Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Abnormal Periods on Birth Control

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Question
I apologize that this isn't an STD question, but I really need some advice and I think you have great knowledge! So I have been taking the birth control Natazia since April 2012 and I've never had any real irregular periods, just some light spotting here and there, but for the past 2 months, December 2012 and January 2013, I've been having very abnormal periods. I got my period on December 1st through December 6th (it was pretty light) and then I got it again on December 11th - December 16th (this time it was heavier). I talked to my boyfriends mom, she's a gynecologist, and she said it was pretty normal and just to make sure to take it at the same time everyday, which I do anyways and I also have NEVER missed taking a pill. So January comes around and I get my period on January 6th - January 11th (light flow) and then it just started again yesterday, January 21st, but is much heavier. I was also treated for a yeast infection with DIFLUCAN this past saturday, January 19th, and I'm just wondering if maybe that's why the flow is so much heavier? Sorry for all the graphic details, but I don't have insurance and I was just wondering if anyone has been in the same position as me. Any help or advice would be great!! : )

Answer
Hi Lindsey,
You should direct your question to which ever health care provider prescribed the Natazia birth control pill!  Give them a call!  

Birth control pills are designed to prevent ovulation, and based on how much body fat you have, and how athletic you are, these may affect the regularity and heaviness of your periods. Two things to keep in mind:  estrogen (from your ovaries or from your birth control pill) may be bound up in adipose (fat) tissue; when estrogen levels drop below a certain level, the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) is shed in the menstrual period. If that estrogen level teeters very close to that "certain level," than small variations may cause "break through bleeding."

Break through bleeding is a mild nuisance. There are a couple of approaches to break through bleeding. Changing the dosage of hormones in the birth control pill; changing when the pill is taken relative to the beginning of the cycle (day one of bleeding); making sure you don't take any medications such as antibiotics that may interfere with your body's ability to metabolize the estrogen without doctor's advice; moderating periods of extreme exercise; sudden weight changes or illness; and other things, can all effect the character and frequency of periods.

Good luck!
--mark  

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Mark P. Behar

Expertise

Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!

Experience

Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Organizations
Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Publications
Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Education/Credentials
Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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