What Are The Side Effects Of Stopping The Birth Control Pill
Any time theres a change in your hormones like when you go on or off hormonal birth control such as the pill theres a chance of temporary side effects. But they usually go away after a few months.
When you go off the pill, your body will eventually return to the way it was before you went on it.
So if the pill made your periods lighter, your periods will probably get heavier once you stop using it. It can also take a few months for your period to go back to the cycle you had before you started taking the pill. And if the pill helped clear up your skin, your acne may come back after you go off the pill. But everyones body is different, and our bodies also change over time. For example: youre less likely to have acne after puberty, so if you started taking the pill in your teens but go off it in your 20s, you may have naturally grown out of your acne by then.
Another important thing to note: you can get pregnant right away once you stop taking the pill . So if youre going off the pill but you dont want to get pregnant, make sure to use another birth control method.
Theres no way to know exactly how your body will react to going off the pill, but any negative side effects that you may have will go away within a few months as your body gets used to being off the hormones.
Continuous Birth Control Pill Use
If you decide that continuous birth control or skipping the placebo week is the right choice for you, you won’t experience a period at all. This is a perfectly healthy and valid choice to make, according to licensed women’s health nurse practitioner Lena Crandell.
There is no medically-necessary reason that you must have a “period” if you are not ovulating and building up your endometrium. Continuous hormonal birth control prevents the hormonal withdrawal that causes withdrawal bleeding.
You should know that some progestin-containing birth control methods, such as the Mirena IUD or Depo Provera, may cause irregular bleeding during the first few months according to Nurse Crandell. However, over time, this bleeding may cease completely for years.
Will It Affect Any Preexisting Health Conditions
Its a good idea to talk with a healthcare professional about birth control for your periods if you have a preexisting medical condition, as some methods may not be right for your individual situation.
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How To Control Or Stop It
If you smoke, quitting smoking can help control breakthrough bleeding.
If youre on the pill, the best way to stop breakthrough bleeding is to take your pill at the same time every day.
For most people, breakthrough bleeding stops 3 to 6 months after starting hormonal birth control. If youre still experiencing breakthrough bleeding related to birth control after that point, talk with your doctor.
How To Start Taking Birth Control Pills
You may start the pill on any day of the month. Talk to your health care provider to choose what day is best for you to start.
Combination pills: If you start combination pills within five days after the start of your period, you will prevent pregnancy right away and do not need to use a back-up method of birth control. If you start taking the pill at any other time throughout your menstrual cycle, you will need to use another method of birth control for the first seven days.
Mini-pills: You should use another method of birth control during the first 48 hours of use, after which you will be protected from pregnancy. Remember that taking the mini-pill at the same time each day is essential to prevent pregnancy.
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Stopping Periods When Using Birth Control
People who are taking the combined contraceptive pill can plan their period to some extent as they know that it will come during the week that they are taking either the dummy pills or no pills.
If they have started their placebo pills or pill break for the week and their period has commenced, they could begin taking their next pack of pills.
Doing this will increase the level of hormones in their body, which may shorten the duration of bleeding, although there is no guarantee of this.
People can stop their periods in the long term by using hormonal birth control. Doctors refer to this as Ã¢menstrual suppression.Ã¢
Long-term methods for stopping your period include:
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Are There Any Serious Side Effects Of Birth Control Pills That I Should Be Worried About
Most teens who take birth control pills have few or no problems. If you do have any of the following problems, call your health care provider right away.
- Chest pain , cough, shortness of breath
- Headache , dizziness, weakness, or numbness
- Eye problems , speech problems
- Severe leg pain
Blood clots: A blood clot in your leg or lung is a very rare but serious side effect. If you suddenly have pain or swelling in your leg and/or shortness of breath and/or chest pain, see your health care provider right away or go to the emergency room. If you have a history of blood clots, you should not take the Pill. Tell your health care provider if anyone in your family has ever had blood clots, especially when they were young. The Pill increases the risk of blood clots by three to fourfold, which is less than with pregnancy. Blood clots are more likely to develop if youre also a smoker, overweight, having surgery, or sitting on a plane for a long time. To lessen your chances of blood clots, dont smoke, and if youre on a long plane trip, get up, walk around, and drink lots of water. If you do smoke, it is important that your doctor knows about your smoking before you start the pill. If youre scheduled for surgery, and wont be able to move around much after surgery, ask your health care provider about stopping the Pill for 3-4 weeks before surgery and after the surgery until you are walking around normally.
