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  • Loestrin 24 Birth Control and a flare?

    Hi Ladies!!! I recently started the Loestrin 24 BC pill, and am now in a HUGE flare. I thought that it would actually help my IC, but it now seems much worse. Anyone else have this happen? I am so bummed because I have really been looking forward to not having horrible periods & cramps, but looks like that is not going to happen. Guess I just have to deal with it!
    ~Valery~
    Dx with IC 3/2009 - Cysto w/Hydro
    Meds: Elmiron (400mg), Atarax (10mg), Elavil (20mg), Pyridium (as needed)

  • #2
    Loestrin - caution

    Hi...so, I would be very careful of that birth control if I were you. I am convinced that being on Lo Loestrin Fe is what set off my IC in the first place. Since I am 43 my gyno thought it would be a good idea to be on a low dose estrogen pill. But my symptoms started around the same time I started that pill.

    BUT....not having enough estrogen can destroy your bladder. I am currently doing saliva hormone testing and waiting for my results. Blood tests showed my estradiol to be on the low side. I actually hope this is the case because then it might be as simple as adding estrogen therapy to my system to get my bladder back on track.

    So, I would caution anyone against this low estrogen pill. I also never got my period the 4 months I was on it and I don't believe that is healthy. Please have your hormones checked since you might have low estrogen levels.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

    -Lauren
    My current regimen:
    Dancing, Laughing, Petting Emily and Louise - my shihtzus

    Tried and gave up on:
    Diazepam
    PFD
    Warm Baths
    Millions of supplements
    Elmiron instillations - did 5 weekly instills and did not help. Gave up.
    Oxytrol patch - no consistent relief after 3 weeks and very expensive
    Sanctura XR - tried for 6 weeks with no consistent relief
    Imipramine - tried for a week, but started to have a "hesitant" void - kind of twitchy.
    PTNS - doctor's office was disorganized, appts took hours and gave up after 4 treatments
    Vaginal valium suppositories - not as effective as taking valium orally
    Cystoprotek - ridiculously overpriced - taking same supplements from CVS
    Elmiron - 100mg in the morn, 200mg in the late afternoon - no results after 1 year
    Elavil - 25 mg at night- no consistent relief and 5 extra pounds
    IV Vitamin C - the only person with an allergic reaction to Vitamin C drips
    Hormones

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, Lauren! I am pretty convinced that this pill flared me. So, I stopped it as of this morning. When I was on the pill a few years ago (Apri tabs), it would take a couple days for my period to start when I got to the week of sugar pills. With this pill, I had only been on it a week and was taking it every day at 6 AM. By 10 AM today, my period started. I think it's strange that it would happen that quickly! Sucks since it just ended last weekend. Anyway, hopefully I didn't screw my IC up too badly with this pill. Thanks for the info!
      ~Valery~
      Dx with IC 3/2009 - Cysto w/Hydro
      Meds: Elmiron (400mg), Atarax (10mg), Elavil (20mg), Pyridium (as needed)

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Valery,

        Well, I'm not sure if the Loestrin was the culprit for you. I'm still not 100% sure it's what caused my IC. But, my gut tells me it is. I was on Ortho Tricyclen and the Ortho Lo for almost 20 years. Then I went off and on the pill 5 times in the past 2 years. By the time I started the Loestrin I hadn't had my period in months. Then on Loestrin I barely got it for the entire 4 months. I think my estrogen was getting lower and lower all these years. I'm also 43. I'm actually praying right now that my saliva hormone tests also confirm low estrogen. The blood test showed it to be on the low end. Because then maybe with hormone therapy I can cure my IC. Yes, the word "cure". I said it.

        Anyway - be careful of the pills. I would urge any woman with IC to have her hormones checked by blood test and saliva test. Low estrogen can wreak havoc on the bladder. There are so many women on this forum that erased their symptoms with the right hormones.

        Hope you feel better!

        Lauren
        My current regimen:
        Dancing, Laughing, Petting Emily and Louise - my shihtzus

        Tried and gave up on:
        Diazepam
        PFD
        Warm Baths
        Millions of supplements
        Elmiron instillations - did 5 weekly instills and did not help. Gave up.
        Oxytrol patch - no consistent relief after 3 weeks and very expensive
        Sanctura XR - tried for 6 weeks with no consistent relief
        Imipramine - tried for a week, but started to have a "hesitant" void - kind of twitchy.
        PTNS - doctor's office was disorganized, appts took hours and gave up after 4 treatments
        Vaginal valium suppositories - not as effective as taking valium orally
        Cystoprotek - ridiculously overpriced - taking same supplements from CVS
        Elmiron - 100mg in the morn, 200mg in the late afternoon - no results after 1 year
        Elavil - 25 mg at night- no consistent relief and 5 extra pounds
        IV Vitamin C - the only person with an allergic reaction to Vitamin C drips
        Hormones

