Alternative Birth Control Options
Birth control pills arent the only way to stop your periods. An intrauterine device is a long-term birth control solution thats well-tolerated by many women. An IUD is a T-shaped device that may or may not be treated with progestin.
An IUD can both thin the uterine wall to help prevent implantation and increase cervical mucus to keep sperm away from the egg. Depending on the type of IUD you get, you may notice that your monthly flow is heavier or lighter than it was before implantation.
Another pill-free option is the birth control shot, Depo-Provera. With this method, you receive a hormone shot once every three months. After the first three-month cycle, you may notice lighter periods or you may not get a period.
Fyi Your Period On Birth Control Pills Isnt Actually A Period
The period you have when you take a break from the oral contraceptive pill every three weeks isnt natural.
A withdrawal bleed occurs when the lining of the uterus sheds in response to the pills artificial hormones being taken away, while a period is the lining of the uterus responding to the changes in natural hormone levels that occur when a woman is not pregnant, says gynaecologist Dr Kate Guthrie. If you run packs together, eventually youll get breakthrough bleeding, where the lining builds up to a point where it needs to shed. This can be after a couple of weeks or up to several months depending on the person, and can become less frequent as your body adapts.
Ive seen my body adapt from lasting just two consecutive pill packs before spotting, to having nothing before six months. Bateson points out, however, that if youre concerned about unusual bleeding, you should visit your doctor to see if theres anything else going on.
Theres also a misconception that regular bleeds on the contraceptive pill confirm youre not expecting.
You cant rely on that in the same way you cant even if youre not on the pill, as some women have periods when theyre pregnant, says Guthrie. The absence of your withdrawal bleed could be either that youre pregnant, or that there isnt enough of a reduction in hormones to trigger a breakthrough bleed.
Why Am I Not Getting My Period On The Placebo Week
The synthetic hormones in the pill prevent pregnancy by thinning out the lining of the uterus, stopping ovulation and preventing fertilization. The lining of the uterus is what sheds during menstruation. Birth control is pretty powerful, so sometimes it can thin out your endometrium so much that theres nothing to shed during your period. This is why its common for many women to not get their period on birth control, even during their placebo pill week.
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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 .
Is It Safe To Skip Your Period On The Pill
For decades women have been taking the combined pill for 21 days at a time, with a seven-day pill break and withdrawal bleed in between. But is it safe to skip your period by taking two – or more – packs back to back? As the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists publishes new guidelines on continuous pill use, we look at the evidence behind all the different options.
Reviewed byDr Sarah Jarvis MBE
21-Jan-19·6 mins read
The combined oral contraceptive pill is the most popular form of contraception in the UK, used by millions of women every year. It was first introduced on the NHS in 1961 and, while the formulations have changed over the years, the way the pill is prescribed and taken has stayed more or less unchanged for nearly six decades.
“When the pill was first being introduced, they decided that if it looked more like an actual menstrual cycle, then it might be more acceptable to women. As well as being a contraceptive, they could sell it as a form of cycle regulation,” explains Dr Sarah Hardman, director of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare’s Clinical Effectiveness Unit at The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Indeed, one of the pill’s biggest advantages – particularly for women with irregular and unpredictable periods – is being able to pinpoint when Aunt Flo’s going to put in an appearance.
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What Happens Inside Your Body When You Take Two Packs Of The Pill Back
âThe effects of the pill generally only last 24-hours. Thatâs why you need to take it every day, and not once a week, for example, since the body breaks down the hormones on a daily basis. Therefore, thereâs no significant cumulative effect of taking the pill: no build-up of hormones after over 21 daysâ tablets.â
First Is It Safe To Skip Your Period
The short answer is, yes, you can safely skip your period by either ditching the placebo week and going directly to a new pack of pills, ring, or patch. Some people may naturally just stop getting their period over time while using certain forms of birth control.
The long answer, however, is a bit more involved. First, the period you get on hormonal birth control is not even really your period, its actually withdrawal bleeding, according to the Mayo Clinic. During a menstrual cycle without hormonal birth control, your endometrial lining thickens in anticipation of an embryo implanting. If pregnancy does not occur, your body sheds this lining, and you get your period. Since hormonal birth control works by suppressing ovulation , theres nothing extra to shed if you dont become pregnant. The bleeding is simply your bodys response to stopping the hormones.
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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 .
How To Skip Your Period Without Birth Control
Well start by saying that none of the natural methods mentioned below are proven scientifically to delay or stop your period from coming. That said, some women swear by these methods, and if youre not going the birth control route anyway, you really have nothing to lose by trying them.
- Apple cider vinegar
A week before your period is meant to arrive, start consuming three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar three times a day. People claim that this can delay your period for about a week.
Empty a packet of gelatin into a cup with warm water and mix to dissolve well. Drink immediately. This may delay your period for a few hours.
Lemon may delay your period or lighten your flow. Cut a lemon up into wedges and chew or suck on it to keep Aunt Flo at bay.
- Gram lentils
Lentils are considered a traditional remedy for warding off a period. First, fry the lentils until they become soft and then grind them into a powder. Use the powder to make a soup by simply adding hot water. Eat the soup on an empty stomach every morning starting a week before the first day of your expected period.
