Another newbie--birth control question

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-28-2008
Another newbie--birth control question
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Sun, 09-28-2008 - 8:10pm

Hi everyone,

I’m Kylie and I’m new here (except for lurking some recently). I am mostly a lurker and don’t do a lot of board posting, but I thought I should pop in and introduce myself, especially since I have a few questions to get me started.

My FH Brian and I are set to tie the knot in June and to start trying not long after that. Actually we would both probably be comfortable going ahead now, but our families are sort of traditional and we don’t want to give anyone heart attacks by having a very pregnant (or even nursing) bride, hehehe. Anyway, I figured I needed to start learning how to get quick and healthy results once we are husband and wife.

The main question I have is how long I should be off the pill before we start trying. I have read everything from “three months” to “it doesn’t matter.” I gather that the big reason for the three month delay is so you can date your conception accurately, yes? Is there any health risk to the baby by cutting things closer? I would really like to use the pill to time my periods so we won’t have Aunt Flo along for the honeymoon, but if I stay on them til the wedding, I’m wondering how soon afterwards I could go off and safely conceive. Before the pill I was already very regular but I understand that when you go off your cycles can be strange for a while, so I’d rather not gamble with the honeymoon.

Also, just to make sure my family doesn’t get a surprise, :-) FH ususally uses condoms during my most fertile days, though neither of us likes them. If we quit using them, how much safety factor do we lose? (Keeping in mind that a whoops wouldn’t be the end of the world).

OK, that’s my inaugural post. Thanks for any input!

Kylie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2007
Sun, 09-28-2008 - 8:31pm

Welcome Kylie!

It is perfectly safe to go off your BC and start trying right away. The dating isn't a big issue; my doc used an early u/s to date my pg so it wouldn't have mattered if my cycle had been irregular (it wasn't however - my u/s matched perfectly with the due date from my last menstrual period). The biggest advantage to going off bc ahead of time is to get to know your cycles, so you can time your BDing better and optimize your chance of conceiving each cycle.

Are you currently using condoms in addition to the pill? I think as long as you are taking your pills regularly and being careful of any other medication you are on (i.e. antibiotics), you really don't need that extra back-up. Especially if a whoops wouldn't be too terrible :)

Anyway, welcome to the WTT board! I hope you post some more. The board is super friendly and supportive that even those of us who aren't waiting anymore can't help but stick around. :)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Sun, 09-28-2008 - 9:18pm

Yup, definitely no danger to starting right away. i just wanted to respond toput in a plug for starting on prenatal vitamins. Studies show that the high dose of folic acid in prenatals give increasing protection from taking them up to/at least 6 months before TTC. So don't wait until you're actually TTC/pregnant to start them.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

~Lorien






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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-28-2008
Sun, 09-28-2008 - 10:40pm

Hi again,

Thanks for the replies! The info about timing is helpful and reassuring. That will help a lot with planning the honeymoon and hopefully an early conception. (It would be really romantic to get pregnant on the honeymoon but between that and keeping AF away at least for the wedding the timing may be hard to juggle.) Lorien, thanks also for the info on folic acid--I knew I needed to start it early but not THAT early. Does anyone have any specific recommendations on prenatal vitamin brand and dosage?

To answer your question, Brita, we only use condoms for a few days during the most fertile part of my cycle--specifically, some of the light blue week on Ortho tricyclen. Since I started using the pill last year we have cut way down on condoms but have been reluctant to quit them during the really fertile time. FYI, FH always releases inside me whether or not he's wearing a condom (sorry if TMI) and I don't know how much that may reduce the pill's effectiveness, so we have been a bit conservative in the birth control department. If we're being ridiculous, please let me know. :-)

Thanks again for the input!

Kylie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Sun, 09-28-2008 - 11:00pm

You want at least 800mg of folic acid. I just use the generic CVS or Target prenatal, and my OB was fine with that. If you had something like low iron, they might recommend something else later. You could ask your gyn.