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You Likely Wont Gain Or Lose Any Weight
If you believe birth control leads to weight gain, you need to know that the opposite isnt necessarily true: Going off of birth control likely wont help you lose or gain weight. According to a 2014 review of 49 relevant trials, the birth control Pill did not appear to have a major impact on weight. There has been no definitive evidence showing that startingor stoppingbirth control will affect your weight, Neha Bhardwaj, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, previously told Health.
Birth Control Can Make Your Period Irregular At First
Hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills and the hormonal intrauterine device work to prevent pregnancy by interfering with the natural fluctuation of hormones in your cycle that form eggs and ovarian follicles. This interference is what prevents you from getting pregnant.
Some hormonal contraceptives, like the hormonal IUD, also prevent pregnancy by thinning the lining of your uterus, known as the endometrium, so an egg cant attach to it.
A thin endometrium means your body doesnt need to shed it as often or at all, so your period may become much lighter or stop altogether, Zhang says.
Spotting or bleeding between periods can happen when you start using a new method of hormonal birth control, Zhang says. Plus, some people choose to use birth control in a way that suppresses their period entirely, like taking birth control pills continuously , which can also result in spotting until your body gets used to the new routine.
But if you have spotting or bleeding between periods that doesnt go away within a few months, or if theres a sudden change in your cycle, thats worth noting, Zhang says.
If youre on an IUD and you dont get your period, if all of a sudden you have heavy bleeding or have irregular bleeding, that is something to ask your doctor about, she says.
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Your Period Could Also Be Totally Different
The other side of that: If youve been on birth control for years, your age, medical issues, stress levels, diet patterns, or exercise habits may have changed over time and could influence what your period looks like when you come off of birth control, says Dr. Dweck.
Say, for example, that you developed a thyroid abnormality while you were on birth control. You might notice your period is more irregular than you remember because of that. Your period may be different when you come off the Pill than it was before you went on, but thats completely unrelated to the Pill itself, she says.
Learn Which Forms Are Most Likely To Stop Menstruation And If Its Safe
There are many reasons for people to want to delay or skip a period. Some experience very heavy bleeding, painful cramping, or other severe symptoms during their menstrual cycle that they want to avoid. Other people choose to delay their monthly cycle for the sake of convenience, due to travel or other personal events.
But is it safe to skip a period? The short answer is yes, in most cases.
In this article, well review which forms of birth control can help prevent a period for days, weeks, months, or even longer, how to so safely, and other concerns.
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Youre Going On Vacation
It can be pretty annoying dealing with your period on vacation, whether youll be hiking, touring a foreign city, or lounging around at a pool or beach. Accommodations and bathroom stops can be unpredictable, so good luck finding a clean place to change your tampon or empty out your menstrual cup. Besides, you dont want to be dealing with bloating or cramping while sporting your brand-new swimsuit.
Vacation is meant to be fun and relaxing, and if the idea of getting your period on vacation stresses you out, you may want to consider skipping it altogether.
And What Are The Solutions
1. Make your periods less painful. You can buy pain killers like ibuprofen at the drug store. Start taking them right when you first start feeling symptoms, or if your cycle is really regular, take them just before you expect your period.
2. Make your periods lighter.All types of hormonal birth control are even better at reducing pain than over-the-counter meds. The hormonal IUD, the implant, the shot, the pill, the patch, and the ring will all make periods lighter. This is because these methods of birth control make the lining of the uterus thinner. Theres less tissue in the uterus to shed, so periods are lighter. One special note on the implant and the shot: for some women, these methods cause more days of spotting or bleeding, but periods become lighter and less painful overall.
3. Have fewer periods. The ultimate solution may be to have as few periods as possible. Several methods of birth control can make periods go away for months or even years at a time:
When hormonal birth control stops your period, its because the lining of the uterus gets so thin that theres nothing to shed. Its totally safe to skip periods this way, so if you suffer from serious period pain, talk to your provider about what you can do about it.
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You Could Get More Headaches
More than 50% of women associate migraines with their period, according to a 2009 review, likely due to a drop in estrogen levels. Certain birth control methods let you skip periods or go longer between them, such as extended-cycle pills, may prevent migraines. For these women, going off of birth control could cause their headaches to become more frequent.
