How Does Birth Control Work For Periods

Is Birth Control Safe

How Birth Control Pills Work, Animation

Birth control is one of the most effective forms of contraceptive and can be used for medical purposes, such as regulating periods or resolving heavy menstrual bleeding. Birth control is deemed a safe option for most women. However, birth control does pose its own risks for example, your risk of cervical cancer will increase while you are on birth control. Birth control will also not protect you from the transmission of sexual diseases.

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The Menstrual Cycle On The Pill

We have seen that in a natural cycle, it is the variation of hormones that triggers the development of the egg, its release, the thickening of the endometrium, and periods.

When your body is constantly receiving artificial hormones, these variations no longer occur. All of the above steps do not take place.

Taking hormones:

  • Thickens the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus
  • Thins the endometrium to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting

In fact, taking hormones mimics the state of pregnancy with its high levels of progesterone and estrogen .

This is how it is : the natural cycle is completely put on hold.

But if the hormones mimic a pregnancy, why do we still get a period when taking the pill?

Managing Menstruation With Hormonal Contraceptives

Menstruation is a normal part of every young womans life. But as their bodies learn to regulate the hormones that control menstruation, adolescents commonly experience irregular periods, heavy bleeding and painful cramps. It can take several years after a girl’s first period for her body to settle into a pattern of regular menstrual cycles.

Some adolescents miss school or sit out from sports and other activities because of painful periods. While its important to have a doctor check for underlying medical causes, many menstrual difficulties can be managed with hormonal medications that are commonly also used for preventing pregnancy, such as birth control pills, patches and intrauterine devices. These medications and devices regulate the menstrual cycle by introducing hormones into the body at a steady pace.

Hormonal birth control can alleviate a lot of symptoms of PMS and irregular periods,” says Diane Rubin, clinical research coordinator for the PolicyLab at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia . “Many, many young people use birth control for non-contraceptive benefits.

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The Pill Is Convenient

Taking the birth control pill is easy, but remembering to take it every day can be hard. Luckily, pill packs are small about the size of a cell phone so you can carry your pills with you wherever you go. You can use our birth control app to remind you to take your pills everyday.

The pill is birth control you dont have to think about during sex. If you take the pill correctly, youre protected from pregnancy all day, every day. Many people say the pill makes their sex lives better because they dont have to interrupt sex or worry about pregnancy.

You need a prescription from a nurse or doctor to get birth control pills. But you may be able to pick up many packs at once or have them mailed to you. Depending on where you live, you can even get birth control pills online.

How To Deal With Period

Birth Control Pills: What You Need to Know Before Taking Contraceptive Pill

If you experience spotting or other period-related side effects from your birth control pill, its best to talk to your healthcare provider if these side effects dont start to go away within two to three months of you starting birth control.

Most of the time, side effects such as spotting can be solved by switching from your current pill to a birth control pill with a different amount of estrogen, or by changing your birth control usage habits.

If youre sensitive to the estrogen in birth control pills, your healthcare provider might recommend switching to a progestin-only pill, or to a non-hormonal form or birth control. For specific symptoms, such as period pain or discomfort, you might also be prescribed medication.

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What Are Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills, also called the pill, work by changing the levels of sex hormones in a woman’s body, specifically estrogen and progesterone, to prevent pregnancy.

The artificial hormones in birth control prevent ovulation – the release of the egg from the ovary – and thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the ovary.

While preventing pregnancy is the main mode of action of birth control pills, they can also be used as treatment for irregular periods, which is discussed below.

Experts Agree That Not Having Your Period While On Birth Control Is Safe

Taking continuous birth control pills does not mean that youre 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 youre 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 youre 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 womens healthcare provider about your birth control options. A period can tell you that youre not pregnant, but so can a pregnancy test.

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Should I See A Doctor For A Missed Period

In most cases, missing your period while taking birth control is not concerning. However, if you have missed one or more doses of your pills, you have experienced nausea with vomiting or diarrhea, or you have taken medication that could interfere with your birth control, you should take a pregnancy test to make sure you arent pregnant. You can also contact your healthcare provider with any concerns related to your missed period or symptoms you are experiencing.

For more answers to your healthcare questions, visit our Knowledge Center.

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Difficulty Identifying Accidental Pregnancy

On what day of my period can I start taking my birth control pill? | Planned Parenthood Video

Using birth control to skip or stop periods makes no difference to fertility. You will be protected from pregnancy in the same way as you would be if you had a period on birth control. It is safe and will still protect you from pregnancy.

However, skipping periods may make it difficult to notice if you do happen to become pregnant. If you notice symptoms such as breast tenderness or nausea, take a home pregnancy or consult your healthcare provider.

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How Long Does It Take For Birth Control To Stop Your Period

OK, so if some types of birth control can delay or prevent a visit from Aunt Flo, how long do you need to be on it before you see a change in your period? According to Dr. Walsh, most hormonal contraception methods take two to three months to work entirely in terms of bleeding modification. So, with that in mind, its important to plan and prepare if you want to use birth control to reduce, regulate, or delay menstrual bleeding.

