Which Way Is Right For Me
If you want to cut down on the number of periods you have per year, then experts suggest standard birth control pills, patches, or the vaginal ring. To stop your period long-term, birth control shots, long-term pills, and the IUD typically work best. Speak with your doctor about it. Youâll work together to figure out which method is best for you.
Q: Is This Something Youd Recommend To Patients
A: I have not seen this proposed in any medical journals, and I would not advise patients to try this on their own.
If you want to delay your period, your doctor can instead prescribe the hormones progesterone or estrogen, or a combination of the two. Some formulations can delay a period by a couple of weeks others for only a few days, depending on your needs.
Other options include birth control medications that suppress periods for a couple of months.
A non-hormonal medicine is also available. However, it only decreases blood flow by about 50%.
How To Delay Your Period
You can delay your period with certain forms of hormonal birth control. But that’s about all that will work.
Don’t be fooled into thinking home remedies like drinking apple cider vinegar or lemon juice every day will help. “None of these DIY home remedies will delay your period,” says Sherry Ross, MD, an OB-GYN with her own private practice.
Therefore, if you’ve just noticed that you have a big day coming up that happens to fall on the same day as your period, here are two forms of hormonal medication that may help you.
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Is There Anything Bad About Using Birth Control Pills To Skip My Period
There is nothing bad or harmful about using birth control pills to delay or skip your period, though it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. And for those who are looking to skip multiple periods, there are different options for you.*
*Note: If you’re not taking birth control pills and are missing periods, you should consider asking your doctor about it. The Mayo Clinic recommends seeing your doctor if you’ve missed 3 menstrual periods in a row.
Skipping or delaying your period is not harmful. Some doctors even see skipping periods as beneficial, allowing women to avoid pain or the potential cost of a period. Other research has shown skipping multiple periods using birth control can actually limit your likelihood to develop certain cancers like ovarian cancer.
Given all this information, we hope you feel confident about choosing the best way for you to delay or skip your period.
Stopping Your Period With Hormonal Contraception
First, a period primer: When a woman ovulates, her body builds up a thick lining in the uterus, in preparation for a possible pregnancy. If the woman doesn’t conceive, the body sheds that lininga process known as menstruation.
Hormonal contraception, such as birth control pills, hormonal implants, or hormone-containing IUDs, prevents ovulation. The body does not release an egg from an ovary, and the uterine lining doesn’t thicken. The “period” that most women have when they take birth control pills is actually withdrawal bleeding that occurs when they take the non-active pills at the end of the pack, rather than a true menstrual period.
You can stop your period by simply skipping the inactive pills at the end of the pack, or by using another method of hormonal birth control that provides a constant supply of hormones to suppress ovulation. No ovulation means no thickening of the uterine lining therefore, there’s no excess lining to shed at the end of the month.
As unnatural as that may seem, it’s quite similar to what happens when a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding. At those times, the body’s hormone levels are such that ovulation and menstruation are suppressed. Hormonal birth control does the exact same thing. And just as skipping periods while pregnant or breastfeeding has no health risks, neither does skipping your period via hormonal contraception. Skipping your period doesn’t affect your future fertility either.
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Bottom Line On Why You Lost Your Period And What To Do
At the end of the day, Im a Dietitian, and my scope of practice isnt to diagnosis why youve lost your period. Your first step should always be to speak to your doctor to help you rule out serious medical reasons like PCOS. But what I can recommend is that if you are underweight, dieting, over-exercising and missing your period, adding a dietitian to your healthcare team may help you create a plan to help you get that period back safely.
RD2B Hannah Wilson & Sofia Tsalamlal, RD, MHSc Nutrition Communication
Have Sex Or Masturbate
According to Dr. Loanzon, sexual activity may also be helpful when it comes to reducing period-related symptoms. When we orgasm during our period we get two major benefits: a natural painkiller and the ability to shorten our period due to the internal contractions that come with an orgasm that tend to push out more blood than if there wasn’t an orgasm being had.
Basically, whether you’re traveling alone or with a partner, feel free to bring your favorite sex toy.
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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 âmenstrual suppression.â
Long-term methods for stopping your period include:
Slow Or Stop Your Flow
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Q: Can Ibuprofen Help Reduce Heavy Periods
A: We do recommend high-dose anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen to slow down heavy periods. They have some potential to help in the short term. But they only slow the flow by about 10 to 20%.
While we recommend ibuprofen a lot for women with significant cramping, most of them dont notice major changes in their flow.
Taking 2 Packets Of The Combined Pill Back
If you take a combined contraceptive pill, you can delay your period by taking 2 packets back-to-back.
How you do this will depend on which pill you take.
- monophasic 21-day pills, such as Microgynon and Cilest you take a combined pill for 21 days, followed by 7 days without pills, when you have a bleed . To delay your period, start a new packet of pills straight after you finish the last pill and miss out the 7-day break.
- everyday pills, such as Microgynon ED and Lorynon ED you take a combined pill every day. The first 21 pills are active pills and the next 7 pills are inactive or dummy pills, when you have your period. To delay your period, miss out and throw away the dummy pills, and start the active pills in a new packet straight away.
