Number : Is It Normal To Bleed At All While On Birth Control Pills
The answer is yes scientists designed the pill so you’d bleed during the placebo week. This was the one feature of combined oral contraceptives that scientists let remain unchanged over the decades.
That said, you will probably have unpredictable bleeding patterns during the first few months of taking any birth control method. The National Institutes of Health says that irregular bleeding can happen when you take hormonal birth control like birth control pills or IUDs.
Here are 3 ways to describe how unpredictable periods can be on birth control pills:
You may have your period on birth control during active pills .
You may have spotting, also called breakthrough bleeding, during the first few months. Doctors say this is the most common symptom when taking any brand.
You may have a missed period on birth control. But that doesn’t automatically mean your pregnant.
This unpredictability is usually not forever. As your body adjusts to birth control pills, you’ll probably just have bleeding during the regularly scheduled programming when you take those “sugar pills” that have no hormones in them. But if you’re unsure, it’s always a good idea to check with your health care provider about it.
But get this. It’s not medically necessary for you to have this scheduled week of bleeding. We’ll explain more later.
Does Birth Control Stop Periods
Technically speaking, yes. The period that you get when youre on birth control isnt the same as a regular period. Without hormonal birth control, the lining of your uterus gets thicker to prepare for possible pregnancy and then sheds during your period if youre not pregnant. Your body doesnt ovulate or go through this regular menstrual cycle when youre taking oral contraceptives. Instead, what you experience as a period on birth control is called withdrawal bleeding.
This bleeding occurs as a response to your body not receiving the same hormones during the rest week at the end of your 21-day pack. That means that if you continue taking the pill and skip the rest week, you can skip your periods too. Make sure to talk to your health care provider about whether this is a good option for you.
Symptoms Of Missed Period On Birth Control
When you miss your period on birth control, it is important to be aware of other symptoms. A missed period may occur in tandem with symptoms that are similar to premenstrual symptoms or early pregnancy, such as:
If you miss your period and experience any additional symptoms, plan on taking a pregnancy test and following up with your primary care physician.
What Are The Benefits Of Skipping Your Period
In terms of well-being, skipping your period decreases symptoms associated with bleeding cramps, bloating, headaches, anemia, acne, embarrassment and that is just to name a few. Additionally, choosing not to bleed every month could lead to a lower risk of developing endometrial and ovarian cancers by changing the susceptibility of cells to infection. Lastly, by not having to purchase period products as often, you save money and contribute less to pollution .
While skipping your period is safe, you should talk to a doctor before starting the process to ensure that its the right decision for you. For instance, it is recommended that individuals who have been menstruating for less than two years keep getting a period, as they are likely still growing and estrogen could impact their height.
When Can I Use The Contraceptive Pill To Delay My Period
Most brands of the combined contraceptive pill can be used to delay your period if you have already been taking it for several weeks. You should not use the contraceptive pill to delay your period by simply starting to take the pill shortly before your period is due.
Taking two packets of the pill back-to-back artificially sustains the levels of hormones in your body. This delays the shedding of your womb lining, and therefore the onset of your period.
You can take up to 3 packets back to back. However some women do experience breakthrough bleeding or spotting and can feel bloated.
Most combined contraceptive pills can be taken back-to-back to delay your period, including Microgynon, Rigevidon, Cilest and Yasmin. Phasic pills, however, contain different quantities of hormones in each pill, and you should consult your doctor before taking more than 1 packet in succession.
Women on the mini pill normally take one pill every day, with no 7-day break. It is therefore impossible to use the mini pill to delay your period.
Also Check: How You Know Your Period Is Coming
Definitions: So How Do You Define Bleeding
It’s nice that researchers like to define things. Here’s what they mean by spotting, bleeding, bleeding that’s too long, etc.
Bleeding: When we refer to menstrual “bleeding,” it means blood loss that requires you to wear sanitary protection like a tampon, pad, or pantiliner. The period blood might look red in color, as it’s probably fresh blood.
Spotting: When we say “spotting,” it means that the blood loss is so small that you wouldn’t have to wear any type of sanitary protection – not even pantyliners. The spotting could look like a brown discharge, the kind that appears towards the end of your period when the blood is “older” since it’s been there longer.
An episode of bleeding/spotting: You may have irregular spotting or bleeding during the month on birth control. Here’s how you can define an “episode” of the spotting or bleeding: The episode is preceded by 2 regular days without any spotting/bleeding and followed up by 2 days straight without any spotting/bleeding.
Infrequent bleeding: Fewer than 3 bleeding or spotting episodes in 3 months
Prolonged bleeding: Here’s something to note. If you’re thinking your period on birth control is going on too long, “prolonged” bleeding is defined as any bleeding/spotting episode lasting more than 2 weeks in 3 months.
Frequent bleeding: More than 5 bleeding or spotting episodes in 5 months.
Amenorrhea: This the medical term for when you don’t have your period in 3 months.
