Thursday, September 5, 2013


The First Response Pie

Related: Meet the Pull-Out Generation

Ann Friedman is not pregnant, y'all!!!

91 Comments / Post A Comment

Blackwatch Plaid

This is as good a place as any: Pinners, should I get my IUD taken out? I've been having random, painful cramping and breakthrough bleeding pretty consistently for the last year, and my sex drive/mood in general have taken a nosedive. It's the Mirena, so I'm concerned this is a hormonal issue.
On the other hand, constant breakthrough bleeding might be arguably better than a single period per month (mine tended to be horrific), and not getting pregnant is certainly convenient.


@Blackwatch Plaid
Go get checked out to make sure nothing weird is happening first. Then, decide which is more annoying - random bleeding, or horrific bleeding I guess. Personally I think I'd stick with random...


@Blackwatch Plaid Before you take it out - 400 IUs of Vitamin E every other day should help with the bleeding. http://iud-divas.livejournal.com/3023737.html


@Blackwatch Plaid I don't have any problems with my Mirena, so I'm probably biased, but I think that the not getting pregnant part, combined with no periods (no ruined underwear, no period sex!) trumps most inconveniences. Then again, frequent cramping and bleeding do suck. I love my mirena-- I'm never ever afraid of being pregnant anymore. This chart made me oddly wistful for that late period paranoia.


@Blackwatch Plaid I would stick with the Mirena if your doc says it is OK. (A quick ultrasound and a peek should confirm you aren't perforated or whatever.) I also have random, but not frequent, breakthrough bleeding and occasional hellish cramps with it. However, not having a period is worth it for me.

Fat Apollo

@Blackwatch Plaid I'm sorry to hear you are having a less-than-optimal experience with the Mirena. I was in a similar situation and had it removed, and I don't regret it. At the clinic where I had my insertion and post-insertion follow-up, I was told that my persistent cramping and tender breasts were normal and that they should go away "soon." They didn't, and when I saw a different doctor for my annual exam the following year, she thought it was crazy that I had stuck with it for so long and told me it really isn't normal to be experiencing regular pain after third (or so) month of insertion. It's hard, because I had such high hopes for the Mirena and after getting it taken out, it was really like "well, what now?" but it was definitely the right decision for me. As soon as it was taken out (well, after the after the big cramp that accompanied the removal subsided) I experienced relief from the weird cluster of symptoms that I had been dealing with for the previous year, and they haven't returned since. That was just my experience -- I hope you are able to minimize your pain/suffering/inconvenience in short order. Best of luck!


@Blackwatch Plaid Go get it looked at! 3-4 months is the upper limit of normal for bleeding/cramping after mirena. Also you might be able to get the new iud (Skyla) which is like a mini-mirena. I believe the other thing they can do is give you a shot of estrogen which should stop the bleeding but might not resolve the cramping.


love it! Thank you!@l


As a lady who wishes to be pregnant but consistently is not, I also spend a lot of time wondering WHY pregnancy and PMS symptoms are the same. Damn you breast tenderness and affinity for crackers!


@lemonadefish When I worried that I was pregnant (and did not want to be) I understood everything as a sign of pregnancy/not pregnancy, depending on my mood. I can only imagine having the opposite dilemma, you have my sympathies and hugs.


@lemonadefish What seemed very strange to me when I first found out that I was pregnant was the one symptom that was noticeably absent: the hormonal mood swings that usually lead up to PMS (for me). That was my first clue I might be pregnant. Second was the missing period of course.

one cow.

@lemonadefish Just wanted to say that I also share an affinity for crackers. I LOVE THEM ALL.


@MrsTeacherFace Same here. PMS for me = sore boobs and mild sadness, followed by one day of Ultimate Despair. Pregnancy for me = sore boobs and mild sadness, followed by "Hey, I didn't cry or pick a savage, baseless fight or think about throwing myself into the river even once yesterday. Should I take a test?" (Followed by miscarriage, so I'm right there with you, lemonadefish. Courage!)


@one cow. I bought FIVE KINDS at Big Lots last weekend. There are still a few left...


@Canard Sore boobs were my first pregnancy symptom. It had never been a PMS symptom until after my miscarriage last year, and it seems to be getting worse every month, and so every month I am hopeful that this is it... Bodies. Ug.


@lemonadefish Bodies are the worst. The worst.


@lemonadefish Yep, me too. Sucks.

Briony Fields

50% dragging a giant tub of extra-strength ibuprofen everywhere, just in case.

