If My Period Has Already Started Is There A Way To Make It End Faster
Sorry, the answer is no. Once the blood is in motion, nothing will stop it. You just have to ride it out. Your best bet is to think ahead and plan in advance if you know you want to skip over the placebo pills at any given time. You can’t just skip it for, say, one night that you decide you don’t want to bleed.
Put The Clamp On Cramps
Anyone who’s prone to cramps knows just how painful they can be, and that no amount of tea and chocolate really help that much. Sure, wine and ibuprofen can come in handy, but at the end of the day, some cramps are just persistent and they can come back, month after month.
Just why do you get cramps when you get your period? According to Dr. Trolice, “Menstrual cramping occurs from uterine contractions shedding its lining,” which makes sense. Your uterus is basically expelling the lining it took a month to build up, so no wonder it can be unpleasant.
But skipping your period can mean skipping your cramps as well, according to Dr. Trolice. He continued, saying that “continuous birth control pills prevent or limit menstrual flow thereby reducing or eliminating uterine contractions to shed the endometrial lining, ergo lessening or avoiding menstrual cramps.”
Studies confirm it, so if you’re tired of huddling up to a hot water bottle every month, talk to your doctor about which options might be best for you.
Whats The Short Answer
Its common not to get a period after stopping the pill, explains Gil Weiss, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Illinois.
The phenomenon is called post-pill amenorrhea, Dr. Weiss continues. The pill suppresses your bodys normal production of hormones that are involved in your menstrual cycle.
He says it can take several months for your body to return to its normal production, and therefore several months for your period to return.
But, in some cases, there is another reason for late or missed periods.
Discover other factors that could be causing your post-pill period problem, and how to get your cycle back on track.
Stress can affect the delicate hormonal balance that controls your menstrual cycle.
Stress induces the hormone cortisol, says Kecia Gaither, MD, who specializes in OB-GYN and maternal fetal medicine.
This, she says, can interfere with the hormonal regulation of menses via the circuit between the brain, ovaries, and uterus.
You may also experience signs of stomach discomfort such as bloating, or mood problems like sadness and irritability.
While small amounts of stress are unlikely to cause changes, long-term or significant stress levels can stop periods.
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Is This Unnatural Is It Really Safe
Yes, it is safe. Contrary to popular belief, menstruation is actually not a physiological necessity. Think about it:
- Bleeding in between pill packs is not the same as getting a period while not on the pill. In our previous blog post, The Secret Life of Placebo Pills, we talked about the differences between the two. The period you get while on the placebos is derived from a decrease in the hormones in your pills, aka a withdrawal bleed. If you have ever forgotten to take your pill for ~2 days and started spotting, its the same phenomenon. This type of bleeding is usually much lighter than a period.
- Women with an IUD, designed for 310 years of continuous use, dont have periods or withdrawal bleeding, but they may experience light breakthrough bleeding. This commonly applies to women who are breastfeeding too.
- One research study found that those taking active birth control pills continuously reported less menstrual symptoms including headaches, genital irritation, tiredness, bloating, and menstrual pain.
Are There Any Advantages To Skipping Your Period
Many women choose to skip their period with birth control to help manage menstrual symptoms, such as headaches/migraines, cramps, mood swings, and painful periods. It can also be very beneficial not to have a period if you have a condition that is worsened by it, such as endometriosis, PCOS, ovarian cysts, or anemia. Plus, skipping your period saves you money on menstrual products and is just more convenient for life in general.
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Benefits Of Skipping Your Period
There may even be some worthwhile benefits to bidding farewell to the crimson tide aside from the obvious convenience of not having a monthly visitor.
Some people have really terrible, heavy periods with a lot of cramping that can just be unbearable, so skipping that placebo week can help with that, McKechnie said. It can also help prevent the migraines that sometimes come with cycle changes.
If you have those kinds of problems, check with your doctor first before opting to skip your period. You might want to get those symptoms checked out instead of masking them with continuous birth control.
If someone has heavy bleeding or bad cramping, for example, I hate to be covering up a problem that needs to be addressed, like fibroids or cysts, McKechnie said. I might send someone for an ultrasound just to make sure everything looks normal that their ovaries and uterus are within normal limits and theres nothing concerning.
Youre In A New Relationship
Beginnings of new relationships are exciting, fun, and passionate. Unpredictability and spontaneity are some of the best things about the honeymoon phase. If you dont want to be caught in a situation where you have to say, Uh…its that time of the month, so lets hold off for tonight, then you may want to ask your doctor about using birth control to skip your period.
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How To Keep Track Of Your Menstrual Cycle
You can use a menstrual tracker like Flo to keep track of your cycle. Period tracking apps let you log your symptoms and determine when you should expect your period. This can also take some weight off your mind, since you wont have to remember when your period is due to arrive. The app will do it for you!
Overall, as long as youre taking it correctly, birth control is highly effective at preventing pregnancy and those missed periods can happen now and again.
If youre not sure, take a pregnancy test to ease your mind. Adding some relaxing activities to your life and staying healthy can help get your cycle back to normal.
Why Might You Want To Skip Your Period
Symptom Control. Some women who experience painful symptoms such as cramps, migraines, or extremely heavy/prolonged bleeding skip their period as a method for managing these symptoms. Women with conditions that are worsened by menstruation including endometriosis and anemia find relief this way as well.
Convenience. Lets face it, your period always falls on the day of your big vacay, pool day, or some occasion where you have to wear white. Its so frustrating. We promise, youre not overreacting. Skipping your period can be a helpful lifestyle choice.
