Womens Health

Bipolar disorder - what pill to use?

Are there any specific birth control pills that are recommended for women with bipolar disorder? I have tried Ortho-tricyclen® and Tri-Levelen®. With both of them, I have had depressions worse than before I ever started on Lithium. I could really use some help.

In general it is felt that the progestogen component of birth control pills has the most effect on aggravating depression. Estrogen has the opposite effect, it usually improves depression.

The progestogen in Levlen® is stronger than the progestogen in Tricyclen® milligram per milligram. I would expect Levlen® to be slightly more depressive than Tricyclen® but there is a confounding factor.

Both have varying doses of the hormones throughout the cycle. The could conceivably worsen a cyclic process like manic-depression. I would think it would be better to be on a mono phasic pill that had a low progestogen potency such as Orthocyclen®, Norinyl 1/35 ®or Desogen 1/35®.

It's possible, however, that any combination could worsen the symptoms. Basically this solution involves trying different pills and giving each one about 2-3 mos before drawing a conclusion. There is almost no scientific investigation in this area, i.e. effect of OCPS on manic-depression that I know of.

Shorter and shorter periods on the pill

I am on the pill and every month when I get my period, it seems to last a shorter time. Last month I had my period for less than one day!

This month, I stopped taking my 7/7/7 pill on Saturday, I usually get my period on Wednesday, but I did not get my period. I have had cramping like I was going to get my period, but I never had any bleeding. I am wondering if this is due to the pill or if I am possibly pregnant.

Birth control pills usually decrease the amount of endometrial tissue formed each month. That is the mechanism by which they decrease menstrual flow and usually decrease cramps.

Sometimes the amount of tissue formed each month is so little that a day of spotting or no menses at all can be the case. There is no long-term problem with having scanty or no flow other than the worry that in any one cycle it could represent pregnancy.

Table of Contents
1. Break through bleeding
2. When to start the pill
3. Shorter cycle?
4. Expired pills ok?
5. Light period on Pill. Am I pregnant?
6. Postpone a period
7. Switching pills
8. Switching brands
9. Pill and individual variability
10. Is it necessary to switch?
11. Severity of symptoms
12. Big decisions
13. And switching back
14. Which pill? Undecided?
15. Heavy flow
16. Pill problem finale
17. Why cramps?
18. Exercise help cramps?
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