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This question has been asked in varying forms before, I know.

I'm 31 and have been on BCPs since I was 18. I feel like I've been on every one imaginable and unfortunately, I don't really remember the side effects of most of them. My decisions for changing BCP's over the years have varied from wanting something to help with acne to a pill that will make me lose weight (I was a foolish teen).

I switched from Alesse to Yasmin a year ago because I had horrible BTB with Alesse. I had only been on Alesse for 8 months prior to the switch to Yasmin. I switched off Ortho Tri Cyclen to Alesse because I wanted to try a low dose pill. My move to Yasmin rather than back to Ortho Tri Cyclen was because I knew I could skip my periods with Yasmin. Prior to Alesse, I had been on Ortho Tri Cyclen for awhile (a few years maybe?). I've been on several different mono and tri phasics over the years and I have a basic understanding of the differences.

Yasmin has to go. My sex drive has tanked, I have no vaginal lubrication and my partner tells me I'm a little irritable (I'll take that last one with a grain of salt, thank you). Plus, I'm concerned about the blood clotting issues that have come to light recently with Yasmin (I know theres an increased risk with all BCP).

My GP is great, but I'm with a teaching GP and I often see interns for my BCP refill. They do not always know that much and I feel I need to be as prepared as possible when requesting a change in BCP.

So, here is what I want in my BCP (wish list, per se). What are my options?

- the ability to skip up to 2 periods in a row (I have historically found this difficult with Ortho Tri Cyclen) - very important
- continued great skin (I'm 31, so maybe my great skin is just a result of being an adult, not because I went on Yasmin)
- my sex drive back (I'll take a fraction of it back at this point) - very important
- some vaginal lubrication

Keep in mind a low dose pill just doesn't work for me either. I fear I can't get back my sex drive AND the ability to skip periods. In that case, I'll just take back my sex drive.

Advice is highly appreciated! Thanks!
Unfortunately there is no easy answer and I'm sure you will get many responses, but overall, it sounds like you need a pill where all active pills are the same (not multi-phasic like Ortho Tri Cyclen) so you can skip periods. For me, this is also extremely important since I get severe migraines during my periods and need to skip them more often so I don't miss too many days of work.

As far as good skin, it sounds like the majority of women find that birth control pills help their skin. Every now and then I'll hear of a pill that didn't agree with someone, but others will love it and say how it helped their skin out very much! Hopefully whichever you choose, this won't be an issue.

Unfortunately the sex drive and lubrication seems to be a common issue with many pills. Perhaps something with a lower dosage of hormones than Yasmin would be a good possibility. This may also help with irritability. I was on Yasmin and decided to switch to the generic Ocella since it was so much cheaper, and I've noticed slightly more lubrication. I haven't had any negative side effects on it, so I actually like the generic better :) A friend of mine liked the similar Yaz, but she said there were issues with her insurance and she switched only because of that. I've also heard another person who liked Lo Loestrin due to the low dosages of estrogen (some people are sensitive to it) but another that didn't care for it!

You might want to search online for reviews on various birth control pills and read the different experiences and go for the one you think sounds best to you! I did this and saw that sadly, none of them had excellent reviews overall and every pill had at least a few bad reviews on them, but it at least gives you a general idea. There's also the mini pill, which seems to have less severe side effects, but the effective % against pregnancy is slightly lower.

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