Is It Unhealthy If You Skip Your Period While Using Mirena Or Other Birth Control Methods
does having an IUD in and not having a period affect your body in negative ways?
The Mirena and Skyla IUDs can lessen the number of periods you get, or stop them altogether. For some people, thats a huge benefit to using one of those methods. The implant and shot can also have that effect, as well as the pill and ring if used a certain way.
If youre thinking about using one of these methods to avoid having a period, you may be wondering if its healthy to not get your period every month. The answer is that its actually totally fine for you to not have periods because of birth control.
A lot of people believe that their period is a way the body cleans itself and keeps itself healthy. But the reality is that your body only needs to menstruate in order to shed the uterine lining that your body creates when there is the possibility of pregnancy. Hormonal birth control, like Mirena or Skyla, prevent ovulation and stop that uterine lining from building up, so there isnt anything to shed or bleed out.
Having a period is healthy and normal if youre not using birth control, but not having periods when youre on hormonal birth control is okay, too.
-Emily at Planned Parenthood
by Amanda A | Apr 24, 2018 | Birth Control Methods
Risks And Side Effects Of Skipping Your Period On The Pill
There are no health risks that we know of when it comes to skipping your period using hormonal contraceptives.
The pill itself may cause side effects, but they have nothing to do with whether youre skipping your period or not. Some women experience bloating, weight gain, mood swings, and low libido on hormonal birth control.
The one side effect that you may experience that is directly caused by doubling or tripling up birth control packs is spotting or breakthrough bleeding. Thats perfectly normal as your body adjusts to a longer cycle.
How Do I Get Started Skipping My Period
We assure you, with a few simple steps you will be able to wear that cute new white dress any day of the month.
Step one: Make sure that youre taking a monophasic pill. This means that each of your active pills have the same mix of hormones. This is as opposed to a multiphasic pill, that has a combination of hormones that change from week to week. It is possible to use multiphasic pills to skip your period, but it is not recommended as multiphasic pills cause more spotting when taken continuously. If youre unsure about whether your birth control is monophasic, consult your physician.
Step two: Skip the all of the inactive pills , and start your new pack of pills right away.
Thats it. Its really that easy.
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How Often Do I Need To Put On A New Patch
You need to change your patch once every week.
Wear a patch for 1 week , then take off that patch and put on a new one. Change your patch once a week for 3 weeks straight.
On week 4, dont wear a patch at all thats when youll get your period. After 7 patch-free days, put on a new patch and start the cycle over. Each pack has 3 weekly patches in it, so youll use 3 patches per month.
Its really important to put your new patch on right after your patch-free week, or youll be at risk for pregnancy. Its okay if youre still bleeding or spotting when its time to put on a new patch thats normal.
Be sure to put on a new patch on the same day every week this will be your patch change day. If you start on a Monday, then Mondays are always the day you take off your old patch and put on a new one. 1 patch only has enough hormones in it to last for 1 week . So dont wear the same patch longer than a week.
What Is Birth Control
Contraceptive, commonly referred to as birth control, is something that you use to prevent or reduce the chances of pregnancy.
On the other hand, contraception is the act of preventing pregnancy using contraceptives.
There are several methods of birth control that work in different ways in the body.
Some birth controls work by preventing the sperm from getting to the egg.
This variety of birth control methods do not include hormones.
Examples of this type of contraceptive include:
- Contraceptive sponges
- Cervical caps
On the other hand, hormonal birth control methods keep the ovaries from releasing eggs that could otherwise be fertilized by sperm.
These types include:
- Vaginal rings
When choosing the suitable birth control method for you, it is important to be informed about how it may affect your body.
Talking with a healthcare professional about starting a birth control method can help you choose the form that best suits your body and needs.
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What Types Of Birth Control Pills Are Available
There are many different types of oral contraceptives , all offering slightly different formulations and amounts of one or two female hormones involved in the menstrual cycle .
Finding the best birth control for you especially if you plan to use it to control the timing of your period may take some trial and error with your provider.
It can be helpful to think of the pill in four broad categories:
The minipill: This pill contains only one type of female hormone and is meant to be taken continuously. There are no placebo pills in the pack. The way it is designed means that many people who take it do not menstruate, but some still have periods and breakthrough bleeding. Also note that its not as effective as other pills at preventing pregnancy, but it can reduce heavy bleeding.
Combination pills: These pills contain different combinations of estrogen and progestin. Some pills contain the same amount of these hormones every day , and others vary the amount in an attempt to more closely imitate the natural menstrual cycle . These cycles include the placebo pills, which can be skipped to avoid your period.
Extended-cycle pills: These pills are designed to be taken for 3 months at a time before there is a scheduled break in the active pills. They are prescribed in 90-day packs, and there are no inactive pills in a pack.
Why Might You Want To Skip Your Period
Symptom Control. Some women who experience painful symptoms such as cramps, migraines, or extremely heavy/prolonged bleeding skip their period as a method for managing these symptoms. Women with conditions that are worsened by menstruation including endometriosis and anemia find relief this way as well.
Convenience. Lets face it, your period always falls on the day of your big vacay, pool day, or some occasion where you have to wear white. Its so frustrating. We promise, youre not overreacting. Skipping your period can be a helpful lifestyle choice.
