Birth Control Pills In Perimenopause
Is it me, or is it the Pill? Many women I see in my practice have been on the Pill for decades, and cant make heads or tails of whats going on when they begin to notice perimenopause symptoms. Others worry about the synthetic hormones in their birth control pills as they approach menopause. And then there are many women whove been counseled to start the Pill in their 30s or 40s to manage their symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
So should you be thinking about getting off the Pill? And how best do you go about it? When should you stop worrying about birth control at all? Are there good alternatives to the Pill, especially at this stage of your life? Lets clear up the confusion and help you make the best possible choices for you.
Using The Pill To Regulate Periods: How It Works
More than half of all birth control pill users in the U.S. take the pill for purposes other than or in addition to contraception. Doctors often prescribe hormonal contraceptives to manage menstrual cramps or regulate periods.
Lets look at the science behind these uses of hormonal contraception, together with the European Board and College of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Some Women Can Improve Breakthrough Bleeding On Their Own
Quitting smoking can help. So can taking birth control pills at the same time each day.
If youre getting continuous hormones with birth control pills or the ring, try scheduling a period every few months. This gives the uterus a chance to shed any built-up lining. It can help reduce irregular spotting and bleeding.
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How Can I Stop Heavy Periods
Knowing the underlying reason for your heavy periods is key to getting the treatment that will be most effective for you, which is why talking to a doctor is so important. In some cases, heavy periods caused by fibroids, growths or endometriosis are best treated through surgery. But most often, menorrhagia treatment is a matter of lifestyle changes and medication, such as:
Number : Because Of Physical Or Emotional Stress
So thereâs this thing called the hypothalamus, which is a gland in your brain. If somethingâs wrong, your hypothalamus canât kick off the menstrual cycle, and you wonât ovulate.
Characteristics that can affect your hypothalamus and lead to missing your period include:
Emotional and mental stress
Weight loss and low body weight
Deficient intake of food/eating disorders
Too much exercise
Researchers often see this happening in adolescent girls, where the common triggers are stress, weight loss, and excessive exercise. Girls at this time of their lives can undergo common life events that bring a lot of emotional and mental toll, like changing schools or becoming sexually active. Disordered eating during adolescence is also common.
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What Birth Control Stops Your Period
There are many reasons why you may not enjoy getting your period. Painful cramps, heaving bleeding, and sheer inconvenience are just some them. Youve heard that birth control may help, some of which may even stop you from menstruating entirely. So, what birth control stops your period? And, is it bad to take birth control to stop your period? You have questions we have answers. Keep reading to learn more!
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.
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What Birth Control Should I Take For Shorter Periods
Some pills stick to the traditional 28-day cycle while reducing the number of placebo pills contained in each pack. This causes women who take these pills to experience shorter periods. Pills with 24 days worth of hormone-containing pills and 4 days of placebo pills include:
Another option is Lo Loestrin Fe, which contains 26 active combination pills, 2 estrogen-only pills, and 2 placebo pills. This particular sequence leads to periods that are generally lighter and shorter than they would be otherwise.
Can You Make Contraception Part Of Your Daily Routine
If you’re a well-organised person with a reasonably regular routine, you have a wide choice of contraception.
This is because you’re less likely to forget about your contraception by forgetting to take a pill or reapply a patch, for example.
You may want to use a method that you only need to use when you have sex, such as the male or female condom, or you may prefer a method that you need to take every day, such as the pill.
Or you may want to consider methods like the patch, injection or implant, which you do not need to use every day or each time you have sex.
The list below shows how often you need to use, replace or take each contraceptive method.
Once you have looked at the list, ask your GP or a doctor or nurse at your local clinic for more details.
Methods used each time you have sex:
Methods taken on a daily basis:
- the pill , but there are some types of 21-day pill where you have a week “off” each month
Methods replaced every week:
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Best Birth Control Pills For Pcos
Combination birth control pills all work the same way. They prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg and so prevent pregnancy. They also thicken the mucus of the cervix. If the ovaries were to release an egg, this thickened mucus could prevent pregnancy.
The same hormones that prevent ovulation can also keep male hormone levels low and raise female hormone levels. Combination pills for PCOS include:
Some pills, such as Loestrin, have lower estrogen levels. These low estrogen levels can reduce the severity of some side effects but may also be less effective against symptoms of PCOS.
