Why Skip Your Period
Research shows that if given the choice, most women would prefer extended menstrual cycles. Many women may have medical reasons for wanting to skip a period including headaches, cramping, painful periods, heavy bleeding, and premenstrual syndrome .
Other women just don’t want the hassle of having a periodperhaps they have a vacation coming up, a honeymoon, a sporting event, or a big project at work. Having the power to skip a period can give you a lot of relief, both physically and emotionally.
The good news is that skipping your period with the pill is easy, safe, and reliable. In fact, most healthcare providers agree that there is no medical need to have a period when you’re on the pill.
While some women are understandably concerned about the safety of skipping periods, research has consistently shown that it is completely safe to do. Moreover, skipping your period doesn’t compromise the effectiveness of your birth control pills.
The truth is, you are not even having a true period when you’re taking the pill anyway. It’s actually called a withdrawal bleed and, since you’re not building up your uterine lining while you’re on birth control, it’s unnecessary.
What Types Of Birth Control Pills Are Available
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.
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.
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The Basics Of Birth Control Pills
When you swallow birth control pills, youre ingesting one or more synthetic hormones. This could be a combination of estrogen and progestin, or just progestin, depending on the type of birth control that youre taking. These hormones work to prevent pregnancy in three different ways.
They also thicken the cervical mucus, which makes it harder for sperm to reach an egg if one is released. The hormones can thin the uterine lining, too. This means that if an egg does get fertilized, itll be difficult for it to attach to the uterine lining and develop.
Birth control pills are over 99 percent effective when used correctly. This means taking the pill at the same time every day. If you miss a day or youre late taking your pill, the efficacy can decrease. With typical use, the failure rate is about
Several different types of birth control pills are available.
Some are similar to the pill packs that were first made available in 1960. They included 21 days of pills with active hormones and seven placebo or inactive pills. When you take an inactive pill, it allows for bleeding that mimics normal menstruation.
There are also packs that allow for 24 days of active pills and a shorter menstrual-like bleeding period.
Extended-cycle or continuous regimens consist of a couple of months worth of active pills. They can either reduce the number of periods you have or eliminate your period entirely.
If My Period Has Already Started Is There A Way To Make It End Faster
Sorry, the answer is no. Once the blood is in motion, nothing will stop it. You just have to ride it out. Your best bet is to think ahead and plan in advance if you know you want to skip over the placebo pills at any given time. You cant just skip it for, say, one night that you decide you dont want to bleed.
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Can You Start Birth Control On Your Period
If you are on your period when you receive your birth control prescription, you can start taking your pills that same day. Keep in mind that the timing of everyoneâs natural fertility window can be highly unpredictable, so you canât completely rely on the idea that you wonât get pregnant while on your period. You should always use some form of birth control regardless of where you are in your menstrual cycle. Make sure to use a backup birth control method for the first seven days to prevent pregnancy while taking birth control pills. You can start taking oral contraceptives at any time as long as you make sure to use protection while you wait for your birth control pills to take effect.
How To Skip Or Delay A Period Using Birth Control
To skip a period using a traditional combined pill, a person must take active pills every day without interruption.
If a pack contains active pills and placebo pills, they are usually clearly labeled. Or, the placebo pills may be a different color from the active pills.
A person can continue taking active pills until they are ready to have a period. Taking no active pills for 1 week will trigger menstruation.
Some types of birth control pill suppress periods for a set amount of time.
Pill brands that suppress menstruation for 3 months at a time include:
Other methods of birth control also reduce the frequency of periods. Some examples include:
- NuvaRing, a type of contraceptive vaginal insert
- an intrauterine device, or IUD, that releases progestin
- a progestin implant or injection, such as the Depo-Provera shot
It is generally safe to use birth control pills to skip a period. However, there can be a few risks and side effects.
One risk is breakthrough bleeding.
Breakthrough or withdrawal bleeding can occur after a person misses a few periods or more. The bleeding may look like spotting, but it can resemble a regular period. The timing of breakthrough bleeding is variable, and it may not happen in some people.
Some brands of pill are more likely to causing breakthrough bleeding than others. If this type of bleeding occurs frequently, a person should speak to a doctor about alternatives.
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If You Use The Pill Or The Ring You Dont Need Magic Powers To Control Your Menstrual Cycle
That weekend at the beach youve been looking forward to or the first day of school or a new job can be stressful times to have your period start, especially if your periods are painful. Wouldnt it be nice on days like those not to have to worry about pads, tampons, or pain killers? If you use the pill or the ring for birth control, you are in luckyou can skip periods as you please.