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You May Bleed A Few Days

If you stop taking a combination hormonal birth control pillwhich has both estrogen and progesteronesome tissue sheds off, which can cause a light bleed, Alyssa Dweck, MD, an ob-gyn and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V, tells Health. This is also why you get a fakeâ period on the Pill during the week you take the placebo pills, she explains. A withdrawal bleed, by definition, is progesterone being withdrawn and the bleeding that occurs, says Dr. Dweck. A withdrawal bleed is not technically, by definition, a period because it is not a result of ovulation. After your withdrawal bleed, you still have to wait for your real period to come.

Think that because youve been on birth control for 10 years its going to take forever to get your period back? That might not be the case: Generally, the side effects of the Pill and the impact on suppressing the hormone pathways are rapidly reversible, Samantha Kempner, MD, an ob-gyn and an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, tells Health. Even with long-term use of the combination birth control pill, most women can expect to resume normal periods quickly.

Still no period after three months? See your docthey may want to check for issues like a thyroid condition or hormonal imbalances that could be keeping your period MIA.

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Cost Can Range From Free To Big Bucks Depending On The Type

Birth control options for heavy periods range in price from free to over $1,000. How much youll pay if anything depends on where you are, your annual income, and whether you have health insurance.

Many health centers and family planning clinics offer programs that help subsidize the cost.

Every type of birth control has its merits. Some are easier to access, some are more effective, and some are just plain popular for various reasons.

Heres how they measure up.

Should I Take Pills To Regulate My Period

Birth Control Pills

I’m 15 and I have irregular periods. I have been told by people similar to me that they are given pills to help regulate their periods. I am unsure on whether I should go on them and I’m scared of the side effects. Do these pills work and what are some of the side effects? Are there any other ways to help regulate a period? – Nikeyah*

It’s normal to have irregular periods for the first few years of menstruating. Several things can cause irregular periods, including changing hormone levels. Doctors sometimes prescribe birth control pills to regulate periods because they can help control hormone levels.

Birth control pills can have some side effects, like nausea, possible weight gain, headaches, mood changes, breast tenderness, and blood clots. But most young women who take it have no side effects or very few. Girls who take the Pill should not smoke because smoking can increase the risk of some side effects, like blood clots.

Birth control pills can be an effective way to regulate periods. But the only way to find out what’s causing your irregular periods is to visit your doctor.

Note: The Pill does not protect you from STDs. So, if you do have sex, be sure to use a condom every time. This will help prevent STDs and give you extra protection against pregnancy.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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The Pill Has Health Benefits

Side effects arent always a bad thing, and birth control pills arent just for birth control. The pill has many perks besides pregnancy prevention.

Both combination and progestin-only pills reduce menstrual cramps, lighten periods, and lower your risk of ectopic pregnancy.

The combination pill can also help prevent or lessen:

  • acne

You can keep track of any potential side effects with our birth control app.

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

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Who Can Use The Combined Pill

If there are no medical reasons why you cannot take the pill, and you do not smoke, you can take the pill until your menopause. However, the pill is not suitable for everyone. To find out whether the pill is right for you, talk to a GP, nurse or pharmacist.

The pill may not be right for you if you:

  • are pregnant
  • smoke and are 35 or older
  • stopped smoking less than a year ago and are 35 or older
  • are very overweight

The pill may also not be right for you if you have :

  • blood clots in a vein, for example in your leg or lungs
  • stroke or any other disease that narrows the arteries
  • anyone in your close family having a blood clot under the age of 45
  • a heart abnormality or heart disease, including high blood pressure
  • severe migraines, especially with aura
  • breast cancer
  • disease of the gallbladder or liver
  • diabetes with complications or diabetes for the past 20 years

Hormonal Iuds Or The Implant:

How long does it take to have regular periods again after stopping birth control?
  • During the first few months: Its common to have light, irregular spotting or bleeding thats hard to predict. Sometimes youll have light bleeding or bleeding that lasts for more days than your regular period.

  • After the first three months: Your bleeding will stay light, and sometimes your period stops entirely. Studies have found that most implant users report that they like their bleeding patterns better the longer they use their implants. And the longer you use the IUD, the more likely it is that your period will stop comingabout half of people using Mirena or Liletta IUDs dont have periods at all if they use their IUDs for three or more years continuously.

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Which Birth Control Method Is Right For Your Skin


We all know that contraception is one of the most important things in our reproductive health toolkit, but for many women, birth control is also an essential part of their routine for beautiful skin. With all the barriers, pills, implants and patches available today, though, it can be difficult to understand the benefits that each type of contraceptive has on acne. So, weve done a little fact-finding to break down the most common methods of birth control and their effects on the skin.

Most birth control medications have side effects, though theyâre different for each woman.

Both the pill and the rod could cause:

  • Headaches

Nationwide Childrenâs Hospital: âBirth Control: Nexplanon Implant.â

UpToDate: âEtonogestrel contraceptive implant.â

University of Michigan Health Service: âContraception Cost, Insurance and Payment.â

Nemours Kids Health: âAbout the Birth Control Pill.â âBirth control methods,â âFrequently Asked Questions: Ovarian Cysts.â

Mayo Clinic: âCombination birth control pills,â âContraceptive implant,â âMinipill .â

Cleveland Clinic: â6 Things That Can Happen When You Stop Taking The Pill,â âBirth Control: The Pill,â âShould You Wait to Get Pregnant After Stopping the Pill?â

American Family Physician: âHow to Switch Birth Control Methods.â


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