ZocdocAnswersCan I use birth control to delay my period?

Question

Can I use birth control to delay my period?

My period lands on the week of my vacation. Can I just start my second pack of birth control pills immediately? I haven't discussed my pills with my doctor for a long time but I think this should be fine.

Answer

Birth control pill containers have 28 pills. This is so you can take one pill each day for the expected length of you cycle. They are designed so that for 21 of those days you have hormones in your body that will prevent ovulation and thus prevent pregnancy. The other 7 days contain a pill without any medication at all. These are there just to keep you in the routine of of taking a pill. The times when you are off the hormone medication are the times you have your period. If the last 7 days of your birth control pill packet were replaced with the first 7 days of the next packet, this may prevent your period form coming. There are many women that take hormone pills for 3 months before having a period. However, this is not something you should do without consulting your doctor first. This is for a few reasons. One, if you do this your prescription will run out early and you will not be covered for some time. You may experience some breakthrough bleeding as this may not be something your body is used to doing. Finally, your doctor should clear you as healthy enough for this before you start. You should follow up with your OBGYN and ask him or her about this issue.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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