You Might Lose A Bit Of Hair
Switching birth control pills or going off it completely could trigger telogen effluvium, a temporary condition that causes your hair to shed. Telogen effluvium usually subsides within six months, after your body has adjusted to not being on birth control. Some women who had hormonal-related hair loss before they went on birth control might notice that it returns when they go off of the pill. All that said, hair loss is complicated, explains Dr. Dweck, and is often related to other factors, such as stress.
The bottom line? Most women wont see a significant net effect on their hair after stopping birth control pills, says Josh Klein, MD, chief medical officer at Extend Fertility in New York City.
On the flip side, some women may grow more hair, but not necessarily on their heads. Dark, coarse hairs can pop up in unwanted spots like the face, back, and chest if the body produces too much androgen. PCOS is the most common culprit.
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You May Have Some Hair Loss
If you dealt with hormonal-related hair loss before you went on birth control, going off of birth control might bring it back. This switch could trigger telogen effluvium, a temporary condition that causes your hair to shed. Thankfully, telogen effluvium doesnât last forever, subsiding usually within six months, and stress is also a factor. However, this isnât super common. Most women wonât see a significant net effect on their hair after stopping birth control pills,â Josh Klein, MD, chief medical officer at Extend Fertility in New York City previously told Health.
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Popular Reasons For Wanting To Skip Your Period
There are many reasons a woman may want to skip her period. Periods can be inconvenient for a whole number of reasons, especially if you suffer from particularly bad cramps and pains. Some women get so sick during their periods that they find themselves taking sick days from work every single month.
In this day and age, when we know how to skip a period, why not give women a chance to choose, and gain control over their cycles when they need it the most. These are some of the most popular reasons why a woman may choose to skip her period.
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How To Stop Your Periods Cramps
Period cramps are one of the annoying symptoms that accompany your menstrual cycle. These cramps can be painful, annoying, and causes a lot of discomfort. For most people, this can be the reason for them to want to stop their period permanently.
Period or menstrual cramps can be felt as a painful sensation that affects a majority of menstruating women before and during their menstruation cycle.
The pain is medically known as dysmenorrhea. It ranges from dull and annoying to severe and extreme. For most women, the pain will occur in the lower abdomen and lower back. It will start a day or two before your period and last for about four days top.
Medically, when the pain is only related to menstruation, then it is described as primary dysmenorrhea. On the other hand, when the pain is due to other conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease, the cramps are described as secondary dysmenorrhea.
You could also use anti-prostaglandins to reduce cramping in uterus. This option will also help lighten the flow of menstrual blood and help relieve discomfort.
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Side Effects And Complications:
You may experience breast tenderness, occasional headaches, nausea, and breakthrough bleeding for the first three months. These side effects are not unusual and should improve with time. If you continue to have breakthrough bleeding or have no periods at all after the first three months, please call the office so we can change your prescription. Your periods may be much lighter and should not be misunderstood as not having a period. If you have any withdrawal bleeding or spotting on the placebo pills, you do not need to call.
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When To See A Doctor
If your period lasts longer than a week, consider calling a doctor for advice. Depending on your symptoms, they may suggest setting up an in-person appointment for a physical exam.
On the other hand, if you think youre showing symptoms of a rare cause or if youre pregnant, see a doctor immediately.
If you experience severe heavy bleeding and youre soaking through four or more pads and tampons in a 2-hour period, go to an emergency room right away.
What To Do If Birth Control Makes Your Period Worse
Its a cruel fact of life that birth control can sometimes make your period worse. To be clear: Birth control is an incredible invention, and it usually has the reputation of making periods way better.
Sometimes, though, it can do the opposite. And when that happens, it can feel like youre losing in a casino where everyone else has hit the jackpot. If this sounds like your experience, youre probably wondering whether you should switch contraception methods. According to experts, you might want to. Heres what to keep in mind.
This could be the case if youre switching from a birth control that has worked magic on your period in the past. Oftentimes its not so much that your periods get worse, theyre just going back to what they were before this method of birth control, Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale Medical School, tells SELF. Maybe you were using a hormonal birth control method that made your typically hellish period all sunshine and roses and then stopped using iteither to switch to a non-hormonal method or to nothing at all. In both cases, returning to your old period is going to feel pretty hellish again.
So, depending on what period symptoms were being alleviated by which hormones in your birth control method, when you stop taking that method, you might end up with that same old irritating period again.
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