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 .
When To Call The Doctor About Side Effects Of Stopping Birth Control
Its normal to feel not quite like yourself in the first few weeks after stopping the pill or other hormonal birth control. But you should let your doctor know if you havent gotten a period after three months, since that could be a sign that your body isnt ovulating the way it should be.
You should also talk to your doctor if your post-pill period is getting in the way of everyday life. Let your OB/GYN know if you experience:
- Very heavy bleeding, where you soak through one or more pads or tampons for several hours in a row or you need to double up on pads
- Bleeding with clots that are bigger than a quarter
- Bleeding that lasts for more than seven days
- Severe or constant abdominal cramping
- Fatigue or shortness of breath
- Extremely irregular cycle
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
How To Apply The Evra Patch
You can put the patch anywhere on your body provided its not too hairy and the skin is dry and clean. Its good to avoid putting it somewhere that will get rubbed a lot by clothes, e.g., near a bra strap or the top of your trousers/skirt.
Dont put the patch on skin that is irritated or sore and dont put it on your breasts.
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The Myth Of The Birth Control Cleanse
Now that weve explained all the methods, lets move on to some additional important facts to know.
While depo does seem to have a lingering effect, there is no need to cleanse depo or any of the other birth control methods out of your system before trying to conceive. Several birth control cleanses exist on the market, but there is absolutely no evidence that they are at all necessary or helpful in speeding up the ovulation process. The human body is amazing, and we have two organs dedicated to cleansing if neededthat would be your liver and kidneys so you can keep your money in your pocket. At best, these cleanses are harmless and act as simple multivitamins at worst, they can be harmful depending on how safe the ingredients are or how stringently the product was processed.
The Patch Has Health Benefits
Birth control patch side effects arent always a bad thing, and the patch isnt just for birth control. The patch has many perks besides pregnancy prevention.
The patch can also help lessen or prevent:
cysts in your breasts and ovaries
serious infections in your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus
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How Do I Apply The Patch
Open the foil pouch by tearing it along the top edge and one side edge. Peel the foil pouch apart and open it flat. You will see that the patch is covered by a layer of clear plastic. It is important to remove the patch and the plastic together from the foil pouch. Using your fingernail, lift one corner of the patch and peel the patch and the plastic off the foil liner. Sometimes patches can stick to the inside of the pouch–be careful not to accidentally remove the clear liner as you remove the patch. Peel away half of the clear plastic and be careful not to touch the exposed sticky surface of the patch with your fingers. Apply the sticky side of the patch to the skin you’ve cleaned and dried, then remove the other half of the clear plastic. Press firmly on the patch with the palm of your hand for 10 seconds, making sure the edges stick well. Run your fingers around the edge of the patch to make sure it is sticking properly. Check your patch daily to make sure all edges are sticking.
Where You Can Get It
When you first get the contraceptive patch you will be given a 3-month supply, to see how you get on with it. If there are no problems, you can be prescribed the patch for a year at a time.
You can get contraception for free, even if youre under 16, from:
- contraception clinics
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What If I Forget To Change The Patch
What should I do if a patch seems loose, partially lifts up off my skin or falls off?
For less than 24 hours: You should try to reapply it or apply a new birth control patch immediately. No back-up contraception is needed and your “patch change day” will remain the same. You can reapply the patch by following these instructions:
Do not try to reapply a patch if it’s no longer sticky, if it has been stuck to itself or another surface, if it has other material stuck to it or if it has become loose or has fallen off before.
Press down firmly on the patch with the palm of your hand for 10 seconds, making sure that the edges stick well.
Then run your fingers around the edge of the patch.
Do not use tapes or wraps to keep the patch in place.
If the patch does not stick well, remove it and then apply a replacement birth control patch. This patch should be replaced on the original “patch change day.” Single replacement patches are available at the pharmacy.
For more than 24 hours, or if you are not sure how long: You may become pregnant. Start a new 4 week cycle immediately by applying a new patch. You now have a new day 1 and a new “patch change day.” You must use back-up birth control, such as a condom and spermicide for the first week of your new cycle.
How Does The Patch Work
The patch, sometimes called the birth control patch, works by releasing a daily dose of hormones into your bloodstream. These hormones stop your body releasing an egg. They also thicken the mucus in your cervix, making it difficult for sperm to move through and reach an egg. And they make the lining of the uterus thinner, so its harder for an egg to implant.
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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.
Let’s support one another.
Are There Any Problems With The Birth Control Patch
The birth control patch is a safe and effective method of birth control. Most young women who use the patch have no side effects. Smoking cigarettes while using the patch can increase a girl’s risk of certain side effects, which is why health professionals advise women who use the patch not to smoke.
