Combination Birth Control Pills
Combination hormonal birth control pills use estrogen and progestin to prevent pregnancy. The progestin thickens your cervical mucus , thins out your uterine lining, and suppresses ovulation. Estrogen helps to control breakthrough bleeding while also working to suppress ovulation.
Alyssa Dweck, MD, FACOG, a board-certified gynecologist in New York at Northwell Health and a sexual and reproductive health expert for INTIMINA, tells SELF that most people who take the combination birth control pill will have a lighter and shorter period, but still have a regular flow. People who take the progestin-only pill may also notice their periods are lighter or non-existent . As we mentioned earlier, you can also skip the placebo week for combination pills and go right to a new pack. In that case, your period may stop until you take the placebo week pills again .
There are also multiple combination birth control pills that are designed to delay your period for an extended period of time. With some, you take active pills for 84 days, followed by a week of placebo or very low-dose estrogen. If you do the math, thats works out to be a period about once every three months. The low-dose estrogen week can reduce the effects of bloating, bleeding, and other unpleasant side effects that typically occur with a completely hormone-free week, according to the Mayo Clinic. One other pill thats available is meant to be taken continuously for a year, with no hormone-free breaks.
What Are The Risks Of A Birth Control Implant
You may have an allergic reaction to the implant. The implant may be inserted in the wrong area or too deep and may need to be removed. You may become pregnant if the implant is not placed correctly. You may have pain, numbness, bruising, or bleeding at the site. You may get an infection. You may have changes to your monthly period, such as how long and how much you bleed. Your period may stop. You may have headaches, mood changes, acne, breast pain, abdominal discomfort, and some weight gain. You may also be at increased risk for a blood clot. A birth control implant does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. Certain medicines can prevent the implant from working correctly.
Dont Miss: How To Stop Your Period Immediately
Is It The Same As Taking The Combined Pill
Not really. If you are taking norethisterone for the purpose of delaying your period, this may not be at the same dose used in contraception. Also, the combined pill contains the hormone oestrogen. That being said, people who use the combined pill for birth control can also delay their periods depending on which type they are taking. Continuous-use options mean you are taking hormonal birth control constantly, with no breaks between packs. Without breaks, youre unlikely to have any bleeding, and therefore can avoid having a period.
Extended-use options mean you would normally have a break between packs, which is when your period would come. By taking the next pack immediately after the first, you can delay your period for as long as a month.
Newer evidence suggests that you dont necessarily need a pill-free interval, like you used to with traditional versions of the combined pill that advise you to mimic your menstrual cycle and have a week off every month. If you are unsure of which type of pill you are taking, or want to discuss options for delaying your period, speak to your GP.
You May Like: If You Get Your Tubes Tied Will Your Period Stop
You May Have Some Hair Loss
If you dealt with hormonal-related hair loss before you went on birth control, going off of birth control might bring it back. This switch could trigger telogen effluvium, a temporary condition that causes your hair to shed. Thankfully, telogen effluvium doesnt last forever, subsiding usually within six months, and stress is also a factor. However, this isnt super common. Most women wont see a significant net effect on their hair after stopping birth control pills, Josh Klein, MD, chief medical officer at Extend Fertility in New York City previously told Health.
Also Check: Pennsylvania New Car Insurance Grace Period
What Is A Moon Massage
The ritual of the Moon Cycle Massage is a deeply therapeutic session to support women before and during their cycle. The intention of the massage is to help ease the cramps, pain, and tension associated with PMS and dysmenorrhea surrounding the monthly period. This helps with the pain associated with cramps.
Also Check: Donating Blood While Menstruating
Also Check: Can You Donate Blood While On Your Period
Number : Do You Even Need A Menstrual Period At All
Heres a fun fact: Monthly menstruation isnt 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 youre thinking: Can I just take birth control pills and not have my period at all? The answer is yes youre allowed to skip your periods using birth control pills. You should ask your doctor if youre interested. We got all the information in our previous article on how to delay your period.
How Do No Period Birth Control Pills Work
Planned Parenthood, an advocacy group, says that combination birth control pill packs tend to come with 21 active pills and 7 placebo pills. That means youll take hormone-containing pills for 3 weeks and placebo pills for the final week each month.
That final week is when youd traditionally have withdrawal bleeding. But if you carry on taking the hormone-containing or active pills continually, youll skip the bleeding part.
Why? Because the drop in hormones triggers the body to release blood and mucus from the uterus lining. This is similar to a regular period, except the uterus lining doesnt thicken each month.
If theres no change in hormone levels, 2008 research shows that the body will continue as it is. However, spotting, or light bleeding, can still occur in some people.
While you can opt for an extended or continuous schedule with any combination pill, some pills also have few or no placebo options.
And these options are specifically designed for fewer or zero periods.
You May Like: How Do I Know If My Period Is Over
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.
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.
First, they work to prevent your ovaries from ovulating, or releasing an egg each month.
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.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of My Period
A Period Vs Withdrawal Bleeding
“The birth control pill is typically a combination of a synthetic estrogen and a synthetic progestin,” says , director of The IVF Center and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine.
“These hormones work to suppress ovulation.” The pill also thickens cervical mucus, which prevents sperm from reaching the egg, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .
As you probably know, if you’re a BCP user, pills come in packs of 30 and you take one a day. The first 21 pills contain hormones, and the last seven are placebo pills, also called sugar pills. The placebo pills don’t have hormones â they’re intended to help you remember to take your daily pill.
“Women typically experience a vaginal bleed from hormonal withdrawal during the seven placebo pills,” Dr. Trolice says. This is called “withdrawal bleeding,” and you’re not actually getting a real menstrual period.
