Number : Is It Normal To Bleed At All While On Birth Control Pills
The answer is yes scientists designed the pill so you’d bleed during the placebo week. This was the one feature of combined oral contraceptives that scientists let remain unchanged over the decades.
That said, you will probably have unpredictable bleeding patterns during the first few months of taking any birth control method. The National Institutes of Health says that irregular bleeding can happen when you take hormonal birth control like birth control pills or IUDs.
Here are 3 ways to describe how unpredictable periods can be on birth control pills:
You may have your period on birth control during active pills .
You may have spotting, also called breakthrough bleeding, during the first few months. Doctors say this is the most common symptom when taking any brand.
You may have a missed period on birth control. But that doesn’t automatically mean your pregnant.
This unpredictability is usually not forever. As your body adjusts to birth control pills, you’ll probably just have bleeding during the regularly scheduled programming when you take those “sugar pills” that have no hormones in them. But if you’re unsure, it’s always a good idea to check with your health care provider about it.
But get this. It’s not medically necessary for you to have this scheduled week of bleeding. We’ll explain more later.
How To Start Your Birth Control Pills
Try to take your pill at the same time every day . If you miss 1 or more pills, take it as soon as you remember and double up to catch up in your pill pack. Be aware that you will probably have some bleeding for a few days and it is ok to continue taking the pill.
The 21 and 24 day pill packs have placebo pills and your period will usually start after the first or second sugar pill. It is ok to restart a new pill pack even if you are still on your period.
Number : Do You Even Need A Menstrual Period At All
Here’s a fun fact: Monthly menstruation isn’t really necessary. In hunter-gatherer times, women were having babies one after the other, and they breastfed for long intervals, which suppresses ovulation and menstruation. Prehistoric women had about 50 menstruations, while modern women have about 450 periods!
With a 28-day cycle , the traditional birth control pill has no basis in biology. The makers of the pill decided to go this route to mimic the natural menstruation cycle to be more acceptable to society.
We know what you’re thinking: Can I just take birth control pills and not have my period at all? The answer is yes you’re allowed to skip your periods using birth control pills. You should ask your doctor if you’re interested. We got all the information in our previous article on how to delay your period.
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Perimenopause And Menopausewhats The Difference
Perimenopause is menopauses opening act. Its the time leading up to menopause when a womans hormones begin to change. A women is still having periods during this time, but they become more irregular.
Menopause is the final period a women has. Its the curtain closing, so to speak. This is known when a woman goes 12 months without a period. Everything after that is post-menopause.
Is It Bad To Take Birth Control To Stop Your Period
If youve been paying attention, you may already have an idea of the answer to this question.
Really speaking, isnt at all necessary for women to have a withdrawal period while on hormonal birth control. According to Vox, the reason for withdrawal periods is because a scientist who helped develop the pill, developed it that way to make it seem more natural.
So, is it bad to take birth control to stop your period? Not at all. In fact, its fairly safe! According to ARHP, there is no evidence that shows women need monthly withdrawal bleeding, and no health problems are linked to skipping or eliminating bleeding.
The advantages of skipping your period would, of course, involve avoiding most of the issues that come with your period. So, you can say bye, bye to those horrible cramps, bleeding, and PMS symptoms!
The only downside, according to ARHP, is that you may experience spotting or breakthrough bleeding in your first few months of using birth control to stop your period. If you ever experience any concerning side effects like severe aches in your abdomen, chest, or legs, as well as vision changes or heavy bleeding, be sure to contact your doctor right away.
Read Also: How Do You Know If You Have Your Period
Your Cycle Might Get A Little Longer Shorter Or Less Predictable
Birth control makes your period come like clockwork, but stopping can throw that predictability off balance. It can take your body a few months to settle back into a regular ovulation cycle after stopping the pill. And when it does, chances are, itll look a lot like it did before you started taking birth control. If your cycles are extremely irregular after two months, consult with your OB/GYN.
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.
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But Its More Common With Certain Types Of Birth Control
Breakthrough bleeding happens more often with low-dose and ultra-low-dose birth control pills, the implant, and hormonal IUDs.
With IUDs, women often have spotting and irregular bleeding in the first months after placement. This usually gets better in 2 to 6 months. With the implant, though, the bleeding pattern women have in the first 3 months is usually their pattern going forward.
However Is Using The Pill To Stop Periods Really A Good Idea
Some women will not want to dig deeper to understand the underlying cause of their PMS. Some women want the perceived freedom of not having a monthly cycle despite knowing the short and long-term consequences. And some women absolutely can not get pregnant and the pill is what they have chosen for contraception.
It is important to recognize that this is 100% their choice and our reproductive health should be our choice.
My philosophy is that you are the only one living in your body. No one, not even a doctor, knows how to live your life best for you. You deserve to have ALL the information before making this decision.
But period suppression to escape symptoms is not healthy or necessarily whats best for your body. And you should have a doctor who is willing to ask why. To help you get to the root of your problems before opting to mask them with the pill. The first step toward this is demystifying menses, hormones and womens health for every woman. So they can make the absolute best decision for her body and her life.
