What To Know Before Hacking Your Hormones
As long as your contraception isnt causing breast tenderness, headaches, or nauseaside effects that could be amplified by continuous usethe biggest issue you could face is breakthrough bleeding or spotting , says ob-gyn Leah Millheiser, MD. Still, before you make any adjustments to the way you use your birth control, talk to your doc to avoid complications or an unplanned pregnancy.
But what about fertilitydont you need to get your period to keep that situation in good shape? Some people like to get their period to know theyre not pregnant, but theres no other health benefit of having it, says Dr. Minkin. Boom.
What does that mean for your handy period tracking app? Theres really no need for it, says Dr. Polite. What youll be tracking, really, is when youre not taking the active pills or youre removing your vaginal ring or patchsomething youll already know.
Is It Bad For Your Body To Go On And Off Birth Control
Its not dangerous or harmful to go on and off the pill. But any time theres a change in your hormones, theres a chance of temporary side effects, like changes to your period. These usually go away after a few months, and eventually your body will go back to the way it was before you went on the pill.
Are There Side Effects Of Using The Pill To Skip Your Period Continually
The main side effect of having long bleeding-free stretches is an increase in unpredictable breakthrough bleeding . The good news is that the frequency of breakthrough bleeding may decreases over time . Other than increased rates of breakthrough bleeding, taking your birth control pill consecutively, as opposed to having monthly pill-periods, does cause any additional side effects .
A concern about not having a regular âperiodâ is that you lose the monthly confirmation that youâre not pregnant. Although skipping your withdrawal bleed with the pill provides you with the same contraceptive protection as before, it also comes with the same risks if you donât take your pill on a regular daily basis.
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How Birth Control Can Squash Your Periods
Lets take it back to health class: Your ovaries naturally produce progesterone and estrogen, hormones that help keep the lining of your uterus in place, making it a cushy spot for an embryo to chill, says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine. But if no sperm hook up with your eggs, your ovaries stop making those uterine-stabilizing chemicals and the lining sheds. Cue tampon being passed under stall door.
When youre on birth control containing synthetic progesterone , your hormone level stays steady. If youre using combined oral contraception , the vaginal ring, or the patch, this keeps your uterine lining in place until you hit your placebo week or remove your ring or patch during week four of your cycle. When levels dip, the lining destabilizes and you get your period, says Dr. Minkin. But if you continue to take your daily dose, your period never happens.
The same goes for postponing your cycle. If you continue a routine use of the pill, vaginal ring, or patch until youre ready to begin your placebo week or week off, you can choose to delay your period for one week, one month, three monthsreally, for however long youd like, says Florencia Polite, MD, chief of general obstetrics and gynecology at Penn Medicine. Score!
Improve Your Digestion And Elimination
Excess hormones are eliminated through our poop, so having regular bowel movements and a healthy digestive system is crucial to good hormonal function.
Not surprisingly, theres a two-way street between hormonal balance and gut function. Your ability to eliminate excess hormones through your stool will affect your hormonal profile, and fluctuations in hormones can affect your bowel function too.
New research is showing that the gut microbiome has a major impact on hormonal balance. Dysbiotic flora in your gut and/or gut permeability activates your immune system, driving up insulin levels and leading to high levels of androgens. This immune activation also interferes with ovarian follicle development.
To rebalance your gut flora, increase your consumption of fermented foods, as well as vegetables of all kinds. Both starchy and non-starchy veggies contain components that help feed beneficial gut flora, and fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha provide live gut bugs that can help boost the diversity of your gut flora. If you have leaky gut, following a gluten-free whole foods diet is the first step to repairing the damage caused by gut permeability.
If youre struggling with major gut symptoms like constipation, bloating, loose stools, or reflux, your digestive function could be exacerbating your hormonal imbalance. Be sure to work with a professional if you need extra help normalizing your digestive system.
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Which Medicines Can Prevent Or Delay Your Period
The surest way you can prevent or delay your period is to actually skip your period by taking the birth control pill, though you’ll need to plan ahead as it takes time for your body to get used to the pill . You would need to use the combined birth control pill, which combines two hormones, progestin and estrogen, to delay your period.
The Ring Is Convenient
Using the birth control ring is easy and convenient. Its great for people who dont want to deal with taking a pill every day, or who dont want to use birth control that you have to think about right before you have sex.
Depending on how you use it, you only have to think about your ring once or twice a month, when youre inserting and removing it. But always remembering to put a new ring in on time can be hard. Use our birth control reminder app to keep you on schedule.
The ring is birth control you dont have to think about during sex. If you use the ring correctly, youre protected from pregnancy all day, every day. Many people say the ring makes their sex lives better because they dont have to worry about birth control or pregnancy during sex.
You need a prescription from a nurse or doctor to get the ring. But depending on where you live, you might be able to get a prescription online or through a telehealth visit.
If you use NuvaRing, you may be able to pick up several rings at once or have them mailed to you every month. And Annovera is extra convenient because 1 ring lasts for 1 year that means you only need to worry about getting your birth control once a year.
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Ask Your Doctor About Hormonal Medication
If you’re not on hormonal birth control, you may be able to delay your period with hormonal medication containing norethindrone, which is a form of the hormone progesterone, the same active ingredient in hormonal birth control.
You need to start taking this medication a few days before the start of your period for it to delay your period. Note that you will probably get your period within a day or two of stopping it.
A small 2019 study found that people who took norethindrone to delay their period were less likely to experience irregular bleeding than those who tried to delay it with birth control pills. However, the study also found that those who took norethindrone were more likely to gain weight.
