Delaying your periods by taking birth control pills is a common way which is considered as safe by most of the Gynecologists from across the world. Though it might not be the best practice, delaying menstruation by taking birth control pills can be highly helpful in certain cases. It can effectively work to alleviate common menstrual related issues, like breast tenderness, mood swings, headaches as well as heavy and painful periods. It can also be effective in the case of conditions, such as anemia, endometriosis and migraines that are worsened by menstruation. However, taking birth control pills for delaying periods might not be appropriate for everyone depending on her age, physical characteristics and other factors; and it is only your doctor, who can tell you with certainty if delaying periods with birth control pills can be effective for you. If you are thinking of taking birth control pills to delay your menstruation cycle, first you need to have at least a basic idea about the available birth control pills that can be effective for the purpose.
There are different types of birth control pills available in the market, and they all can be effective for delaying period if taken in the right way. The types of available pills include:
The traditional birth control pills
These pills come in a pack of 28, and essentially include 21 or 24 number of active pills that contain the hormones for birth control. The other 7 or 4 pills are placebos.
CBC or continuous birth control pills
Just like the traditional ones the CBC pills are also a combination of estrogen and progesterone that prevents ovulation when consumed daily. However, these pills does not follow the traditional 21 active and 7 placebo routine, and allows taking active pills continuously for three months or more.
The monophasic birth control pills
Each pill of these packs comes with equal and same mix of hormone for each of the days.
The multiphasic birth control pills
In these pills the quantity of the hormones varies from one week to another.
Different types of birth control pills are used in different treatments to achieve different objectives.
What are the benefits of delaying your period?
- Mental and physical disability make it difficult to use sanitary napkins.
- A condition worsened by menstruation, like endometriosis, asthma, epilepsy, anemia, migraines.
- Breast tenderness, bloating or mood swings in the seven to 10 days before your period.
- Heavy, frequent, painful or prolonged periods.
- Headaches or other menstrual symptoms during the week you take inactive birth control pills.
What we have to do about breakthrough bleeding?
Breakthrough bleeding decreases with time, but there are some things you can do in the meantime.
- You can stay on schedule by missing a pill that makes breakthrough bleeding more likely.
- Breakthrough bleeding isn’t a sign that the pill is not working as and when you stop taking it. It risks unplanned pregnancy.
- You should track breakthrough bleeding in a calendar that offers reassurance that breakthrough bleeding is decreasing.
- Consult your doctor if you have taken active pills at least 21 days, that your doctor may suggest stopping for three days that allow bleeding and resembles a period. Then, taking pills again for at least 21 days.
- Women who smoke are more likely to experience breakthrough bleeding than are women who don’t smoke.
Techniques of birth control
Birth control implant
Birth control implant is an Implanon and Nexplanon that is, a rod about the size of a matchstick. It’s put on the skin in your arm. It lasts up to 3 years. As with the shot, most of the women will have lighter or fewer periods. But some women who take it won’t have periods after a year. And in some women heavier, longer periods or spotting or bleeding between periods can be seen.
The vaginal ring is also known as Nuva ring. Hormones released from this small, flexible ring to stop eggs from leaving your ovaries. You can put the ring into your vagina and wear it for 3 weeks in a row. During the fourth week, as usually when you get your period. You can stop your period if you wear it for a month, then take it out, and put it a new one. Don’t worry if you spot for the first 6 months and a normal side effect and usually go away.
How to use the pills for delay menstruation?
If you are already on a monophasic birth control pill, all you need to do for delaying your period is to skip the 7 or 4 placebos in your pill pack and start with the pills from a new pack immediately after you run out of the 21 or 24 active pills in your old pack. When you are on traditional monophasic birth control pills, the bleeding that occurs while taking in the placebos is actually a withdrawal bleeding and not a true menstruation. The withdrawal bleeding starts as your body stops getting the regular dose of hormone from the active pills. If you simply skip the placebos and switch to a new pill pack you will not have the withdrawal bleeding and you will be able to delay your bleeding for as long as you wish. This withdrawal bleeding has nothing to do with your health and hence if you decide to skip it there is no health risk associated. However, there are some drawbacks of it as discussed below,
Drawback of delaying periods with birth control pills
- Breakthrough bleeding: This is a problem that you might experience if you opt for delaying your periods by taking active birth control pills regularly. Breakthrough bleeding is more usual during the first few months and it reduces with time as you continue with your birth control pills. Breakthrough bleeding normally is light in color and occurs in a light flow. You can control breakthrough bleeding by sticking strictly to your pill schedule and by taking the pills in the same way as directed by your doctor. Smoking also triggers breakthrough bleeding.
- Another problem with delaying periods by taking birth control pills is that, in this case it becomes really difficult to understand if you have conceived. Hence it is suggested, if you are delaying your periods with regular birth control pills and you suddenly experience nausea, morning sickness or breast tenderness, go for an in-home pregnancy test.
Delaying your period is possible by taking different types of birth control pills and their course of administration also varies according to their type. So, the choice of the right pill for you and its course to achieve the desired purpose should be decided only by your doctor.