Birth control and your period

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Birth control pills, patches, rings, shots, and implants work by changing the hormones in the female body. These then prevent ovulation, so the chances of pregnancy are minimized. 

There are other reasons that women might have to resort to taking birth control pills. Some have problems like endometriosis or generally very painful periods that they then wish to stop the process. 

Similarly, some women might be undergoing excessive bleeding, anemia, headaches, severe PMS for which they might then consult their gynecologist in Karachi for birth control. 

Some life events might also cause women to reach for the birth control pills; having an important exam, tournament, a religious occasion, honeymoon or wedding can also call for the use of birth control. 

The question that then arises is what does birth control do to your periods, and can these be used to stop periods altogether?

Birth control and your period 

Since the hormonal methods work by preventing ovulation, therefore, there are no periods per se. Most pills packs have 3 weeks of hormones, and one placebo week during which the bleeding occurs.

Unlike the regular period in which the bleeding occurs on account of the sloughing of uterine wall due to unsuccessful implantation, the bleeding with birth control is known as withdrawal bleeding. It occurs due to stopping the hormonal pills. Since the body did not ovulate, so there was no uterine wall preparation, hence, the convention periods don’t occur. 

Can hrmonal birth control methods be used to stop or skip periods?

Many women prefer not to have any bleeding whatsoever. They either wish to skip the month or have longer periods without any bleeding. 

This can be done by forging the placebo pills and starting off a new pack. Or, in case you are putting a patch or ring, not taking them off can also achieve the same results. 

There are, however, some downsides to this. Firstly, it can cause the endometrial lining to become thinner overall, which can then lead to spotting or even bleeding. 

Similarly, it gets harder to tell if you are pregnant or not. For women who didn’t take birth control, not getting a period is a big indicator of a possible pregnancy. Without this sign, it is harder to tell if you are pregnant or not. 

However, everyone has different response to birth control 

Another caveat to watch out for is the varying response to the birth control pills. While most often, these can work in stopping or skipping periods, it might not always work out. 

Some women do get their period, although it might be shorter and lighter. Similarly, finding the appropriate form of birth control is also something to consider; pills, implants, vaginal ring, IUD, shot, patch are some of the different types, and response to each can then vary. 

Oral contraceptive pills 

There are different combinations of pills — pills come with different hormones, some are progesterone only, some are combinations– that have different impact on the body then.  

Some of these pills can make the periods shorter, but not cause one to skip them. Some pills involve withdrawal bleeding. Some cause periods once around three months. Some allow for skipping periods. So, variables are aplenty!

Implants 

Most of the implants affect the hormone progesterone. These can either cause decrease in the period episodes or make them go away altogether. 

Vaginal ring and patch

Vaginal ring or patch usually is put into place for three weeks, and left out for a week, but if you wish to stop your periods, you can then let it be. Swap for a new one instead of going without them. 

Hormonal IUD

Intrauterine device can also cause mixed reactions. It can cause one to skip periods, but there can be months of irregular bleeding.Talk to your doctor 

No matter which method you opt for, it is best to consult a good gynecologist like Dr. Nazli Hameed throughout the process. 

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