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No sex please…

October 2, 2012

I’m British!
Today I saw my GP to discuss the matter of contraception, not that it’s a pressing issue right now but just in case I ever feel like ‘it’ again! After a bit of googling of my own I discovered that Cellcept is not great with the contraceptive pill and another form is recommended (you would have thought the medical professionals would have advised me of this when they prescribed the drugs).  I’m so terrified of getting pregnant I even suggested getting my tubes tied, but he said my body was going through enough right now and if I was that serious about that sort of route then my husband should be considering having a vasectomy (yeah, fat chance of that happening).  The GP  suggested the implant, but then after consulting a hefty book he discovered that didn’t work with cellcept either.  The only options available to me are the coil (which I’m not having ever, I simply refuse to have that) or the Depo-Provera injection.

I can handle an injection, that’s fine but upon reading the literature it says “If you have risk factors for osteoporosis it is normally advisable to use another method of contraception… these factors include long-term use of steroids”.  So what’s ‘long term’?  I’ve been on prednisone for 2 months and my consultant said yesterday they will keep me on this lower dose for ‘some time’.  I already take meds to prevent osteoporosis, so I’m guessing the Depo injection might not be the best option.  This is not leaving me with many options other than my current one – abstinence (which if I’m honest is fine by me, but doesn’t make for a great married life especially for my husband).

So I rang the phone number on the back of the Depo leaflet and spoke to someone there who said that “Depo doesn’t interact with any drugs” which is blatently not true.   I guess I’m going to wait until I see the Rheumy professor because I’m hoping he might have some ideas…

I’m scared because the knowledge just isn’t there about what interacts with my drugs and who the heck am I meant to talk to about this?

  1. Would you consider getting fitted for a diaphragm? I know they are not super sexy to have to put in and stuff, but it would give you at least a simple barrier against pregnancy and be an hormone-free option. I hope your Rheumy has some good options, too!

    • Thanks for suggestion, I had a very traumatic childbirth a few years ago and I just can’t bear anything like that now – even going for a smear is traumatic. I’m hoping the rheumy will give the depo injection the ‘ok’ as that’s the most preferable option (other than the vasectomy route!).

  2. rwil permalink

    That’s one of the problems with the NHS approach to acute medicine- each doctor treats you for the specific things in his specialism, but they don’t necessarily think about other areas like this. I’ve had very similar issues with my own illness and been so frustrated that there isn’t somebody ‘co-ordinating’ all the doctors to make sure they are talking to each other. Letters don’t make it from one hospital to the other, blood results aren’t shared so you end up having 3 or 4 in one week, it’s so frustrating!

    I’m glad the MMF is working out ok for you side effects wise. It’s so much better than pred, and I understand it’s safe to take long term (they use it for transplant patients). I’ve been on very high doses of pred for around 18months to control eye inflammation and have finally got down to about 2.5mg. I’ve not got a medical background but I believe that 2 months is not considered long term, so you may well be ok going with the injection. But of course I think the best thing to do is to speak to your rheumatology consultant as they’ll know better than me.

    All the best though, I hope you’ll get some answers soon and be able to move forward at last. x

    • Thanks, yes it’s frustrating, usually my GP is pretty good at bringing it altogether but I think he’s getting confused himself now! The bloods drive me crazy, you would think 8 vials once a week would be enough to go around, but no they all have to have their own blood and I have permanent bruising on the inside of my elbows. Fortunately the MMF is fine and dandy for me, I hope I can get off the pred soon – HATE IT, but might be stuck on 7.5mg for a while. It’s so good to have others who understand all this crap – I feel a right whingy moaner with my family sometimes. xxx

  3. I’m in a similar mess. I take methotrexate which is a form of chemotherapy that they use for cancer patients. The docs insist that we use some sort of birth control. I absolutely cannot take the pill and when I did have an IUD it implanted itself in my uterus and had to be surgically removed. I did the shot (depo provera) for a few years and gained about 30 pounds.

    So I tried the pill again and had almost daily migraines. I’m nearly 99% sure that I can’t get pregnant, my husband has fertility issues and a scarred uterus isn’t likely to get pregnant. We went two years without using any type of birth control and didn’t conceive so we aren’t really using anything right now.

    Since he recently gained health insurance when we got married in June, he is going to talk to the doctor about getting checked for fertility again and then we will have our answer.

    Good luck!!

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