        Comment


        • #5
          Saliva Tests

          Saliva tests are useless for titrating estrogen levels and will give you a false reading. If your serum test showed low estrogen, then you have low estrogen. Think about this for a minute: How do drug companies arrive at a dose level for any medication? It is by drawing blood, not saliva. How do they decide if a person with low thyroid is getting enough medication? Its by blood testing and adjusting up or down. Never rely on a saliva test for any hormone unless its for cortisol which is the standard test.
          LoEstrin tells it all in its name, it is low estrogen and high progestin. Progestins are common bladder irritants for a lot of IC'ers.

          Sammi

          Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
          Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)

          Comment


          • #6
            Saliva Test

            Oh, I just sent mine off a few weeks ago because my doctor told me this is the best way to test for hormones. Blood does not show free hormone, only bound......

            I am wary of the bcp too! I wonder often if it triggered my IC and V.

            Claire
            TMJ Dysfunction 2009
            Vulvodynia and/or PFD 2010
            IC, based on symptoms alone 2010.
            PCOS March 2012

            8 month remission following the birth of my beautiful daughter Imogen Rose 25/12/12....currently flaring and hoping to get remission back, life without IC was amazing!

            Currently using: IC Diet...pain meds as needed
            Medications / treatment tried and discounted:
            Fluconazole 150mg 1 per week for 6 months (yeast)
            Endep 25mg - 4months
            Lyrica 75mg - 2 months - FLARE
            Oxytrol patch - I think this caused retention.
            Countless creams, lotions and potions.
            Cystoprotek - no change in symptoms
            PT - for 1 year
            Various herbs and supplements

            Comment


            • #7
              Interesting opinion

              Clair:
              Your doctor is correct saliva only does test for free forms of estrogen which is exactly the problem as manner in which tissues utilize estrogen at receptor sites is both free and protein bound and the serum tests reflect both. Saliva only shows a small part in the free fraction that is being excreted into the saliva from the serum. You need to have more than just this tiny picture of what is going on in the body. This is why the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the FDA has stated that,"there is no credible evidence that indicates saliva hormone levels are biologically meaningful and should not be used as a guide for hormonal titration....which should be guided by symptom response." Journal OB @ Gyn, 2005; 106: 139-140
              It would be fun to take both and compare them, I did this once and found the saliva said I was very high in estradiol and low in progesterone. I had severe vaginitis at the time and was very, systemically estrogen deficient.
              There have been many studies done on this topic of saliva vs serum: Annuals of Clinical Biochemistry 2009 46: 183-196, Marder: Estrogen Content in human Saliva....on and on.
              This comes up every now and again on these boards, unfortunately too often. All boils down to this: Know your own symptoms, keep a journal, keep the actual lab test reports in a file, and get a second opinion if things arent adding up. Only you are that interested in your body and know how it reacts...take charge of your health and seek out people that are on the same page as providers.

              Sammi

              Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
              Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)

              Comment


              • #8
                Would I be best to get bloods also then? and then compare the two? What tests did you use to find out you were low in estrogen?

                Thanks,

                Claire
                TMJ Dysfunction 2009
                Vulvodynia and/or PFD 2010
                IC, based on symptoms alone 2010.
                PCOS March 2012

                8 month remission following the birth of my beautiful daughter Imogen Rose 25/12/12....currently flaring and hoping to get remission back, life without IC was amazing!

                Currently using: IC Diet...pain meds as needed
                Medications / treatment tried and discounted:
                Fluconazole 150mg 1 per week for 6 months (yeast)
                Endep 25mg - 4months
                Lyrica 75mg - 2 months - FLARE
                Oxytrol patch - I think this caused retention.
                Countless creams, lotions and potions.
                Cystoprotek - no change in symptoms
                PT - for 1 year
                Various herbs and supplements

                Comment


                • #9
                  Saliva and Blood serum levels

                  Clair:
                  I ONLY use serum levels to figure out my hormonal responses. When changing dose or method of application such as from cream to troche; after 5 weeks on new method I would test serum level once for a peak reading 4 hour after taking and once at an 8 hour level. If the circulating level is lower at 8 hours than I would like then I would increase the dose a little and split it taking it twice a day, AM and PM.. This method tells me how my body is using the hormone. For instance when I started on troches I found I had a very high serum level at 4 hours but by 8 hours it had fallen off a cliff. So I tried a different delivery system.
                  I would not expect anybody to get that precise, but if you are curious about the saliva tests, take both serum and saliva on the same day and then correlate the levels with how you feel on the amount you are taking using serum. Personally the only time I would ever use saliva to measure anything is for a cortisol test which is the accepted medical protocol.
                  When titrating hormones because everyone responds differently, it is important to go on how you feel at certain doses and how your body is reacting to that dose.
                  In answer to your question how do I measure my own hormone levels--serum only. I also keep meticulous lab records and doses in a notebook so I see a pattern over time in delivery methods and dose correlations.

