Coming off the combined pill

I always had heavy periods but 6 years ago they got heavier and very painful. Everytime i stood up I'd feel a gush, small clots.. mid cycle was agony and I'd spot. I had a smear, scan and saw a gynaecologist who said I was fine and it was an age thing. I was 30 at the time. It caused me intense anxiety. I became very anxious checking myself every day incase I was spotting and I couldn't do much due to the bleeding on my period week. It really effected my life. I had horrible anxiety because of it, I'd dread my period all month lono and I had long cycles too.

My gp put me on loestrin 20. I reluctantly tried it as I was desperate. I have bad anxiety taking medication especially the pill as I feared dvts/PE. It worked and my periods are 3 days long now and barely there. It's been great. My anxiety calmed so much and I could get out and live life. The fear of dvt and pe is still there every day even now 4 years on.

I've recently found out I have high cholesterol, high LDL and triglycerides. I'm 36, slim 116lbs, non smoker... high cholesterolis in my family. I did some reading and read you shouldn't take the pill if you have high LDL and triglycerides. My gp never told me this! I also have the high tsh of 7.51 (0.27-4.2). My gp won't treat as t4, t3, and antibodies are normal.

So I want to come off it but I have a dilemma. I've just had a relapse with my anxiety disorder due to my son being bullied and crippled by panic attacks. I had to help him through it and the stress it caused made my anxiety disorder surface again. I've even had agoraphobia creep back in due to how weak and dizzy I've felt. I'm just now coming out of it and getting back out doing exposure work. I feel happy and positive again. I'm thinking it's pretty silly of me to come off the pill now when I am just getting back on my feet after 3 months of ill health and stress. I'm just working on my anxiety and making progress so surely coming off is a a silly idea if I could risk heavy periods ruling my life, and triggering that anxiety all over again. It could spoil our holiday this summer too which I'm working on my anxiety for to get back on my feet. I had anxiety 4 years ago triggered by a horrible traumatic time in my life. I had panic disorder and agoraphobia but I got over it. I was happy living life again until my son was struggling. Then my anxiety disorder hit hard again.

I'm due to re start it tomorrow and can't make the decision. It difficult. My gp says at 36 I'm fine as I don't smoke and am slim. He says loestrin 20 is very low risk as tiny amount of hormone but I always worry about risk of breast cancer and dvt.

I know only I can make this decision. I'm just struggling to decide what's for the best. I'm wanting to try anything that might help my thyroid and lower any risk to my health.

8 Replies

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  • Heavy periods can be thyroid symptom too

  • Yes I have read that.

    I had heavy periods long before any thyroid issues though.

  • Maybe, but you don't actually know how long the thyroid has been going wrong in the background. My periods have been terrible since they started, but aren't now. The whole hormonal system is intricately linked.

    Do you need the pill for contraception, or are other treatments just for the periods an option?

  • Just due to the heavy periods as my ferritin kept dropping and I was in too much pain to take care of my children. It was pretty grim.

  • There is tranexamic acid too. Or if you have finished having children, an endometrial ablation.

  • Yes and that also comes with similar risks. I was offered that medication before the pill.

    I'd rather not go to drastic intervention.

  • In the past I had a mirena coil which still has hormones but in even lower doses than the pill. It completely stopped my periods. You could also try a progesterone only pill rather than a combined pill. I hope you can find a solution that works for you.

    For what it's worth anxiety, heavy periods and high cholesterol are all symptoms of hypothyroidism. You may find that if you can persuade your doctor (or another doctor) to treat your hypothyroidism then these symptoms may ease.

  • I hated the mirena! I could feel it

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