The side effects that some women have while using the patch are similar to those experienced with the birth control pill. These may include:
- irregular menstrual bleeding
- nausea, headaches, dizziness, and breast tenderness
- mood changes
- blood clots
Other possible side effects seen in patch users include:
- skin reactions at the site of application of the patch
- problems with contact lens use a change in vision or inability to wear the lenses
- menstrual cramps
Many of these side effects are mild and tend to disappear after 2 or 3 months.
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Do Other Medicines Interfere With The Contraceptive Patch
Some medicines can interfere with it and make it less effective. You should always discuss all other medication that you are taking with the person prescribing the patch. This includes over-the-counter medications which may also interfere with the contraceptive patch. If you are starting a new medication, make sure that you tell the person prescribing it that you are using the contraceptive patch. You may need to use extra contraceptive precautions while you are taking the other medication and for a period of time after it is finished.
Some commonly encountered medicines that can interfere with the contraceptive patch include certain antibiotics , some medicines used to treat epilepsy , some medicines used for HIV infection, and, as mentioned above, St John’s wort .
Note: antibiotics which are commonly used do not interfere with the effectiveness of the contraceptive patch.
The Possibility Of Post
At some point, you may decide to stop taking your birth control pills and expect to start having periods again if they’ve previously stopped. If you’ve been taking the pill for a long time, be aware that it may take additional time for your body to adjust. It’s possible that you may not have your period for several months.
According to the Mayo Clinic, most women who stop taking the pill will have their period resume within three months after stopping their prescriptions. However, some women may experience a longer delay in normal period service. This condition is called post-pill amenorrhea, and is not a cause for concern on its own. As always, you should consult your women’s healthcare provider with any reproductive health concerns you may have.
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Protection During Your Patch
You will be protected from pregnancy in your patch-free break provided:
- Youve used the previous 3 patches correctly
- You start your next patch cycle on time
- Youre not taking any other medicines that will affect the way the patch works. These medicines include St Johns Wort and those used to treat epilepsy, HIV and TB. Check with your clinician about using the patch if youre on any of these treatments.
What Are The Benefits Of Using The Patch
Regular cyclesThe patch can help regulate the menstrual cycle, and this is especially helpful for people with periods that come too often or too infrequently.
Reduced menstrual crampsThe patch can offer significant relief to people with painful menstrual cramps. It also reduces the amount of blood flow during the period. Less blood loss is helpful in preventing anemia.
AcneWe have known for years that oral contraceptive pills can improve some people’s acne. The patch may or may not have a beneficial effect on acne.
Other important benefitsThe risk of developing benign breast cysts, ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease, and tubal pregnancy are reduced by taking oral contraceptive pills. The pill is also associated with a markedly decreased risk of uterine cancer and ovarian cancer. Since the patch contains the same hormones as the pill, it is likely to have these same benefits.
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What’s A Menstrual Period Anyway
Your period during a natural menstrual cycle happens because your uterus is shedding its inner lining.
The body’s natural process is to have your uterine lining become thicker in anticipation of fertilizing the egg . When it finds out no fertilization is happening, it sheds that lining.
No baby is coming to protect and nurture in there, after all! The unfertilized egg, along with blood and tissue, passes through the vagina and inevitably shows up on your tampons and pads. This whole process is controlled by the rise and fall of your body’s hormone levels, specifically estrogen and progesterone
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.
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Can A Person With Sensitive Skin Use It
The patch may cause skin irritation. It is advisable to avoid placing the patch on skin that is red, irritated or cut. If you have sensitive skin, you may wish to consult with your medical provider prior to use. If mild irritation develops during use, the patch can be removed and a new patch may be applied immediately to a new location until the next “patch change day.”
What To Do If You Forget To Take A Patch Off
If you forget to take a patch off, what you should do depends on how many extra hours it has been left on.
If you remove it before going over 48 hours :
- take off the old patch and put on a new one
- change it on your normal change day
- you’re protected against pregnancy if you’ve used the patch correctly up until the time you forgot to take it off
If a patch has been on for an extra 48 hours or longer :
- put on a new patch as soon as possible
- change it on your normal change day
- use additional contraception, such as condoms, until you’ve had the patch on for 7 days in a row
- see a GP or nurse for advice if you’ve had sex in the previous few days as you may need emergency contraception
If you forget to take the patch off after week 3, take it off as soon as possible. Start your patch-free break and start a new patch on your usual start day, even if you’re bleeding. This means you won’t have a full week of patch-free days.
You’ll be protected against pregnancy and won’t need to use any additional contraception. You may or may not bleed on the patch-free days.
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