When Should You Stop A Period
If your gynecologist thinks that your periods are not beneficial because you have anemia, endometriosis, or some types of uterine fibroids, it may be necessary to stop your period for a season.
In these cases, the gynecologist will indicate which is the best way to stop a period for a specific time until the disease is under control and the loss of blood is not a problem.
Quick Read No You Dont Need A Period Period
- Stopping your period is safe having a period isnt necessary for good health.
- Hormonal shots and intrauterine devices are the most effective methods.
- The most common side effect is breakthrough, irregular bleeding or spotting.
- Period suppression does not put someone at risk for infertility, if they want to have kids.
- It also lowers the risk for uterine fibroids and endometrial polyps or cancer.
Most people who have periods can agree: They arent exactly fun.
Research has shown that heavy, painful and otherwise disruptive periods also can have a significant impact on someones life, such as missing more days of work.
The good news? If you have a uterus, you dont need to have a period. There are safe, effective ways to stop getting a period for a little while or a long time. Heres what you need to know.
Give It To Me Straight: Why Did I Miss My Period On Birth Control
Before you get too worried about whether to get a pregnancy test, remember: Birth control pills are 91% effective with average use and over 99% effective if you take them correctly, every day.
Menstrual bleeding changes are normal when you’re on birth control, say global women’s health experts.
You could have lighter, more frequent, or no periods at all when you’re taking the pill or using another hormonal method.
Unless you have other pregnancy symptoms or health conditions, doctors say that it is common for women on hormonal contraception to have missed periods. You could also have early or late periods, or just spotting. Therefore missing your period while on birth control isn’t necessarily cause for alarm unless you have other concerning symptoms. Always talk to your doctor about it, though, if you’re worried.
Editor’s note: Don’t get us wrong, though. Regular periods are a sign your body is working as expected. But we’re specifically talking about periods on birth control, which don’t necessarily fall into that bucket. Find out why further down.
Key stats on the failure rate of birth control pills:
For women who use the oral contraceptive pill perfectly , the percentage of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy in the first year of use was 0.3%.
With typical or average use , the percentage of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy in the first year of using the pill was 9%.
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Can Contraceptive Pills Stop Periods
In order for us to effectively answer this question, there are some things you should know about the pill. There are two types of birth control pills: the combination pill and the progestin-only pill.
As its name implies, the combination pill contains a mix of estrogen and progestin. It primarily works by stopping ovulation from occurring. In other words, it stops your ovaries from releasing an egg. Without an egg for sperm to fertilize, a pregnancy cannot take place.
Most combination pills require you to take three weeks worth of pills containing hormones. The fourth week is typically your placebo week.
The progestin-only pill, as youve likely gathered by now, only contains one hormoneprogestin. Its often called the mini-pill because of its low hormonal dose.
With this in mind, the combination-pill would be your go-to for stopping your period. However, it also comes down to the type of pill youre taking.
If you werent already aware, not all combination pills are the same. There are multiphasic and monophasic pills.
According to Bedsider, multiphasic pills have a mix of hormones which changes from week after week. On the other hand, monophasic pills contain the same mix of hormones each week.
Its possible to control the timing of your period with both a monophasic pill and a multiphasic one. However, skipping periods with multiphasic pills is not as well studied and, according to Refinery 29, may be a little more difficult to use .
Skipping Your Period With The Pill
If you are using the combined pill, aka oral contraceptives you will skip the placebo pills, which you would normally take for your inactive days.
When are the placebo pills?For 21-day packs , this is the last 7 days. For 24-day packs, this is the last 4 days.
You’ll then start your next pack right away. If you decide to skip your period and use your next pill pack, you may experience breakthrough bleeding, which is normal.
What is continuous birth control?If you are regularly looking to skip your period, you may want to get medical advice on extended-cycle birth control meaning you get a period every 3 months. Popular brands include Seasonale, Seasonique, and Jolessa.
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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.
Does Getting Your Tubes Tied Stop Period Permanently
Tubal ligation or tubal sterilization is a type of birth control which helps ensure that you will not become pregnant. In tubal ligation, your fallopian tubes will be tied, thereby closing them. Once closed, your eggs and male sperm will not be able to interact, which means that you cannot become pregnant after this surgical procedure.
It takes a few days to recover from this procedure, after which you should be able to go back to your daily tasks with ease.
Contrary to what some women believe, having your tubes tied does not stop your periods permanently. Therefore, you can expect to continue having your periods even after having a tubal ligation.
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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.
Recap: The 4 Reasons Why You May Have Missed Your Period On Birth Control
We talked about 4 solid reasons why you may have missed your period this month, even though you’re taking birth control. Here they are again:
The birth control pills themselves may cause you to miss periods
Emotional/physical stress on your body
Gynecological problems like PCOS
Natural causes like pregnancy.
The main message is generally not to worry about being pregnant if you’ve been taking your pills and have no other concerning symptoms. But if you’re concerned, you can always ask your health care provider.
Recommended Reading: Why Do I Have 2 Periods A Month
Other Ways To Skip Your Period
Taking birth control pills arent the only way to skip your period. Other options include the progestin-releasing intrauterine device , progestin injection , progestin implant , and the combination NuvaRing or contraceptive patches.
