Which contraceptive pill is best

Metformin, Dianette, Yasmin, Clomid, Herbals, Yoga, Acupuncture, Oils, etc

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Postby Meringoo » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:26 pm


Glad you've found Verity and this thread helpful so far.

Cerazette is ok if you are unable to take a combined pill, but if you are able to take a combined pill, I would recommend doing so.

I would say that Marvelon is quite a good pill, however, if you are suffering with excess hair, Yasmin and Dianette really are the best options, as far as pills go.

I know it may seem like an annoying thing to say, but if sore boobs were the only issue in the first 3 months of taking Yasmin, I would urge you to continue with it. I have been on and off Yasmin for the last 5 years and sometimes got extremely sore boobs like you described, but after about 6 cycles (or less) this stopped. Also, things that seemed annoying during the first time I tried Yasmin (or any other pill), didn't affect me subsequently. I think you should give any pill longer than 3 months unless you are seriously feeling ill or getting very adverse side effects, because it does take longer than 3 months in reality for side effects (often oestrogenic such as sore boobs, headaches, nausea and spotting) to settle down and disappear in most cases.

Marvelon is unlikely to be helpful if you are prone to sore boobs, as it is a very oestrogenic pill, but not as anti-androgenic as Yasmin and Dianette, which is why they are better for PCOS symptoms such as hair and acne.

Are you getting cysts with your PCOS? If you weren't but were feeling comfortable on Cerazette, you could ask for Cerazette because it is able to inhibit ovulation in most cases, like a combined pill. It isn't as good at sorting out acne or hair, so it would depend on the severity of this and how it makes you feel. As I have said, a good idea would be to try Yasmin again, and for longer.

In combination with the pill, you could ask for a cream to put on to treat the hair. It is called Eflornithine cream. You apply it twice daily. Ask you GP. There are also deals for laser treatment with money off for women with PCOS at SK:N clinics I believe. You should check out the hair and skin threads for more info.

Hope this helps xx
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Postby JessL » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:27 pm

Thanks for such a quick and comprehensive reply Meringoo - I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. :)

Hmm, so I might ask to give Yasmin a whirl again.

My main priority is finding a pill that doesn't make me weepy and won't harm my fertility chances for when I come off it - I'm hoping to come off the pill for good in a year or so's time (getting married next year!). I'm less concerned about hair problems.

In answer to your question, yes I do have cysts with my PCOS - I think that's why my doc took me off Cerazette.

Thanks again - I'll let you know how it goes with the doc xx
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Postby lola30 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:14 pm

Hi, i really need some advice about which pill i should take.

I have recently had a baby and was prescribed Microgynon 30 by my GP (which i gather from your posts that this isn't a good idea) i didn't actually take them as when u was a teenager the pill made me gain quite a lot of weight.

My periods came every 28 days after my baby was born until june and i haven't had one since. I have been dieting but cannot seem to lose any weight and it fluctuates quite badly( i weigh 15 stone). My stomach is also seriously bloated all the time.

I want to take the pill for contraceptive purposes but also to just regulate my PCOS.

I don't have a huge problem with acne or hair loss but i do get migraines that affect my vision and numbness down my arms and hands - does this stop me from taking the pill?

Many thanks for any advice,

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Postby Meringoo » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:54 pm

Hi. From the migraine symptoms you describe I would say that a combined pill would be unsuitable due to stroke risks. However, cerazette or the mirena ius would be fine. They wouldn't give you a regular cycle but the would be much safer. Speak to your gp. My friend had a stroke on the combined pill after having migraines with numbness and an aura, so I know the risks are real if your symptoms or general health contraindict the use of oestrogen.
The problem could go away. Make sure your doctor checks your blood pressure. xX
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Postby bee123 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:01 pm


Just to put my mind at ease. When switching from femodene to katya... seeing as they are both exactly the same, I don't need to take precautions during the switch over like you would when switching to a different pill?

