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Snap, Crackle and PMS!

 |  Misc, Personal

This post is probably a bit girly for most of you, feel free to bugger off now…

About 4 years ago I went on the Depo Provera jabs. As well as wanting the extra contraceptive power, I figured it’d be a good way to ditch the Monthly Terrors and the accompanying symptoms (agonising cramps, ridiculous food cravings, piss right off or I’ll rip your head off attitude, etc.) It worked like a charm and within about 2 months of starting, it was like being 12 years old all over again.. except with bigger boobies.

Anyway, I decided to come off the jabs last year for a variety of reasons. Not least because the long term side effects of the contraceptive are enough to make a girl want to say “screw the jabs, no sex EVER”. There’s loss of bone density leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis, lack of sex drive, possible weight gain due to increased appetite and so on. I managed to avoid the weight gain, and I’m pretty sure my bones are doing fine, however, it was worth taking a break.

So, I’m off the depo. My last jab was due October 19th 07, and that was the one I didn’t have. I had a very light period with on/off days in December and because I’ve always been regular as clockwork I assumed that was it, back to normal after that. No such “luck” (if you can call bleeding through your va-jay-jay luck – whatever!) Since then I’ve been in a permanent state of PMS of one degree or another, up and down like a bloody yoyo.

I’m physically aware of the mood swings — unlike when I was a teenager — so I can stop it interfering with day to day stuff. However, some days I get so bloody frustrated at the most stupid things I feel like I’m going to stand up and punch the wall. It’s not even people that are pissing me off (now that does makes a change) but stupid shit like my e-mail not downloading fast enough, or my chair not being comfy enough and worst of all: my FTP timing out at work.

So here I am, having eaten 2 chocolate bars, a chocolate biscuit and a chicken thigh this evening (oops, those food cravings are back) fully aware that I’m PMSing at idiotic, inanimate things.. impatient at some impending news that may or may not affect my schedule for the next 2-3 months and all I can think about is by golly, being a woman is a pain in the bloody arse sometimes.

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

36 comments so far

  1. Aisling said:

    I used to naturally only have it every 3 months. It was hell when I had it, but I thought 5 days of agony every 90 days wasn’t too bad. Now, it happens every month, and it pisses me off hardcore. Oh, but when I had it every 3 months, I still had PMS! So, the girls I lived with would all be PMSing, and they’d ask me why I was PMSing as well, if I only got it every 3 months, and I’d be like, “Well, if I was normal, I WOULD have it, obviously,” gesturing around to the 5 other girls who obviously adapted to each other. Being a girl is odd.

  2. Jordan said:

    I may be one of few that don’t mind getting her period. The only reason that I’d like to get on birth control is just for that–birth control. That way I can have all the lovely sex I want without worrying about little ones popping out unexpectedly. I think the only reason I don’t mind my period is that it’s always lite and lasts between 2-3 days. Though the day before I get a period, and the first day I usually get horrific cramps. And the mood swings, oh lord the mood swings. As you mentioned the slightest imperfection I come across, and I’m absolutely fumed over it. And I can’t even get myself to ignore it. It’ll fester in my mind until I literally explode :(

  3. Vera said:

    tee-hee at least you can throw it in guys’ faces that they have no idea what it’s like =P I don’t like feeling sick either, during junior high I used have some pretty nasty bouts of nausea too. But I tend to think of the pros, like having a kid… er sure at the moment I’d be scared to be presented with the prospect of raising one… but eventually… I’d like to =P Oh but the mood swings… I should write reviews during my period. If only my stomach aches would let off, I’d do it ;)

  4. Nellie said:

    Raina, they jab your butt, thigh or hip with a medium sized needle. I came off Depo once upon a time, but after about 9 months of periods and paranoia that condoms weren’t going to do the job, I went back on it. I didn’t experience weight gain the first time, but I have this time. Which kinda really sucks :( No problems with my sex drive or bone density though. Heh.

