Tag Archives: birth control

Guess I’ll be going back to the old have-to-remember-to-take-it-everyday-pill.

I started my new job in January, but because of the freebies from my doctor, I just now got around to needing to fill my Nuvaring prescription.  On the old insurance, I always did the mail order because I could get 3 months at a time for about $45.  So, without concern, I mailed in my prescription the new insurance.  Afterall, I’m working for a Fortune 500 company so certainly should get the same or better benefits, right?

Much to my shock and horror, my prescription arrived the other day.  I had provided them with my check card info for billing.  The invoice?  $140.  ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY DOLLARS?!?!?!!!

In sheer panic, I immediately called my insurance company for an explanation.  Turns out Nuvaring is on their 3rd tier….nonformulary and non-preferred.  My copay is 15/25/50.  In the past, I could get a 3-month supply for less than my copay now for ONE.  WTF?!?!  For whatever reason, Cigna doesn’t like Nuvaring.

I asked them if there was any way I could return my package.  I was desperate here, I mean that is a hundred bucks out of my bank account that I was NOT planning on spending.  I’ve been playing catchup from my dental work and thought this would actually be the month my finances would return to normal.  Ugh.

So yeah, they won’t let me return it.  Their policy is “the same as at retail:  once you walk out with it, it’s yours.”  I told them, “Yes, but the difference is, at retail, I stand at the counter, they hand me the prescription, I see the amount, and I refuse to accept it!”  In this situation, I was hoping they would see my logic that, opening the shipment box and viewing the invoice was the same thing.  They didn’t see it that way.

I guess I’ll be giving my doc a call and asking her to write up a new prescription for me for some generic pills that I’ll have to remember to take every single day.  After two+ years of only having to remember once a month.  Lovely.

For someone who isn’t even having sex regularly (or at all lately for that matter!), this sure is one hell of a price to pay for birth control.

NuvaRing Update

Forgot to update on this, and since I’m facing sleeplessness, might as well do it now.

So, I put the ring in last week.  It’s not quite as flexible/bendy as they lead you to believe, but it was easy enough to do.  I guess I wasn’t thinking, but didn’t realize I’d have to use my finger to push it up further.

The first couple of days I was nauseous.  I accepted that as my body becoming reaccustomed to the hormones and stuff.  I felt fine after that though.  For the next week, I was obsessed with checking it out.  Making sure it was still there.  Making sure it was in far enough.  I sit on the couch with my legs pulled up in front of me a lot and I can’t tell you how many times I wondered if it would somehow expel itself in that position.  But it didn’t.

My only real complaint so far is this uncomfortable pressure on my….I don’t know what.  Front wall??  I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m typically sitting all day, bad posture, or what.  It just seems like it pushes down on me.  It’s not painful, but it’s not exactly pleasant either.

Gak has me paranoid now after that comment she left about it popping out during sex.  So then I’m all paranoid wondering if it would be all icky if it came out.  Of course, I remove it just to find out.  It’s fine, but I did notice it is permanently creased in the form that it was bent to insert.  Yeah, so not as flexible as I thought.  Plus, I keep thinking, if someone were to use their hand, it wouldn’t be hard to miss.  Makes me think of a ripcord or something.

I’ve been googling about it and came across some message boards where people talked about their experiences with it.  Lots of mixed reviews.  Some love it, some hated it.  Most that hated it seemed to have had problems on birth control pills, too, though. 

Lots of people said they gained a full cup size!  I don’t think I’d like that.  I’ve learned to be happy with my smallish boobs.  Now if it would shrink my stomach and thighs, I’m all for that!

Others said they had absolutely zero sex drive and/or no lubrication.  I don’t think I’d like that either.

Most said their partner couldn’t feel it and if he did, it was only in certain positions and not really a big deal.  Personally, I’m more worried about what I will feel.

And yes, several mentioned the inadvertant cock ring.  How awful!  Or incredibly funny.  I can’t decide which.

I don’t know if I’ll find out any answers to my concerns during Dr Honeydew’s visit.  But atleast if it was to happen with him, he already knows about it and could give me an honest opinion.  Since we talk about all that stuff anyway.  😛

Cervical WHAT?!

** WARNING:  Totally girl stuff below **

I finally had my appointment to see the new GYN today.  Definitely better than that last woman I was seeing.  New Doc actually sat and talked with me in her office, got my medical history, asked and answered questions.  The only conversations or answers I got from the old doc typically came when I had my feet in her stirrups.  And who really wants to talk then?

So I tell new Doc that, up until the past 10 months or so, I have been on birth control pills since about age 14.  I was put on them because I was incredibly irregular in my monthly cycle.  It was more like a once every 6-8 weeks cycle.  Sometimes longer.  Having been on them for so long, you’d think I would’ve somehow become regular.  But no.  The past year-ish, I’ve been at my body’s random whim as to when to expect that particularly unwelcome, and yet always welcome as a sign of not being pregnant, visitor.  And it sucks.  Especially considering Dr Honeydew’s visit in 2.5 weeks and my vacation after that. 

