Aside from preventing pregnancy, I have chosen birth control pills as my method for contraception for three reasons: regulating menstrual cycle, making my pre-menstrual symptoms manageable and keeping my breakouts at bay. I first dabbled with these when I was 18, and I’ve switched brands a couple times since then. Finding the right brand that works well for you without any or much side effects takes time, like every medication or product there is on the market. Even now, I’m still trying find the best one out there for me.
Here are some brands I’ve been on and how I reacted to them:
(Ethinylestradiol / Levonorgestrel)
This is one of those brands that not a lot of women reacted to positively because the dosage is pretty heavy compared to other brands. It’s the first one I’ve tried and actually just used it as an emergency after pill since my home country doesn’t sell those kind of products. For the most part, it did it’s job and I did not experience any pains or dramatic shifts both physically or emotionally/psychologically. I have discontinued it however because it was getting a bit difficult for me to procure.
(Ethinylestradiol / Levonorgestrel with Ferrous Fumarate)
This is the cheapest one I’ve tried, priced at around 50 PHP at the time I was on it. It’s low dosage and works perfectly almost for anyone I know, even for me. I did not experience any dramatic shifts in moods or physicality as well.
(Cyproterone Acetate / Ethinylestradiol)
One of my favorite ones that worked wonders for my skin. Not the most expensive in the local market but one of the pricier ones, along with brands such as Diane35 and Yasmin. My skin began clearing up around month two on it and after that I didn’t experience any breakouts anymore, despite some poor lifestyle choices. No side effects for me as well, although when I was off of it for a couple of months, my painful pre-menstrual symptoms came back almost immediately along with one or two big, red breakout every now and then.
This one is very similar to the Trust pills, but doesn’t seem to help out on getting my skin to tip-top shape. It’s low dosage and doesn’t have any side effects for me either and very easy to procure from pharmacies, especially smaller ones. With this pill, I made the mistake of skipping my placebo pills entirely and starting a new pack immediately after I finish my current pack then. This is a method used by some to delay the period for a couple of days especially when there’s any event that’s coming up. When I did this, I experienced light bleeding for a whole month even when I have stopped taking the pills. Please do not make the same mistake I did and consult your doctor instead for the correct medicine if you are planning to delay your period.
(Cyproterone Acetate / Ethinylestradiol)
This is one of the more popular brands that’s available globally. Here, it’s on the mid-scale, price-wise. It’s also a brand that I’ve taken for a while, next to Althea. For the first few months, it worked like magic for me — period is manageable (very minimal, only lasts a maximum of 2 or 3 days, no heavy bleeding at all), skin is quite clear and no side effects. After some time however, for some unknown reason, it stopped working like it used to. I would get occasional breakout around my lip and forehead area, and my period would be a little heavier than what I’m already used to. Lastly, I would ALWAYS have an excruciating headache that lasts a day before I get my period, which renders me not able to function that whole time.
I recently switched to this brand recently, and I’ve been meaning to try it out for some time now. I was skeptical at first since I’ve heard a lot of women reacted negatively with it. There are countless of reviews online saying they had a bad breakout on the first month, dramatic shifts in moods as well as phases of anxiety and depression. I could only count in my hand the number of women who adapted well to it. I’m only on my Day 12 with it (as of this writing) and so far, thankfully, I am doing just okay with it. My skin has not broken out and there are no shifts in moods so far. However, I experienced a slight shooting pain on my left lower abdomen (right where the colon is) and exhaustion even when I had a good night’s rest. Although I cannot really say if those symptoms are related to this and/or if it will be a recurring pain.
Please do remember that before taking any medications such as these, consult a professional first. They are the ones capable of assessing your health properly and prescribe you with medicines to take that won’t have any negative reaction to your health, and they can inform you as well of other options for contraceptives that you might lean more into. Take it with the highest caution.
It is fortunate in most countries that it is relatively easier and culturally more open-minded about these things. In my experience in my home country, it took at least two visits to the doctor to get any prescriptions because there’s still a level of stigma with premarital sex there.
Lastly, I just want to reiterate that these are my own experiences with the pill. I’m lucky that I have not had any or much bad experience/s with any of the ones I’ve taken, but anybody can have a different reaction to it. Not to mention your lifestyle choices can have an effect with it too. Choices such as smoking cigarettes, sleep deprivation, diet, physical activity and etc.
How about you? Have you taken any of these brands? What were your reaction to them? Do you take any other form of contraception? Why did you choose it instead of the conventional pill?