  5. Melissa said:

    It’s interesting about being “physically aware” of the mood swings isn’t it. I rather appreciate that “sense” and it makes me feel mature. So instead of weeping constantly at the thought of the world being 100% against me, like I did back in the teens…I just weep a bit less. ;P And FTP timing out at work…? I’m with you there. Happening as we speak. *grumbles* However, I plan on buying one of those “cube warfare” guns to relieve the stress from ThinkGeek with some of the gift money ($125!) that Chaz gave me to spend there. :D Imagine how many geeky tshirts I could buy… ;)

  6. Christine said:

    ekkk that sounds like no fun :( i get horribly depressed around my period. like, the smallest comment from my bf that could be taken the wrong way and i’m bursting into tears. luckily he keeps track of my days so he’s good at fielding them ^^ If you want to try another form of BC, I would recommend the Mirena IUD, tho I think in the UK, it goes under a diff name, an IUS? It’s a very low dose hormone. It doesn’t eradicate your period, but it makes it very light. very manageable. it’s only 5% ish of the does a pill would have. and i find it doesn’t really have side effects like cravings and what not. hope you feel better ^^ (i find a nice hot cup of tea w/ a shot of amerretto is good too ^^)

  7. Lil said:

    I hate birth control with a furious passion. The first lot I tried gave me such horrific mood swings that I was doing some crazy stuff such as destroying furniture, and this second one I’ve tried has nearly enough killed my sex drive. To top it off I’m allergic to latex and have a massive phobia of needles. Pass over some of that chocolate.

  8. Ashley said:

    Ooh, ’tis my time of the month too actually. I am on BC – OrtoTri-Cyclen (well actually, they turned that into a generic called Trinessa). Anyway, I have been on BC since I was in 5th grade. Yeah how embarrassing to be a 5th grader on BC. I was having my period for 3 weeks at a time with a one week break, so the opposite of what a “normal” period should be. It sucked. I have had no problems with weight gain the whole time I have been on the pill. I used to always take long hot baths when I was having bad cramps. I”d just sit in the tub, relax, read a book. Now I live in an apartment with a bathtub I would not be caught dead sitting down in. :P I always get cravings though during that time of the month. I just had a McChicken from McDonald’s. If I had known you wanted a Double Quarter Pounder with cheese I’d have picked you up one. ;) I feel your pain though.

  9. Annie said:

    *Hands over a bar of chocolate* Sorry it’s not real or edible :D. Apart from the excruciating stomach pains, I’m okay. Just a lot quieter than usual and emotional – it’s annoying. Although, no body else seems to realise so I must hide it well…*thumbs up* hah. I’ve heard of the jabs but never considered taking one. It doesn’t come monthly for me anyway so I can hack it.

  10. Stephanie said:

    I’m on the pill Yaz which is supposed to control the mood swings beautifully — and it does. But it gives me periods that are ten days long and heavy, sore boobs and the most hideous cramping. I’ve never had a period longer than 4 days, sore boobs, or cramping on any other day but the first — and that was mild. So you say no to Depo? Then I won’t get it. I’m in the market for a new pill, though… ten days is just too much. I can’t afford that many tampons!

  11. A said:

    Oh dear. You have my sympathies. It took me six months to adjust to my birth control. I agree, sometimes it’s a bloody pain in the ass to be a woman.

  12. Ramsha said:

    Maybe your body got tired of not having reason enough for mood swings, and as soon as you went off your depo, it came back full-swing trying to fulfil the time you’ve missed being hormonal? Some nice hot chocolate perhaps?

  13. Mumblies said:

    If your mood swings don’t improve Jem I would recommend going back to the doctors, there are things they can do to help with that :o)

  14. Adi said:

    I started when I was 12, and my periods used to like go on and on and on [10 days, even], until my mom decided to put me on estrogen pills. *shudders* It was pretty bad – nausea and all that crap every morning. Plus the weight gain. But I never PMS – surprisingly. Ah well. xD

  15. Jamie said:

    I’m on the NuvaRing which I absolutely love. We some issues at first but it’s all worked out. When I was on the Patch, I was incredibly moody and depressed all the time. I would cry about EVERYTHING. I had to find a replacement and the NuvaRing is perfect!

