How Does The Implant Work
The birth control implant is a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick. Its also called Nexplanon and theres a slightly older version called Implanon. A doctor inserts the implant under the skin of your upper arm. It releases the hormone progestin to stop you from getting pregnant.
The hormones in the birth control implant prevent pregnancy in two ways:
Progestin thickens the mucus on your cervix, which stops sperm from swimming through to your egg. When sperm cant meet up with an egg, pregnancy cant happen.
Progestin can also stop eggs from leaving your ovaries , so theres no egg to fertilize. When eggs arent released, you cant get pregnant.
One of the awesome things about the implant is that it lasts for a long time up to 5 years but its not permanent. If you decide you want to get pregnant or you just dont want to have your implant anymore, your doctor can take it out. Youre able to get pregnant quickly after the implant is removed. You can keep track of your insertion and removal dates using our birth control app.
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Your Acne Could Return
A lot of people take birth control pills to ease acne, but unfortunately once you stop taking them, the acne could return. Going off birth control pills may return acne symptoms to what they were before starting , Dr. Bhardwaj previously told Health. If you’re worried about hormonal acne, talk to your dermatologist about alternatives, one as simple as switching your skincare products.
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What Are The Risks Of A Birth Control Implant
You may have an allergic reaction to the implant. The implant may be inserted in the wrong area or too deep and may need to be removed. You may become pregnant if the implant is not placed correctly. You may have pain, numbness, bruising, or bleeding at the site. You may get an infection. You may have changes to your monthly period, such as how long and how much you bleed. Your period may stop. You may have headaches, mood changes, acne, breast pain, abdominal discomfort, and some weight gain. You may also be at increased risk for a blood clot. A birth control implant does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. Certain medicines can prevent the implant from working correctly.
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I Like Having The Extra Backup On The Contraceptive Side Of Things
I got a Nexplanon implant two years ago, mainly to stop having periods but I also moved in with my partner full time, so I decided to get some method of round-the-clock contraceptive too.
My experience has been fine. Insertion was very quick. The doctor talked me through what was happening. I had a small dose of localised anesthetic before hand, then she used what looked like a piercing gun to insert the implant and I didnÃ¢t feel any pain. I kept it bandaged for a day or two afterwards. Now I have a small scar on the point of insertion, but I do scar easily. I had some light bleeding but no pain like I used to . After the insertion I didnÃ¢t have a period for about 8 months, then I bled lightly for about 3 days, then it stopped again for another 8 months.
I plan on sticking with the implant. For me, it has been useful in stopping periods, and I like having the extra backup on the contraceptive side of things.Ã¢Anonymous, female, 20, Sheffield, UK
We at Clue recommend that you see a healthcare provider to discuss which birth control is best for you, and let them know if you are experiencing any negative side effects.
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.
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The Need For A Balanced Accurate Discussion Of What’s Normal And What’s Healthy
The National Women’s Health Network supports the availability of menstrual suppression products as an option for women. Our concerns about this method lie with the way these products are being marketed to women by manufacturers and health care providers.
Below are some examples of problematic marketing:
- One doctor brought to a media briefing by the makers of Seasonale asserted that using Seasonale could improve high school girls’ test scores because, she said, girls score lower on the SATs when they are menstruating, although she provided no evidence for this claim.
- Several physicians have referred to the experience of women in earlier eras who menstruated less than women today due to more frequent pregnancies and longer periods of amenorrhea associated with breastfeeding to support the claim that women weren’t intended to menstruate as much as they do today. One gynecologist who conducted research on menstrual suppression said “It’s having seven or 10 kids that are natural,” explaining that menstrual suppression “gets women to a more natural state.” It is accurate to say that women menstruate more today than they have at other times, but the assertion that monthly menstruation is unnatural is unfounded.
The NWHN calls for young women to have accurate, comprehensive information about menstrual health.
