You're In Control

I Ditched Acne and a Libido Problem by Switching Birth Control


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As a runner, Andrea also had bone-density concerns.
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The Pill is a very effective form of birth control, but it's not without side effects, and sometimes patience is key. Just ask Andrea, 29, a public relations executive and marathon runner in New York City, who has been on the Pill for all 10 years of her relationship with her husband.

"When I first went on the Pill, what bothered me the most was that I developed acne, which I never had growing up. I also experienced a decreased libido," Andrea recalls. At first, she was prescribed Ortho Tri-Cyclen, but after consulting with her doctor, she switched to Estrostep Fe and the acne went away.

Andrea was pimple free, but her sex drive remained an issue. Plus, Andrea is a distance runner, and runners tend to have diminished estrogen levels (hence bone-density problems) that can put them at risk for injury. Based on these factors, her doctor switched her to another birth control pill, Ovcon 35, which keeps her estrogen levels high enough to protect her bones and increase her sex drive.

Though it took some trial and error to get things just right, Andrea says it was all worth the effort. "You can't assume that the first pill your doctor puts you on is going to be the right fit for you. We worked together to see what worked best and finally found the right match. My libido has improved, and I feel like the Pill is a natural part of my life now. I don't even think about it anymore."
Last Updated: April 27, 2008

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