Hey all-

I’ve been on BC off and on since a fairly young age (14) primarily because of sexual activity. I also felt like I had really bad mood swings with my period and that the BC was helping. (I later found out I had mental instability issues, chemical and otherwise, and that’s calling the whole PMDD narrative into question for me.)

Now, I’m 26, in a monogamous relationship with someone who physically can’t get me pregnant, and I’m starting to wonder if I want to be on hormones for all of forever.

This has led me to the following bit of curiosity: how exactly does BC help with PMDD/PMs? I’m on Beyaz, which seems especially recommended for that, but I’m just curious as to why. Is it because of the different progesterone? Or just because your withdrawal bleeds are only 4 days long? Something else?

I’ve heard the same is true of HBC in general, and I just was curious if anyone knew (or knew of a layperson’s resource that could explain) why/how this happens.

I mean, when I’m on an HBC withdrawal bleed, I’m not taking any hormones. How is that any better than just not being on hormones in the first place?

Knowing this will be helpful and important in my considerations of my hormonal future. Thank y’all for any info you can share!

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2 Responses to PMS/PMDD and HBC: by what mechanism does it help?

  1. Dnrme says:

    I had really bad PMDD that’d last for like 2 weeks before my period. So… half my life I was going mental. (Or as I called it, going menstrual).

    I took the natropathic route, and while it took a good 6 or 7 months to get straightened out, I’m much happier without hormones. I do have to take my supplements, however, or I go nuts.

    Doctors I went to seem to have different ideas about which I was low on – estrogen or progesterone. I would have terrible insomnia, so I think I was low on progesterone, which helps you sleep. I’d imagine it’s likely different for different women.

  2. Gni007 says:

    When you’re on HBC, your ovaries are convinced they don’t have to produce hormones of their own, or at least not at the normal levels. So they don’t. It takes a week or so to convince them thoroughly. When you stop taking HBC for your withdrawal bleed, there’s a sudden drop in hormones that triggers the bleed (and some other PMS symptoms, for some people), but your ovaries don’t wake up and start doing their own thing. You have a few days of no artificial hormones, then you start taking them again. Your own body’s sex-hormone production systems remain out of commission. (Well, not out precisely, but asleep.)

    PMDD/PMS isn’t just about low hormones; sometimes it’s quite the opposite, with high levels, and it’s also about volatile levels. So the constant levels dictated by HBC are a good choice for some people. Some people with PMDD can’t take a withdrawal bleed, though – they take the pills continuously.

    Since you’re not concerned about pregnancy, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t go off the pill for a few cycles and see what happens. If it’s awful, you can always go back on it. It’s hard to say if you were really dealing with PMDD or other mood things – or if your cycle was aggravating your other mood stuff, actually. That’s quite common. But in any case, a lot has probably changed since you were 14. It’s probably worth finding out. 🙂

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