Thanks in advance
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Postby Meringoo » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:04 pm

It's just like when you get another prescription of the same pill, so no need to take extra precautions, as long as you take the first pill on time and don't miss any out. xx
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Postby jayneyn » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:27 pm

Thanks Meringoo for your reply (a few weeks ago). How do you manage to store all this information?
I am SOO green! I am confused about what to do. I was hoping my GP would prescribe something to regulate my periods (to keep my womb lining healthy) and also to help reduce my depressing facial hair. It sounds from your previous reply that Cerazette, although providing OK contraception and reducing cysts forming, would not help with these main concerns.
When I was scanned 3 years ago after my twins were born it was found that I no longer had cysts. But since then my cycle has disappeared and when I get period symptoms no period appears. I have a hunch that the cysts have formed again. What should I do?
Thanks again :)
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Postby Meringoo » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:42 am

I don't know how I store this info! Especially since I can't remember stuff that I need for my job hahaha!

If your periods have stopped, the likelihood is that follicles and/or cysts have started to form. If you can take a combined pill, that's great, if not, Cerazette will do really. xx
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Postby Ceri » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:30 pm

This thread is very useful.

Started taking Dianette 3 months ago. I previously took it for 8 years starting when I was 15, my doc back then was fab and prescibed it purely for my PCOS symptoms.

This time round I've bleed pretty much non-stop since taking it. Which is a massive pain cos I started taking it due to starting a new relationship.

Was reading about the POP (mini pill) and wondered whever this would be better.

I have suffered from vaginal bleeding after sex for years but have had several clear smears and recently diagnosed with fibroids.
Diagnosed 03 age 23.
OH Testicular Cancer 06, chemo Oct 06. DH SA results - 3 million and they aren't great!
Been referrred for ICSI - First Appointment 6th July 09. Gotta get BMI to under 30 for treatment.
BMI was 41 now 32 :)
2 early MC

Newly single
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Postby Meringoo » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:29 pm


Glad you're finding it useful!

A progestogen-only method wouldn't be any better as breathrough bleeding and spotting is even more common. I'd stick with the Dianette for longer. I know it's annoying to get the bleeding but it should settle soon. I think if it's giving you problems after 3 cycles, you should speak to your GP and consider switching to a different pill even just for a few cycles. It is common to experience this even when you've had no problems with a pill before (I'm currently getting over a few months' of breakthrough bleeding on Cilest, which has been fab and very potent in the past - but I also believe there are other factors such as stress that have caused my bleeding issues), and it usually settles. You could try taking packets back to back for 2-3 cycles to reduce hormonal changes and keep it steady for longer, and then take your week off. This can help.

If you think it may be related to fibroids, I'd speak to your GP.

Hope this helps xx
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Postby ZM » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:19 am

Hi Meringoo, hoping I could pick your brain please?

I have managed for 6 years off the pill, however the tetracycline has stopped working for me and I now have cystic acne which is scarring my face. My new GP is very sympathetic and very happy to have my input into my treatment choices so I like to go along well informed. I requested the Dianette despite the known risks as it is the only pill I have ever had in the past that I can get along with for a while and has any effect on my symptoms (they literally disappear within 2 months). In the past I have been on Dianette on repeat indefinitely but new guidelines mean I only get 3 months before review this time. I decided to stick with something I know will work until after all the Christmas parties and family gathering etc... where I would otherwise have to feign "illness" to get out of them and stay home.

Question is what next? The GP was suggesting either Femodene or a different antibiotic however I don't think the Femodene will have any effect as it is similar to Marvelon which did not work. I have normal blood pressure 110/80, weight is OK BMI is 24 and no migraines when not on the pill. My worst symptom is the skin and I'll put up with the rest of my symptoms if I have to, as I have found alternative therapies which reduce them.

I will detail below what I have had etc then you have a full history:

1989-2001 Various topical acne treatments and antibiotics - no success.

Dianette: 2001-4 (taken off by GP due to guidelines and one high BP reading due to stress at work) and 2005 (negotiated 6 months to cover wedding - no major side effects - norm BP)

Yasmin 2005 - 3 months - period pains and extremely heavy periods (basically prevented normal life in the "break week"), no improvement in skin or hair loss.

Metformin 2005-6 did not work on any of my symptoms and was taken off as had GI side effects with no benefit.

Marvelon + Spirinolactone - no effect other than a reduction in ovulation pain acne, my skin actually got worse. ?Caused migraines.

Oxtetracycline - worked wonderfully on skin, no side effects, sadly have become resistant after 5 years on it.

