Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can I skip my period by a month if I'm on birth control pills?"
Is there any way to delay my period for a month if I'm going on tour with my band?
It's possible to delay or perhaps stop your period entirely with birth control pills. Traditional birth control pills contain 28 pills to mimic a regular 28-day menstrual cycle. Only 21 of these pills are active; that is, they contain reproductive hormones to suppress your fertility. The other 7 pills are inactive (aka. placebos). The "period" that occurs during the week of taking the placebo pills is not actual menstrual bleeding. It is called withdrawal bleeding as your body's response to stopping the hormones that cause a drop in the hormone level that makes the lining of the uterus weak so it bleeds. To delay the withdrawal bleeding for your tour, you can skip the placebo pills and start the next pack of active pills right away. You take the pills as if you're starting a new month of birth control. When you are ready to get your "period", you can take the placebo pills from the previous month. Although safe, it is not advisable to do this regularly. If you are interested in suppressing the bleeding completely for long-term. There are other options available. There are newer oral contraceptives that suppress the bleeding entirely. Another option is Mirena I.U.D. which has a convenient side effect of very light or absent periods. I would recommend a consultation with an OB/GYN for further information.
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