Here’s the difference: When you’re not on birth control , your uterus sheds its lining â comprised of blood, tissue and nutrients â once every 28 days or so, resulting in a period.
“The ovaries produce a rhythmic fluctuation of hormones to facilitate ovulation and monthly menstrual bleeding,” Dr. Trolice says. “The BCP, on the other hand, can allow for vaginal bleeding by hormonally stimulating the uterine lining and bypassing the ovaries.” In other words, your body’s not doing the work the pill is.
Side Effects And Complications:
You may experience breast tenderness, occasional headaches, nausea, and breakthrough bleeding for the first three months. These side effects are not unusual and should improve with time. If you continue to have breakthrough bleeding or have no periods at all after the first three months, please call the office so we can change your prescription. Your periods may be much lighter and should not be misunderstood as not having a period. If you have any withdrawal bleeding or spotting on the placebo pills, you do not need to call.
Also Check: Period 10 Days Late Negative Pregnancy Test
Frequently Asked Questions Expand All
You can start using this method for the first time at any point during your menstrual cycle. But you and your obstetriciangynecologist or other health care professional should be reasonably sure you are not pregnant. Follow these directions:
If you start taking the pills within the first 5 days after the start of your menstrual period, no additional birth control method is needed.
If you start taking the pills more than 5 days after the start of your period, you need to use an additional birth control method or avoid sexual intercourse for the next 2 days.
If you are switching from another form of birth control, simply stop using the other method at the same time you start the progestin-only pills. If it has been more than 5 days since your period started, use an additional birth control method or avoid sex for the next 2 days.
If you are switching from an intrauterine device , you have a few options. You can wait until you have been taking the pills for at least 2 days to have the IUD removed. You can use another form of birth control or avoid sex for the 2 days before removing the IUD and starting the pills. Or you can use emergency contraception at the time of IUD removal.
Certain medications may interfere with the effectiveness of the progestin-only pill. These medications include
rifampin, a drug used to treat certain infections
some drugs used to prevent seizures
It stops ovulation.
Can Birth Control Help With Cramps
I am 14 and I have the worst cramps ever. Every time I have my period they seem to get more painful and last longer. I have tried aspirin and other painkillers. How do I deal with these cramps? There are times they are so painful I can’t walk. My mom said I could get on birth control, but would that even help for cramps? Tysha*
Lots of girls get cramps at the beginning of their periods. Sometimes, medicine like ibuprofen may help .
Getting regular exercise can also help reduce cramps in some women. Soaking in a warm bath or putting a warm compress on your stomach won’t make cramps disappear, but may help your muscles relax a little.
It may sound strange, but when these methods don’t work, birth control can actually help with cramps and are often prescribed for this reason.
Birth control works because it decreases the amount of prostaglandins chemicals your body produces to make the muscles of the uterus contract. With fewer contractions, there is less pain. Birth control pills also can decrease the amount of blood flow with a girl’s period.
Even if you don’t think you’re interested in birth control pills, if you have severe cramps that keep you home from school or from doing stuff with your friends or that seem to be worsening over time, visit your doctor or nurse practitioner for advice. There are many forms of birth control that are not pills that can also help. Asking a health care provider is a great way to find out what’s going on and the best way to handle it.
Don’t Miss: Can You Be Pregnant After A Period
Is It Bad To Skip Your Period On The Pill
Some women like to skip a period for the matter of sheer convenience, while others might want to get rid of heavy, painful periods as well as related symptoms such as bloating, headaches, breast tenderness, and mood swings. But, what truly matters is the safety of hormonal pills for rescheduling a menstrual cycle. Before you think of using birth control to skip a period, you should speak to your doctor.
In case of women over 35, those suffering from hypertension and regular smokers, missing periods on birth control pills is not such a good idea because you may be susceptible to the risk of strokes, blood clots and even heart attacks. If you dont fall in any of these risk groups, using birth control pills for delaying or missing a period is safe. However, not all doctors may be in favour of the idea of fidgeting with the natural menstrual cycle unless theres an absolutely justified reason for doing so.
Ovulation After You Stop Taking Birth Control
For many, ovulation begins within a few weeks of discontinuing use of oral contraceptives. Once again, those who were getting the birth control shot will likely have to wait longer for ovulation to resume.
Furthermore, your overall health and the amount of time you were on birth control can also affect the estimated timeline. These and several other factors impact your bodys ability to restore its usual hormonal balance, menstrual activity, and fertility.
Generally speaking, birth control pills give people the freedom to control their own reproductive systems by protecting against unwanted pregnancy. Once youve decided to stop taking birth control, be aware that irregular periods, cramps, and bleeding may occur. These side effects are temporary and should eventually resolve on their own.
Remember, handy tools like the Flo app can track symptoms of ovulation, including the consistency of cervical fluid and basal body temperature. This will help generate a more accurate prediction of when youre likely to be ovulating.
You May Like: Why Is My Period 2 Months Late
Taking Only The Active Combination Pills
If youre using a combination pill pack, you just need to take only the active pills with no breaks in between. You should talk to your doctor or pharmacist so they can show you which pills are active and which are the placebo pills. Youll want to throw out the placebos.
If you take the active pills continuously, you wont get a period until you stop them.
If you stop taking active pills, you may experience a withdrawal bleed, which is similar to your period. Dabney recommends that you allow this to happen once every three to four months.
Dabney says some birth control pills have a higher risk of abnormal bleeding than others. You should check with your doctor if you want to start skipping your period. They may recommend that you change the type of pill you take.
Youll also want to check with your insurance provider to make sure theyll cover more pills in less time, since youll be going through pill packs faster.
You should not be off of the birth control longer than 7 days, or you will lose contraception efficacy.