  16. Arwen said:

    That’s why I went on the pill. I still enjoy getting my monthly reassurance that I’m not preggers, (and ONLY for that reason), plus the pill has done wonders for me. It cleared up my complexion, reduced my bleeding, made my cramps almost non-existant (I used to have cramps so intense that they would bring on a low-grade fever), and stabilized my mood swings. What sucks is that I have to take it every day, but it doesn’t really have any of those long-term side effects – except for increased risk of blood clots but only really if you smoke. Taking the pill actually reduces your risk of contracting cervical cancer.

  17. Sarah said:

    I got so annoyed at birth control because it made me uninterested in sex, so I figured ‘what is the point?’. I think it’s a crock: BC doesn’t adjust your hormones so that you *can’t* get pregnant, it just adjusts your hormones such that you don’t want to go *about* getting pregnant! I also gained weight on it. Now, I just use condoms and say to hell with The Pill.

  18. Jem said:

    @Stephanie: So you say no to Depo? Not necessarily. It was good while I was on it, and did everything I wanted.. I just don’t think it makes a particularly good long term solution. @Arwen: Taking the pill actually reduces your risk of contracting cervical cancer. As does the Depo.. it’s just a matter of weighing up what’s more important, not dying of cancer or not collapsing because your bones have disintegrated? ;)

  19. Robbie aka yelanates said:

    I just thought this would give you a laugh. I’m taking a Web Design I class (I’m past it, but it’s required for the higher classes), and this is what the professor is teaching us: Mesa State College’s Computer Science Program Computer Science Program Our Program provides students with a strong background in theory along with practical training. Hands-on computer labs and classes enable students to experiment with various environments. Several programming languages are covered. Mesa State faculty are committed to delivering state-of-the-art technology. Examples of Study: Computer architechture Operating systems Software engineering Artificial Intelligence Database systems Computer Networks Robotics Automated Notation of music Java animation Dynamic Programming Contact Us: Mesa State College Office of Admissions & Records 1100 North Avenue Grand Junction, CO 81501 Toll-Free 1-800-982-MESA (6372) Local (970)-248-1875 Fax (970)-248-1973 E-mail: admissions@mesastate.edu Web Site: http://www.mesastate.edu He’s a total arse, too, because when I “asked” if the text decoration and bacjground color should be in the css, he kept reminding me that we weren’t learning css yet. I wanted to tell him that if we weren’t learning it yet, then we couldn’t do that yet, but whatever. Anyway, hope this makes you laugh at ignorance.

  20. Hev said:

    This helps me with the pms and irratation. If Hex will do it. If he will sit in your lap and let you stroke him, then do that. While you are doing that imagine that you are on a beach surrounded by the gentle lapping waves of the ocean. There is a nice pleasant warm breeze blowing and your cares are drifting away with the tide. If you don’t like the ocean then think of your favorite relaxing place. Closing your eyes may help in this process. The point is that Hex should start purring and studies have shown that a purring cat is a natural mood enhancer. I go outside and sit with Sunny, my yellow female cat, and this works wonders. The imagining of your favorite place is just to help relax you. Just trying to help Jem. Get to feeling better. If nothing else, tell Karl you want a wrestling match with him.

  21. Nyxx said:

    I just stop taking my BC pills after a year and a half… It made me depress, gained weight and worst of all, took away my sex drive!!! Me, the nymphomaniac would find herself saying no to sex?? I never had problem with PMS, but I do have a little more cramps :S

