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> New pill is a true test of women's love-hate, relationship with periods
 
To bleed or not to bleed...Now that a pill can eliminate menstruation, will you take it?
Yes, anything to avoid the cramps and mess [ 4 ]  [40.00%]
No, it seems unnatural [ 4 ]  [40.00%]
Yes, athletics and periods don't mix [ 0 ]  [0.00%]
No, my period reassures me I'm not pregnant [ 0 ]  [0.00%]
Yes, I'd be happy to never buy tampons again [ 2 ]  [20.00%]
No, my period gives me an excuse to be bitchy [ 0 ]  [0.00%]
Total Votes: 10
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No One Will Do
  Posted on Aug 1 2007, 08:34 PM
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A new birth control drug, Lybrel, eliminates women's periods. The new drug will be in area pharmacies this week.


Call it a curse, a friend, even Aunt Flo — but don't call it obligatory.

As the new birth control pill that eliminates women's periods hits pharmacies this week, some will say goodbye to menstruation. More though, it seems, are wary of eliminating the monthly bleeding that's symbolic of womanhood.

"That scares me," said Melinda Perez, 35, of League City. "It plays too much with the way your body naturally needs to work."

Lybrel, a low-dose oral contraceptive manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, uses the same hormones as birth control pills that have been available for decades to prevent ovulation and pregnancy. But unlike traditional pills, this package includes no placebos at the end of a cycle. And that means no menstruation.

Most doctors interviewed for this story agreed it's healthy for women to skip their period for months or years at a time using the new contraceptive. The drug could be particularly useful, they say, for women who suffer from menstruation's negative side effects: painful cramping, nausea, breast tenderness, migraine headaches and mood changes. Wyeth also is marketing the product to women who would prefer not to have a period for the sake of convenience.

"If it can get rid of some of the symptoms that come along with it, cramps, achy bones ... I'd do it in a heartbeat," said Kathy Schachtner, 33, who lives in the Channelview area.

Extended oral contraceptives that reduce women's number of periods have been available for several years. Seasonale, for example, which allows women to bleed once every three months, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2003.

Lybrel, which gained FDA approval in late May, is the first oral contraceptive to eliminate the period. The prescription's monthly package includes hormone pills that are to be taken every day of the year, without placebos.


Not a new concept
Although it has never been packaged that way, the regimen isn't truly new. Gynecologists have long directed women with painful periods or other medical conditions related to menstruation to skip the placebo pills included in traditional birth control packages and start a new package of hormone pills instead, thus preventing a period. Some women did that on their own to avoid bleeding on special occasions, such as a wedding day or athletic competition.

"We could do that with any old continuous pill, but it wasn't packaged that way," said Dr. Pamela Berens, a gynecologist and associate professor at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Still, some women balk at the idea of eliminating the period completely, having been taught since adolescence that bleeding every month is a sign of health and fertility, as well as reassurance that they're not pregnant. To go without a period, some say, is simply unnatural.

"Not that I always enjoy my cycles, but I wouldn't want to get rid of it," said Kiara Ward, 17, of northeast Houston. "It's there for a purpose."

But gynecologists say that's not necessarily true. Women are designed to be pregnant or nursing, which causes menstruation to cease, during their child-bearing years, said Dr. Patricia Sulak, a professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. Instead, because of the availability of contraception and women's modern roles in society, they're having periods every month, year after year.

"Women are having too many periods today," said Sulak, who specializes in menstruation suppression.


In a different time
When doctors first created the birth-control pill in the early 1960s, she said, they included a week of placebos to allow for a period because they worried women otherwise wouldn't use it. Back then, pregnancy tests weren't as simple or cheap as they are today, and bleeding was the best way for a woman to confirm that she wasn't pregnant.

For women who don't take oral contraceptives, it's necessary to menstruate to shed the lush lining of the uterus that builds up during the cycle, Sulak explained. But women on the pill grow only a thin lining — which is why their periods often are lighter — so they don't need to menstruate, she said.

The cost of the drug varies depending on the pharmacy and whether a woman has insurance, but a spokeswoman for Wyeth said it's comparable to other brand-name oral contraceptives. At Kroger on Montrose, the drug is about $53 per month, several dollars more than other brand-name contraceptives on the shelves.


Sending wrong message?
In a study of Lybrel that examined the return to menstruation after stopping the pill, more than a third of 187 participants got their period within a month, and nearly all menstruated or became pregnant within three months, Wyeth reported. (The other women got their periods more than 90 days after stopping the pill.)