How To Safely Skip Your Period On Birth Control
- Reviewed By: Shannon DeVita DNP, FNP-BC, CPNP-PC, Julie Lamonoff, CNM, OBGYN-NP
Growing up, you might have learned that women need to get their period every 28 days or so. This is often considered natural and necessary while skipping your period is thought to be bad for your fertility.
These beliefs have been shakenmodern-day hormonal birth control has now made it possible to safely delay your period.
Recommended Reading: Why Am I So Tired Before My Period
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.
So Then What’s The True Identity Of A Period On Birth Control
Get ready for this:
Your period on birth control is kind of fake. It’s called a “withdrawal period,” not because your body is shedding the uterine lining but because your body is going through hormone withdrawal. Essentially, the lab-derived hormones that the pill delivers are there to call the shots, and when you take the placebo pills, the active hormones start to exit the premises. The change in hormone levels triggers your body to build up or shed that lining, which results in bleeding or spotting.
Your period on birth control is a withdrawal period meant to mimic your natural one. It is not biologically necessary.
So there you have it. That’s why your period on birth control looks and acts so different.
Read Also: What Can I Drink To Stop My Periods
Yes Using Birth Control To Suppress Menstruation Is Considered Very Safe By Doctors And Ob
Doctors say it’s just as healthy to skip your period each month as it is to have it. You have the option of using birth control to suppress menstruation. Birth Control pills allow you to skip your period altogether with continuous cycling or just have four periods a year .
Safety and Risks
Birth control users who choose to skip periods have shown no additional health risk when compared to birth control users who have a monthly cycle. Some women who skip their periods may also experience breakthrough bleeding, but it will typically subside.
Its also important to note that many types of hormonal birth control contain estrogen, which is known to increase the risk of developing blood clots. This risk is the same for both users who do and do not suppress menstruation. In addition, birth control pills containing drospirenone have been found to raise the blood-clot risk even further than standard estrogen pills, without providing any additional benefit over the other available birth control options.
Although there are no known health risks associated with skipping menstruation, women may express a preference for monthly menstruation because they rely on it as a signal that they are not pregnant or because they view it as a sign that their bodies are functioning normally. If youre interested in skipping your period, make sure to check with your doctor so they can give you the best recommendation based on your needs and your medical history.
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.
Recommended Reading: How Many Days Before And After Period Is Safe
How To Stop Periods Permanently
The period or menstruation cycle is normal and harmless. Your period is a natural way to cleanse your reproductive system. When occurring irregularly, it can be a sign of an underlying condition. Stopping your period permanently is a serious decision that needs lots of consideration. This is not to say that you cannot stop your period permanently.
If your reasons for stopping your period are not a medical emergency, then you might want to reconsider such a decision, especially for a young girl. You might opt for semi-permanent methods such as using contraceptives and other natural methods.
If you are, however certain that you would wish to stop your period permanently, then you can try the following:
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Read Also: Does The Depo Shot Stop Periods
How To Delay Or Skip Your Period Using The Pill
There are several ways to delay or skip your period using birth control.
If you use a combined birth control pill such as Yaz, Estrostep or Ortho Tri-Cyclen, you can skip your period by only taking the active pills, without ever using the seven inactive pills in each pack.
Since this gives your body a constant supply of ethinyl estradiol and progestin hormones, you shouldnt experience the withdrawal bleeding thats common with a 21:7 cycle.
Since youll go through more pill packs than normal this way, its best to check with your healthcare provider ahead of time to make sure everything is okay.
The second way to skip your period using birth control is to use an extended-cycle birth control pill.
Birth control pills like Seasonique®, Seasonale®, Quasense®, Jolessa® and Camrese® are designed to give you 12 weeks between periods. Instead of getting your period every 28 days, youll only get your period once every three months.
Theres also a continuous cycle pill called amethyst , designed to allow you to skip your period for an entire year at a time. This type of pill has no inactive pills, meaning youll never experience any withdrawal bleeding while you use it.
If you currently use a birth control pill with a 21:7 cycle length and want to switch to an extended cycle pill, its best to talk to your healthcare provider. Theyll be able to inform you about the potential benefits, risks and changes youll need to make while using this type of birth control pill.
Is This Unnatural Is It Really Safe
Yes, it is safe. Contrary to popular belief, menstruation is actually not a physiological necessity. Think about it:
- Bleeding in between pill packs is not the same as getting a period while not on the pill. In our previous blog post, The Secret Life of Placebo Pills, we talked about the differences between the two. The period you get while on the placebos is derived from a decrease in the hormones in your pills, aka a withdrawal bleed. If you have ever forgotten to take your pill for ~2 days and started spotting, its the same phenomenon. This type of bleeding is usually much lighter than a period .
- Women with an IUD, designed for 310 years of continuous use, dont have periods or withdrawal bleeding, but they may experience light breakthrough bleeding. This commonly applies to women who are breastfeeding too.
- One research study found that those taking active birth control pills continuously reported less menstrual symptoms including headaches, genital irritation, tiredness, bloating, and menstrual pain .
Also Check: I Ve Been On My Period For 2 Weeks