- phasic 21-day pills, such as Binovium, Qlaira and Logynon the mix of hormones in each pill is different, depending on which phase you’re in. You need to take these pills in the correct order to have effective contraception. Ask your pharmacist, community contraception clinic or GP for more information.
Taking your contraceptive pills in the ways described above will not affect how they work as contraceptives.
If you’re not sure which pill you’re on or which pills in the packet to miss out, speak to your pharmacist, community contraception clinic or GP.
Avoid taking more than 2 packs without a break, unless your GP says you can.
There’s a risk you could experience side effects, such as:
- feeling sick
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Exercise But Not Too Much
Since amenorrhea is very common among active people who menstruate, at times it may be best to reduce your intensity at the gym. Taking a rest day can not only benefit your reproductive health, but can help with muscle recovery and protects you from injury.
Getting in your daily physical activity can do wonders for our health, however over exercising and going overboard at the gym can have a negative effect and put your reproductive health at risk.
Lets Face It Mother Nature Doesnt Always Have The Best Timing Whether Youre On Holiday Or At The Pool There Are Ways Of At Least Delaying Your Period
Realising that your period is going to inconveniently coincide with jetting off on your vacation or a swimming competition doesnt necessarily mean youre stuck with it. Once youve sussed out how to regulate your periods occasionally, you get a sense of control over the situation. Well also talk about how you can prevent those night time leaks when your period does come along.
Is It Safe To Stop Or Shorten Your Period
In most cases, using these strategies to help stop or shorten your period every now and then is safe. But if your periods are heavy and you experience other uncomfortable symptoms such as painful cramps its probably a good idea to visit a health care provider.
There are certain underlying health conditions that could cause longer periods, and its important to receive a medical evaluation so these conditions can be ruled out.
Is It Safe To Stop My Period
There isnt really anyone who couldnt safely have menstrual suppression, Prager says.
Naturally not having a period can sometimes be an indicator of a health issue such as in people who have eating disorders, for example but if you intentionally and safely stop your period, it isnt risky, Prager says.
Pragers logic is this: 200 years ago, for example, women tended to have more children and so spent much more of their life pregnant or breastfeeding .
Modern people with uteruses have many more periods than people did then, she explains.
In some cases, using an IUD, shot or other form of birth control may be safer for someone than using birth control pills. While rare, birth control pills can increase stroke risk in some people who smoke and are over age 35, have high blood pressure, get migraines with aura, or have a history of stroke or heart disease.
While menstrual suppression isnt dangerous, initiating hormonal birth control can be uncomfortable at first, depending on how your body reacts to the type of birth control youre using. Some people experience mood changes like anxiety and depression, nausea, breast tenderness, migraines, weight fluctuations or other unpleasant symptoms.
For many people, these symptoms will go away within a few months. But some people may need to try a different form of birth control if their symptoms are too bothersome.
On the plus side, there are also benefits to taking birth control and stopping your period, Prager says.
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What If I Want To Get My Period Again
First, some important information: If you want to take birth control and suppress your period for years to come, thats totally OK.
Frankly, if someone never wanted a pregnancy and never wanted to have a period, they could safely suppress menses from puberty to menopause, Prager says.
If youre wondering how youd know youre entering menopause if youve been suppressing your period, well, there are other ways to tell, such as if you start getting hot flashes or night sweats or are at an age where menopause typically starts).
If, however, you want to have a baby or arent enjoying the side effects from taking birth control, you may decide to start getting your period again, which is also totally safe.
There isnt anything special you need to do to bring your period back other than to adjust or stop your birth control. If youre taking pills, this means starting to take the week of inactive pills again. If you have gotten a shot or an IUD, it means not getting another shot or getting your IUD removed by your doctor.
Its also important to recognize that, while your period may return exactly as it was before you stopped it, it may also change. You could get new symptoms or different period severity or duration than you had previously.
Prepare for it to be as unpleasant or more than it used to be. It might be totally different from how people remember it. Its important not to have expectations for what it will be, Prager says.
What Birth Control Works Best To Suppress My Period
While many types of hormonal birth control could theoretically be used for menstrual suppression, some are more common or reliable than others. Birth control pills and IUDs are some of the most common methods, whereas IUDs and birth control shots are some of the most reliable.
There are several types of birth control pills: combination pills, which include both estrogen and progestin, and progestin-only pills. Among combination pills there are also monophasic and multiphasic. Monophasic means the amount of hormones in each pill is the same, whereas with multiphasic pills, the dose changes throughout the month.
Combination, monophasic pills are the easiest and most effective to use to stop your period. Most pill packets contain three weeks of active pills that have hormones and one week of inactive pills that dont contain hormones. This is designed to mimic someones natural menstrual cycle. If you want to stop your period, you simply dont take the inactive pills and instead go straight to the next set of pills that contain hormones.
Some brands, such as Amethyst, are designed to let you skip your period for a year or more. Others, such as Seasonique, are designed to give you a period only every three months.
Additionally, the contraceptive vaginal ring and transdermal contraceptive patches can both be used to reduce or eliminate periods with about the same effectiveness as pills.
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