Fyi: You Definitely Dont Want To Play Around With Progestin
The progestin-only birth control pill doesnt contain estrogen so it really relies on progestin to thicken cervical mucus and thin the uterine lining to prevent pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic.
There are two reasons why you shouldnt try to work this period magic with the minipill. First, the minipill comes with 28 active days and no placebos. That means theres not even a placebo week for you to take earlier than scheduled to make your period arrive. Second, since the minipill doesnt have estrogen and also contains a lower dose of progestin than combined pills, you have to be really on top of taking your pills at the same time every day if you want your best odds of avoiding pregnancy, the Mayo Clinic says. That means you definitely shouldnt skip a week just to try to get your period earlieryoud be putting yourself at a huge risk of unintended pregnancy.
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.
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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Can You Skip Your Period On Birth Control Pills
It is okay to skip your withdrawal bleed on the pill, as long as you do so in a safe manner. However, since there are so many different doses of birth control pills, it is always best to discuss the option of skipping your period with your healthcare provider first to ensure that it is a safe and healthy option.
First: Is It Safe To Delay Your Period At All
So there’s some good news here: You absolutely can delay your periodand do it in safe way. But that can only be done with one specific hormonal birth control method: the combination pill .
“A birth control pill has 21 days of hormones, usually ethinyl estradiol and progestin, and seven days of a placebo pill that prompts you to have an artificial period,”Alyse Kelly-Jones, MD, an ob-gyn in Charlotte, North Carolina, tells Health. “To delay your period, you would skip the placebo and immediately start a new pack of pills.”
Doing this for just one cycle can delay your period by as much as another three weeks, says Dr. Kelly-Jones. The only caveat is that you need to plan accordingly and with plenty of notice if you’re not already on hormonal birth control to begin with. “If you come to me two weeks out from your wedding or vacation and aren’t already on birth control, I probably won’t be able to help you,” she says. “At best, you might be able to delay it in time, but at worst, you might cause all kinds of irregular bleeding, which would be even less appealing.”
That’s because, with your birth control pills already in place, your body is like a well-oiled machine, while starting birth control from scratch can sometimes be a lengthy process to find one that works with your body to your liking.
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If You Use The Pill Or The Ring You Don’t 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.
How To Delay Your Period When You Have A Vacation Coming Up
You booked the airfare, the room, and the activities. You took time off from work, bought a great new swimsuit, and are all packed. Everything about your trip is all set, except for one tiny thing your body didnt get the memo and youre going to have your period while on vacation. So many unexpected setbacks can happen even on the most perfectly planned trip, so the last thing you want to do is have to worry about your period. Well, good news, female travelers! If youre using certain contraceptives, you can easily delay your period for a vacation and its doctor-approved.
No matter where your vacation takes you, having your period during it is a pain. If your vacation plans entail activities by the water like snorkeling, kayaking, or sitting poolside youll be much more comfortable in your swimsuit not having to worry about bleeding and cramps. Or if your vacation is more focused on cultural pursuits, who needs to be constantly searching for a bathroom and making sure you have the right amount of sanitary products as you sightsee? And take care knowing that according to obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Pari Ghodsi, there is no harm if you do choose to use your birth control to skip a period during your trip.
As Dr. Ghodsi explains it, you can only skip your period when you are on a combined hormonal contraceptive, like birth control pills, the ring , or the patch .
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Try A Menstrual Cup Or Period Panties
Dont like lugging around boxes of tampons? Try an alternative!
Menstrual cups like the hello cup, DivaCup, or the Luna Cup are great for travel. Most cups are made with medical-grade silicone and can be left in your vagina for up to 12 hours, though this varies based on your flow. If you havent used a cup before, we recommend trying it out before your vacation to get used to it, but once youre a cup pro youll be able to get it in and out in no time!
If youre going on a longer trip and want to prioritize comfort, you can try period panties. They can absorb up to 2 tampons worth of period blood and are made with thin, breathable fabric that looks and feels like underwear. Super comfy with no visible panty lines. Check out Thinx, Dear Kate, Modi Bodi, or Panty Prop.
