What Happens To Your Body When You Purposely Skip Your Period
According to the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, most women will have an average of 450 menstrual periods during their lifetime. Additionally, according to a recent survey they conducted, over 80 percent of respondents reported adverse, period-related symptoms including bloating, moodiness, cramps, and irritability.
But there’s good news! Get ready to throw away your pads and tampons, because you can use hormonal birth control to skip your individual periods whenever you need to or stop menstruating altogether. You can do this on the pill by skipping your placebo pills every month, or you can opt to halt your period entirely with an IUD, injections, implants, and more.
Even if your period isn’t so bad, you can still suppress it for the sake of convenience. So if you’ve been approved for hormonal birth control by your doctor and haven’t had any problems with it, read on! This is what happens to your body when you purposely skip your period.
It Can Happen With Any Type Of Hormonal Birth Control
All these methods work by delivering hormones that prevent pregnancy. These methods include
birth control pills
the birth control implant, a small plastic rod thats placed under the skin of the upper arm
the birth control shot given by a health care professional
the vaginal ring that women can place and remove on their own
the skin patch that contains hormones
Number : Can You Miss Your Period On Birth Control
For sure, you can miss your period on birth control. Global health experts say that different types of menstrual changes, including the absence of a period, are expected when you’re on birth control. It is common to miss your period while using a hormonal birth control method.
Doctors say that when you use hormonal contraception unless you have concerning symptoms, you should not assume that the absence of bleeding by itself is a sign of pregnancy. But if you’re worried, you should ask your doctor about it.
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Number : Do You Even Need A Menstrual Period At All
Here’s a fun fact: Monthly menstruation isn’t really necessary. In hunter-gatherer times, women were having babies one after the other, and they breastfed for long intervals, which suppresses ovulation and menstruation. Prehistoric women had about 50 menstruations, while modern women have about 450 periods!
With a 28-day cycle , the traditional birth control pill has no basis in biology. The makers of the pill decided to go this route to mimic the natural menstruation cycle to be more acceptable to society.
We know what you’re thinking: Can I just take birth control pills and not have my period at all? The answer is yes you’re allowed to skip your periods using birth control pills. You should ask your doctor if you’re interested. We got all the information in our previous article on how to delay your period.
Put The Clamp On Cramps
Anyone who’s prone to cramps knows just how painful they can be, and that no amount of tea and chocolate really help that much. Sure, wine and ibuprofen can come in handy, but at the end of the day, some cramps are just persistent and they can come back, month after month.
Just why do you get cramps when you get your period? According to Dr. Trolice, “Menstrual cramping occurs from uterine contractions shedding its lining,” which makes sense. Your uterus is basically expelling the lining it took a month to build up, so no wonder it can be unpleasant.
But skipping your period can mean skipping your cramps as well, according to Dr. Trolice. He continued, saying that “continuous birth control pills prevent or limit menstrual flow thereby reducing or eliminating uterine contractions to shed the endometrial lining, ergo lessening or avoiding menstrual cramps.”
Studies confirm it, so if you’re tired of huddling up to a hot water bottle every month, talk to your doctor about which options might be best for you.
Read Also: Does Birth Control Make Your Period Lighter
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 .
If You Keep Forgetting To Take Your Pill
Talk to your provider if remembering to take your pill is becoming an issue. There are many effective forms of birth control out there some that dont require daily adherence. The ring, the patch, the shot or an IUD are all great options if forgetfulness is getting the best of you.
If youd like to remain on the pill, trying using an app on your phone to remind you, setting an alarm or pair taking the pill with another daily activity, like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast.
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What You Should Know About Breakthrough Bleeding With Birth Control
Breakthrough bleeding rarely signals a health problem. But your ob-gyn can help.
Breakthrough bleeding is a common concern among women using hormonal birth control. Its usually a small amount of spotting at a time when youre not expecting your period, though some women have heavier bleeding. Most often, my patients come in saying they feel fine, but are noticing a little spotting when they use the bathroom. Should they be worried?
I reassure them that breakthrough bleeding rarely signals a health problem. And it doesnt mean your birth control isnt effective at preventing pregnancy. But there are ways we can try to fix it.
Heres what I tell my patients about birth control and breakthrough bleeding.
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.
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How To Keep Track Of Your Menstrual Cycle
You can use a menstrual tracker like Flo to keep track of your cycle. Period tracking apps let you log your symptoms and determine when you should expect your period. This can also take some weight off your mind, since you wont have to remember when your period is due to arrive. The app will do it for you!
