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Birth control pills and spine surgery

LisaRachelLLisaRachel Posts: 286
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi my fellow spiney's

Are any of you taking the birth control pill? My doctor wants to put me on because my periouds are so heavy and my iron is really low. I don't know why
I'm nervous about taking them. I am 40, stopped smoking a month ago pretty
healthy except for back issues. I'm wondering if any of your surgeons made you stop taking BCP?


Lisa :) Having a good pain day today! Hope you guys are too....


  • Having my surgery Dec 3rd 2010...
  • I have been taking low dose BC for 4 years for the exact same reason your doctor wants you to go on them. My daughter does to.

    I usually don't even have my period any more. I think I have had 2 this year.

    My NS never suggested that I stop or start. I just kept taking them. I take the generic version of Yaz (I used to take Yaz). My blood pressure is fine.

    I say it is one less thing to worry about and if your a little anemic then I think his request makes sense.

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  • I use Mirena for that purpose, so no BC. I have talked to my OB about it at length because I do have high blood pressure, and she said it's fine since it has very low dose progesterone and no estrogen.

    Some day I'll find out if I'm ever having surgery ;) Yesterday the secretary told me the record for cancellations for one patient is 7.
  • There is a catch 22 to BC pills; the biggest concern being 1) how long were you a smoker and 2) is there any family history of strokes, miscarriages, clotting problems? There is more & more science and more clotting deficiencies that have been discovered in the past 10 years - I believe something like 2% of people have VonWillebrands; the number of people with some degree of clotting disorders or factor deficiencies is really amazing. The clues are often: excessive heavy periods, and bleedings gums with dental work, easy bruising. BC pills have actually been found to increase some of these deficient clotting factors and prevent excessive bleeding - pretty wild, huh? So they can be good not just to prevent anemia from heavy periods!
    Here's the negative and must be discussed with your doctor: there are some clotting abnormalities that can cause heavy periods, that can put you at increased risk of serious blood clots, and (sorry) but its well known that esp. in your 40's and with a history of smoking - the risk of a serious clot such as life-threatening stroke, DVT or even pulmonary embolism, when taking BC's is very real. Please discuss this with a doctor, but I'm pretty sure stopping smoking for one month does not eliminate that risk of a serious blood clot with BC's. I strongly suggest to get a hematologist opinion (they are often called hematologist/oncologist but in this context we only care about them for their hematology or "blood" expertise). A spine surgeon 20 years out of med school may not be up on all of this. Honestly, a hematologist will give you the best input into weighing pros and cons. Get back to us with details.
  • That's what's nice about the Mirena. No clot risk, even though I have lupus anticoagulant (one of those nasty hypercoagulative disorders Optimist discussed) AND stage II hypertension! Yay! (and I'm 44 with good ovaries but have no periods with Mirena).

    C'mon, everyone else is doing it! Peer pressure!

    Yes, I discussed this at great length with my OB, she even said I can get a new one put in when this one runs out next year!

    Mirena is a very low dose progesterone IUD.
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  • I just started got the IUD Mirena put in, because of heavy periods and low iron. I'm also 42, and a smoker, so my choices were limited. Now how this can be I'm not sure, but iron levels are back in the normal range after a month of having the IUD in. Here's there strange part. I've had a light period now for just about 3 weeks out of 4, but my iron's up. My dr has a sured me that the first 6 months can be tricky. Your body needs to adjust to the hormones, and the placement of the IUD. So the Doc said, I'm normal! And here I thought she knew me. Me normal, Never! TOFL!!!!
    I do know though that my decision to have this IUD put in pleased my GI Dr, PM Dr, PCP, and my Hematologist. The benefits have been a plus.
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