Progestogen-only contraceptive pill (POP) - what are your experiences?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi ladies,

I need some advice and hope you can help. Quick summary - have longstanding issue with fibroids, was prescribed Esmya (ulipristal acetate) a year ago ahead of hysterectomy, which I took for three months, in the meantime, made significant changes to lifestyle and diet and things settled down and became much more manageable, to the point that I cancelled my scheduled hysterectomy. Scan also showed that fibroids had shrunk and my consultant agreed that if they were no longer causing me problems, then I would do well to wait and see.

Fast forward 6 months later. I've noticed my monthly bleeding getting heavier and clottier, though unlike before, I am not in any pain, which makes me wonder if it is perimenopausal bleeding (I am 48) rather than related to the fibroids. I have been researching the role of progesterone in balancing out hormonal related bleeding and went to the GP for some advice. She started me on desogestrel (Cerelle), which is a progestogen-only pill. I understand that this can cause irregular bleeding and spotting, similar to the Mirena coil when first fitted, but that eventually bleeding is reduced, to the point where 40% of women become completely amenorrhoeic and their periods cease altogether. I have only been taking Cerelle for six days, but I have just finished the most horrendously heavy period (I started taking the pill on day 1). It was so heavy that today my ears are ringing and I feel breathless and weak and I almost fainted on the train to work yesterday.

I know I can't carry on like this, but want to avoid surgery. I wonder if any of you have taken the POP and if this helped you? I can cope with any number of side effects - even irregular spotting - I just want to stop this awful haemorrhaging and avoid constant trips to haematology for iron infusions (which I have every three months).

Thanks in advance,

x

0 likes, 19 replies

Report / Delete

19 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    hi sister,

    sorry to about all these fibroids issues. the thing is actually a blood sucking demon. i can identify with all you have explained. am currently sufferring thesame thing now. even after i did UFE in 2016. heavy bleeding reduced from 10 to 3 days. only for the flooding to to start again like 3months ago. but am considering the UFE again for the second time. it helps. i think you should consider that . it helps alot since it appears you dont want a myomectomy.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Ruth, poor you. I am familiar with UFE but it is not offered through my local NHS, plus I am not 100% sure that the fibroids are the problem here. I have had numerous myomectomies in the past but the damn things kept growing back - the only thing that seemed to shrink them was a change in diet and lifestyle. I suspect this is perimenopause rather than fibroid-related, as I don't have any other fibroids symptoms this time around (bloating, swelling, pain, etc.). Bring on the menopause!!!

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi dear we are both similar i am now on prostaps and norethisterone but i still bleed but i control it with tranexamic acid.

    speak to your GP to perhalps. change your drugs. Cerelle did not work for me either.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Oh dear! Well, I've only been taking it for 6 days, and GP has asked me to follow up in 3 months - I didn't expect it to work immediately, but I just wondered how many cycles I could expect to go through before I see any changes. Sounds as though it made no difference to you though - I'm sorry to hear that 😦

      I've had numerous surgeries and drugs, including tranexamic acid, which only made things worse! Taking synthetic hormones is a last resort for me - I just want to stop bleeding. Norethisterone has worked in the past but my GP said it's not a long-term solution - I want something I can take me up to menopause. I'm hoping next month's period is less heavy - I have another 6 weeks to wait until my next haematology appointment...

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Best to stop cerelle if you re experiencing heavy bleeding eventhough its early days.

    Norethestone is normally the last result.

    see a different doctor or perhalps go to A&E💝

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks Rosemary - sorry, I should have been more clear - this is my period I'm having (or was, it's pretty much stopped now). I started taking the cerelle on Day 1, and it's now day 6, so I can't really attribute the bleeding to that - this is unfortunately what my past four periods have all been like, since last November, anyway. I was all for Norethisterone - wasn't too keen on the side effects but at least it stopped the bleeding. I will give Cerelle three months, and see what my next couple of periods are like - if not I think I will ask for norethisterone again as you suggest, if only to give my poor body a break from this heavy bleeding 😦

      Thanks for your advice!