The Mirena IUD works even better than pills to reduce overall bleeding, Dabney says. Many women on the Mirena IUD either get very light periods or no periods at all.
If you arent sure about the pill, speak with your doctor about your other options. Make sure you speak with your doctor before using a birth control patch to skip your period. Compared to birth controls pills, the patch has a slightly increased risk for blood clotting. However, the patch is the same general formulation as combination pills.
Other Options And Risks
Sometimes skipping your period means enjoying your best friends wedding or your COVID-19-friendly vacation that much more. Plus, if you have painful symptoms or excessive menstrual bleeding that interferes with daily life every month, you might like a break from it for a while.
Some people may not like the thought of having to take a pill every day. Another option is using a vaginal ring contraceptive to skip periods. Normally, you would place the ring in your vagina and wear it for three weeks and then take it out for seven days to have a period. Then you would insert a new ring. But if you immediately insert a new ring after the three weeks end, youll avoid your period. Fertility is also promptly restored after discontinuing the use of either methods.
The only real risk to using birth control to miss your periods is that theres a small chance of breakthrough bleeding, which is any vaginal bleeding that occurs mid-cycle or when using hormonal methods to avoid your period, explains Dr. Bradley. Because of this, you might want to carry some pads or tampons with you just in case.
Be aware that any medication can cause side effects, so be sure to ask your doctor if birth control is right for you and if you should use any backup contraceptives, such as condoms. Condoms can also help prevent sexually transmitted infections.
Also Check: How Do You Know If Your Getting Your Period
Skip Your Placebo Week Of Oral Contraceptives
Some types of birth control pills come with three weeks of active pills and one week of placebo pills. If you skip the week of placebo pills and start a new pack of active pills, instead, then the hormones in the active pills will prevent you from bleeding that week.
However, it’s important to note that if this is your first time skipping a placebo week you may experience some irregular bleeding or light spotting, says Ross.
After two to three months of skipping your placebo week, you should see little to no spotting. Therefore, Ross recommends planning several months ahead if you know your period will coincide with a big upcoming occasion.
Moreover, you can get birth control pills in packs that last 28 days, 90 days, and even 365 days. That’s right, you can go a year without your period while on the pill.
“Being able to stop your period completely is one of the most beneficial side effects associated with the pill and it’s completely safe,” says Ross.
Birth Control Pills And Mini
Birth control pills are hormonal contraceptives. They contain either a combination of estrogen and progestin , or just progestin .
Women whose main reason for taking birth control pills is to manage heavy periods often choose to take the mini-pill. The low-dose progestin-only mini-pill is taken every day, without any breaks. This usually causes menstrual bleeding to become irregular, and sometimes women may even stop getting their period.
Combination pills are mainly used as contraceptives. Most women take the combination pill for 21 days per cycle. The bleeding starts during the seven-day break that follows. Low-dose combination pills can be taken continuously too. Then the woman usually stops getting her period completely, and only has light spotting at the most.
But combination pills have not yet been approved for continuous use in Germany. So if they are used in this way it is considered to be off-label use . Its important to discuss the possible consequences of this type of use with your doctor.
The possible side effects of birth control pills include fluid retention, headaches and breast tenderness. The combination pill in particular increases the likelihood of blood clots , so women who have a greater risk of thrombosis are advised not to take it.
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Is It Safe To Use The Pill To Stop Your Periods
In a 2014 Cochrane Review of continuous versus cyclical birth control use they concluded that, the studies were too small to address efficacy, rare adverse events, and safety regarding the continuous use of birth control.
Or in other words, there’s not enough information. I think this is something worth mentioning to women prior to writing a prescription.
By comparison, the findings regarding extended birth control use versus 21 day with one week of withdrawal were favorable. But keep in mind the comparison is based on using the pill for 21 days or continuously. They did not compare the effects of extended use to that of a woman not using any hormonal birth control.
And as we know, birth control already comes with a hefty load of side effects as is. I think we should at least acknowledge that it could possibly harmful to dose continuously. At minimum women should be told that the evidence to assess the safety is limited.
Periods : Our Bodies Ourselves
Okay, so women have a menstrual cycle, aka as a monthly period. What exactly is your period, we mean, naturally speaking? Like what does your period look like if you were not taking birth control?
Getting ready for baby-making, science style
Your period before the pill was like this: Your body thinks you might want to get pregnant and so it gives you a chance every month . Every menstrual cycle, your body is preparing for you to be pregnant, and your uterus is building up the lining in anticipation for the new baby.
Menstrual bleeding: Discard that uterine lining!
But news flash to your uterus: you’re not planning on having any babies this month. Typically, the levels of your hormones , your body’s chemical messengers, go up and down depending on the situation. Suppose you don’t get pregnant this cycle. In that case, your estrogen and progesterone levels fall and tell your body to start menstruating, which means discarding the monthly buildup of the lining of the uterus.
Guess what? Your period on birth control is a “withdrawal” bleed
When you have your menstrual period while taking birth control, it’s called a “withdrawal” period because you’re not taking the active pills with the hormones in them. Essentially, it’s a hormone withdrawal, and the bleeding happens because of this lack of hormones.
Okay, so that was a lot. But now you know. And all of the rest will make sense. Get ready for all of the reasons why you could have a missed period on birth control.
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