So How Fast Do Birth Control Pills Work
For combination pills, it depends on when you begin your first pack.
If you begin the pill on the first day of your period, theyll work right away to prevent pregnancy. However, if you start it any time after your period, give it 7 days before they start protecting against pregnancy. In that time, be sure to use condoms or a female condom if you have sex.
You can start taking POPs at any time during your menstrual cycle. However, the amount of time for it to take effect isnt quite the same as the combination pill. According to Planned Parenthood, it takes 48 hours for the mini-pill to take effect when you start it. So, if you have sex any time between then, be sure to use a backup method as well!
Its important to keep in mind that the mini-pill has a lower dose of hormones than the combination pill. The hormones are effective for only around 24 hours which is why its important to take it at the same time every day. So, if youre late in taking it or miss a pill, be sure to use back up contraception during those 48 hours again.
So, to sum up the answer to how fast do birth control pills work?, check out the chart below:
|Any time during menstrual cycle||48 hours to become effective and protect against pregnancy|
What Your Period Says About Your Health And Why It’s Important
When doctors encourage women to suppress their menstrual cycles, theyre also concealing important symptoms that give us clues about deeper underlying conditions. This is a dangerous game that can raise the risks of women developing even more debilitating conditions in the future.
As a doctor, I ask every woman in my clinical practice about her menstrual cycle as part of her complete health screening. It is truly that important.
Womens periods are not just a monthly nuisance they provide incredible insights about hormones, nutritional status and overall health.
For example, brown discharge at the beginning of menses is a sign of of low progesterone levels and left over blood from the period before. When there are clots in the menstrual blood estrogen levels may be too high. Conversely, low estrogen creates short, scanty periods. As you can see, there is a lot your period can reveal about your health.
Your period provides a great deal of insight about your hormones and the rest of your body. When it is suppressed, we run the risk of missing vital clues about your health.
As an example, menorrhagia, or heavy periods, which are commonly treated with oral contraceptives, can be a sign of iron deficiency anemia.
Sure, some would argue that stopping this patients menses would prevent iron loss and is therefore a treatment. But what if the iron deficiency is due to intestinal malabsorption, which can occur in those with celiac disease?
You Could Get More Headaches
More than 50% of women associate migraines with their period, according to a 2009 review, likely due to a drop in estrogen levels. Certain birth control methods let you skip periods or go longer between them, such as extended-cycle pills, may prevent migraines. For these women, going off of birth control could cause their headaches to become more frequent.
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How To Stop Your Periods Cramps
Period cramps are one of the annoying symptoms that accompany your menstrual cycle. These cramps can be painful, annoying, and causes a lot of discomfort. For most people, this can be the reason for them to want to stop their period permanently.
Period or menstrual cramps can be felt as a painful sensation that affects a majority of menstruating women before and during their menstruation cycle.
The pain is medically known as dysmenorrhea. It ranges from dull and annoying to severe and extreme. For most women, the pain will occur in the lower abdomen and lower back. It will start a day or two before your period and last for about four days top.
Medically, when the pain is only related to menstruation, then it is described as primary dysmenorrhea. On the other hand, when the pain is due to other conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease, the cramps are described as secondary dysmenorrhea.
The question now is, how do you stop your period cramps? Different options are available to help relieve and stop these painful cramps. For starters, there are some over the counter medication that can help treat most causes of menstrual cramps. If you are not sure what the best medication to use, have your health café provider prescribe one for you.
You could also use anti-prostaglandins to reduce cramping in uterus. This option will also help lighten the flow of menstrual blood and help relieve discomfort.
Your Weight Will Probably Stay The Same
Don’t ditch birth control solely to drop a few pounds. Though many women believe they’ve gained weight on the pill, scientific research hasn’t actually found a link between oral contraceptive use and weight gain. In a 2014 review of 49 relevant trials, birth control did not appear to have a major impact on weight. “There has been no definitive evidence showing that startingor stoppingbirth control pills will affect your weight,” says Neha Bhardwaj, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
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However Is Using The Pill To Stop Periods Really A Good Idea
Some women will not want to dig deeper to understand the underlying cause of their PMS. Some women want the perceived freedom of not having a monthly cycle despite knowing the short and long-term consequences. And some women absolutely can not get pregnant and the pill is what they have chosen for contraception.
It is important to recognize that this is 100% their choice and our reproductive health should be our choice.
My philosophy is that you are the only one living in your body. No one, not even a doctor, knows how to live your life best for you. You deserve to have ALL the information before making this decision.
But period suppression to escape symptoms is not healthy or necessarily whats best for your body. And you should have a doctor who is willing to ask why. To help you get to the root of your problems before opting to mask them with the pill. The first step toward this is demystifying menses, hormones and womens health for every woman. So they can make the absolute best decision for her body and her life.
Birth Control Pill Is Nutrient Depleting
Many patients are not informed of the numerous studies showing the nutrient depleting effects of oral contraceptives.
In 2013, the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Studies called for all women to be on a multivitamin while taking oral contraceptives due to the known nutrient depletions, most notably magnesium, zinc, selenium, folic acid, vitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C and E.
Birth control depletes the body of folic acid, which is vital in many metabolic processes and is absolutely essential should you become pregnant. Folic acid is necessary to prevent neural tube defects in a developing fetus. Unfortunately, the critical window for folic acid in development occurs before the majority of women know they are pregnant in just those first few weeks.
Now imagine if you do become pregnant while suppressing your period youve depleted your nutrients, are oblivious to the early signs of pregnancy, and the damage has taken place before you ever realized you were pregnant.