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi, I had a similar situation. I will say when I went on the POP I did have heavier bleeding for several months. It took a while to calm down, at least 3 or 4 months. But then the bleeding stopped and I was fine for a bit until I had a ruptured cyst. Then because I'm in perimenopause so my fibroids started having growth spurts and got larger. Now I look pregnant tho not sure fibroid or also messed up hormones. My progesterone is really low despite the pill but taking natural progesterone just made me fatter around the middle and the fibroid grow. It's weird if you're low taking it wouldn't make you better but doctors are clueless about female hormones. It's still a mystery. I'm still on the POP as an estrogen pill would cause more fibroid growth. Your fibroids may be smaller than mine though. I have one large one, 11cm at last measure. I just turned 47. Hate being in my body right now. I'm currently considering Acessa for the fibroid if I can get my insurance to cover it as it's a newer procedure (though it's been around 15 years). Pray for me lol. I'll pray for you too. 😃 Good luck!

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi I don't know much about it other than what I've Googled. Just Google "Acessa". As I said it's new. I'm still waiting to meet with a doctor and see about insurance. I think without insurance it might be like 10K US dollars. It was on an episode of the U.S. TV show The Doctors so you can try Googling that as well. From what I know it's a laparoscopic procedure where they somehow use a machine to ablate the fibroids so they dissolve and reabsorb into your body over time.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you Sakura for your response, and I'm sorry to hear you've had such a rough time of it. I was also considering natural progesterone, as I was wary of taking synthetic hormones, but because POP is a contraceptive, it is free here on the NHS, plus it removes the anxiety of possible pregnancy (which bio-identical progesterone doesn't). I agree, there seems to be very little information on the hormonal fluctuations that take place at perimenopause - I have had to do a lot of my own research. My fibroids have shrunk considerably - I had around 5 at my last scan all measuring around 1 or 2 cm at most, so my gynae consultant reckoned they were unlikely to cause problems. But I am aware that oestrogen-dominance can initiate a growth spurt, which is why, like you, I opted for a progestogen-only pill. Think I'll see how I get on with Cerelle over the next three months - hopefully then I will start to see changes. It sounds as though it was working for you until your cyst ruptured. Poor you. I will pray for you and I hope you find some way of managing your fibroid - good luck with the Accessa!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Diana and Sakura what diet were you on, there is another good site in usa for diet and natural remedy seems your fibriods has shrink i will forward the link later if that helps.xx

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Rosemary, I followed many of the principles of Amanda Leto's Fibroids Miracle plan, but because I also suffer from Crohn's, I adapted elements of it to match my particular dietary needs to manage my symptoms and prevent flare ups. The key change I would say made the most significant difference wasn't dietary at all, but learning to slow down and listen to my body, giving myself nourishment in all senses of the word. Even though my periods are heavy now, at least I know they will be over within a week - before I made those changes they were heavy and prolonged, often lasting all month, plus I was in constant pain with cramps. Oh, and I looked about 3 months pregnant! So I think lifestyle changes can make a difference - but I also accept that sometimes we ladies need a little extra help in the hormone department, and we shouldn't feel ashamed to take it! x

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Sakura,

      Do you mean shrinking my fibroids? And are you asking if I did anything else other than what I've described above? If so, it's hard to attribute to any one thing - is more likely to be a combination of the 3-month course of Esmya which kick-started the process, followed by the dietary, lifestyle and supplementation changes I mention. Is all a moot point anyway, because despite the fibroids shrinking I'm still experiencing heavy periods, which makes me wonder if they were the problem in the first place!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      ps - was doing some more research on desogestrel last night and it seems that the average length of time for bleeding to settle down on it is about 3 or 4 cycles, which would match with your experience, Sakura. So I guess I just have to be patient and wait this out, and trust there is light at the end of this long and bloody tunnel (sigh...)

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up