-hepatic cycling.

Theoretically, antibiotics can kill the bacteria that convert the inactive chemicals to the active estrogen, and, therefore, may interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills. Unwanted pregnancies could occur."


http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=17192

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Tincup
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Another tidbit...

"Rifampin can also lower the effectiveness the transdermal birth control patch (Ortho Evra) and the vaginal ring (NuvaRing), so a different form of birth control should be used with these products, too.

For these women, a nonhormonal method of birth control - for example, the diaphragm, copper IUD or condom, is recommended."

http://www.drugs.com/article/antibiotics-and-birth-control.html

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Tincup
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Now the good news. According to Planned Parenthood, there are a number of birth control methods. I like the first one. Yeah, right!

It is like the IDSA saying in its treatment guidelines that the way to prevent Lyme disease is to not be bitten by a tick. Really helpful! NOT!

Abstinence
Birth Control Implant (Implanon and Nexplanon)
Birth Control Patch
Birth Control Pills
Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera)
Birth Control Sponge (Today Sponge)
Birth Control Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing)
Breastfeeding as Birth Control
Cervical Cap (FemCap)
Condom
Diaphragm
Female Condom
Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FAMs)
IUD
Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)
Outercourse
Spermicide
Sterilization for Women (Tubal Sterilization)
Vasectomy
Withdrawal (Pull Out Method)

- See more at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control#sthash.qZjbtvW8.dpuf

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Tincup
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Now that you are totally informed, have a nice weekend.

[Big Grin]

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lymegal23
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HAHAHA! Tincup you are adorable! Thanks so much for the details. A good amount of that info I didn't even know! Thanks again!
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sammy
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I was advised to use the NuvaRing. My main reason for using it was a little different, for control of horrendous periods. Thankfully, it works with no side effects!

Since we both have Lyme, and probably other health issues, this may be a good option for you to consider.

My GYN recommended it for me because the hormones are absorbed locally (from the little jelly like ring) so there are minimal systemic effects with the NuvaRing.

I was nervous to try it at first because I had had some bad experiences with various pill brands before. In my experience, the NuvaRing works locally with no side effects.

Also, it is covered by my insurance and I only have to replace the ring monthly. So no worrying about accidentally missing a pill like normal OCP's!

I realize that some may have negative experiences with anything so...

Hope this helps you make an educated decision.

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gz
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Birth control can affect us all so differently, I've had good and bad experiences. I used the NuvaRing for a while and I loved it. As sammy said, the hormone goes to work locally, so the effect of abx on liver metabolism shouldn't change its effectiveness.

I would definitely not trust oral contraceptives nor the patch while taking antibiotics.

I don't think I would recommend a copper IUD to someone who hasn't had children yet. I kept mine for 18 months and had it removed due to the excessive bleeding it caused. It gave me painful periods lasting 10 mostly heavy days. The insertion process was painfully traumatic as I got it prior to any pregnancies, and I would never, never do it again as a nulliparous woman.

I was a little concerned with some of the stuff I was reading about the progestin in the NuvaRing, so I chose to get a Mirena IUD which would still be effective with taking various meds. Both of these release very small amounts of a progestin locally. The Mirena has mostly eliminated my periods. I lost my periods on the NuvaRing also if I didn't take it out for the full week break.

It could be helpful looking at the profiles of the different hormones available for birth control to get an idea of sides and possible compatibility.

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nomoremuscles
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"nulliparous"

Great word. I don't think I ever saw it before.

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lymegal23
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Thanks. Is there a particular website that I can look at to view the different options

I just don't want to get horrible cramps, period spotting or weight gain from taking a birth control pill. My body holds onto weight and gains weight easily now since having Lyme disease so I don't want anymore complications with that!

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Keebler
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Q: "Is there a particular website that I can look at to view the different options?"


Educational & informational links to twenty kinds of Birth Control here, scroll down the page to see the tabs.

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control
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gz
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I used info similar to this

http://contraception.about.com/od/thepill/tp/ProgestinTypes.htm

to help me decide which oral contraceptive to use when I got back to needing BC. There was a website I liked much better from before. It was so much more detailed but I haven't been able to find it if it even still exists.

There is a higher incidence of venous thromboembolism associated the later generation conceptives, which includes NuvaRing. Reading personal anecdotes of this happening to women specifically using NuvaRing scared me away from it a second time despite a great prior experience.