As for using condoms on top of the pill. I certainly always used both back when I was in college and really didn't want to get pregnant. However, as for only using them part of the time, I ask my gyn about this once and she said that if the pill failed, it's not more likely to fail at a certain time of the cycle. Anyway, BCPs are 99% effective if taken reliably, and that assumes that the semen is making it all the way in :)

~Lorien






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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2008
Mon, 09-29-2008 - 3:43am

Hi Kylie!

Good luck on the upcoming marriage! What day are you getting married? My fiance and I are having our American ceremony and reception on June 20th. Although we will probably wait until our 1 year anniversary to start trying. Even though I wouldn't mind a honeymoon baby:)

I think stopping using condoms during your fertile period is most risky, those are your most fertile days and you are most likely to get pregnant during that time. I mean you say you don't mind an oops but I would probably still avoid those 3-4 days around ovulation.But you know what is right for you. I wouldn't worry about going off the pill right after the honeymoon if your cycles were regular before they will probably be regular going off the pill as well:)




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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2008
Mon, 09-29-2008 - 4:28am
Oh gosh I didn't realize you were taking the pill and using condoms... you only need to use one!:) So yeah I would quit using the condoms LOL.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2007
Mon, 09-29-2008 - 8:44am

Kylie welcome!
I echo what the others said completely.

I was one of the .1% who got pregnant on BCP but I'm under no illusion I know it was my own personal error (I took it at irregular times, was irresponsible and was sick around the time I concieved my daughter). She's the best thing that happened to us so we're fine with it but I definitely think as long as you take it responsibly you can ditch the condoms and start TTC after your last pack. Good luck! xxx


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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Mon, 09-29-2008 - 4:17pm

Hi Kylie,


I love your name - it's my niece's as well! ;-)


DH and I will be TTC in May and my OBGYN told me it would be best to wait 1-2 cycles after stopping BCP before we start trying. I too have heard everything from start right away to wait 3-6 months but DH and I will wait at least one cycle.


She also told me that I didn't need to take a pre-natal vitamin per se, because I'm already taking a multi with plenty of folic acid, plus a Cal/Mag/Boron vitamin, plus a Vitamin D pill (I don't eat as many fruits/veggies as I should so I supplement with vitamins). I would follow the advice of your doctor as far as what you should take. If you're already taking vitamins daily like I am, you may not need a pre-natal pill as long as your current vitamins got you covered, especially in the folic acid department. And the sooner you start taking them, the better! I've been trying to be extra vigilant lately since I know we'll be TTC in several months.


Hope that helps and good luck with your wedding planning!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2005
Mon, 09-29-2008 - 5:44pm
Hi Kylie! Welcome to the board! You'll see its a great place!
I'm more or less in a similar situation, I'm also getting married next year, we also have the conservative families and we want to get pregnant soon after.
Answering your questions... I may be wrong, but my old gynecologist told me you should stop BC pills 3 or 4 months before trying, because there is something in them that lessens your body's absorption (sp?) of follic acid. So you need those months so your body eliminates the medication and starts absorbing it properly. On the other hand... millions of healty babies were born in the past without any extra in-take of folic acid, so you could skip that part.
Also, if you are taking BC pills correctly, you don't have fertile days, and you *could* not use condoms at all. But you may want to keep using them just in case it fails (you forget a pill, antibiotics cut effectiveness, or plain failure of the pill).
See you around!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Mon, 09-29-2008 - 7:31pm

Hm, I don't *think* birth control pills lower folic acid absorption. I haven't heard that before. And, BCPs just contain hormones, and those hormones mimic pregnancy, so they suppress ovulation and thicken your uterine walls to prevent implantation. The extra hormone is out of your system withing days of starting bcps (hence why it's so important to take them reliably). But, it can take a bit of time for your body to realize it need to start regulating its own hormones again. So, you can get some weird cycles at first, that might make it harder to time intercourse perfectly. But, I'm pretty certain that there's no risk to your baby if you do conceive right away. (If there were, I expect we'd get big warnings about it, which we don't.)

~Lorien






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