She asked me if I had any problems with the pills.  None that I know of.  I mean, I’ve been taking them forever.  The same brand or generic equivalent for all these years.  So she mentions the NuvaRing and asks if I’ve heard of it.  I’ve seen the commercials with the women walking around with the glowing circles around their lower abdomen, yes.  Apparently it is supposed to be a much lower dose of hormones and more evenly distributed so less mood swings.  Sounds like heaven to me!  Plus, the fact that I smoke makes the lower hormone stuff supposedly a tiny bit “safer” in theory.  You insert it, vaginally, and leave it in for 3 weeks.  Then take it out for a week.  Then insert a new one for 3 weeks…etc.  You can still wear tampons, have sex, play sports, whatever.  And supposedly you don’t even know it’s there.  And your partner (should there be one) won’t either.  So after she shows me one and how it works and stuff, I agree to try it, only after she promised that if I didn’t like it, all I had to do was call her and she’d phone in a prescription for my birth control pills.

So in asking her when I’m supposed to insert/remove this thing, I find that, like the first cycle of pills, you should wait until after you start your period.  Great.  And when the hell might that be?!  So she gives me a prescription for progesterone or some such to take for 5 days that should make me start.  In the process of this discussion, I am reminded of a question I wanted to ask her.

For the past several months, I’ve been noticing some (This might be gross.  Feel free to stop reading now) clear gel-like….stuff….down there.  And when I say gel-like, really jello-like would be more accurate.  It’s been noticeable for several days at a time and then gone.  I’d notice it every time I went to the bathroom and would spend those several days freaking out, wondering if I had some weird disease or infection or something.  Then it would go away and I’d forget about it.  Until it reappeared weeks or months later. 

So I asked new Doc about this.  She very matter-of-factly said, “Oh, that’s cervical mucus.”  What???  MUCUS?!  WTF does that mean?  Does my vagina have a sinus infection?! 

Apparently, this is a sign of ovulation.  And something that the past 16 years of being on birth control pills has prevented me from ever seeing.  Why have I NEVER heard of this before???  I called my mother immediately after my appointment so she could laugh at me.

Doc asked me when the last time I noticed this was.  It was a couple of weeks ago I think.  Either right before or right after I saw T.  So, she says, this may mean that I should be due to start any time now.  In addition to all the other bloodwork I was having done (pregnancy, HIV, THS, cholesterol, etc) she had them do some sort of hormone level thing.  If my progeste-whatever is high, then that should be a sure sign of the Red Wings’ visit. 

Meanwhile, I’m supposed to go ahead and start the prescription she gave me and she’ll call me as soon as she gets the results back to let me know if I can stop taking them sooner than the 5 days worth that are supposed to kickstart my cycle.  I sure hope so.  I’d like to get this NuvaRing started soon so I can get used to it and see if I’ll be able to deal with it or not…before Dr Honeydew’s visit.  You know, just in case.  😉

Sometimes it sucks being female.

I woke up this morning, against my will, at 8am, with the most horrible pain in my stomach.  I wasn’t sure if a) this was soreness from yesterday, b) I needed to have a serious trip to the bathroom, or c) I had incredible cramps of the female monthly persuasion.  Turns out it was all of the above.   Ugh.  Yet another reminder that I really need to schedule an appointment with a new gyn. 

I’ve been on birth control pills since I was about 14.  No, not because I was a promiscuous tramp, but because I was incredibly irregular.   Of course, in later years, the added pregnancy prevention aspect of them was an added bonus.  I’ve gotten off of them a couple of times in the last decade, just to see what would happen (and since, at those times, I wasn’t needing them for other reasons either).  Turns out I am still incredibly irregular. 

My prescription ran out almost 6 months ago, but I had a few spare packs of pills still laying around.  And knew that my current gyn, who I’m not particularly fond of anyway, had relocated her offices to somewhere more than 30 minutes away (depending on traffic).  So I had plans of finding a new one.  A friend recommended hers to me, but I’ve yet to schedule an appointment.  Which brings us to today. 

I’ve become incredibly spoiled, I admit.  I always knew when to expect the dreaded event.  I could even alter it with some planning.  But without the pills, I don’t have a clue until the morning of, when I wake up in pain usually from the cramps.  It could be months, it could be weeks.  I *think* the last time was the beginning of July.  But I wouldn’t swear to it.  Anyway, it looks like I get to spend my holiday weekend with one of the “joys” of womanhood.  Rotten timing. 

I did finally take a friend’s advice and buy a box of those stick-on heating pad things.  And boy am I glad I did.  Opened one up this morning and I think it saved my life in a way that loads of Midol could not. 

I guess it is a good day to curl up on the couch and watch dvds.  I’m sure the maid will be by later to clean my house.  *smirk*