50% sobbing. Only sobbing.


@Briony Fields For me, I would adjust the sobbing to 48% and add 2% feeling phantom wetness and running to the bathroom in a panic, clutching a tampon.

penultimate toothpaste squeeze

@RebeccaKW Yes to phantom wetness, ugh


Interesting related article. Discuss, anyone?


@rimy (I do not use birth control!) there, I said it. I'm in a stable relationship of 3 years and we transitioned to just using pull-out instead of the pill and it's worked fine. Also it is very intense and satisfying. /overshare


@rimy ME TOOO (like, to everything. 3 years relationship, pull out, all the time) My gyno said it was fine, so +('.'+) to all the haters (okay sorry, I'm being silly, but I'm just happy someone else admitted it. ha)

honey cowl

@rimy I will overshare with you! Also in a committed 3+ year relationship. I hated the pill and went off about 2 years ago, but we used condoms instead. I have a copper IUD and I'm way happier with it than I would be without; my cycle is insanely irregular and I once didn't get a period for 6 months (thankfully before I was having sex much less using birth control). I also have a family history of ectopic pregnancy so using the pullout method could be potentially life-threatening for me! Way to be dramatic honey cowl!

Also I haven't seen you around here in a while! Hope all is well!


@rimy Cannot, will not, pull out ever. Though I am one of those people whose body is incredibly happy with the pill.

@fabel What did your gyno say when they said pulling out was fine? I'm just honestly curious because I feel like my entire sex-ed class was just "PULLING OUT DOESN'T WORK YOU DUMB TEENS."


@rimy my IUD migrated and embedded itself into my lady parts in March, and have been without BC since then. Have been using the pull out method since, paired with Fertility Awareness method, and have (knock on wood because I have over a year of nursing school left) not yet become pregnant. Mr. Noodge is notoriously fertile. I hate this though, because I find NOT pulling out to be very satisfying. /overshare

And @Jaya - the pull-out method is over 70% effective, which ain't bad, but when you're talking about "unintended pregnancy", the costs are so high that it's pretty significant. But lots of people anecdotally do that with fertility awareness with decent success. Usually it's not a good option unless you're with someone where pregnancy wouldn't be the end of the world. With all the intolerance my body has with apparently almost every type of birth control, it was the best option my gyno and I could come up with.

Annie N

@fabel curious as well!!


@rimy Wellllllll, my dude and I consistently used the pullout method for 7 years with great success. And then one day, no success. And now we have a teeny tiny baby. But hey, one failure in 7 years is still pretty good!


@noodge That makes sense. It's so frustrating the total crapshoot with how your body reacts to hormones. I know I got lucky, which is good because even though I'm engaged being pregnant would definitely be an end of the world scenario.

polka dots vs stripes

@rimy Also in a long term relationship, also used pull out (for nearly a year, I think?), now using an IUD.

Just to join the chorus. It's not something I'd recommend in most scenarios (hence the move back to BC) but it's better than not pulling out so...

fondue with cheddar

@rimy I've been using the pull-out method for a total of 11 years with three different men, and I've only gotten pregnant once. And the time I did was after he accidentally came ON my lady parts* instead of away from them. And I know at least two of them are virile. My boyfriend has four kids, and my ex husband knocked up his then-mistress-now-wife three times.

*"Stop trying to make vulva happen. Vulva is never going to happen."


@rimy I just quit birth control because after 8 year my vagina decided that I probably was just never going to ovulate again so basically called it quits.

I am using condoms now, not looking forward to my first scare.


@rimy Not giving up my BC pills for the WORLD. I take one of the lowest doses available on the market, and am lucky to have a good health plan that took my doctor's advice rather than try to force me onto a higher-dosage generic (also my plan was *not* grandfathered and so it's been free for the last year). There's breakthrough bleeding, but it's usually minimal, and I will take it over my previous periods. Debilitating cramps? GONE. Bleeding through a "super plus" tampon in an hour? GONE. Mood swings? GONE GONE GONE. Achy boobs are still around (part of the reason my gyno recommends against a higher does of hormones), but overall those pills have made my life SO MUCH BETTER. Until I'm ready to have kids, I'm probably going to stay on it. (I'm in a stable relationship of two years, cohabitating, and considering marriage.)


@rimy I can't tell if everyone in the article sounds insufferable because they are, or because it's New York Magazine. Probably the latter.

