Real Women Discuss Their Experiences with Lybrel

Lybrel Birth Control Pill. Photo © GSM

Do you use the birth control pill, Lybrel, to prevent an unplanned pregnancy? Perhaps you are considering whether to switch your pill brand to Lybrel, or maybe your doctor has recommended Lybrel to reduce PMS, to get rid of migraines, or to help lower your discomfort from endometriosis-related pain. Lybrel is a combination birth control pill that is the first extended-cycle pill designed to supply an active dose of hormones every day. This pill will completely stop a woman's period for a full year.

Breakthrough Bleeding

“I would just like to say I’ve been on Lybrel since it was available in July and I’ve had no problems with it. I had no breakthrough bleeding and couldn’t be happier to be period-free.” - Amanda

“I started taking Lybrel about 1 year ago, after the birth of my second child. A little hesitant at first, my OB reassured me and I tried it. LOVE IT! Did have a little bit of breakthrough bleeding the first 6 months, but now have none. Most importantly, no more pain from endometriosis, no more PMS of any kind. And also, no weight gain or any other symptoms. Every woman is different.” – Tammy

“I have been on it for 5 months and have had bleeding almost every day since. I have gained 10 pounds since I have been on it and I have a rash that is on both of my hands in the identical spot. I called my OB and switched back. I have had no migraines which have been great but the other side effects are just too much!” – Jessica

No Periods

“I have been taking Lybrel for a month now, I am an endometriosis patient and so far I can say I like not having a period.” - Shy

“I have been taking Lybrel for about 5 months now. I used to have normal periods, except for ridiculously painful cramps and irritability. For the first 3 months of taking the pill I had break-through bleeding twice, and my other symptoms completely vanished. In the five months now I have only had the breakthrough 3 times. I love this pill (and not having a period) and until I see any outrageous side effects I will keep taking it.” – Katie

  • The impact of having a monthly period, for some women, can be experienced as a minor inconvenience; yet it can also be a major health concern for women suffering from menstrual disorders and/or conditions that are aggravated during menstruation. Research has shown that it is totally safe to not have a monthly period.
    No More Periods: The Safety of Continuous Birth Control

“I did NOT have a good time with this. I found out after I had started taking them that they are supposed to rid you of your period, which is something I don’t like personally. I would much rather not worry that I am pregnant.” - Leann

  • Many women welcome their monthly period as it provides reassurance about their continued fertility and femininity or lets them know they are not pregnant. In fact, according to research done by Wyeth, 50% of the women surveyed welcomed their periods as a sign that they were not pregnant and nearly 25% revealed that they felt their periods were a natural part of womanhood. Also, given that approximately 1% to 8% of pill users become pregnant each year, young women who have never been pregnant and are taking Lybrel may not recognize pregnancy-related symptoms if they are indeed pregnant since they cannot rely on a missing period to indicate a pregnancy.

    Weight Gain

    “I love Lybrel for getting rid of my migraines and adult acne issues…but I gained 10 lbs in a matter of 3 months. I haven’t changed my diet and actually work out a lot more….” – Melissa

    “I just started Lybrel 3 weeks ago, I’ve gained 8 lbs since starting it. I’m more bloated than I’ve been ever, my breasts grew a cup size and I am a Triathlete. I am seriously concerning NEVER taking this pill again.” – Kathryn

    • Lybrel has the same side effects as other hormonal methods. Although weight gain is considered to be a possible side effect, actual weight increases tend to be minimal.

    Lighter Periods

    “I have been taking Lybrel for about 10 months or so now.

    I originally was put on it to help with horrible migraines that I have been having for 4-5 years! WELL with Lybrel, they have gotten MUCH better. I still get them, but they are not as bad and not as often. I did spot a lot for many months at first, but it was very light. I do get cramps (not nearly as bad as when I was not taking BC) but I only get them once every 3-4 months with the Lybrel. My period (if I get it now) lasts 1-2 days. Very light, minimal cramps. So it’s not too bad. I experienced no other side effects (nausea or weight gain, etc.) - none of that.” – LybrelChic

    • According to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (the manufacturer of Lybrel), 59% of women taking Lybrel stopped bleeding after six months of use. Women using hormonal contraception do not have “real” periods but, rather, experience withdrawal bleeding. Because withdrawal bleeding occurs when a woman is not exposed to any hormones from her birth control method, theoretically, women should not have a period while using Lybrel.
      For more on: Withdrawal Bleeding


    “I used Lybrel for two months. My period, which happened at the normal intervals, were twice as heavy and twice as long. I also had nausea so bad everyday that everyone thought I was having morning sickness. I have now stopped taking it for 3 weeks and feel much better.” – Alyssa

    “I have only been taking Lybrel for a while. I like not having to worry about a cycle but the nausea is horrific. I’m hoping that as I continue to take it, this will disappear also.” - Kyla

    • Nausea and vomiting are side effects of Lybrel that have been noted particularly for the first few cycles. One study reported that after seven to 13 pill packs, women on Lybrel reported less nausea and breast pain than those on a 21-day birth control pill. In a different study, researchers found that three months of taking Lybrel reduced PMS and associated complaints in 114 women.
      What side effects are you afraid of or have experiences in the past?

    Hormonal Ups and Downs

    “I have been taking Lybrel for just over a month. I am having spotting, but that is it. It was so nice to not have the mood swings and roller coaster ride that my period is. Plus I get migraines with the start of my period. I did not experience it last month.” – MJ

    “I have been using Lybrel for a year, and it is wonderful. The hormone ups and downs of no pill or 21 day pills are not something I miss. I get the same amount of hormones every day, which for me means less mood swings.

    And I don’t miss the cramping and bleeding. Try it for a few months. You’ll see the difference.” – Rebecca

    • Eliminating the menstrual week of a woman’s cycle (as Lybrel will do), will cause hormonal levels to stabilize which often leads to a reduction or complete elimination of the symptoms associated with this week such as: bloating, cramping, irritability, headaches, tender breasts, and other various aches and pains.
      Advantages and Benefits of Lybrel


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