Which Birth Control Pills Are Best To Use For Skipping Periods
Medically reviewed by Jenny Ingle Pappas, MSN, APRN, FNP-C on December 21, 2020
Women who want to adjust the way they have their periods on birth control have a number of options. Women can decrease the frequency of their periods, reduce the length of their periods, or occasionally avoid their periods entirely by taking certain kinds of birth control pills or taking them in a certain way.
That said, not every birth control pill is designed to be used to skip periods. The formulas to use for this are monophasic combination pills, meaning those that contain both estrogen and progestin in the same amounts in every pill. Most packs of combination birth control pills contain 21 days of hormone-containing pills followed by 7 days worth of placebo pills its while taking the placebo pills that people have their periods.
Taking 2 Packets Of The Combined Pill Back
If you take a combined contraceptive pill, you can delay your period by taking 2 packets back-to-back.
How you do this will depend on which pill you take.
- monophasic 21-day pills, such as Microgynon and Cilest you take a combined pill for 21 days, followed by 7 days without pills, when you have a bleed . To delay your period, start a new packet of pills straight after you finish the last pill and miss out the 7-day break.
- everyday pills, such as Microgynon ED and Lorynon ED you take a combined pill every day. The first 21 pills are active pills and the next 7 pills are inactive or dummy pills, when you have your period. To delay your period, miss out and throw away the dummy pills, and start the active pills in a new packet straight away.
- phasic 21-day pills, such as Binovium, Qlaira and Logynon the mix of hormones in each pill is different, depending on which phase you’re in. You need to take these pills in the correct order to have effective contraception. Ask your pharmacist, community contraception clinic or GP for more information.
Taking your contraceptive pills in the ways described above will not affect how they work as contraceptives.
If you’re not sure which pill you’re on or which pills in the packet to miss out, speak to your pharmacist, community contraception clinic or GP.
Avoid taking more than 2 packs without a break, unless your GP says you can.
There’s a risk you could experience side effects, such as:
- feeling sick
It All Starts At The Beginning
As a result, the “safe” length of time to take The Pill has long been misunderstood as three weeks. In reality though, you can take The Pill for as long as you like.
In fact, the âpill-free weekâ was included as a marketing ploy to appeal to the Catholic Church, and to boost female acceptance of The Pill by making it seem âmore naturalâ.
But times have changed, and they now couldnât be more wrong. A 2004 study of 1195 German women found more than half of them were interested in using The Pill for extended periods to reduce the frequency of menstrual bleeding. Of those who werenât interested, more than two thirds gave reasons including fear of pregnancy, infertility, and side effects.
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How Can Pandia Health Help
Speaking of skipping your period, Pandia Health promotes making #PeriodsOptional by educating people with uteri on the benefits of not bleeding every month. We further promote this message by providing a FREE delivery service to all 50 states. You can transfer a current prescription to our pharmacy and have it shipped right to your mailbox. We know you have #BetterThingsToDo than making an extra trip to the pharmacy.
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.
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Will Taking Two Birth Control Pills In One Day Stop Your Period
Taking more than the prescribed number of pills in one day is not going to stop your period right away. Depending on how many you take, it may cause you to feel sick, but its not going to magically make your period disappear.
In fact, Dr. Dweck says there are instances in which taking two pills in one day is recommended to catch up for a missed pill. But whether or not it will eventually stop your period depends on your individual circumstances. Some people will have irregular bleeding after taking two pills, while others will remain on schedule, Dr. Dweck explains.
It Helps To Manage Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a painful condition that happens when the tissue lining your uterus, called the endometrium, grows in places other than inside your uterus. This tissue bleeds during your period, no matter where its located. When the tissue bleeds in places where blood cant easily get out of your body, it causes pain and inflammation.
Hormonal birth control methods help because they allow you to skip periods. Continuous birth control pills and IUDs are usually good options for managing endometriosis.
30 million Americans 75 percent of those being women. This is partly because hormonal changes are a major trigger for migraines in some people.
Experts think menstrual migraines are linked to a drop in estrogen and progesterone just before your period starts. Hormonal birth control methods that allow you to skip your period, such as a continuous pill, implant, or IUD, can help to avoid this drop.
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What Is Continuous Or Extended Use Of The Pill
Extended cycling is the practice of taking The Pill without any breaks between packs, for a length of time greater than 3 weeks. Often this is done for 9 or 12 weeks, but thereâs no wrong duration, as long as it works for you.
In continuous cycling, women simply take The Pill every day, without any breaks. If serious breakthrough bleeding occurs, pills arenât taken for 4-7 days to allow for a withdrawal bleed before restarting The Pill.
Youâre still protected from falling pregnant as long as you take The Pill for at least 7 days following the break.
Note: The minipill, a form of oral contraceptive, is progestin only and does not have a sugar pill component. You can take it every day and it will not impact your period. For that reason, this article is mainly discussing the use of combined contraceptive.
How To Skip Your Period
Here is how to skip your period using birth control pills:
Keep in mind that some women may experience spotting or breakthrough bleeding at the same time when they would have had their period.