Some experts worry about the long-term effects of the drug since the study was conducted over only one year. Others argue a longer study isn't necessary because the hormones aren't new, only the way they're given is.

The pill also has become a topic of discussion among sociologists and anthropologists, who worry about the social implications of eliminating menstruation. It can be liberating, as the name of the drug is intended to suggest, to have the option of whether to menstruate. But some academics say suggesting that healthy women may want to get rid of their monthly period simply because it can be messy or embarrassing only furthers society's perception of menstruation as shameful.

"By telling young women there's something wrong with a natural menstrual cycle," said Jean Elson, a sociologist at the University of New Hampshire, "we're really giving them the message that there's something wrong with women's bodies."


WHAT TO KNOW

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals' new birth control pill, Lybrel, hits shelves this week.

• How it works: Just like regular birth control pills on a 28-day cycle, which use hormones to prevent ovulation, except without the placebo pills. It prevents women from menstruating.

• Cost: Comparable to other brand-name oral contraceptives.

• Pros: May reduce symptoms for women who suffer from menstrual cramps, migraines or other painful side effects. Allows women to avoid bleeding.

• Cons: Some users may experience unexpected spotting or breakthrough bleeding. Women who aren't expecting a period may not notice a pregnancy.

Source: Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Chronicle research



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seraphim
Posted on Aug 2 2007, 12:05 AM
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As tempting as it sounds to be period free, I'm scared to actually be without it. Yes, it's a bitch when it comes on, but I've been getting it for 9 years now so I'd be kind of 'lost' without it in a sense? It's weird, but I just couldn't see myself NOT going through the motions of that.


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No One Will Do
Posted on Aug 2 2007, 01:57 AM
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maryluvs_hmm.gif I'm still thinkin on it...


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No One Will Do
Posted on Aug 2 2007, 01:58 AM
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QUOTE (...Summer Soft @ Aug 1 2007, 11:05 PM)
As tempting as it sounds to be period free, I'm scared to actually be without it. 

maryluvs_smh.gif I'm not... unsure.gif


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lovemarisol
Posted on Aug 2 2007, 08:48 AM
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QUOTE (Chef Kiki Lucille @ Aug 2 2007, 12:58 AM)
maryluvs_smh.gif I'm not... unsure.gif

Me neither. I'd love to be without my period and if there was something to get rid of it without side effects I'd take it in a heartbeat. Does this pill have the same side effects as other birth control pills? I've been seeing commercials for a pill called "Seasonique" which can get rid of your period as well, but it has the birth control possible side of effects of heart attack, clots, and some other things I can't remember. Those side effects are what make me stay away. Even though the side effects might have a slim chance of happening I'd still be worried, there's that you never know factor. Happened to some girl here, she was using the birth control patch and she got a clot and died I think. maryluvs_smh.gif Mom wanted to sue, but well it was listed as a side effect so she couldn't sue.


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seraphim
Posted on Aug 2 2007, 09:30 AM
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QUOTE (Chef Kiki Lucille @ Aug 2 2007, 12:58 AM)
maryluvs_smh.gif I'm not... unsure.gif

It really scares me Mama K. I mean, what if something goes wrong, you know? Like what if you begin to clot too much or, set up infection because the blood is not coming out, or what if you take it for so long that it actually does something to your body? I have a lot of questions that I need to talk to my doctor about. Like it said, we have been doubling up on the pill for those special nights, but that was just one time or two in the year maybe. This is year 'round, but the very thought does intrigue me. My budget for tampons and pads could go to s hoes. maryluvs_laughing.gif


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Mary Poppins
Posted on Aug 2 2007, 01:28 PM
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Although I would love for my shit to go permanently, something about this doesn't seem natural.


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No One Will Do
Posted on Aug 2 2007, 02:35 PM
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QUOTE (lovemarisol @ Aug 2 2007, 07:48 AM)
Me neither. I'd love to be without my period and if there was something to get rid of it without side effects I'd take it in a heartbeat. Does this pill have the same side effects as other birth control pills? I've been seeing commercials for a pill called "Seasonique" which can get rid of your period as well, but it has the birth control possible side of effects of heart attack, clots, and some other things I can't remember. Those side effects are what make me stay away. Even though the side effects might have a slim chance of happening I'd still be worried, there's that you never know factor. Happened to some girl here, she was using the birth control patch and she got a clot and died I think. maryluvs_smh.gif Mom wanted to sue, but well it was listed as a side effect so she couldn't sue.

maryluvs_excl.gif I don't kno, I'ma have to research it...if it's like the pill than probably yes for me...but possible side effects is scary still


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No One Will Do
Posted on Aug 2 2007, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE (...Summer Soft @ Aug 1 2007, 11:05 PM)
As tempting as it sounds to be period free, I'm scared to actually be without it. Yes, it's a bitch when it comes on, but I've been getting it for 9 years now so I'd be kind of 'lost' without it in a sense? It's weird, but I just couldn't see myself NOT going through the motions of that.

