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How to Plan Your Period with Birth Control

by Margaret Bryant
  • Overview

    It is possible for birth control pill users to delay the onset of menstruation by manipulating the sequence of pills they take. Birth control pills are prescribed to be taken in a certain order so that women experience menstruation every 28 days (unless they are taking certain pills that give them periods every three months or less). If your period will fall during an undesirable time, such as during a vacation or important life event like a wedding, you can take a few simple steps to postpone the inconvenience.
 
  • Step 1

    Consult the doctor who prescribed the birth control pills to receive guidance on this method. Doctors generally state that it is fine to skip periods, as there is no biological reason to have one if you are not ovulating; however, it is best to keep your doctor in the loop if you plan to do this frequently. According to Mayo Clinic, if your pill is a triphasic type with three different levels of hormones, using this sort of therapy continuously puts you at a higher risk of having breakthrough bleeding.
  • Step 2

    Take your first 21 pills in order, starting from the date of your last period. The first three weeks of birth control pills are the ones that contain hormones, either progestin or an estrogen-progestin combination. These hormones are what trick your body into thinking it is pregnant so that you not release eggs.
  • Step 3

    Discard the pill pack after day 21.
  • Step 4

    Start a new pill pack on day 22. You are skipping the placebo sugar pills and keeping the flow of hormones in your body steady. Normally, your period would start during week four around day 23 because of the cessation of hormones.
  • Step 5

    Continue through to the end of the new pill pack by taking one pill per day. You will experience your period during your week of placebo pills with no ill effects from skipping your period the previous month.
  • Step 6

    Skip the placebo pills again at day 22 and start a new pill pack, if you would again like to postpone your period.
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  • Birth control pills
  • Birth control pills
  • Be sure to take your pills at the same time every day, or you might start your period or have breakthrough bleeding. If you forget to take a pill, take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to your next pill time, you might need to take two. Ask your doctor for guidance about this. Ask your doctor about birth control methods that reduce or eliminate periods. There are brands of pills marketed for this purpose that your doctor can prescribe.
  • Be sure to take your pills at the same time every day, or you might start your period or have breakthrough bleeding.
  • If you forget to take a pill, take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to your next pill time, you might need to take two. Ask your doctor for guidance about this.
  • Ask your doctor about birth control methods that reduce or eliminate periods. There are brands of pills marketed for this purpose that your doctor can prescribe.
  • This article is not intended to be medical advice, but simply explain how periods can be delayed. Talk to your doctor about any potential risks of skipping periods.
  • This article is not intended to be medical advice, but simply explain how periods can be delayed. Talk to your doctor about any potential risks of skipping periods.

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