Overall, as long as youre taking it correctly, birth control is highly effective at preventing pregnancy and those missed periods can happen now and again.
If youre not sure, take a pregnancy test to ease your mind. Adding some relaxing activities to your life and staying healthy can help get your cycle back to normal.
How To Take Birth Control Pills Correctly
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Is Skipping Your Period Safe
Medical studies have reported no significant negative health effects when you skip your period on the combined hormonal birth control pill . That being said, itâs still important to mention that there have been no long-term studies examining the safety of continually skipping your period. Sometimes medical repercussions take a longer time and/or need a larger population sample size to emerge.
If you choose to stop taking hormonal birth control, your natural menstrual cycle and fertility will usually return to normal after one month, regardless of how long you skipped your âperiodâ .
Does Missing A Withdrawal Bleed On A Pill
If youve been taking your pills according to the instructions, the pills will be 99.7 percent effective, even if you didnt experience any withdrawal bleeding. The efficacy of the pill depends on you taking the pill at approximately the same time every day.
However, its important to remember that no birth control method is 100-percent effective. If youve missed a withdrawal bleed on birth control and want to be sure, you can always take a pregnancy test.
If youve missed three non-placebo pills or more, your chances of ovulating will increase. If you dont experience any bleeding for a few days after missing the pills, take a pregnancy test. Its also a good idea to take a pregnancy test if you miss two periods in a row while on birth control.
Also Check: How Do You Know If Your Getting Your Period
How Do Birth Control Pills Affect Periods
Birth control pills act on the hormones that cause pregnancy, that is, estrogen and progesterone. In a one-month pack of pills, usually, there are three weeks of hormonal pills and one weeks worth of placebo pills. The active pills could be a combination birth control pill or just progestin . While the hormone birth control pills prevent your eggs from being released, the inactive pills are a simple reminder to take the pills every day .
The hormonal contraceptives act by any of these following mechanisms .
Since the very functioning of the uterus and related hormones are disrupted due to pill intake, menses could get postponed. It could lead to missed or no periods when on birth control. In many women, it may take some time for the body to adjust its menstrual routine even after discontinuation of pills. Regular periods return eventually after the stoppage of oral contraceptive pills.
But Wont My Body Get Backed Up
Noâyou wonât get backed up. One thing to keep in mind is that when youâre on the pill you actually donât have a normal âperiodâ. In fact, the combined hormonal birth control pill doesnât allow your endometrium to grow as thick as it normally would, which is why your periods on the pill are much lighter than natural periods . If you skip a cycle, the continuous exposure of synthetic hormones will maintain your endometrium at the same suppressed level .
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When Do You Get Your Period On Birth Control Pills
Doctors may recommend progestin-only birth control pills for women whose bodies do not react well to estrogen. The only active ingredient in minipills is noroethindrone , and works similarly to the combination of hormones in the birth control pills described above. These pills, like their combination counterparts, are designed to thicken the mucus lining of the cervix, thus preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg.
These types of birth control pills stop ovulation, but not as effectively as combination pills because they lack estrogen, which in turn slightly increases the risk of becoming pregnant. Depending on the type of minipill your doctor prescribes, your period may be longer or shorter than normal, or may stop completely. If you experience a heavy menstrual flow for more than a week, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Progestin-only contraceptive pills only come in packs of 28 pills. Every pill contains hormones, which means there are no placebo pills. In the case of Progestin-only pills, it is important to take your pills at the same time every single day. Progestin is metabolized faster than estrogen, which means that your body will need another dose within 24 hours to ensure your protection against pregnancy.
What Happens When You Skip Your Period
To understand what happens when you skip your period, its important to get a run-down on how birth control pills work.
Your hormonal birth control pills contain a combination of estrogen and progesterone. The steady releases of these hormones in your body prevent ovulation and cause thickening of the mucus in the cervix, making it almost impossible for sperm to get through.
A regular period arrives due to changes in hormone levels after ovulation . Since you arent ovulating, the bleeding that you experience while on birth control isnt your real period its actually called withdrawal bleeding. By taking away the estrogen and progesterone, youre causing a hormonal withdrawal from your body, triggering a period.
Instead of withdrawing those hormones from your body, youre continuing to supply them by immediately starting a new pack of birth control instead of taking the placebos or skipping a week. So, skipping your period isnt actually skipping your period at all its delaying hormonal withdrawal, thus preventing withdrawal bleeding.
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