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How To Skip Your Period
Here is how to skip your period using birth control pills:
Keep in mind that some women may experience spotting or breakthrough bleeding at the same time when they would have had their period.
This All Sounds So Good So What Are The Risks
Some arguments suggest that by skipping the sugar pills, women are effectively increasing the overall exposure to synthetic hormones by up to 25%. This may lead to a greater risk of depression, blood clots, or oestrogenic cancers.
Unfortunately, there is no research yet to support or refute these claims.
However there is evidence that menstrual manipulation can lead to greater incidence of spot or breakthrough bleeding. Women can also find it more difficult to tell if they become pregnant.
While there is no evidence to suggest menstrual manipulation or suppression is harmful, its a good idea to discuss it with your GP or gynaecologist, who can assess your individual circumstances and potential risk factors.
Under medical guidance, you can decide on a system to suppress your periods, and have a plan to contact your doctor if you experience any side effects such as abdominal pain, chest pain, bleeding, vision changes or severe leg pain.
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Why Isn’t This Talked About More
Dr. Shepard explains that, because the standard birth control pill is designed to have a placebo week, doctors will often just prescribe it to be used as intended, unless someone specifically mentions wanting to skip their period. However, it’s worth noting a long history in which information surrounding menstrual health has remained elusive. Not to mention that policing of the female body, especially when it comes to birth control, is nothing new, so it’s not all that surprising that the many options to skip periods and suppress ovulation aren’t super out in the open.
Just know this: People who menstruate may have a number of reasons to choose to not, you know, menstruatewhether it’s to avoid painful periods, gender dysphoria, or just make life a little easierand each reason is valid.
How Hormonal Birth Control Works
Combined birth control pills use synthetic versions of progestin and estrogen hormones that your body produces to mimic a 28-day cycle. Seven of your 28 pills are actually placebo pills, aka the sugar pills . There is a critical difference: the bleeding that happens during your week of sugar pills is actually whats known as withdrawal bleeding. That’s when your body reacts to the cessation of the hormones. So the period that you get if youre on hormonal birth control like the pill, the patch, or NuvaRing isnt actually a period per se, and that matters, because it means that with oral contraceptives, you can safely use birth control to hack your cycle to delay or even indefinitely opt out of monthly bleeding.
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How To Skip Or Delay A Period Using Birth Control
To skip a period using a traditional combined pill, a person must take active pills every day without interruption.
If a pack contains active pills and placebo pills, they are usually clearly labeled. Or, the placebo pills may be a different color from the active pills.
A person can continue taking active pills until they are ready to have a period. Taking no active pills for 1 week will trigger menstruation.
Some types of birth control pill suppress periods for a set amount of time.
Pill brands that suppress menstruation for 3 months at a time include:
Other methods of birth control also reduce the frequency of periods. Some examples include:
- NuvaRing, a type of contraceptive vaginal insert
- an intrauterine device, or IUD, that releases progestin
- a progestin implant or injection, such as the Depo-Provera shot
It is generally safe to use birth control pills to skip a period. However, there can be a few risks and side effects.
One risk is breakthrough bleeding.
Breakthrough or withdrawal bleeding can occur after a person misses a few periods or more. The bleeding may look like spotting, but it can resemble a regular period. The timing of breakthrough bleeding is variable, and it may not happen in some people.
Some brands of pill are more likely to causing breakthrough bleeding than others. If this type of bleeding occurs frequently, a person should speak to a doctor about alternatives.
Is Skipping Your Period Safe
Medical studies have reported no significant negative health effects when you skip your period on the combined hormonal birth control pill . That being said, itâs still important to mention that there have been no long-term studies examining the safety of continually skipping your period. Sometimes medical repercussions take a longer time and/or need a larger population sample size to emerge.
If you choose to stop taking hormonal birth control, your natural menstrual cycle and fertility will usually return to normal after one month, regardless of how long you skipped your âperiodâ .
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So Its Okay To Skip My Period On The Pill
Overall, the consensus is yesâitâs okay to skip your withdrawal bleed on the pill. But since there are so many differently dosed birth control pills, itâs always best to first discuss the option of skipping your period with your healthcare provider to make sure that it is a safe and healthy option for you.
There is some concern that by normalizing period skipping, people will view their monthly menstruation as unnecessary, a nuisance, and even abnormal . Periods are neither a curse nor a disease. A menstrual cycle is like a vital sign, just like blood pressure, temperature, or respiration rate. It acts as an indicator of overall health . If you are on the pill and you want to have a period always, sometimes, or never, the choice is up to you and your preference.
If eliminating your period or withdrawal bleed is something that is important to you, then the standard birth control pill packs may not be the best option for you. There are other forms of contraception, like the hormonal injection, the hormonal IUD, the hormonal implant, or continuous birth control pills, that can cause your period to decrease in frequency and amount, and sometimes stop altogether . Speak to your healthcare provider about which type of birth control is best for you.
How Did Menstrual Suppression Come About
In 1977, the first study was published on an extended oral contraceptive regimen of 84/7 . This showed reducing the frequency of menstruation to every three months was safe.
Since then, researchers have studied the various ways the pill can be used to suppress menstruation.
Most studies show the practice is well-accepted by patients. An 84-day cycle is usually recommended, allowing four withdrawal bleeds per year. This schedule minimises the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, an abnormal thickening of the lining of the uterus, which is also a risk factor for endometrial cancers.
While the most common way to manipulate the menstrual cycle is through extending the days of oral contraceptive use, there are several other long-acting reversible hormone contraceptive methods that can be used to suppression menstruation for months or years. These include Implanon® , Mirena® , or Depo-provera® .
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