IUD users get flack for being evangelicals (which is not undeserved), but nobody loves to share an anecdote like a pull outer. I am curious how many of them go into with any prior proof of fecundity. It's a weird thing to brag about if you're not actually sure it's your exquisite self-control at work.


@werewolfbarmitzvah I'll take those chances!

@honeycowl I am doing well! Just getting re-oriented after moving to a new city & all the stress that comes with that. Thanks for asking :) hope you are well too.


@Jaya @Annie N Well, the conversation was kind of an accident, actually--- I was there for my yearly, & she knows I'm in a long term relationship, & not on the pill, & she asked like... what I was doing, do I use condoms, etc.? And forgetting to "front", let's say, I kind of absentmindedly went like, "oh, no." So her next question was, "Pulling out?" which I answered yes to, kind of cringingly, & she reassured me that was fine (much to my surprise!!) ("as long as nothing gets inside! Withdrawal basically is as effective as condoms [in preventing pregnancy]" were pretty much her exact words)

And I've never had any scares, never been pregnant (KNOCK ON WOOD because I feel bad "bragging" about no scares). For what it's worth, my period is very regular, so I guess that helps?


@squishycat Ugh, for me, pills (I tried 3 varieties) gave me worse mood swings, ALL THE TIME, instead of the expected 1 week prior to period. I was just a huge hormonal ball of feelings 24/7. There might be a brand of pill out there that would align with my makeup, but pull-out is just a lot easier. The self-control part is not easy. We use the rhythm method to figure out when it's okay to indulge but I realize we are running a big risk. I've made my peace with it and would not abort a pregnancy if one occurs. I clearly am not advocating my method (if you can call it that) as the best, but we have stumbled on a happy medium that works for us.


@rimy I had similar mood swing problems. Basically, I was no fun to live with for over a year (bless my fiancé's buttons for putting up with me). We're using condoms, which is not much fun, but it's way better than randomly crying at work, and yelling about every little thing.

Briony Fields

@Jaya I had some...medical professional person of sorts (I can't remember who) tell me that pulling out is actually really effective, but it's usually advertised differently because you have to be with someone who is good at self-control, and you know who are terrible at that? Teenage boys. But apparently if you *actually* do it properly, it works very well.


@Briony Fields I use the Nuvaring and it is the greatest thing in the universe. The pill gave me really bad anxiety/depression, and having a baby is NOT an option for me right now/ever in my career which I love, and, well, I like sex and don't like condoms. End of story.


@Briony Fields Yes! Pulling out is pretty good if you're having sex with a grown ass man who can deal with it. My husband and I have been having sex for like 13 years now, and we've been technically using this method for most of that time after I hated several hormonal options (though it's more like have sex til I'm done and then he puts on a condom because that's how he likes to roll and hey, less cleanup for me, everybody wins HOW IS THAT FOR OVERSHARE).

I mean, it definitely helps that we're in a place now where a baby would be like, eh, maybe a year or two before we wanted rather than the goddamn disaster it would have been a few years ago.


@Briony Fields I feel like I'd be just as bad as pulling out as any guy, too. Like, why make it so that you have to remember something in the middle of an orgasm?


25% wondering how to get an abortion in a conservative state
40% wondering for how long said abortion will take me away from my dissertation
5% just taking the damn test already


@BosomBuddy YES! I had my last (sort of unfounded, I use The Nuva Ring) scare while moving from Portland Oregon to College Station for grad school. In that process I learned that the planned parenthood in College Station / Bryan is one of the three that were closed this summer because of the new legislation. Nothing has made me want to move to Texas less. But I'm in the clear! (Dear Nuva Sorry I doubted you! -SeaMoney)


15% asking Siri where the nearest "Dollar Tree" is so I can get multiple pregnancy tests that are just as accurate as those bullshit expensive ones from the drug store.

polka dots vs stripes

@noodge Target has cheap ones too, in their store brand. Two for $3 I think?


@polka dots vs stripes ooohhhh, good to know!!! thanks!


@noodge If you like planning ahead & buying in bulk, these are the cheapest I've found...


30% having an existential crisis about my future, ambitions, etc.
30% having paranoid doubts and fears about my boyfriend
30% ginning up some theoretical excitement about having a baby and imagining what kind of person it would be
10% crying at youtube videos


@lemonadefish What seemed very strange to me when I first found out that I was pregnant was the one symptom that was noticeably absent: the hormonal mood swings that usually lead up to PMS (for me). That was my first clue I might be pregnant. Second was the missing period of course.


