After my hysterectomy, I was so happy to be able to get off Visanne after a year of being on it.

Although the side effects didn’t seem to be too severe, one of them was - the acne.

I was covered in cysts and oily bumps from the top of my head, sometimes down to my waist.

It waxed and waned - two weeks of extremely severe acne, followed by two weeks of slow healing (fibromyalgia seems to slow the healing process). Some cysts never disappeared completely.

I got comments from family that I looked like had some dreadful contagious skin disease.

Pointing fingers from young kids asking their parents what was on my face.

Such severe acne is depressing, shaming, isolating.

Almost no acne when off Visanne

In the two months after my operation, my skin cleared completely. Only a low level of blackheads and the occasional small pimple remained. Better than in all of the 25+ years I had been on birth control, trying to control the endometriosis and pain.

When I finally got my lab results from the hysterectomy, I knew I’d have to go back on Visanne, and stay on it. They had taken biopsies during the laparoscopic hysterectomy from places that had seemed clear to the camera. Under a microscope, they weren’t - endometriosis cells were found throughout.

At my second checkup with the gynecologist after the operation, I was told I’d have to stay on Visanne, at least until menopause, or else the endometriosis would quickly regrow. Again.

I don’t want that. I don’t want a seventh laparoscopy.

Plus the surgeons here in Germany told me they wouldn’t do yet another laparoscopy within 10 years of my hysterectomy, because I’ve had too many laparoscopies and colonoscopies. And with every operation, the risks, the impact and the required healing time increase.

Visanne (endometriosis medication) side effect - acneVisanne acneReturn of the Visanne acne

So back on Visanne.

The dreadful acne returned.

A little in the first month, and then in the second month, in full force - families of cysts, from head to hip.

It comes and goes in that familiar cycle - two weeks of cysts, two weeks of healing.

I haven’t yet found anything to reduce or stop the Visanne acne.

My skin is sensitive, easily develops rashes and eczema, is allergic to erythromycin, badly sensitive to salicylic acid, and likes to peel.

So I’ve been sticking with mild cleansers, tea tree oil for drying out spots and preventing infection, and a skin healing oil mixture that I discovered when I had extreme urticaria for a year.

Other side effects of Visanne

The other listed side effects of Visanne: breast discomfort, decreased mood and libido, sleep problems, headaches and migraines, irritability and nervousness, nausea, weakness and weight gain.

I had all of these when not taking the medication, and can’t clearly gauge how much it has contributed.

Breast soreness, enlarging and migraines have always been cyclical with my period and generally severe. Sleep problems, depression and libido problems can come from fibromyalgia and PTSD. Weight gain and nausea from the fibromyalgia medication and generally being in chronic pain. And I have two other headache contributors - regular sinusitis and a cervical spine problem.

I’ll keep searching for ways to reduce the acne, but I’ll stay on Visanne.

Skin healing oil recipe

This oil can be used to help repair skin and reduce itching.

I typically rub a few drops lightly over my face and neck before bed after washing - the lavender and chamomile scents also help with sleep problems.

When I had urticaria (hives), I’d put about 20 or more drops into a bath with a bag of oats to soothe the itchiness, and use the oat bag to very gently rub the surface oil over my skin.

It also makes a great nail oil!

Base oil mixture

  • vitamin E oil - skin healing, scar minimising
  • rosehip oil - moisturising dry skin
  • calendula oil - healing skin abrasions

Essential oils

Drip these into the base oil mixture, then shake vigorously

  • German or blue chamomile (3% in jojoba oil) - reduces inflammation and itchiness
  • lavender - antiseptic, skin healing, plus it's my favourite scent
  • tea tree - antiseptic, anti-acne, but I hate the smell!
  • bergamot - skin healing
  • rosewood - antiseptic and smells lovely

Additions or substitutions

  • wheatgerm base oil
  • grapeseed base oil - good for oily skin
  • almond base oil - moisturising
  • rose (3% in jojoba) - for the scent
  • patchouli - skin healing
  • neroli - scent, emotional support
  • jasmine - scent, emotional support
  • (rose) geranium - skin healing and smells great
  • ylang ylang - reduces oil production
  • sandalwood - skin healing and wonderful scent, but very expensive

Your experience with Visanne?

What side effects do you get?

Have you managed to control the acne, if you get it?