Lupus and Birth Control
hey everyone... i've recently been experiencing a... difference of opinion, if you will, between my nephrologist and rheumatologist, which has left me extremely confused and now i don't know what to do.
i had been on yasmine birth control for about 6 years until about 2 weeks ago. my nephrologist told me the hormones of the birth control combined with the other medications i've been taking could have a negative affect on my system. because i'm trying to do everything i can to be HEALTHY, i didn't even think twice about getting off the birth control.
but today, when i just saw my rheumatologist, and i told her that i'm no longer taking yasmine because of what the nephro said, she told me something else. she said that actually it's GOOD for lupus patients to be on birth control because it regulates your hormone levels.
sorry for using a very typical young person's internet acronym but... WTF???
I'm not sure how "good" or "bad" it is for you, but I have been on birth control for 9 years. I do in fact have SLE, and my old dr and new rheum know about the birth control and didn't try to stop me from taking it. I would probably argue it with them if they didn't want me to take it thou because I KNOW my health is NOWHERE near where it needs to be to have a baby right now. I would love to have children, but i want to make sure that my health is in the best possible shape so i can provide the best possible life for my children. I know this isn't exactly medical advice, but i hope it helps some.
I was totally messed up by the hormones of birth control pills. I personally, believe that's what triggered my Lupus in the very beginning.
My doctor pulled me off them immediately on diagnosis, and told me that my hormones were already messed up enough and that birth control pills would make it worse. That was my family doc that diagnosed me, and that was confirmed by the Immunologist that he referred me to and that's been my Lupus doc for 27 years now. Then it was also confirmed by my Gynecologist, actually all 3 Gynecologists that I've had over the years. They were all in agreement that someone with Lupus should not be taking extra hormones.
For me, over the years, the best birth control with the fewest amount of side effects with my Lupus, was always a diaphragm (sp?). I did have my tubes tied after my last pregnancy 13 years ago, so fortunately, I am blessed with not having to worry about the birth control issues anymore.
Hope this is helpful, Tasha.
hmmm... thanks for the input. i guess maybe i should just do my own research then and then come to a conclusion. my rheumatologist did say she was going to call the nephrologist and discuss it with him and find out his reasons behind advising me to discontinue birth control... and she said she would get back to me.
i guess the hormones with birth control are just another one of those MANY things that effect different lupus patients differently... maybe for some it could cause problems whereas for others it could help avoid problems... so annoying!
I was on birth control for years with no adverse reactions with respect to my Lupus. It really seems to depend on the person and how they react to the pill itself.
One thing though you have to consider, you are on Cellcept right? I do know Cellcept interacts with your birth control pills. In fact, I just looked it up online and here it is.
Mycophenolate mofetil (oral/injection)
[ Pronunciation: MYE koe FEN oh late MOE fe til ]
Brand Names: CellCept
Use two non-hormone forms of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy before and during your treatment with mycophenolate mofetil, and for at least 6 weeks after your treatment ends. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
http://l.yimg.com/fz/ls/he/healthwise/bcp.gif Mycophenolate mofetil can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about the most effective non-hormonal forms of birth control and which two are best for you.
I stopped taking my birth control pills when my rheumy had put me on CellCept since there didn't seem to be a point to it if it was interacting what they were doing anyway. I would talk to your nephro because they really should have warned you about the effectiveness of the pill when you are on CellCept.
How about men on cellcept fathering children. Can callcept cause birth defects if men with lupus take it?
Originally Posted by ssingh
I'm not sure...you might want to ask your doctor about that. I just know my doctor and my pharmacist both told me the pill wouldn't be as effective and I would need to use other birth control options when I was on the drug.
my rheumatologist did tell me when i first started using cellcept that i would need to use 2 forms of contraception while on it.
oh the sacrifices we must make!
It is frustrating when your doctors don't play nice in the dr. sandbox...I have had all my doctors differ with the Rheumy or not call them back...etc..
I tried but couldn't take birth control pills. They always made me ill. I used the diaphram. That said, I had always been told it was a bad thing to take as the hormones can throw one into a flare. That is what they always did to me.
that's interesting... because my rheumy said that naturally fluctuating hormones when NOT on birth control is what can cause more flares, and that the consistency of your hormone levels while ON birth control is good for preventing flares.
at least i think that's what she said... i am so confused!