@MrsTeacherFace Argh, didn't mean to post that twice. Now it's too late to delete it. Life is terrible.


age 17-25: 100% Terror
age 25-27: mild disappointment
age 27-30: severe disappointment
age 31: thank fucking finally knocked up!

fondue with cheddar

@iceberg "thank fucking finally knocked up!" I don't think fucking is what you have to thank. (Please take that as the playful joke it was intended to be and not as an insult to/making light of your trouble conceiving.)


@fondue with cheddar hahaha, no you're quite right! But at least it means I don't have to buy birth control.

fondue with cheddar

@iceberg That is a nice upside! I honestly thought I might be infertile because I've had so many years of pull-out sex without getting pregnant. At least, until I got knocked up by Mr. Supersperm Babymaker.


@iceberg Please tell me if this is too personal a question , but do you use no BC now, after you conceived the Bits? I've had a couple friends who conceived with IVF and then later conceived unexpectedly because they thought they were infertile.

One of those friends conceived when her twins were 3 months old. Seriously. Cannot imagine what you think at that point besides WTF, body?!


@sox Ah. I only just saw this, don't know if you''ll see this reply! We didn't use IVF, and it wouldn't have worked for us anyway. We are unable to get pregnant naturally, there is literally zero risk of it happening, so I don't use BC now.

Nicole @twitter

I probably only got my period last week after days of waiting because I was wearing my most expensive, most lacey underwear (which was probably only $5, but still! More than my usual $3 ones!).

Nicole @twitter

@Nicole @twitter Also I am probably only paranoid right now because it's my first month trusting Lady Comp as my birth control and it's a little nerve-racking!


True fact my birth control almost killed me last month, so I'm back to late period paranoia, which for me is almost 100% dreading/planning/googling how to get an abortion. Hooray.

To all the ladies on birth control: That blood clotting risk is 100% real and I am thank god alive to tell you all about it. Never ignore leg pain after a long trip and for christsake take yourself to the ER if you are short of breath.


@AmandaElsewhere This is one of my deepest paranoias, "will I know that I have a blood clot??" SO glad you are alright!


@districter You will know. When you are asking yourself this question: "if this is a pulled muscle then how come I can't breathe without crying?"

This is my new username

@AmandaElsewhere Making mental note as I am a person taking a BC pill that has an extra high risk of blood clots.


@AmandaElsewhere I had a blood clot caused by BC and a long car journey. So scary! It caused incredibly horrible chest pain,and breathlessness and coughing up blood which was finally got me to go to hospital after 2 weeks of thinking I'd just strained a chest muscle. But yes, you will know. It hurts like hell.


@AmandaElsewhere Wait! tell more! I didn't know this was real! What kind of leg pain? Stabby? Soreness? What kind of chest pain? Constricting like someone is sitting on your chest? Stabby? Educate the rest of us BC ladies!

Also, I am so so sorry this happened to you and am so glad you're alright. You too @Bekki.


@LydiaBennett In my case incredibly painful stabby pains along the side of my rib cage. It felt muscular to me, which was why I thought I'd done something to my rib cage. I couldn't sleep it was so bad, even taking all the painkillers (ibuprofen + paracetamol + codeine). Turned out it was a blood clot in my lungs. It must have started with a DVT in my legs after a 5 hour car journey (which I slept through, so didn't move). I remember my legs hurting, but I thought it was normal stiff legs after sitting for too long. 3 days after that, the chest pain started. After 9 days of pain, I started coughing up blood (small amounts, but bright red fresh blood) at which point I got my husband to take me to A&E (ER). A few hours later I was admitted with a suspected pulmonary embolism, confirmed that evening by CT scan.
So, I'm a little jumpy now when I have chest pain. (though I've had no recurrence.) Had to change BC though, from combined pill to progestogen-only (which doesn't have the clot risk).
Now I'm off the pill and trying to get pregnant, but that's another story.