                  Sammi

                  Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
                  Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am convinced loestrin Fe gave me IC. My symptoms started in 07 & I literally tried everything including installs & diet & all kinds of stuff. Nothing brought relief. This past January I talked to my 86 year old Grandpa who was a surgeon about my pain & how my life stunk. He told me to stop my BC pills & he thought I would feel better. Well after two weeks all my pain went away. My IC symptoms gone. I now drink soda, eat what I want, & just polished off some sweetarts which I NEVER could have done a year ago! Birth control gave me IC & taking it away got rid of it. There are still a few things I can't have like chocolate, coffee, & garlic but otherwise I just have nagging pain left on a bad day and on a good day I'm pain free & have my life back. I would encourage everyone to please stop your birth control after your next period for at least a month & see how you feel. You soma have menopause-like symptoms such as face sweats but I'd rather have my face sweat every other day for a week then have to pee all the time & cry in my bed in pain. (Please note before I was on Loestrin I took Yasmin & Yaz.) I really do 100% believe its the synthetic hormones we are being told are safe that are ruining our bodies & bladders!

                    Good luck to you!
                    -Jennifer
                    jenjen05

                    __________________

                    25 years young. Diagnosed with IBS-C May 16, 2007. Diagnosed with moderate IC February 26, 2009. Severe anxiety and moderate depression since middle school.

                    Current Meds: 60mg Oxycontin 3x daily (every 8 hours), 30mg Oxycodone 4x daily as needed, 350mg Soma as needed (twice a day), 10mg Valium Vaginal Suppositories as needed (after sex usually, what I call "the nuke" is two of these, and two oxycodone by mouth and one soma by mouth and I can usually prevent a flare if this is done RIGHT AFTER sex along with a cold pack right over my bladder), and Prelief as needed. Heparin 10,000 units installs as needed for rescue needs, usually makes it worse after about 8 hours for the next day or so but then the pain goes away for a few days at least. By following the IC diet I have lost 35lbs and I love the IC diet because it has made me a much healthier person!

                    Past meds: 60mg Opana ER 9am and 80mg Opana ER at 9pm, 15mg Oxycodone as needed for breakthrough pain or flares, 350mg Soma as needed (twice a day usually). Hydrocodone 5/500 (two at night with 350mg Soma would get me 6 hours of sleep). Tramadol 50 mg (didn't touch my pain). Elavil 25mg (did nothing). Various installations made me worse every time. Cytotec (don't remember dosage, didn't work).

                    Photo below is of myself and my Golden Retriever/German Shepherd/Chow, Daisy May.

                    Message me if you'd like to be added to my Facebook!
                    Skype- jennifer.jericho

                    PLEASE read about antibiotic resistance. It is a growing problem, especially in the United States. We are running out of antibiotics that work effectively before scientists can develop new ones! http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/anti_resist.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Couldn't agree more

                      I feel so much better off my BC. Vulva pain is lowered, and no period induced flares - probably because I am not having periods!!! Problem is now, I have been told I have PCOS, I don't ovulate much at all, I have been tracking for months with temp and still no sign of ovulation. I had this problem before BC but am only worried now, as we want children. Don't know where this leaves me with regards to hormone therapy for the PCOS. All I know is coming off the pill, my whole body feels so much better.

                      Claire
                      TMJ Dysfunction 2009
                      Vulvodynia and/or PFD 2010
                      IC, based on symptoms alone 2010.
                      PCOS March 2012

                      8 month remission following the birth of my beautiful daughter Imogen Rose 25/12/12....currently flaring and hoping to get remission back, life without IC was amazing!

                      Currently using: IC Diet...pain meds as needed
                      Medications / treatment tried and discounted:
                      Fluconazole 150mg 1 per week for 6 months (yeast)
                      Endep 25mg - 4months
                      Lyrica 75mg - 2 months - FLARE
                      Oxytrol patch - I think this caused retention.
                      Countless creams, lotions and potions.
                      Cystoprotek - no change in symptoms
                      PT - for 1 year
                      Various herbs and supplements

                      Comment

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