Updated Post cancer contraception advice please

Before I start this post discusses fertility and I appreciate lots of ladies here have undergone treatments that compromised their fertility so please stop reading now if this might upset you. I know I am very fortunate to be in my position but if the big C or even CGIN returns I know I will need a hysterectomy and in need of your support so love and hugs xx

So... I basically had 2 X Lletz to remove my v small 1a1 cancer in my cervical canal and have (TMI) virtually no cervix left. My colposcopist said it's almost like I have had a trachelectomy. At the time no one mentioned anything about changing contraception etc.

So today I had an appointment with a nurse at my GPs for a repeat contraceptive pill. She wants me to switch contraceptive pill as I am on a combined pill (Rigevideon also known as Microgynon) 

 She said having had cervical cancer (and being knocking on the door of 40 at 38)  I should switch to the coil,  a progesterone only pill or consider other options (sterilisation / vasectomy) .  I am reluctant as whenever I have switched away from Microgynon ( to the injection and ceravette / celeste which I think is a progesterone only pill) I have had some side effects,  heavier periods, depression.  

Does anyone have any advice on this. I have finished my family but would rather stay on the pill for now

 I might also use ask the expert as not getting much from Google.  

 

 

 

Hiya

I don't know how much having had CC affects it, but I am 44 and still taking a combined pill (Mercilon). My doctor is OK with this, as long as I am very fit and healthy ...

I was switched onto Cerazette at about your age and it was horrific. I am not kidding,I could have used the potential side effects leaflet as a checklist. So I went on the internet and found prescribing guidelines for doctors, for my old combined pill, and it said that provided you are a non-smoker, with excellent blood pressure readings and good health, you can take it in your 40s. Armed with this info, I went back to my GP and persuaded her to let me swap back onto my old pill.

The coil has been mentioned several times, but I won't touch it, knowing that it has the same hormones as Cerazette and knowing what that did to me. I think that if they refused me the pill at any point, I would ask for a diaphragm personally. I know it's old-fashioned, but I wouldn't touch cerazette and its like with a bargepole.

Of course if you can persude dear hubby to have the snip, that's the easy answer .... for you anyway! Lol! Mine is quite a bit younger than me so I would never ask him to do that - you just don't know what might happen in the future and whether if one day he ends up with someone else, he might decide he wants kids (I never wanted any myself). But if you have completed your family together, that might be an option for you?

Good luck

E

Hiya :-)

I was on microgynon for years, and depressed for much of that time I might add. First I switched to the cap which was fine for a while, though it spoils any spontaneity. And I suppose a cap may not work with precious little cervix remaining! Then I had a coil fitted and whilst it gave me a little bit of back-ache, and my periods became heavier, it suited me very well. I think it's fair to say that once you reach 40 your periods begin to change anyway so that may have had nothing to do with the coil whatsoever.

Obviously moggsy & I have been posting simultaneously so I am now editing my post to add that the coil I had was without hormones (to the best of my knowledge). Certainly it seems that they are available both with and without so it might be an option worth considering.

Be lucky :-)
Tivoli

Yup, the coil that they were threatening me with had exactly the same hormones as Cerazette, hence my rapid retreat from that one! I think you can still get them without hormones as that rings a bell. I just don't like the idea very much, I guess!

Hi, 

 

I have the implant and I asked the doctor whether I should have it taken out after my op (I had a trachelectomy) and he said no if that one works for you keep it. It is a proeastrogen implant and I know theire is evidence to suggest that it helps prevent some of the cancers we become more likely to get now we have had cervical and I know that there is some uncertainity about whether the eastrogen  pill actually contributes to the development of cervical cancer. Therefore I'd look at maybe proeatrogen options (they also tend to have less side effects).

I love my implant and have had it for 4 years so i would recommend looking into this. The coil is VERY PAINFUL when fitted. Mine was horrendous and had it taken out 6  months later. 

 

Hope this helps.

Amy

Wow thanks ladies this is all excellent info esp about the coil and similarity to Cerazette as I couldn't bear to feel how I felt on that again!  

I am reasonably fit (I run half marathons) my blood pressure is always good at checkup and I don't smoke so I would really prefer to stay on my pill unless the doc strongly advises otherwise. So thanks Moggsy your post gave me more confidence in this.

Tivoli my post c-section love life is not v spontaneous so thanks for cap info I had not thought of this and TMI we aren't really at it regularly (too knackered usually) so a good fallback if doc gets a bit techy.

I think the non hormone coil is copper. I just worry about them getting it in and out given I have found smears v painful in past (but not colposcopies!)I am reluctant still to go for this due to pain as Amy said.

I would be v wary of an implant as the thought of hormones being in there rather than pill form I can stop if I feel low freaks me out.

Couldn't agree more about vasectomy too. Initially pre any cervical nasties my partner himself suggested it quite soon after having our second child. I persuaded him not to in case anything happened to me/us and a new partner might want kids. However I chatted to a close friend and she said her father had IVF to get round this problem!

Well I feel much more informed, I have done ask the expert too so if I have any more info will post.  Thanks so much for such great responses xxx 

Just heard back from Jos ask the expert and their advice is to stay on the combined pill per info I provided. So if the doc does want me to change it should be due to other risk factors not my CC. 

Hi again

That's good news, provided your GP is willing to be persuaded. Mine made me laugh, I had over-researched it to such a degree that she was chuckling as she wrote the prescription, saying that I had done her job for her (she's lovely, my GP).

One thing that I didnt mention before was that I used to be on Microgynon, for years, and always found it very good. While I was living in Denmark for a few years I went ot see the GP there and she recommended a lower-dose pill, given that I was getting older (!), which is when I switched to Mercilon. This is what I still take to this day - I am now 44.

You might find it an easier sell if you are willing to try a lower-dose combined pill, like Mercilon, as I believe the risks in older users are lower with these than with something like Microgynon. Could be worth a go, and given that you do well on the same pill that I used to take and also do badly on things like Cerazette, like me, perhaps Mercilon or its ilk would suit you.

Good luck!

Elise

Thanks Elise that's a good bargaining chip too xx