You Mean I’ll Never Have A Period Again If I Skip Over Placebo Pills Or Get An Iud
Well, not exactly. If youre using a progestin-only contraception, like an IUD, the disrupt in hormones will change the uterine lining and make it thinner. Many people have a lighter period or stop having a period at all when they have an IUD, Dr. McClellan notes. But if you have an IUD, you kind of have to wait to see how your body reacts to it. If your period gets lighter or goes away after a few months, it’ll typically stay that way once your body adjusts. It’s impossible to predict if your period will totally disappear, though.
Of course, your period would start back up once the IUD is removed. Nothing will get rid of your period for good.
With birth control pills or a method like the ring, if you don’t skip the placebo pills or immediately put your next ring in, you’ll likely get some bleeding again. A heads up that you might still experience spotting or other symptoms, like breast tenderness, even when you skip the placebo pills or pop a ring in it’s not always foolproof. So you may want to be prepared with a light tampon or panty liner if you’re worried about spotting at all.
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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 .
A Scheduled Visit To The Gynecologist
Scheduled a pap smear months in advance, only to realize that it falls out on your expected period date? Its uncomfortable enough bleeding down there, but to have someone peering into your privates during your period thats enough to make anyone cringe.
Going to the gynecologist is a good enough reason for any women to want to delay or skip a period.
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Is It Normal To Randomly Miss A Period On Birth Control
Contraception pills are a popular and practical method of contraception that can be used in many situations. It is possible to experience different effects on the menstrual cycle depending on the type of hormone used. Amenorrhea is the absence of an expected period. Birth control pills are commonly taken to experience this.
How The Pill Interrupts Things
Now when youre on the pill, things are very different.
The pill delivers synthetic hormones estrogen and progestin to your body. It tells your system dont even bother releasing an egg this month . Ovulation is when a mature egg, good and ready to match with a suitable sperm, is released from the ovaries.
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What Birth Control Should I Take For Less Frequent Periods
To have a period once a season instead of once a month, the easiest option is to choose a pill designed for this purpose. Continuous birth control pills generally include 84 days, or 12 weeks, of hormone-containing pills followed by 7 days of pills that contain either no estrogen or very low doses. Continuous birth control pills are combination pills, but their relatively low amounts of estrogen mean that even when you do have your period it will generally be light.
Some of the most common brands of continuous birth control include:
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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Your Period Makes You Really Sick
Unfortunately, some women suffer from severe symptoms before and during their periods that render them incapacitated for a number of days each month. Heavy periods that are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are actually quite common. This is one reason a doctor may prescribe hormonal birth control, which often helps to minimize symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend taking a few packs back-to-back so that youre only getting our period 4-5 times a year.
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.
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What Types Of Birth Control Pills Are Available
There are many different types of oral contraceptives , all offering slightly different formulations and amounts of one or two female hormones involved in the menstrual cycle .
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.
How To Keep Track Of Your Menstrual Cycle
You can use a menstrual tracker like Flo to keep track of your cycle. Period tracking apps let you log your symptoms and determine when you should expect your period. This can also take some weight off your mind, since you wont have to remember when your period is due to arrive. The app will do it for you!
Overall, as long as youre taking it correctly, birth control is highly effective at preventing pregnancy and those missed periods can happen now and again.
If youre not sure, take a pregnancy test to ease your mind. Adding some relaxing activities to your life and staying healthy can help get your cycle back to normal.
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Other Options And Risks
Sometimes skipping your period means enjoying your best friends wedding or your COVID-19-friendly vacation that much more. Plus, if you have painful symptoms or excessive menstrual bleeding that interferes with daily life every month, you might like a break from it for a while.
Some people may not like the thought of having to take a pill every day. Another option is using a vaginal ring contraceptive to skip periods. Normally, you would place the ring in your vagina and wear it for three weeks and then take it out for seven days to have a period. Then you would insert a new ring. But if you immediately insert a new ring after the three weeks end, youll avoid your period. Fertility is also promptly restored after discontinuing the use of either methods.
The only real risk to using birth control to miss your periods is that theres a small chance of breakthrough bleeding, which is any vaginal bleeding that occurs mid-cycle or when using hormonal methods to avoid your period, explains Dr. Bradley. Because of this, you might want to carry some pads or tampons with you just in case.
Be aware that any medication can cause side effects, so be sure to ask your doctor if birth control is right for you and if you should use any backup contraceptives, such as condoms. Condoms can also help prevent sexually transmitted infections.