@Bekki@twitter @LydiaBennett

It's real! My gyno gave me the talk about the risks of clots before I went on the pill, which is the only reason I knew/had a terrible feeling of what was happening to me. I had just returned from a trip to the West Coast and my leg felt like I had pulled a muscle. The pain gradually got worse and I actually went in for an ultrasound for my leg to check for a DVT and it came back negative. Two weeks later I couldn't go up a flight of stairs or walk a block without seriously needing to stop to catch my breath. I'm a pretty active person, so I knew this was not right and not just sickness symptoms. Also the pain, preach. The pain in my leg was one thing, but there was a stabby pain on my side that corresponds to a lot like what Bekki was saying. Everytime I inhaled, felt like I was getting stabbed in my side - not exactly chest pain but like SIDE/lower lung pain. I never coughed up blood, but I did go to the ER where they found the "massive" clot in my leg which had dislodged and moved into my lung. Most blood clots start in your leg and end up in your heart or lungs. I'm so lucky I caught it. My friend's classmate in dental school was training for a marathon and rationalized away her symptoms, thinking the leg pain was a sports injury and her shortness of breath school related stress. She collapsed and died on campus.
I'm just now coming around to the various evils of birth control, but when it works it is the best. I'm a little sad to have to give it up.


Lesbianism will take care of all your unintentional pregnancy woes. Less helpful if you want a pregnancy, however.


i have actually done the "wear lacy panties to trick my period into starting b/c it likes to ruin them" trick. also with white pants. works every time! :)


@MMTortuga Related: when I was single and I wanted to get lucky, I'd wear my ugliest underwear and not shave my legs. Worked like a charm. A stubbly, granny-pantied charm.


@Bebe I try to make it rain by wearing white shirts and leaving my car windows down. :/


@Bebe Oh shit. Last year I splurged and replaced all the granny panties and anything with a stain or tear. And I haven't gotten laid since feb of 2012. I did this to myself didn't I? Or did I, because I am the laziest leg shaver there ever was.


Too timely. TOO TIMELY


OK. so the first year I started having the sex, I was pretty paranoid about getting pregnant, and spent like, way too much time worrying that any weird body thing would get me pregnant. But I have literally never had an actual pregnancy scare. My red dot express is pretty much always right on time.


My favorite late period story: after stressing out about being late over lunch at a Mexican place, I went to Rite Aid and got a pregnancy test. They also had Cadbury cream eggs so I bought one because they are delicious.

Then when I left, I looked back and examined the situation: tortilla soup stain on my shirt, cadbury cream egg, pregnancy tests. I must have looked utterly pathetic.

Dirty Hands

Q. How are we coping with the fact that our period is super late?
A. Being sexually inactive, we are realizing that stress and dieting have taken their effects on our bodies. Then we are getting a Philly cheesesteak.


that 15% resenting men portion is way too small. That is why I have shared every single one of my pregnancy paranoias with my sex partners. They get to freak out about it too, goddamnit.


LADIES!! Just go get the cheapest test immediately. Target has some generic cheap ones. I used to keep them waaaayyy in the back of the sink cupboard for occasional peace of mind. If you ARE pregnant that thing will light up like ding ding ding immediately, and then you can know instead of have brooding dread. If not you can toss and move on with life and just know your body is f-ing with you.


I hope someone is still checking this out but I am having the OPPOSITE problem? I have had my period for over a week and a half now and it never lasted beyond 5 days before that. I am on NuvaRing also and the ring is in, plus there is a true 0% chance of being pregnant(waaah no sex), if that clarifies anything. How long should I wait until taking this to a doctor? I am gonna post this in the FOT also...


@martinipie I used to have an extremely regular period. On my current birth control, though, now I get lots of light periods and then every once in a while I'll get a much heavier and slightly longer period than normal. The doctor ran some tests and everything came out fine--it's just the birth control interacting with my body, not anything about me. The peace of mind of having seen a doctor made me feel a lot better about it.


@martinipie This happened to me once (don't think it was as long as a week & half? or if it was, that's when it finally decided to go away?) Anyway, I think it was because I'd started taking b vitamins. Just a thought-- have you been taking anything different lately? Or maybe changed your diet?


@martinipie Could possibly be related to an ovarian cyst that has ruptured. If there are more of them, the doc can see them on ultrasound. If there are not, they will shrug and send you home most likely. Though probably it is nothing. If it were me, I'd wait another week or so before going in, but that all depends on how much it is bothering you...


Semen is present in pre-ejaculate fluid.
Teenage me remembers Health classes in school, where we learned the clinical name for people who don't use birth control is "Parents."


@Myrtle No! It isn't! It can be present in the urethra if the dude hasn't peed since the last time he came, and then it can be present, but pre-ejaculate itself does not contain semen in a normal male.

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Briony Fields I feel like I'd be just as bad as pulling out as any guy, too. Like, why make it so that you have to remember something in the middle of an orgasm?

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