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Youre In A New Relationship
Beginnings of new relationships are exciting, fun, and passionate. Unpredictability and spontaneity are some of the best things about the honeymoon phase. If you dont want to be caught in a situation where you have to say, Uh…its that time of the month, so lets hold off for tonight, then you may want to ask your doctor about using birth control to skip your period.
What Happens When You Skip Your Period
To understand what happens when you skip your period, its important to get a run-down on how birth control pills work.
Your hormonal birth control pills contain a combination of estrogen and progesterone. The steady releases of these hormones in your body prevent ovulation and cause thickening of the mucus in the cervix, making it almost impossible for sperm to get through.
A regular period arrives due to changes in hormone levels after ovulation . Since you arent ovulating, the bleeding that you experience while on birth control isnt your real period its actually called withdrawal bleeding. By taking away the estrogen and progesterone, youre causing a hormonal withdrawal from your body, triggering a period.
Instead of withdrawing those hormones from your body, youre continuing to supply them by immediately starting a new pack of birth control instead of taking the placebos or skipping a week. So, skipping your period isnt actually skipping your period at all its delaying hormonal withdrawal, thus preventing withdrawal bleeding.
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So Where Does The Placebo Pill Come Into Play
For most people, the week of your placebo pill is when you get your period. If thats the case, why do we even have the placebo pill? Its basically there to mimic the 28-day menstrual cycle and help you get into a routine of taking the pill every day.
Remembering to take the pill is hard in itself. But, whats even harder is training yourself to take it for 3 weeks straight, taking a break for a week, and returning to taking it for three weeks straight. In order to train yourself into taking it everyday, doctors may give you a pill-pack that has a week of placebo pills, so you never get out of the habit of taking the pill. Technically speaking, if you have superhuman abilities, and youre someone who never forgets their pill, then you dont need to take the placebo pills. What this would look like is taking the active pill for three weeks, then taking a one week break with no pills, and then starting a new pack of birth control. But if youre a creature of habit, then you probably want to stick with taking the three weeks of regular pills plus one week of inactive placebo pills!
Now that weve covered the basics, lets talk about skipping the placebo pills altogether. Say, for example, you go from one pill pack straight to the next. What happens then?
The most important thing is that it can make you skip your period altogether, and there are both pros and cons to this.
Does It Still Work Can I Fall Pregnant
This is the most common question asked by women when it comes to extended or continuous pill-taking. While no contraceptive is completely foolproof, studies of continuous and extended cycling have shown it is as effective, if not more effective, than traditional cycling. One US study in 2003 reported 0.9% of women fell pregnant over one year of extended cycling vs 1.3% in those who followed 28 day cycles.
So yes, youâre still covered for pregnancy with extended use of The Pill.
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Birth Control Pill Protocol
Birth control pills and vaginal ring use can help improve menstrual cramps, reduce menstrual flow, help PMS, improve acne, regulate your periods, reduce your risk for ovarian and uterine cancer, relieve perimenopausal symptoms and prevent pregnancy.
Periods on birth control are not true periods, but called withdrawal bleeding. That is because the birth control pill or ring is withdrawn for a period to occur. Many women are now using birth control continuous to relieve menstrual problems and for convenience. It is safe not to have a period as long as you are on birth control.
Are There Any Side Effects To Skipping Your Period Continually
“The main side effect of having long, period-free stretches is an increase in unpredictable breakthrough bleeding ,” explains Tefler. “But the good news is that the frequency of breakthrough bleeding decreases over time.” Other than that, taking your birth control pill consecutively will not change any of the side effects caused by the pill.
However, one of the main concerns about not having a regular period is that you will “lose the monthly confirmation that you’re not pregnant. Although skipping your period with the pill provides you with the same contraceptive protection as before, it also comes with the same risks if you don’t take your pill on a regular daily basis.”
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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.
How Long After Stopping Birth Control Will You Get Your Period
Okay, so youre on birth control that has stopped your period, but now youre ready to leave that contraceptive method behind. While the exact timeline of when your period will return depends on a variety of factors, the Mayo Clinic says menstrual periods generally resume within three months after stopping birth control pills. This is also true of other types of birth control, with the exception of the shot, which can take much longersometimes between 6 and 18 months, according to the Center for Young Womens Health.
Regardless of the type, your body and menstrual cycle will need time to adjust. This could mean you get a typical period within a month, or you could experience spotting or irregular periods for a few months, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But remember, this is often temporary, and your cycle may return to its pre-birth control days in just a matter of time. For others, it may not.
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Does Starting On Birth Control During Your Period Stop Your Flow Immediately
One question experts get asked a lot is: If I start birth control on my period, will it stop? If taken correctly, there isnt one birth control method that is guaranteed to stop your period at all, let alone immediately. There are some cases where birth control can stop heavy bleeding, though, Lucky Sekhon, MD, ob-gyn and endocrinologist at RMA of New York, Flo Medical Expert, and assistant clinical professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF, but it must be done under the direction of a doctor.
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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 .
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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.