The risk of venous thromboembolism is much higher with the combination forms, and lower with progestin only.

If there is a possibility of having to take a drug from the rifampin family you will need to plan on abstinence or effective alternate forms of BC if you are going to use oral contraceptives. Also need to be mindful of using other meds and supplements that are enzyme inducers, St. John's Wort is one that comes to mind.

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Keebler
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While not yet an option, just stumbled across this in today's news.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/07/health/male-birth-control-pill/index.html

How the 'male pill' could actually work

By Meera Senthilingam, for CNN - January 7, 2016

"The Pill" -- two words synonymous with birth control. But more than 50 years after oral contraceptives became commonplace, they remain an option only available to women. . . .

. . . For men, the options remain as they have done for centuries -- condoms and vasectomies. There is no pill in sight. Yet. . . .

[Full article at link above]
-

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Tincup
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Hey Lymegal,

It's FRIDAY. Put those party boots on and....

[lol]

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MDub
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Condoms, unless your partner has the same infections/strains as you. [Embarrassed]
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Keebler
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-
Condoms are not always effective for birth control, though, so it's good to maybe also use another methods in addition, such as a diaphragm.

Condoms are still important, of course, to help prevent various infections that could be transmitted, some we may not yet even know we (or partner) may be carrying. [Oral sex, though, can also be a consideration with passing microbes.]

A newly discovered strain of mycoplasma that can be transmitted sexually was just reported last month, for instance:

http://www.livescience.com/52826-mycoplasma-genitalium-std.html

Mycoplasma Genitalium - November 17, 2015
-

[ 01-08-2016, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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GiniGhlow
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I hope you're okay. I know how important it is for us women to go through the pregnancy well and give birth to a healthy baby. As pregnancy is a stressful time (from my own experience) and the thought of being a mother becomes an enormous pressure , I needed an encouragement.

They kept in touch with me during pregnancy, during birth and some time after I gave birth to my baby boy. Mau supported enormously and gave me advice in education and child care. They made my pregnancy experience a super pleasant one.

**edited link per LN rules**

[ 06-25-2021, 07:17 PM: Message edited by: Lymetoo ]

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Mountainsky
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Paragard IUD (non hormonal).

My only complaint with it was the extremely heavy periods and cramps. But it was tolerable and well worth it. Lol

It's a high percentage for protection, it's up there. I never had a worry.

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Mountainsky
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GiniGhlow,

I can't even begin to imagine getting pregnant and raising a child while being so sick and in treatment. There are times I really think being a mother might not be a dream I'll ever get to experience.

I'm 36, and really struggling. I'm not getting any younger and I worry about so much about my future. By the time I get better will it be too late to get pregnant? I'm really torn, there are times I dream of having a child and then there are other times I think I'll never get better and won't want kids.

Yes birth control is not 100% and I think if a pregnancy did happen by surprise could I pass this disease down to them, not only am I sick but now my child is and get crap from the "mainstream nut jobs".

It's gamble because yet healthy people can have sick kids. You never know.

I'm very happy to hear you had a beautiful experience with lots of support. 💚 Hopefully that'll be me someday.

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Garz
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both my partner and i have lyme

the chances of both of us being bitten at the same time by an infected tick are very small - so its likely one of us gave it to the other inadvertently through sexual contact.
we have both lost years of income and health to this disease, our home is at risk, the relationship broke down due to the mental health impacts - so the impacts are huge.

studies have found the exact same strain of Lyme in some couples where both are infected - via PCR methods - adding to more evidence that it can be sexually transmitted - like other spirochaetal infections - like syphilis.
LLMD's have also found that in around 1 in 5 couples - the partner also test positive for Lyme

other infections like bartonella and mycoplasma are known to spread through sexual contact

i am surprised there is only one post above acknowledging this risk...surely anyone who has experienced this illness would not wish it on anyone - let alone their loved ones.

for this reason - if one partner is positive for Lyme or co-infections - to anyone with lyme reading this thread i would urge you

DO NOT BURRY YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND -

a serious open discussion is required around how to manage the risks to the remaining partner.

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Mountainsky
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Maybe that's why it's good to be single while in treatment 🤔.

The stress alone of chronic Lyme interfering with relationships then to tackle on the thought of infecting/reinfecting each other. If one partner is sick it's terrible, now another, disaster especially if both immune systems are shot down.

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