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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.
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.
Also Check: No Period While On Birth Control
Spotting Or Heavier Flow
If your pill, patch or ring worked perfectly, your periods were regular with a medium flow and no spotting at other times of the month. It’s a whole new ball game now that you’re going off birth control.
You may spot a bit when you ovulate a fertility red flag, if you will and perhaps again just before your period officially arrives. And that period may hit you with fuller force post-pill, -patch or -ring, since hormonal contraceptives may help keep your menstruation more regular, lighter and shorter. Be prepared with super tampons or pads at least until you conceive.
What Kind Of Bleeding Is Considered Normal While On The Contraceptive Pill
Unexpected spotting for the first few months while taking a new pill
Withdrawal bleeding that is lighter, or shorter than your period before you were taking the pill
Withdrawal bleeding that changes slightly over time while on the pill
Having little or no bleeding during your placebo week after taking your pills correctly
Let’s support one another.
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Take Hormonal Birth Control
Oral birth control pills and birth control injections can be used to regulate your cycle. Hormonal birth control can also decrease cramping and shorten the number of days you menstruate each month. If youre just starting hormonal birth control, it may take several months before your periods become shorter.
Some kinds of hormonal contraception can reduce the number of menstrual cycles you have each year. For example, if you receive the Depo-Provera shot, you may stop having periods after the first year of injections.
Birth control pills and shots are available by prescription only. You and your doctor can determine which type is best for you, based on your lifestyle and medical needs.
Having an orgasm, either through intercourse or masturbation, can reduce cramping and menstrual flow. This is because orgasms generate uterine muscle contractions, which help to move menstrual blood from the uterus.
These contractions help the uterus shed the blood faster.
How To Stop Taking Birth Control Pills After Long
Currently, there is no prescribed method on how to stop taking birth control pills after long-term use. You can choose to quit all of a sudden or finish the pack youre currently on.
If you finish the pack, even though it may take a while, your period will occur around the same time it did before. So if youd prefer to return to a more regular period schedule, its best to finish the pack.
After you stop taking birth control, your body needs time to adjust to the new balance of hormones, similarly to when you started taking the pill in the first place. Possible side effects include slight bleeding or spotting, abdominal cramps, and irregular periods for the first few months. Gradually, these symptoms should disappear on their own.
The most important thing to remember once you stop taking birth control is that pregnancy can occur at any time if you remain sexually active. Consider switching to a barrier method of contraception like condoms to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Track my period
Next, Flo offers an in-depth look at a few of the side effects of going off the birth control pill.
Unpredictable menstruation is a perfectly normal occurrence after going off the pill because your body requires some time to adjust to hormonal shifts. Such irregularities usually last for a few months but may stick around for up to a full year if you were receiving the birth control shot.
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Ovulation After You Stop Taking Birth Control
For many, ovulation begins within a few weeks of discontinuing use of oral contraceptives. Once again, those who were getting the birth control shot will likely have to wait longer for ovulation to resume.
Furthermore, your overall health and the amount of time you were on birth control can also affect the estimated timeline. These and several other factors impact your bodys ability to restore its usual hormonal balance, menstrual activity, and fertility.
Generally speaking, birth control pills give people the freedom to control their own reproductive systems by protecting against unwanted pregnancy. Once youve decided to stop taking birth control, be aware that irregular periods, cramps, and bleeding may occur. These side effects are temporary and should eventually resolve on their own.
Remember, handy tools like the Flo app can track symptoms of ovulation, including the consistency of cervical fluid and basal body temperature. This will help generate a more accurate prediction of when youre likely to be ovulating.
Can I Use Birth Control Pills If I Have Heavy Periods
Generally, yes. Birth control pills should not have an adverse effect on heavy periods and can help, as described above. However, when you initially have a heavy period, you should consult with your doctor to determine the cause. Your physician may advise you to alter the kind of birth control pill you are taking to help address the heavy period.
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What You Should Know About Breakthrough Bleeding With Birth Control
Breakthrough bleeding rarely signals a health problem. But your ob-gyn can help.
Breakthrough bleeding is a common concern among women using hormonal birth control. Its usually a small amount of spotting at a time when youre not expecting your period, though some women have heavier bleeding. Most often, my patients come in saying they feel fine, but are noticing a little spotting when they use the bathroom. Should they be worried?
I reassure them that breakthrough bleeding rarely signals a health problem. And it doesnt mean your birth control isnt effective at preventing pregnancy. But there are ways we can try to fix it.
Heres what I tell my patients about birth control and breakthrough bleeding.
Birth Control Pill Associated With Depression
A recent study of over 1 million women showed us that there is an 80% increased relative risk of depression in women who use hormonal birth control, a symptom many women have been suspicious of since the pill was introduced to the public.
There has yet to be an extensive study on the long term effects of continuous birth control use and depression.
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