My preference I think would be to try Cilest as I have only found success with a combined pill. However the GP (not my own this time) does not seem to like combined pills? and did not pick me up on this one despite mentioning a couple of times - she wanted to talk about Femodene and other new antibiotics...so is the combined pill a bad thing or merely too expensive? What would you suggest next to request? if I am keen on trying something they are happy to prescribe it (thankfully very much a "patient choice" GP centre)

Sorry for the long post! drink of choice for getting this far...
Self diagnosed: 1999
Formally diagnosed after much pressure!: 2005
Current regime: Massive amounts of weight bearing exercise, and controlled diet. Have taken/tried Metformin, Dianette, Yasmin, Marvelon, Accutane. Now on Spearmint, Agnus Castus and low dose Spirinolactone.
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Postby Meringoo » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:56 pm

Hello! Let's see....

Firstly in terms of hormonal treatments, the combined pill is the most effective and easy to take medication. Of course, some progestogen-only methods are ok if you can't tolerate or take oestrogen, but they don't do what is essentially needed for PCOS management - and that is inhibit ovulation and provide anti-androgens which in turn will decrease ovarian cysts, acne and excess hair/hair loss. Some progestogen-only methods can do this to an extent (Cerazette POP in particular), but they cannot be as effective as the key ingredient to help tackle PCOS is oestrogen.

Reading your history I would make these suggestions:

- If Dianette works for you, and you don't have any major risk factors (high BMI, smoker, history of DVT), then as long as you are monitored every 3-6 months, you could stay on it long-term, as many women do. A good GP will weight the benefits and risk factors.

- Dianette could be used to kickstart things just for a few months, and then you could try another combined pill, such as Cilest, as you mentioned. I like Cilest, though it isn't as effective as Yasmin in my experience.

- Don't feel you can't try the same pill again. I have been on certain pills over the years and have found that trying them a second or third time has actually shown them to be more effective, whereas the first time round I got dreadful side effects. Also, the longer you're on a pill, the better it may work for you. I think Yasmin may be a good option in the future, and the side effects you had the 1st time may not show next time.

- Taking a break from antibiotics would be good for you anyway as they kill the good and bad bacteria. You might want to try herbal acne tablets for a bit, and then consider trying a course of antibiotics if you need to.

- Yasmin + Spronolactone has been successful for some women I have spoke to about acne and hair issues. The progestogen drospirenone in Yasmin is actually an analogue drug of Spiro, which is why the 2 work well. You'll probably need to have your blood monitored for potassium though, if I remember correctly.

In terms of dealing with cystic acne, which I have had so I know how awful it can be :( I have found that trying to keep my diet fairly clean of other hormones to be helpful. I have found that eating more veggies and less meat (due to the hormones in meat), especially red meat (which can also cause periods to be more painful), to be effective. Also, consuming less dairy products can help. You don't need to be vegan, but it is useful to look at diet as well as medicines.

I hope this helps. If I've not answered properly, just let me know :)
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Postby ZM » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:37 am

Thanks for replying!

I think I will discuss a combined OCP and an anti-androgen with my GP. I think if the anti-androgen effect is less effective than the one in Dianette for me then it may be I need a higher dose. If it still does not work I can try a combined OCP and different antibiotic. At least this way I have had a break from antibiotics for a while as they irritate my IBS.

My diet is already hugely restrictive due to IBS so I tend to mainly live on veg and protein as most complex carbs aggravate me especially bread. I only have a small amount of milk in my tea as dairy has been linked to my asthma and I had read about the link with acne. I do eat red meat as it makes a change from fish and quorn but I do not eat it in excess. Interestingly I do crave it at the end of my periods? Sugar is not excessive but I do fall off the wagon with this just before a period/false period.

I have been on Dianette for 2 days now and I only have 1 new cyst which is going down before it came fully up, the others have just shrunk down much further and turned into normal small spots. OK this is the quieter time for my skin due to having had a period last week, but still there already seems to be some calming effect and my skin and hair was slightly less greasy this morning too. The next couple of weeks will be the test as everything will kick off as I get all the pre-period symptoms regularly even if I don't have one. Just fingers crossed it does the trick again and clears everything up in a couple of weeks as I have a family gathering coming up which I just can't face otherwise. Would also be great to wave goodbye to the 2 week stop start periods, fingers crossed...