When Is Not Having A Period Not Okay
Despite the many ways in which people can safely avoid having periods, it is very important to know that sometimes not having a period is a sign that something is wrong. If you are not using hormonal birth control and you are naturally not having your period, you may have a condition called amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea refers to a someone age 15 or older who has not begun menstruating. Secondary amenorrhea refers to someone who used to have regular periods in the past, but then has stopped getting for more than three months in a row.
There are a lot of reasons why amenorrhea happens, such as hormone imbalances, stress, being overweight or underweight, use of certain drugs or medications, ovarian or uterine disorders and, of course, pregnancy. If you are not using hormonal birth control and you are not having your period, start by taking a pregnancy test. If the test is negative, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to find out what is going on. Amenorrhea can lead to serious health problems, such as endometrial cancer or bone loss, so it should not be ignored.
If youre considering your birth control options or want to discuss your period, contact a Womens Healthcare Associates office to schedule an appointment.
Reviewed and updated: 04/19/2022
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How Common Is Breakthrough Bleeding
If youve done any research on menstrual suppression, chances are youve heard of breakthrough bleeding: random spotting and light bleeding that may happen when someone uses birth control to stop their period.
Breakthrough bleeding isnt the same as having a period. It is usually less blood, for starters, and may not be accompanied by the symptoms you got during your period.
Still, its something Prager likes to inform people of so they can prepare for it. Breakthrough bleeding typically lasts, off and on, for three to six months after you have started period suppression. But, for some people, it can last longer or never fully go away.
Having some spotting doesnt mean your contraceptive isnt working or that something is wrong. It just means your body is adjusting to its new dose of hormones. Sometimes people may have to work with their doctor to find the right dose or type of contraceptive for their body.
With Depo-Provera, someone might need dosing to be more frequent. So every 10 weeks instead of every 12, for example, Prager says.
If breakthrough bleeding is interfering with your life, there are ways to try to stop it without full-on quitting using birth control, too.
This is easiest to do if youre taking birth control pills, of course. You can stop taking the pills for three to five days, allow your body to have a withdrawal bleed, then start taking the pills again, according to Prager.
Sometimes you just need to have the uterus shed its lining, Prager explains.
Will Birth Control Make My Period Stop
if I get on birth control will i stop getting my period?
It depends on what kind of birth control you use and how you use it. In general, women who use the IUD, patch, pill, or ring will have menstrual periods every month. Women who take the shot may not have periods often or at all while they use the method. Some women use combined-hormone methods the pill and the vaginal ring to skip periods.
Combination pills, for example, usually come in 28-day packs and are taken without interruption. The first 21 pills in the pack are called active they contain hormones that prevent pregnancy. The last seven pills in the pack are called reminder pills. Theyre inactive placebos that do not contain hormones. Theyre taken during the fourth week to let a woman have her period and to help her keep the habit of taking a pill on a regular basis.
Some women choose to skip placebo pills and go right into the next pack to avoid having a period continuously or during certain events like their vacations, for example. They may still experience some spotting light bleeding when they do this.
Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. is a registered 501 nonprofit under EIN 13-1644147. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable under the law.
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What Are No Period Birth Control Pills
Combination birth control pills are often the most common way to stop periods.
Thats because the schedule you use to take them can result in fewer periods or no periods at all.
For example, you may continually take a pill containing estrogen and progestin every day until you decide not to.
Or you might take so-called active pills for a few months straight before having a break. During your break, you might take inactive pills that contain no hormones for a week.
Other forms of birth control can have no period effects but theres often less of a guarantee.
How To Stop Periods Permanently
The period or menstruation cycle is normal and harmless. Your period is a natural way to cleanse your reproductive system. When occurring irregularly, it can be a sign of an underlying condition. Stopping your period permanently is a serious decision that needs lots of consideration. This is not to say that you cannot stop your period permanently.
If your reasons for stopping your period are not a medical emergency, then you might want to reconsider such a decision, especially for a young girl. You might opt for semi-permanent methods such as using contraceptives and other natural methods.