Visit your doctor for a prescription and check whether this option is suitable for you.
Removal Of Fibroids Or Polyps
Surgery may be necessary if benign growths in or on the wall of the womb are causing heavy periods. Doctors can remove fibroids through the vagina or abdominal cavity. This operation is called fibroidectomy or myomectomy. The uterus is not removed during this procedure, so the woman can usually still get pregnant afterwards.
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You’re On Birth Control
Birth controlwhether it’s the pill, patch, ring, implant, IUD, or the shot greatly decreases your chances of conception. These methods work in various ways for example, IUDs block sperm from reaching the egg, while hormonal contraception prevent the recruitment of a mature egg, explains Dr. Brauer. Even if you’re committed to taking your birth control, you still have to use it correctly and consistently.
Also, if you rely on contraceptive pills, take note: Some pill packs contain four to seven days of sugar pills without any hormones. In rare ocassions, this may be long enough to allow for recruitment of a mature egg. “This is often referred to as ‘escape ovulation’ and is one reason for oral hormonal contraception failure,” says Dr. Brauer. Missing doses of hormonal contraception could also increase the chances of accidental pregnancy.
How hard is it to get pregnant on birth control? If you’re on birth control and following all instructions, then your chances of getting pregnant are generally less than 1 percent. The effectiveness decreases with “typical use” .
Taking Only The Active Combination Pills
If youre using a combination pill pack, you just need to take only the active pills with no breaks in between. You should talk to your doctor or pharmacist so they can show you which pills are active and which are the placebo pills. Youll want to throw out the placebos.
If you take the active pills continuously, you wont get a period until you stop them.
If you stop taking active pills, you may experience a withdrawal bleed, which is similar to your period. Dabney recommends that you allow this to happen once every three to four months.
Dabney says some birth control pills have a higher risk of abnormal bleeding than others. You should check with your doctor if you want to start skipping your period. They may recommend that you change the type of pill you take.
Youll also want to check with your insurance provider to make sure theyll cover more pills in less time, since youll be going through pill packs faster.
You should not be off of the birth control longer than 7 days, or you will lose contraception efficacy.
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Eat Enough To Meet Your Needs
In my work with patients, inadequate calorie and carbohydrate intake might be the most common contributor to a dysfunctional menstrual cycle. I wrote an article a few months ago describing the common trend of under-eating in the Paleo community. It amazes me how many of my clients fall into this category.
Calorie intake and energy balance are the most important factors affecting the development of hypothalamic amenorrhea. In fact, calorie intake is an even greater predictor of menstrual cycle function than a womans body fat percentage.
Dietary restraint, or the conscious restriction of calorie intake in an effort to achieve or maintain a certain body weight, is a risk factor for menstrual cycle disturbances. While this is likely due to the unhealthy reduction of caloric intake compared to calorie burn during exercise, I wonder whether or not the excessive dietary restriction that often comes from following an overly strict Paleo diet might contribute to hypothalamic amenorrhea and other stress-related causes of menstrual dysfunction.
Use a calculator to estimate your daily calorie needs based on your current activity levels. You may be surprised to find that youre eating much less than your body needs, which could be negatively affecting your menstrual function.
If you need additional assistance identifying an appropriate calorie and macronutrient target for your needs, Id be happy to help you!
/12this Is How You Can Delay Your Periods Naturally
Mother nature can come calling any time of the month, so it is always better that we keep a tab on our monthly cycles. But there are times when we have a special vacation coming up or some festival or maybe some other reason and your period is the last thing you would want to deal with! Periods can wreak havoc on our emotional state and we won’t even begin talking about the physical pain it puts us through! Period cramps and mood swings can ruin a very well planned week. So what can be done to avoid them from surprising us on our special days? Delay them. Yes, but taking pills to delay periods can later make them even worse because of the high hormonal dosage in them. So we thought of bringing to you the top 10 ways that can delay your period naturally. Please note, these remedies are to be followed at least a fortnight before your date for best results.
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How Does The Pill Prevent Pregnancy
When taken every day at the same time of day, birth control pills are most effective at regulating your menstrual cycle.
Combination birth control pills contain estrogen and progesterone and help to prevent ovulation. Without ovulation, theres no egg to be fertilized. The hormones also help thicken cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to get into your uterus.
The progesterone-only pill, or minipill, helps to prevent pregnancy by:
- thickening cervical mucus
- thinning the lining of the uterus
- suppressing ovulation
However, it doesnt consistently suppress ovulation as the combination pill does. To be most effective, the minipill should be taken at the same time every day.
Use a backup birth control method for at least the first week of using the pill. Talk with your doctor about what precautions are necessary when starting the pill, to be on the safe side.
Up to 13 out of 100 women on the minipill become pregnant. The minipill isnt as effective as the combination pill in helping to prevent pregnancy.
With the combination pill, approximately 9 out of 100 women using it will have an accidental pregnancy. When taking the pill, its effectiveness can depend on:
- whether its taken every day around the same time
- other medications or supplements you might be taking
- certain medical conditions that interfere with the medication
Stock Up On Tampons And Pads
The last thing you want to be doing on your vacation is running around shops looking for your favorite brand of tampons or pads. Make sure to stock up on your care products ahead of time and take enough to last you the whole trip, plus extra!Also, many brands now sell pocket-sized travel tampons. Check out the click tampons from U by Kotex or Lolas 100% organic compact tampons. Not only are these tampons typically better for the environment because they dont use as much material, but they also take up less space in your suitcase.
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