Womens Health


Pill potency to decrease flow on pills even more

Two and a half years ago, I started using Desogen®. I used the Sunday start method and tho I would not spot or have any breakthrough bleeding during the month, when I did get my period during the week of taking the "reminder" pills, it would start anywhere from a Tuesday one month, to a Saturday the next or anywhere in between.

My periods had always been irregular so this was one of the reasons I decided to try the pill. Also, I knew they usually lessened the bleeding which was fairly heavy and also helped with cramps. Besides not getting my period on at least approximately the same day each month, they kept getting heavier and heavier each month, and the PMS also increased from one week in advance to having it the entire month.

The pill did nothing to help with the cramps, either. I told my gyn and she switched me to LoEstrin 1.5/30® the following year. I also switched the pills to a Friday start so I would get my periods on Sundays.

At first, this pill worked great as far as the bleeding. It lessened it and also shortened the length of time it lasted. I also got it the exact same day (Sunday) each month, which I found very convenient. Unfortunately, it did nothing to help with the cramps and I usually had to take about 24 Advil® within a 24 hour time period for a day or two.

Eventually, the Advil® wasn't helping and I switched to using Ultram® which helped much more. But, I noticed a few months after switching pain killers, that the first day of my period became quite heavy---heavier than it even was before I took any birth control pills---and also contained many more clots.

For about 12-18 hours on the first day I will bleed very heavily, then it will lessen to average and then go to barely nothing for the next 2-3 days and end. I have since read that using Ibuprofen can lessen the flow and I think that's what happened with me---I stopped taking the Advil® and that's when the periods became heavier. I have become fed up with how heavy it is the first day and have recently asked my doctor what to do.

She suggested using Levlen® instead because it is a stronger pill than both Desogen® and LoEstrin 1.5/30® were. I am just wondering if you think this will help lessen the bleeding or make things worse like the Desogen® did because my understanding is that Desogen® is a stronger pill than LoEstrin®, yet it caused heavier bleeding. From what my pharmacist said, according to her chart, LoEstrin® is considered a "lower level" pill and Desogen® is an "intermediate level" pill.

So, I'm thinking that because Desogen® caused me to bleed heavier and it was a higher level pill than the LoEstrin® (which lessened the bleeding in comparison to the two), then is Levlen® (which is a higher level than both of them) what I need or will it, too, cause heavier bleeding as the Desogen® did?

Should I be going to a pill that's even lower than LoEstrin®? I guess I don't understand how you figure which way to switch someone's pills. My gyn said that you can't really compare two pills like Desogen® and LoEstrin 1.5/30® because the types of progestin in the two are completely different.

(question and doctor's response to be continued...)

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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