I don't kno either I have a friend that hasn't had a period in years, I did it too just not as much as her..we keep takin the pills and ohmy.gif you have special nights moving on... maryluvs_giggle.gif Anyway like I said I wouldn't miss it, I'd just wanna make sure it's safe. I have endometriosis so my cramps are pretty dibilitating so to get rid of em would be a welcome relief so I'm def. go get on learning more about this...


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No One Will Do
Posted on Aug 2 2007, 09:28 PM
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QUOTE (F*ck Me Pumps @ Aug 2 2007, 12:28 PM)
Although I would love for my shit to go permanently, something about this doesn't seem natural.

well true but ish I figure I thru with babies so bring it on....For women who still would like to have children, I def. would say no regardless of what they say..


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Miss Dippy
Posted on Aug 3 2007, 08:29 AM
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i only go on my period once every six months and i miss it when i don't maryluvs_sad.gif so it's a no for me.


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No One Will Do
Posted on Aug 3 2007, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE (reflections of ME!! @ Aug 3 2007, 07:29 AM)
i only go on my period once every six months and i miss it when i don't maryluvs_sad.gif so it's a no for me.

is that because of medication or yours is naturally that way?


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No One Will Do
Posted on Aug 3 2007, 03:17 PM
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It was hard for me but I finally voted and see there is company...Yes, anything to avoid the cramps and mess maryluvs_laughing.gif



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seraphim
Posted on Aug 3 2007, 03:19 PM
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QUOTE (Chef Kiki Lucille @ Aug 2 2007, 08:24 PM)
I don't kno either I have a friend that hasn't had a period in years, I did it too just not as much as her..we keep takin the pills and ohmy.gif you have special nights moving on... maryluvs_giggle.gif Anyway like I said I wouldn't miss it, I'd just wanna make sure it's safe. I have endometriosis so my cramps are pretty dibilitating so to get rid of em would be a welcome relief so I'm def. go get on learning more about this...

maryluvs_dead2.gif No! I was just saying as an example. You know some girls will double up so that weekend, it's a 'clear zone'. maryluvs_dead3.gif And I could very well see your reason behind being so interested in it!


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No One Will Do
Posted on Aug 3 2007, 05:08 PM
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QUOTE (...Summer Soft @ Aug 3 2007, 02:19 PM)
maryluvs_dead2.gif No! I was just saying as an example. You know some girls will double up so that weekend, it's a 'clear zone'.  maryluvs_dead3.gif And I could very well see your reason behind being so interested in it!

whewww...I understand what your sayin.. maryluvs_laughing.gif I'm not ready to hear anything else...maryluvs_notlistening.gif maryluvs_rotflmao2.gif


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Miss Dippy
Posted on Aug 7 2007, 07:59 AM
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QUOTE (Chef Kiki Lucille @ Aug 3 2007, 07:15 PM)
is that because of medication or yours is naturally that way?

i started my periods late , i was 18 when i started and ever since then i bleed heavy for like over a week then it goes away for up to six months, the doctors say it's natural, something to do with me homones maryluvs_sad.gif


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Im~So~Lady
Posted on Aug 9 2007, 12:34 AM
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WHEN ITS SAID & DONE, ILL BE LOVING YOU!!
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Yes, I'd be happy to never buy tampons again


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No One Will Do
Posted on Aug 9 2007, 01:28 AM
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QUOTE (reflections of ME!! @ Aug 3 2007, 07:29 AM)
i only go on my period once every six months and i miss it when i don't  maryluvs_sad.gif so it's a no for me.

although I hate flo, emotionally it prob. on some level would bother me if I hadn't had to deal with it...but having it all these years, I can safely say that I can live without it... maryluvs_laughing.gif but like I said before I have kids and ish, I'm tired of all that mess...lookin at the poll so far a lot of the ladies pretty much agree for now anyway ya know us ladies have the perogative unsure.gif to change our minds...Thanx for your participation ladies... maryluvs_kissbye.gif

Thanx for sharing that Dippy..intersting perspective, I can see that.. maryluvs_smile.gif


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No One Will Do
Posted on Aug 9 2007, 01:34 AM
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Hey ladies maryluvs_bye1.gif just thought I'd post som info for everybody to go on a lil bit. I am not a dr. nor endorsing this stuff unsure.gif just curious. Like everybody else I don't kno and it is scary. I would encourage everybody to consult a dr. before beginning any new pill..I did see that if you have high blood pressure it may increase risk of blood clots or possibly a stroke, (but so is the pill) how big a risk that is I don't know...maryluvs_dunno.gif

Lybrel: Birth control pill eliminates periods
What happened? The Food and Drug Administration approved Lybrel, a new continuous-use birth control pill designed to eliminate menstrual periods for as long as a woman takes it.