And yes, pregnancy does occur while taking birth control pill.
It is the doctor’s responsibility to provide a true informed consent and guide women in understanding the pros and cons of the medical decision they are faced with. This is the only way in which women can make the best decision for their body and it is their right to know that while the pill may help relieve symptoms, it may also have unwanted side effects with long term consequences.
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Does Menstrual Suppression Cause Infertility
The short and complete answer is: No.
Assuming birth control and period suppression can cause infertility over time is a common misconception, Prager says.
With almost all contraception theres a relatively immediate return to fertility once someone stops using the contraception. It depends on someones baseline fertility level, she explains.
That means that if you struggled with infertility prior to taking birth control, youll still have the same amount of difficulty after you stop taking it. If you havent struggled with infertility, birth control and stopping your period wont change that.
Some birth control methods, such as the Depo-Provera shot, may cause a delay in returning to fertility that people may need to factor into their baby planning.
That doesnt mean it is decreasing future fertility, it just takes a longer time for it to leave the system. With Depo-Provera, I recommend someone stop six months before they want to try to conceive, Prager says.
Related: Why Do Some Women Have Way Worse Periods Than Others
“There’s absolutely no medical need to have a period when you’re on contraception, says Micks in the interview. Her statement left a lot of female listeners wondering: Um, so you mean the blood, cramps, bloating, and fatigue are all for nothing?!
Indeed, confirms Lauren Streicher, M.D., associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern Universitys Feinberg School of Medicine and author of SexRx.
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When youre taking a birth control pill, your ovaries are not doing the talking, the pill is doing the talking,” says Streicher. “So what happens during the week of taking the sugar pills is that youre going through hormonal withdrawal: By stopping the pill, you experience a drop in estrogen and progesterone, which causes the lining of the uterus to shed. We refer to it as a period, but its really not. Its a withdrawal bleed, which is completely different.
So, does this mean you can skip the sugar pills and just head straight into a new pill pack? Streicher says yes. I tell every single patient to skip the week of sugar pillsnot only is it of no benefit to you, but there are actually benefits to not taking that week off from the hormones. For example, if you look at women who have things like menstrual migraines, endometriosis, cramps, theyre much better off taking their pill pack straight through to not deal with those symptoms.
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Massage With Essential Oil
Simply massaging your abdominal muscles relaxes the uterine contractions. This may help divert blood away from the uterus. Doing this repeatedly may help stop your flow early and fast. This procedure will also help relieve some of the symptoms accompanying your period, such as cramps and bloating.
This is what you need to do:
- Mix some amounts of lavender oil and sage oil
- Into the mixture, add three some amount of warm almond oil
- Use the oil to massage the abdominal and pelvic area
- Do this twice or thrice to stop your period
Is It Safe To Skip Periods With Birth Control
Health care providers have been prescribing birth control to stop periods for a long time. Some people on birth control choose to skip their period only for special occasions . Other people use birth control to stop their periods if they have conditions such as endometriosis or period-related anemia.
Scientific research has found that using birth control to skip your period is as safe as taking your pills normally. If youre interested in stopping your periods with birth control, though, its always a good idea to talk to your health care provider about it first.
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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.
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.
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Learn Which Forms Are Most Likely To Stop Menstruation And If It’s Safe
There are many reasons for people to want to delay or skip a period. Some experience very heavy bleeding, painful cramping, or other severe symptoms during their menstrual cycle that they want to avoid. Other people choose to delay their monthly cycle for the sake of convenience, due to travel or other personal events.
But is it safe to skip a period? The short answer is yes, in most cases.
In this article, we’ll review which forms of birth control can help prevent a period for days, weeks, months, or even longer, how to so safely, and other concerns.
Other Side Effects Of The Pill
Despite all of what has been discussed above, many will argue that taking the pill improves quality of life. It relieves monthly pain and therefore, must be good. However, for some women quality of life may actually be diminished where mood and libido are concerned.
Loss of libido and inability to achieve orgasm, well-known side effects of birth control, have a serious impact on a womans quality of life. This should be discussed with women considering the birth control pill.
There is data supporting a correlation between birth control and depression. Depression, which is a symptom woman have complained about since its adoption in medicine. With a significant increase in the number of Americans currently taking anti-depressants , it should at least give us pause before beginning the birth control pill.
For many women, resolving the underlying cause of their menstrual symptoms is a far more favorable option compared to the considerable impacts birth control would create in their intimate relationships, not to mention their long-term fertility.
The birth control pill isn’t necessarily an upgrade in quality of life for many women. Does birth control stop your period? It can. That seems like an upgrade, but it is important for women to weigh these risks before opting in.
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You Might Lose A Bit Of Hair
Switching birth control pills or going off it completely could trigger telogen effluvium, a temporary condition that causes your hair to shed. Telogen effluvium usually subsides within six months, after your body has adjusted to not being on birth control. Some women who had hormonal-related hair loss before they went on birth control might notice that it returns when they go off of the pill. All that said, hair loss is complicated, explains Dr. Dweck, and is often related to other factors, such as stress.
The bottom line? “Most women won’t see a significant net effect on their hair after stopping birth control pills,” says Josh Klein, MD, chief medical officer at Extend Fertility in New York City.
On the flip side, some women may grow more hair, but not necessarily on their heads. Dark, coarse hairs can pop up in unwanted spots like the face, back, and chest if the body produces too much androgen. PCOS is the most common culprit.