Have you come across any evidence that the DVT risk is increased if packs are run together? I have not been able to find any information myself either way.

Anyhow thanks for your help! It has clarified what I want to plan out for next time I visit my GP. :wink:
Self diagnosed: 1999
Formally diagnosed after much pressure!: 2005
Current regime: Massive amounts of weight bearing exercise, and controlled diet. Have taken/tried Metformin, Dianette, Yasmin, Marvelon, Accutane. Now on Spearmint, Agnus Castus and low dose Spirinolactone.
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Postby Meringoo » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:05 pm


Good luck with the dianette! I haven't come across anything re: increased risk from running packs together. I tend to think that basically, the pill was created to mimic a natural cycle, which is the reason it is provided in 21 day packs, so that (back when it was brand new) it didn't make women feel unnatural. I have spoken to my gynaecologist about this though, as it is something I do to help suppress my endometriosis and to help my skin, and he has said that it is perfectly fine and safe to do. You could in theory take the pill without any breaks, but no studies have been done on this. Usually GPs and gynaecologists advise 3-6 months before a pill-free week is the maximum. By that time, most women would have experienced some breakthrough bleeding anyway. I find that running 2 packs together is ok, but any more just makes me feel tender and bloated, regardless of the brand.

The dairy advice is just from my own experience. I don't know of any studies as it's not what I tend to research (I'm sad like that lol!) but I have read other messages on discussion boards that suggest that dairy and meat are not good. I think a diet that has the least chemical and hormonal additives from meat and dairy products would be beneficial, and found that when I was a strict vegetarian, though it was quite hard, my skin was near perfect. What I said about red meat and cramps is related to prostaglandins (the chemical that causes cramping), which I believe are increased when you eat red meat. I know that when I have eaten lamb and beef in the past, my periods have been heavier and more painful. It's about working out what works for you really.

Remember, it takes around 2 months for skin and hair to be affected by medication, as there is a "turn around" time once something is in your system.

I'm starting taking Acne Relief tablets from Boots, which are herbal, to see if that helps.

Hope you're well xx
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Postby somersetgirl » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:44 pm

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the boards, though I've 'lurked' for a while. I wanted to share my angle on contraceptive pills and perhaps ask for some advice...

I was on Marvelon from the age of 17 and took it until the age of 24 (with a 4 month break during some travelling...during which my skin and excess hair, as well as hair loss, played havoc). It helped my acne quite a lot though I can't remember a day where I've been completely spot free since I was a child, i.e. before puberty hit in any form.

However, in the latter two years of being on it, I had two migraines with aura, one in each year. Though that came across to me as VERY infrequent, I was concerned and so mentioned it at my GP appointment when I was quite rightly advised not to continue with a combined pill due to risk of stroke.

So since the end of August I've been taking Cerazette. I expressed my concern that my acne, excess hair etc would come back with avengeance but the GP said I'd basically have to see what happened.

Well, my skin has been questionable. I have a lot of pimples on my forehead with the odd large spot cropping up on my chin and nose. I also seem to be getting some spots on my chest and back (just like when I took a break from Marvelon) though they seem to be clearing up a bit now. The most noticeable thing seems to be the oil slick I'm left with on m skin, I can't remember my skin ever being so greasy.

The facial hair has darkened yet again and so I'm back to dealing with that though I appreciate mine is probably not as bad as what some ladies have to deal with.

The thing that seems to concern me the most is my hair. SO much is shedding each day, particularly when I wash it. Clumps of strands come out in my hands and it's really getting me down. I feel it looks noticeably thinner on my crown, though it's not AS noticeable in the body of my hair. My hair is relatively long at the moment so I don't know if that's playing a part with the amount I'm losing.

To be honest I've got to the point where I can't remember what's 'normal' for me. Certainly I didn't notice my hair being quite this bad when I was on Marvelon, but then again my mum said to me the other day that she's always had a lot of hair shedding and I've never noticed hers looking thin.

Part of me is toying with coming off Cerazette but then I don't see how that would help since the symptoms would be there without any pill at all too. *sigh* I wish I could still take a combined pill!

Oh and, has anyone seen my libido anywhere?!
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