The usual regimen for birth control pills is to take an active hormone pill once a day for 21 days, followed by taking an inactive pill once a day for seven days. During the hormone-free week, you get your period. Lybrel, on the other hand, is designed to be taken continuously, once a day for 365 days, with no break for hormone-free intervals. The pill contains low doses of a synthetic progesterone (levonorgestrel) and estrogen (ethinyl estradiol).

What does this mean to you? Continuous-use birth control pills relieve bothersome signs and symptoms of menstruation for some women, so the pills may be particularly welcome if you often experience severe pain, heavy bleeding or emotional problems during your periods. However, some women did experience irregular vaginal bleeding while taking Lybrel, so know that this might be a possibility for you too. Lybrel doesn't protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Stopping menstruation with continuous-use birth control pills doesn't appear to have any greater risk of side effects than regular birth control pills. In a clinical study, Lybrel was found to be as safe and as effective as birth control pills in standard hormone and placebo regimens. In some cases, it took several months for women taking Lybrel to achieve amenorrhea — absence of menstrual periods. The longer a woman took Lybrel, the greater her chances of having no periods. A subset of women had higher incidences of unexpected vaginal bleeding throughout the study, regardless of how long they continued with the birth control regimen.

Many women find the monthly bleeding associated with traditional birth control pills a reassuring sign that they're not pregnant. If you're like these women, you might find it troubling not to have periods. The failure rate for all birth control pills is very small, but it's not zero. If you're interested in trying a continuous-use birth control pill, ask your doctor if Lybrel might be right for you.


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http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lybrel/DI00086/rss=1


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No One Will Do
Posted on Aug 9 2007, 01:36 AM
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FDA Approves Contraceptive for Continuous Use
font sizeAAAFDA Approves Contraceptive for Continuous Use

May 22, 2007 - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved Lybrel, the first continuous use drug product for prevention of pregnancy.

The new contraceptive, Lybrel, comes in a 28 day-pill pack with low-dose combination tablets that contain 90 micrograms of a progestin, levonorgestrel, and 20 micrograms of an estrogen, ethinyl estradiol, which are active ingredients available in other approved oral contraceptives. Continuous contraception works the same way as the 21 days on-seven days off cycle. It stops the body's monthly preparation for pregnancy by lowering the production of hormones that make pregnancy possible.

Other contraceptive pill regimens have placebo or pill-free intervals lasting four to seven days that stimulate a menstrual cycle. Lybrel is designed to be taken without the placebo or pill-free time interval. Women who use Lybrel would not have a scheduled menstrual period, but will most likely have unplanned, breakthrough, unscheduled bleeding or spotting.

The safety and efficacy of Lybrel as a contraceptive method were supported by two one-year clinical studies, enrolling more than 2,400 women, ages 18 to 49. Health care professionals and patients are advised that when considering the use of Lybrel, the convenience of having no scheduled menstruation should be weighed against the inconvenience of unscheduled bleeding or spotting. The occurrence of unscheduled bleeding decreases over time in most women who continue to take Lybrel for a full year. In the primary clinical study, 59 percent of the women who took Lybrel for one year had no bleeding or spotting during the last month of the study.

Like other available oral contraceptives, Lybrel is effective for prevention of pregnancy when used as directed. The risks of using Lybrel are similar to the risks of other conventional oral contraceptives and include an increased risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. The labeling also carries a warning that cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from the use of combination estrogen and progestin-containing contraceptives. Birth control pills do not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted diseases.

Because Lybrel users will eliminate their regular periods, it may be difficult for women to recognize if they have become pregnant. Women should take a pregnancy test if they believe they may be pregnant. Women should also discuss contraceptive use, and the precautions and warnings for use of the drug product, with their doctors or other health care professional.

The approval of Lybrel concludes a comprehensive review process that included expert advice from a meeting of an FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs advisory committee and an opportunity for public comment on issues regarding hormonal contraception.

Lybrel is manufactured by Wyeth of Philadelphia, PA.


Source: News release, FDA.http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01637.htm


http://www.rxlist.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=81300


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