If you are, however certain that you would wish to stop your period permanently, then you can try the following:
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Can The Depo Shot Stop Your Period
The Depo Provera shot only contains progestin and no estrogen. Thus, its not uncommon for women on this shot to experience irregular periods or spotting, especially in the first two to three months.
However, according to AAFP, up to 50 percent of women experience amenorrhea, after the first year of use. In case youre unfamiliar with the term, amenorrhea is the absence of your period. Furthermore, this number can jump to 80% with increasing duration of use.
So, can the Depo shot stop your period? Much like the IUD, it depends. As mentioned in Planned Parenthoods article, many women who get the shot stop getting their period after approximately a year of use. However, theres no guarantee as everyone has a different experience with it.
With this in mind, remember that Depo Provera might not be suitable for everyone. So, be sure to have a chat with your doctor to see if this is the right method for you.
What Can I Do Myself
If heavy periods become such a problem that they interfere with your everyday life, then you can try taking things a little easier on those days. Some women find that relaxation techniques or yoga help them feel more relaxed and reduce stress. Getting a lot of exercise can also help.
Women with heavy periods are often advised to change their diet: For instance, certain fatty acids, vitamins or fibers are claimed to help. But making changes to your diet hasnt been proven to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding or the related problems. This is also true for sports, homeopathic products and .
Foods that are rich in iron can help to prevent anemia. Examples include meat, legumes, green leafy vegetables and wholegrain bread.
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You Likely Won’t Gain Or Lose Any Weight
If you believe birth control leads to weight gain, you need to know that the opposite isn’t necessarily true: Going off of birth control likely won’t 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.
Experts Agree That Not Having Your Period While On Birth Control Is Safe
Taking continuous birth control pills does not mean that you’re stockpiling an unhealthy amount of hormones in your body.
Splinter News spoke to several OBGYNs from the Mayo Clinic and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists who all said the same thing: The levels of hormones introduced to your body via hormonal birth control are far lower than what your body naturally produces, and especially lower than what it produces while pregnant. Dr. Maria Isabel Rodriguez wrote this useful explainer about why skipping periods is perfectly healthy.
If you’re interested in using hormonal birth control to have fewer or no periods, Dr. Valerie French has written a helpful guide to get started. One word of caution: Dr. French advises against skipping periods if you’re using the birth control patch, as it may increase your risk of a blood clot.
If you want to have regular periods for the peace of mind, talk to your women’s healthcare provider about your birth control options. A period can tell you that you’re not pregnant, but so can a pregnancy test.
You Can Get Pregnant Before You Even Get Your Period Again
When your body realizes youve stopped taking the birth control , you might begin to ovulate, which means you can get pregnant right away, she says.
No period in sight? Says Dr. Dweck: Number one, two, and three on the list of why someone isnt getting their period after coming off the Pill for a while is pregnancy, pregnancy, pregnancy.
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Does Starting On Birth Control During Your Period Stop Your Flow Immediately
One question experts get asked a lot is: If I start birth control on my period, will it stop? If taken correctly, there isnt one birth control method that is guaranteed to stop your period at all, let alone immediately. There are some cases where birth control can stop heavy bleeding, though, Lucky Sekhon, MD, ob-gyn and endocrinologist at RMA of New York, Flo Medical Expert, and assistant clinical professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF, but it must be done under the direction of a doctor.
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What Is Breakthrough Bleeding
Breakthrough bleeding is spotting or bleeding which occurs between periods. Its usually a lighter bleed than your usual flow levels, but in some cases, it can be the same.
Breakthrough bleeding commonly occurs if you switch to a new type of hormonal birth control, take an over-the-counter cold medication that revs up your liver and eats some of the birth control hormones, or if a new person with a uterus infects you with their period. Your internal hormones are fighting back the birth control hormones and they wont back down until you have a period.
Forms of birth control with low ratios of estrogen to progesterone are often to blame for this issue. It could also be the type of progesterone in the birth control pill, patch, or ring that is the problem. Estrogen is needed to grow the lining of the uterus while progesterone helps to maintain and nourish it. Thankfully, the hormone balance should sort itself out eventually.