Someone with PCOS should talk to a doctor about the right amount of estrogen based on their symptoms and other risk factors.
Types Of Birth Control
Birth control may be a promising treatment option for heavy periods, especially if you want to get pregnant in the future. That’s because, unlike surgical options, hormonal birth control is reversible.
Prescription birth control methods that may provide help for heavy bleeding include:
Compared to those who use progestin-only pills, people who use the Mirena IUD for heavy period treatment seem more satisfied and willing to continue with their treatment. For this reason, Mirena may be a more effective treatment option than birth control pills.
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How Effective Are The Different Methods
The list below shows how effective each of the 15 different methods are, and how often you need to use them or think about them .
The effectiveness of each method is worked out by calculating how many women get pregnant if 100 women use the method for a year.
For example, if a particular contraceptive method is 99% effective, 1 woman out of every 100 who uses it will get pregnant in a year.
Some methods listed below, such as the pill, include the phrase “if used correctly”.
This is because people who use these methods have to use them every time they have sex, or remember to take or apply them every day, week or month.
If the method is not used correctly, it will not be as effective.
Contraceptives that are more than 99% effective:
Contraceptives that are 99% effective if used according to teaching instructions:
- symptothermal method of natural family planning
Contraceptives that are 98% effective if used correctly:
Contraceptives that are 95% effective if used correctly:
Contraceptives that are 92 to 96% effective if used correctly:
- diaphragm or cap with spermicide
What Are The Types Of Birth Control For Pcos
Hormonal birth control is commonly prescribed for people with PCOS as it addresses a number of the disorders symptoms. The advantages of hormonal birth control for treating PCOS include regulating periods, reducing menstrual bloating and cramps, decreasing acne, and curbing excess body hair.
There are some disadvantages of hormonal birth control. First, both PCOS and hormonal contraceptives put you at a higher risk for blood clots. Depending on your current health and medical history, this can make going on birth control too risky.
And, since all hormonal birth control contains progestin and some progestins mimic androgens more than others, taking birth control with those types of progestins could worsen your symptoms. Choose a birth control option with low-androgenic activity when first starting out to see how your body responds.
If you and your healthcare provider decide that hormonal birth control is the right decision for you, here are some of the options to choose from.
Known more commonly as the pill, oral contraceptives come in two types:
- Combination contains both estrogen and progestin
- Progestin-only contains only progestin
Combination pills are the most common option to help with PCOS symptoms. For those who experience adverse reactions to estrogen though, the progestin pill may be a better choice.
Intrauterine device and Depo-Provera shot
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How Much Does It Cost
When budgeting for birth control, be sure to factor in the cost of the drug or device, along with any related doctors appointments.
You might be able to get your birth control for a lot less or even for free depending on:
- where you live
- whether you have health insurance
- if you qualify for Medicaid or another government program
Combination Oral Contraceptive Pills
Most combination OCPs contain ethinyl estradiol and a synthetic progestin . These pills inhibit ovulation in most women. They also induce thickening of the cervical mucus, which impedes transport of sperm to the uterus. With perfect use, only 0.1 percent of women become pregnant within the first year of using a combination OCP.6
Read Also: Birth Control Pills To Help Regulate Periods
Will My Daughter Start Having Sex If She Goes On Birth Control Pills For Acne Or Any Other Medical Reason
Your daughter will most likely not start having sex if she goes on the Pill for reasons other than birth control. If she goes on the Pill for one of the medical reasons, she is probably just thinking about treating whatever the problem is. Her decision to have sex will likely be completely independent from her decision to go on the Pill at this time. Your daughter will choose to start having sex when she is ready, which involves much more than just when birth control is available.
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What Are The Treatment Options For Heavy Periods
There are various treatment options available for women who have very heavy periods, including medication, hormonal contraceptives and surgery. Knowing about the advantages and disadvantages of each can help make it easier to choose an appropriate treatment.
If very heavy periods become too much of a problem, treatment can help you to cope better. Different types of medication can reduce the bleeding and related problems. If one medication doesn’t work, it is usually possible to try out other kinds.
Hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills or intrauterine devices affect the menstrual cycle and lessen the amount of bleeding. Any fibroids or polyps that are found to be the cause can be surgically removed. If the effects of heavy periods are particularly bad, other procedures can be considered.
The choice of treatment and best time for treatment will depend on whether a woman is planning to become pregnant. The most effective treatments all limit a woman’s ability to get pregnant either temporarily, like the pill, or permanently, like the surgical removal of the womb .
But as long as the heavy periods arent causing anemia, they dont necessarily need to be treated. Some women learn ways to prepare as well as possible for heavier days. But its a good idea to see a doctor and try to find out what the cause is.
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What Birth Control Should I Take If I Want To Skip My Period Entirely
It is possible to avoid your period simply by taking your existing birth control and skipping the 7 days of placebo pills, going straight from one 21 day run of hormone-containing pills to another. By taking the active pills continuously, youre keeping your bodys hormones at a constant level and preventing the hormonal shifts that generally accompany menstruation. Birth control pills not intended for this kind of continuous use may cause higher incidences of breakthrough bleeding or spotting, so the Nurx medical team generally recommends taking a week off to have a period every 3 to 4 months.
Some pills, however, are designed to be taken continuously without any need for off weeks. Amethia, for example, is a birth control pill brand designed to be taken continuously for 84 days followed by 7 days of estrogen-only pills.
For women who want a method other than the pill, the birth control ring can be taken in a way that prevents menstruation from occurring instead of removing your ring after three weeks and taking a ring-free week to have a period, simply leave the ring in for four weeks then remove it and immediately replace it with a new ring
What Can I Do Myself
If heavy periods become such a problem that they interfere with your everyday life, then you can try taking things a little easier on those days. Some women find that relaxation techniques or yoga help them feel more relaxed and reduce stress. Getting a lot of exercise can also help.
Women with heavy periods are often advised to change their diet: For instance, certain fatty acids, vitamins or fibers are claimed to help. But making changes to your diet hasnt been proven to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding or the related problems. This is also true for sports, homeopathic products and .
Foods that are rich in iron can help to prevent anemia. Examples include meat, legumes, green leafy vegetables and wholegrain bread.
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Some Methods Might Require A Pelvic Exam
Some birth control methods require a pelvic exam, including intrauterine devices . These are often prescribed to people with heavy or prolonged periods.
Pelvic exams can be traumatic for survivors of sexual abuse or triggergender dysphoria in transgender people. This may affect your decision when reviewing different methods and any associated prerequisites.
How Minerva Treats Heavy Periods Without Hormones
Our team understands how heavy periods can deplete you and impact your quality of life. Dr. Sejour offers comprehensive consultations for women suffering from heavy periods. We talk with you about your symptoms, medical history, and your goals for treatment.
Minerva is generally a good treatment option for women who are pre-menopausal and in good overall health, but who suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding. Dr. Sejour can help you decide if endometrial ablation is right for you.
Endometrial ablation with Minerva is a simple in-office treatment. In fact, the procedure generally takes less than five minutes from start to finish. Theres no need for general anesthesia.
During the procedure, Dr. Sejour guides the device into your uterus through the cervix. Minerva uses thermal energy to permanently destroy the lining of your uterus. Once the lining is ablated, bleeding during your menstrual cycle is reduced or eliminated.
Follow Dr. Sejours guidelines for recovery. Common side effects during recovery include cramping, mild pain, or nausea. You can expect to return to your normal daily activities within a few days.
Minerva is a safe, effective procedure to treat heavy menstrual flow that interferes with your daily life. In one study, 72% of women had their periods completely eliminated about one year after treatment with Minerva.
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Your Period Can Change Over Time
Maybe you used to get a heavy flow during your periods, but now theyre lighter. Or maybe some periods are lighter and others are a little heavier. This is pretty normal, Zhang says.
It depends on whats going on with the lining in your uterus, she says.
The time between each cycle can also vary: Maybe one month its 28 days, then the next its 30 days.
Your PMS symptoms can vary each cycle, too, depending on hormone fluctuations, Zhang says.
Its not uncommon for your period to become shorter as you get older, too. In adolescence, periods tend to be longer and a little heavier, then ease up after a few years. Menstruation changes in the years before menopause and can be more irregular after pregnancy.
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