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The Birth Control Pill And Your Period
Birth control pills work by supplying your body with synthetic hormones. If you use a combined birth control pill, youll receive a steady, daily supply of ethinyl estradiol and a synthetic progestin hormone.
Used together, these hormones prevent pregnancy by stopping the ovaries from releasing eggs. They also thicken the cervical mucus and lighten the lining of your uterus, reducing the chances of a fertilized egg successfully attaching.
If you use a progestin-only birth control pill, the body is supplied with a synthetic form of a progestin hormone. This type of birth control pill might not stop you from ovulating, but it will prevent pregnancy by affecting the cervical mucus and uterine lining.
Most birth control pills have a 21:7 schedule, meaning youll take the active pills for 21 days and the inactive pills for seven days every cycle. This means youll have about one week of bleeding during each cycle, mimicking a regular menstrual cycle.
During this week, you wont actually experience a typical period. Instead, youll experience up to a week of whats called withdrawal bleeding.
Your body starts withdrawal bleeding in response to the drop in hormone levels caused by switching from the active birth control pill to the inactive pill. Think of the drop in your hormone levels as a natural switch, signaling to the body that its time to start your period.
How Well Does It Work For This Purpose
Birth controls number one job is to prevent pregnancy. If you have penis-in-vagina sex and dont want to get pregnant, effectiveness in this area definitely matters.
If slowing your flow is just as or even more important for you, then you need to consider that, too, since not all methods will have the same effect.
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Some Methods Might Require A Pelvic Exam
Some birth control methods require a pelvic exam, including intrauterine devices . These are often prescribed to people with heavy or prolonged periods.
Pelvic exams can be traumatic for survivors of sexual abuse or triggergender dysphoria in transgender people. This may affect your decision when reviewing different methods and any associated prerequisites.
Faqs For Skipping Periods
Question:Arent women supposed to have a period every month? Am I hurting myself by skipping periods?Answer: Nope. It is totally safe to go for months or even years without having a period. Think about ita woman who has and breastfeeds a baby may go for two years without periods. The only time health care providers get worried about a patient not having periods is when there isnt a medical reason like birth control or breastfeeding. Plus, birth control pills and the ring make the lining of the uterus very thin, so there is very little to clean out.
Question:How long can I skip periods?Answer: It is safe to skip periods for as long as you want! It depends on what you are comfortable with and whether you have spotting. Spottinga.k.a. breakthrough bleedingis normal, and may just be a sign that your body is adjusting to continuous use of birth control. If you dont like the spotting, you can have a period. You may be able to control spotting by having a period every 3-4 months.
Question:Why should my pill be monophasic if I want to skip periods?Answer: Monophasic pills cause less spotting than multiphasic pills when you take them continuously.
Question:Will the ring really last for four weeks?Answer: Yep. The ring has enough hormone in it to effectively prevent pregnancy for 4 weeks, no extra steps needed to skip your period.
Question:Besides getting to decide when I have my period, are there other perks to skipping periods with birth control?
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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.
The History Of Periods On The Pill
Since combined hormone birth control pills were first marketed in the 1960s, they were sold in packs rather than in bottles of pills in the belief that women would need the daily reminder of having each pill in a slot labeled with a day of the week. They were packaged with 21 active pills and 7 placebo pills, because researchers who developed the pill thought that mimicking a 28-day menstrual cycle would make the pill more socially acceptable, both for patients and for regulators, physicians, and clergy.
Using an artificial period to make the pill seem natural might seem silly, until you realize that prior to the US Supreme Courts Griswold v. Connecticut decision in 1965, states could outlaw contraception, and some did. And because that decision protected only married couples, single people didnt have a Constitutional right to contraception until the Eisenstadt v. Baird decision in 1972! So making the pill seem like it caused a normal menstrual period was likely a smart decision that helped hormonal birth control get FDA approval.
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What If I Decide I Dont Want To Keep Skipping My Period
Lets say youve already taken at least 3 weeks of active pills and you really want to have regular monthly bleeding again. Not to fear, you can pause for a period any time you want . Just stop taking the active pills for 47 days . Tip: it may help you stay on track to plan for a bleed when it is your placebo time . Then, start taking the active pills again after the 47 days.
S That Can Stop Your Period Long
If you wish to explore the idea of stopping your period long-term, you have options. At the very least, birth control can minimize the frequency of periods you have a year.
- Intrauterine devices may take three to six months to stop your period altogether, but after that, they can remain effective for anywhere from three to 10 years depending on the type.
- Birth control implants like Nexplanon work for up to three years and provide lighter periods or may stop them altogether depending on the person.
- Endometrial ablation procedure: This procedure is usually only recommended for people with very heavy, prolonged periods who are at risk of anemia and shouldn’t be considered if you are planning to get pregnant at any point in the future.
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No Period After Stopping Birth Control Whats That About
If youve decided to stop taking the pill, it can take a while for your cycle to return to normal. This varies from person to person. Most people will have their period around two to four weeks after stopping the pill. However, your cycle may be irregular for some time. Its normal for your body to need up to three months to go back to normal after stopping your birth control. If your cycles remain irregular for longer, make sure to visit your health care provider to find out the cause of your irregular cycles.