Seasonique 9 Months Later

I thought I’d do a little update on my experience with Seasonique. I’ve been on it for nine months now, and I’ve been skipping the inactive week since October. All in all, I’m still happy with it. Here are my pros and cons:

Pros
– No more periods, ever!
– A relatively stable mood without the ups and downs of a typical cycle
– No weight gain (though that might be more the endo diet than this pill)
– No more nausea. In the first few months of taking this, I had to eat with it, or I was nauseated for hours. Even sometimes when I did take it with food, I would still end up with waves of what I can only think to describe as seasickness. Thankfully, that side effect has subsided and I no longer eat when I take it.

Cons
– Spotting and cramping randomly. I’ll go weeks without feeling anything, and then bam, it’ll hit and I never know how long it’s going to last. Sometimes, it’ll only be a day, and other times, it’s the entire months of January and February. Dr. X said this is to be expected, especially since I’m skipping the inactive weeks, and that hopefully with time my body will adjust. The worst part is the contraction-like cramps that shoot down to my feet, which Dr. X said is my body trying to have a period. Those have subsided a lot since I started, but they still come and go without warning.
– Mild acne. I was hoping this one would calm down as my body adjusted, but no such luck. I’m diligent about washing my face, exfoliating, and doing masks, but no matter what I try, I still break out.
– Being scatterbrained. This one is new in the last month or so, but I am starting to feel a little nutty. I lost my cell phone one day and found it in the fridge!

I definitely don’t want to be on birth control pills forever more, but if I have to do a solid two years than I’m overall pleased with Seasonique.

Seasonique: A Review

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Full disclosure: I’m actually on a generic of Seasonique called Ashlyna, but since it is the same exact chemical make-up and there are a bunch of generics that are all the same thing, for ease, I’ll just refer to it as Seasonique in this review.

Trying to find honest, balanced reviews of birth control online is difficult. Most reviews are negative, which makes sense, people rarely go to medical website to share their good experience, instead they want to warn others about the scary side effects they had. And oftentimes reading these reviews can be downright scary. So, I decided to write my own review to share the good and the bad (which honestly isn’t that bad).

The Boring Details: Seasonique is a 90-day pill, so you only have four periods a year. The active pills contain 0.15 mg of the synthetic progesterone levonorgestrel and .03 mg of the synthetic estrogen ethinyl estradiol. The inactive pills contain .01 mg of ethinyl estradiol. Levonorgestrel is a second generation progestin that was developed in the 1960s and many, many, many studies have determined that it is safer than newer progestins, which have twice the risk for blood clots. It is also the same progestin that is in Plan B, Mirena, and Skyla.

My Background: A couple of years ago, I tried two different birth control pills, Viorele, a generic for Mircette, which made me an emotional crazy person and gave me huge painful breasts and a ton of bloating. It was then that I decided I wanted an IUD, but my doctor couldn’t get it in, so she prescribed a progestin-only mini-pill called Micronor (I’m sure I had the generic, but I can’t remember what the name of it was) because she said it was the same hormone as the Mirena that she couldn’t get in. It wasn’t though. Micronor’s progestin is norethindrone, and Mirena, as I said, is levonorgestrel. I really didn’t like that doctor. Anyway, the Micronor made me incredibly bloated and I ended up gaining about 15 pounds in the few months I was on it. I was pretty set against ever being on pills again. Fast forward, and now that I have been diagnosed with severe endo, I don’t have a choice. It was this or Lupron shots, which I never want to do, so back on the pill I went, hoping and praying Seasonique would be better. I have only been on it for 11 weeks at this point, so I haven’t yet taken the inactive pills, but here is my evaluation so far…

Pros:
– Four periods a year!
– No emotional, psychological, or mood effects. If anything, I feel more balanced and leveled out.
– Only mild bloating that appeared in the first month and has since mostly gone away. Once in a while I’ll feel a little bloated for a day, but it’s nothing like other pills made me.
– No weight gain at all. In fact, I have lost weight since I started Seasonique, but I’ve also drastically changed my diet, which I’ll write a post about soon, so that is more likely the cause of the weight loss, but still, no gain!

Cons:
– So. Much. Spotting. At first, it wasn’t bad, a day here or there, but the longer I have taken it, the more consistent it has become. For the past month, it’s been pretty much daily. I’m guessing my body is just all confused and trying desperately to have a period since it hasn’t in so long. Fingers crossed that this will stop after I finally get to the inactive pills.
– Mild acne. It’s frustrating for sure, but I will take having to diligently wash my face morning and night with acne wash over all the symptoms I had on other pills. Speaking of, if anyone is looking for a good acne face wash, I am obsessed with this Yes to Tomatoes Activated Charcoal Bar Soap. I had very acne-prone teenage years and nothing ever worked as well as this soap. Hopefully, the acne will go away as my body adjusts, but if not, at least I found this soap!

Overall, I’m happy with Seasonique. Obviously, every body is different and my experience isn’t necessarily going to be your experience, but I just wanted to share. If anything drastically changes on my second pack, I’ll be sure to write an update.