Oral contraceptives may allow you to delay your period.
Controlling your Menstrual Cycle
Your monthly pack of pills is designed to mimic a typical 28-day menstrual cycle. The first 21 pills contain hormones that prevent ovulation, while the last seven pills are inactive and allow you to have monthly bleeding similar to a period. This bleeding is not a period, but withdrawal bleeding caused by not stopping hormones. If you were to skip the seven inactive pills in your pack and immediately begin taking the next pack- you would not have this withdrawal bleeding. Speak to your gynecologist before making any changes to your birth control regimen.
Benefits of Delayed Period
Reasons you may consider delaying your period include:
- Endometriosis or another condition that is made worse by menstruation. In addition to endometriosis, migraines, epilepsy, anemia, and asthma can all be made worse by your period.
- Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) generally begins seven to ten days before your period. If PMS leaves you with severe breast tenderness, bloating, headaches or mood swings- skipping menstruation can help.
- Heavy or painful periods can sometimes be improved by taking birth control. If you are unable to find relief- ask your gynecologist about skipping your monthly period altogether.
- Inconvenience may leave you dreading your period. Sometimes a disability or injury can make it difficult to manage tampons and sanitary napkins. Or perhaps personal circumstances, such as a trip or big event, can spur your desire to delay menstruation.
Risks Associated with Delayed Period
There is no medical need for the withdrawal bleeding, so skipping your period should not create health concerns. However, you may experience breakthrough bleeding as your body adjusts to the change. Breakthrough bleeding should decrease over time, but it can happen for several months and be a nuisance. If you experience prolonged or heavy bleeding while still taking the active birth control pills, contact your gynecologist.
Another potential drawback to delaying your period is it may delay you knowing if you do become pregnant. If you elect to skip menstruation- be cognizant of other pregnancy symptoms, such as breast tenderness or morning sickness. In the event you experience pregnancy symptoms, take a home pregnancy test or call your gynecologist.
Speak with your gynecologist before altering your monthly birth control. While there is no known risk of skipping your monthly period using birth control, your gynecologist may want to discuss your options. Some doctors will recommend you have a full cycle every three or four months.
Call our office to discuss delaying your period.