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If I Skip My Placebo Pills Will There Be Side Effects
Skipping the non-hormonal birth control pills in your pill pack wont cause any side effects. The non-hormonal pills are just there to help you remember to take your pill every day and start your next pack on time. Sometimes the non-hormonal pills also have supplements in them, like iron, which can be good for your general health but arent needed for pregnancy prevention.
If you skip your non-hormonal pills and jump right to your next pill pack without taking a break, youll skip your period. You can do this every once in a while , or you can do it every month. Its totally safe to use birth control pills to skip your period, and it wont affect how well they work to prevent pregnancy. However, if you do this you may have some spotting, especially if you havent done it before or only do it every now and then. This is totally normal and safe.
If you dont take the hormone-free pills and instead just take a break from taking your pill on those days, youll still get your period. Just make sure you remember to start your next pack on time, or youll be at risk for pregnancy.
Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. is a registered 501 nonprofit under EIN 13-1644147. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable under the law.
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Can The Depo Shot Stop Your Period
The Depo Provera shot only contains progestin and no estrogen. Thus, its not uncommon for women on this shot to experience irregular periods or spotting, especially in the first two to three months.
However, according to AAFP, up to 50 percent of women experience amenorrhea, after the first year of use. In case youre unfamiliar with the term, amenorrhea is the absence of your period. Furthermore, this number can jump to 80% with increasing duration of use.
So, can the Depo shot stop your period? Much like the IUD, it depends. As mentioned in Planned Parenthoods article, many women who get the shot stop getting their period after approximately a year of use. However, theres no guarantee as everyone has a different experience with it.
With this in mind, remember that Depo Provera might not be suitable for everyone. So, be sure to have a chat with your doctor to see if this is the right method for you.
Your Acne Could Return
A lot of people take birth control pills to ease acne, but unfortunately once you stop taking them, the acne could return. Going off birth control pills may return acne symptoms to what they were before starting , Dr. Bhardwaj previously told Health. If you’re worried about hormonal acne, talk to your dermatologist about alternatives, one as simple as switching your skincare products.
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What If I Want To Skip Just One Period Can I Do That
Yes, you can if you’re on the Pill! Its pretty simple really: If youre planning on skipping that period you should take the pills up until the placebos and move up to the next pill pack in order to not get your period that month, Dr. McClellan explains. And if you want to go back to taking the placebo pills in a pack at some point, that’s totally fine.
Is It Bad To Take Birth Control To Stop Your Period
If youve been paying attention, you may already have an idea of the answer to this question.
Really speaking, isnt at all necessary for women to have a withdrawal period while on hormonal birth control. According to Vox, the reason for withdrawal periods is because a scientist who helped develop the pill, developed it that way to make it seem more natural.
So, is it bad to take birth control to stop your period? Not at all. In fact, its fairly safe! According to ARHP, there is no evidence that shows women need monthly withdrawal bleeding, and no health problems are linked to skipping or eliminating bleeding.
The advantages of skipping your period would, of course, involve avoiding most of the issues that come with your period. So, you can say bye, bye to those horrible cramps, bleeding, and PMS symptoms!
The only downside, according to ARHP, is that you may experience spotting or breakthrough bleeding in your first few months of using birth control to stop your period. If you ever experience any concerning side effects like severe aches in your abdomen, chest, or legs, as well as vision changes or heavy bleeding, be sure to contact your doctor right away.
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You Can Skip The Sugar Pills In Your Birth Control And Choose To Have Fewer Periods
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Women dont have to have a period every month, doctors say, and its safe to use birth control pills to space out your periods to every few months or even have none at all if you choose.
The U.K.s Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare issued new guidelines on combined hormonal contraception which includes the birth control pill, transdermal patch and vaginal ring this week. This sparked a discussion online about why birth control pills traditionally included a seven-day break from active pills, if there was no health benefit to having that period as the guidelines say.
Those sugar pills were originally put in to mimic a womans natural cycle and make the Pill more socially-acceptable at a time when birth control was taboo, said Dr. Nicole Todd, an obstetrician-gynaecologist at B.C. Womens Hospital and Health Centre.
Although Canada has had guidelines on the practice since 2007, many women still arent aware that they can use birth control pills to have fewer periods, Todd said.
I think that there is still a common belief that women should have a period every month.
But medically, she said, they dont.
Now were giving women the opportunity not to have a period, Todd said. And thats completely safe to do so.