There are so many wonderful things about being a woman, but some may argue that having a monthly period is not one of them. There are a lot of reasons that women may choose to skip their periods medical, social, or personal.
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How To Skip Your Period Using The Pill
Having the power to choose when to skip your period can bring a lot of relief mentally and physically. Make sure that you have enough packs of birth control pills so that you can continue taking the pill every day and successfully skip your period.
Heres how to skip your period on the pill:
A few notes:
- You may experience some breakthrough bleeding as your body adjusts to the new schedule. If you regularly take 2-3 packs back-to-back, this should sort itself out after a few cycles.
- Your doctor may recommend taking up to three packs of hormonal birth control pills back-to-back, and will probably advise you to take the placebos after those three rounds.
- Make sure that your doctor prescribes enough packs for you to continue with next months pack a week early.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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So Its Okay To Skip My Period On The Pill
Overall, the consensus is yesâitâs okay to skip your withdrawal bleed on the pill. But since there are so many differently dosed birth control pills, itâs always best to first discuss the option of skipping your period with your healthcare provider to make sure that it is a safe and healthy option for you.
There is some concern that by normalizing period skipping, people will view their monthly menstruation as unnecessary, a nuisance, and even abnormal . Periods are neither a curse nor a disease. A menstrual cycle is like a vital sign, just like blood pressure, temperature, or respiration rate. It acts as an indicator of overall health . If you are on the pill and you want to have a period always, sometimes, or never, the choice is up to you and your preference.
If eliminating your period or withdrawal bleed is something that is important to you, then the standard birth control pill packs may not be the best option for you. There are other forms of contraception, like the hormonal injection, the hormonal IUD, the hormonal implant, or continuous birth control pills, that can cause your period to decrease in frequency and amount, and sometimes stop altogether . Speak to your healthcare provider about which type of birth control is best for you.
Popular Reasons For Wanting To Skip Your Period
There are many reasons a woman may want to skip her period. Periods can be inconvenient for a whole number of reasons, especially if you suffer from particularly bad cramps and pains. Some women get so sick during their periods that they find themselves taking sick days from work every single month.
In this day and age, when we know how to skip a period, why not give women a chance to choose, and gain control over their cycles when they need it the most. These are some of the most popular reasons why a woman may choose to skip her period.
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How To Skip Your Period With Birth Control Pills
For some women, periods are just a minor annoyance. For others, it can disrupt their daily life with pain, heavy bleeding, and other nasty symptoms. No matter which category you fall into, its probably safe to say that you would choose not to get your period if you could. But what you may not know is that with hormonal birth control, skipping your period is actually an option!
IUDs, birth control shots, and birth control pills can all be used to stop your period. The advantage of the pill is that you can use it to plan when you want to skip or have your period. Heres what you need to know about it:
Why Would You Want To Skip Your Period
There are as many reasons to skip your periods as there are people with periods, ranging from the seriousmedical conditions that are exacerbated by menstruation, such as endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, premenstrual dysphoric disorder , menstrual migraine, and ovarian cyststo the more practicalthe love of white jeans, not wanting to ruin another set of expensive sheets. For many, like active-duty military, who work in environments where access to clean bathrooms is an issue, menstruating at work is more than inconvenient, it can be unsanitary and stressful.
For people with endometriosis, in particular, the benefits of skipping periods can be life-altering. The condition, in which endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus, is marked by intense painway beyond normal cramps or PMSwith menstruation, along with long and heavy periods. Endometriosis can be treated through laparoscopic surgery, which removes the tissue and temporarily alleviates symptoms, or a hysterectomy.
Emotional and physical conditions that flare with menstruationwere looking at you, PMDD and menstrual migrainedo not get activated when you skip periods. And for those who suffer from ovarian cysts, which form during and immediately after ovulation, any hormonal birth control will ameliorate cyst formation and growth.
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Is There A Purpose For Bleeding Once A Month While Taking Birth Control
In a short answer, no. It turns out there was never a health-related reason for women on the pill to even have a monthly bleed. Birth control researcher Elizabeth Micks, MD, an assistant professor at UW Medicine and the director of research in the division of family planning, explained that there’s absolutely no safety or medical difference between taking a birth control break every 21 days to get your period or sticking with it every day so you skip your period entirelyaccording to a July 2014 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews article she co-authored.
Back when the pill was first invented, “the belief at the time was that women needed to be able to have a regular cycle to feel healthy,” Dr. Micks said. “It is my understanding that the pill was never developed for health reasons, but because it would be more acceptable to women and their partners, which is, I think, something people don’t realize.” In fact, the pill could have been created in the beginning to make you bleed “once a week, once a year, or anything in between,” Dr. Micks added.
Risks And Adverse Effects Of Skipping Your Menstrual Cycle On The Pill
There aren’t any health risks that we are aware of regarding having your period skipped using hormonal contraceptives.
The medication itself can produce side effects, however they don’t have anything to do with having a period or not. Certain women suffer from constipation and weight gain. Other women experience mood swings and low libido due to hormone-based birth control.
One side effect you could experience that’s directly triggered by double or tripling the number of birth control pills is the possibility of noticing or experiencing breakthrough bleeding. This is normal when your body is adjusting to the more prolonged cycle.
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