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Birth Control Message Board

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Hello All! I'm hoping someone may have some words of wisdom for me, since my doctors have been kind of useless in this matter. I'm currently taking MonoNessa .25/.035 (aka Sprintec/generic Ortho Cyclen). I've been on this particular pill for about 3 years, and before that I took Microgestin, the patch, and Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo. I've taken some form of contraception for 7 years.

While I was on the Microgestin, I noticed I was having light spotting every month before my period. While it was light, it was enough to make me have to wear a pantyliner. I talked to my gyno about it, and she switched me to the Sprintec because she thought it would eliminate this problem. It did not, and I just dealt with the spotting for awhile, hoping that my body would adjust to the new pill. A year later, the same doctor recommended that I try the ring. She said maybe the spotting had something to do with the slight variations in the times I took the pill (even though I've always been very good at taking it at the same time every day), and going to a consistent dosing might help. Nope, it didn't.

I stayed on the ring for several months, and when that didn't help, I went off of birth control all together for about 6 months to see what would happen. The first two months were great - no spotting! However, it started again (ugh!!) during the third month of not being on the pill. I went back on the Sprintec until my next appointment, during which a new doctor suggested I try a triphasic pill with a higher hormone dose for the week before my period. She said to give that 3 months to see if it helped. I gave it 4, and it did nothing except make me bloated and cranky.

This summer, I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease, which caused me to become hyperthyroid. I desperately hoped that could explain some of the problems I'd been having with the spotting. I went through a radioactive iodine treatment to destroy my thyroid, and my cycle following the RAI was nuts. I spotted THREE weeks before my period was due for about 6 days, then my period started as normal. I hoped, hoped, hoped that when my thyroid levels dropped off, the spotting would stop.

Wrong! I'm now hypothyroid, and I'm still spotting.

So, here I am back on the Sprintec. The short version of the story is that whether on or off hormonal birth control, I spot for 3-4 days one week before my period is due. It's been going on for years. I was hoping it was due to hyperthyroidism, but seeing as I'm now hypothyroid, I don't think that's the case. However, my thyroid levels have not been down for very long, so I suppose my body could still be adjusting. But I don't know.

I have a gyno appointment coming up in a few weeks, and I was wondering if there are any particular questions I should ask. I have not been checked for cysts or anything like that because I don't have pain with the spotting. Maybe there is some other form of birth control I can try to help alleviate this? (I was thinking maybe some extended cycle pills, but I'm also afraid this may make the problem worse.)

Any advice would be appreciated.

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