  22. SarahG said:

    For those who mention being on the pill and happy for the period to prove they’re not pregnant, when you’re on the pill and stop every 3 weeks you’re not having a period you’re having a withdrawal bleed and this can happen regardless of being pregnant. This is why your bleeding usually reduces when you’re on the pill. I was on the Depo for about 2-3 years mainly because I didn’t want the monthly ‘issue’, it made me uncomfortable and unhappy (I was on the pill before that). However after the weight gain, I came off it but couldn’t get back on track. My period would be first 2 months apart then 2 weeks apart. I’d cry for no reason, and retained so much water during the day. Luckily my Mum worked in the Gynaecology dept and found out about a new pill called Yasmin. It’s about 5 times more expensive than other pills so you won’t find your doctor suggesting it if they can help it, however it should bring back control, it, unlike most pills, actually doesn’t make you put weight on as it doesn’t cause water retention, and you can ‘crash’ the pill (although you can do this with others too) whereby you can take the pill for up to 3 lots in succession, so you can reduce that annoying bleed down to roughly one every 2.5 months. I’ve now come off it, about 3 months ago, in part because I couldn’t be bothered to get any more from the docs, and also cos I’m getting to that age when I want kids and I wanted to see if I could manage without it. So far, it’s been fine. Besides not being 100% certain of when I’m due, it’s been absolutely fine and not much different to being on the pill, except I don’t have to remember to take it ;)

  23. Stephen said:

    Okay, so I’m a bloke and shouldn’t have much to say on this, but I read something really interesting a few years back in a book about endometriosis. It suggested that humans are designed to have only around 7 periods in their life, which is why these days they cause so much trouble. The argument goes that, if you look at other great apes, females are sexually active more or less from the time they have their first period. 85% of humans will conceive within a year if they have regular, unprotected sex (source: WHO) and from that point on a female is either pregnant or lactating (which suspends the cycle). Most subsistence cultures breast-feed for 2 to 3 years, and a woman is around 3 times more fertile upon resumption of her cycle (source: BBC Panorama). Indeed, lactation is often ended by the woman becoming pregnant. In that way, women end up being either pregnant or lactating, with only brief periods of normal cycle throughout their lives. Face it – nature intends you to have children continuously until you die from it ;) Kind of interesting, I thought. Being an endometriosis book, it obviously was looking at possible reasons for the dramatic increase in the condition in modern times, but it applies to why the whole thing is apparently so badly designed at all.

  24. Kachii said:

    I’ve been on the contraceptive pill for about five years now, and I want to stop taking it. It has COMPLETELY depleted my sex drive (by which I mean I must have sex once a month and not because I want to) and I have constant PMS and mood swings (which would explain my rather obvious attitude problem – a little opposite to what seems to have happened for you on Depo) and morning sickness. I think part of the idea is that it mimics pregnancy. I thought about going for different things but nothing seems to be that great, nothing that I’m willing to go for anyway. I don’t want any kind of contraption inserted inside me (either in my womb or under my skin – I have a phobia of things being under my skin, I get freaked out by my pulse and have had panic attacks and almost fainted due to that kind of thing many, many times) and the Depo Provera thing doesn’t look like it’s gonna help from what you’ve said. I might just stop taking the pill entirely and just use condoms for the rest of my life (until I can get my tubes tied, they don’t let you get that done until you’ve had babies, unless there’s some extreme reason for it, no exceptions). I mean, there’s no other real reason for me taking the pills other than to not get pregnant and have lighter fake-periods. Plus, condoms will give me a better chance of being able to get pregnant when I decide I want to, or when the condom and my body decides to fail at keeping the sperms at bay. Either way, I’d like it to happen in between 2-5 years time, you have to have had to come off the pill for about a year or so before most people can get pregnant, so might as well start preparing now. I know how it feels to have PMS anyway, it’s my constant attitude. I’m annoyed to the point where I want to smash things up over trivial matters (like if I lose a game or if my boyfriend can’t understand some really complicated logical theory that he really shouldn’t be expected to understand but for some reason my brain thinks that if I can do it, anyone can do it, and if he can’t do it then he must be a complete idiot, and idiots are annoying), and I cry tears of joy when someone wins a large sum of money on a gameshow, or if someone who is completely unrelated to me’s dog dies, or at the charity adverts on TV with the abused kids, animals and African mud-hut tribes. If you wanna get shit off your chest feel free to swing your moods at my e-mail address, I’ll join in with you.

  25. Jeremy G. said:

    Girlfriend is on the same, and I’m happy and proud to report it works like a charm :) Pain free her = happy me with one less thing to deal with.

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