7 Benefits of Skipping Periods With Birth Control

Birth control can help you in ways you didn’t expect

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Periods are a part of life for women, but many women would like to be able to control when they happen. Others may have a history of difficult periods and just want to do without the stress.

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Taking birth control pills continuously represents a common and safe method for managing menstrual disturbances and other associated problems.  As an OB/GYN, I often recommend this approach for women who have very heavy bleeding or who have severe symptoms during their periods. Even women with normal menstrual cycles can benefit from using hormonal birth control to skip periods.

Here are seven benefits of taking the pill continuously to skip periods:

1. Prevent anemia. Women who experience very heavy bleeding during their monthly cycle have a greater tendency toward anemia due to the blood loss. Taking active birth control pills (the ones with hormones in them, not the placebos) continuously will make you skip your period. This prevents the heavy loss of blood that can lead to anemia.

2. Prevent menstrual migraines. Some women have excruciating migraines around and during their period because their bodies are especially sensitive to the hormone fluctuations that occur. Avoiding your period can help stave off these painful headaches.

3. Have clearer skin. If your face regularly breaks out with pimples during your period, using the pill to avoid menstruating altogether can leave your skin clearer.

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4. Enjoy a better quality of life. For some women, skipping periods means skipping debilitating cramps, bloating and moodiness that regularly arise at that time of the month. This gives them a better quality of life and relieves the stress of anticipating these symptoms.

5. Lower your risk for some cancers. Using hormonal methods to skip periods also decreases a woman’s risk of ovarian and uterine cancers.

6. Prevent ovarian cysts. Ovarian cysts are sacs filled with fluid that form on or in a woman’s ovary. They may or may not be painful, but your doctor still needs to address them to identify the underlying cause. Skipping your period by using birth control pills (or other hormonal methods) can prevent these cysts from forming or help eliminate any you currently have.

7. Enjoy carefree travel and hobbies. If you’ve planned a weekend at the beach or are participating in a sporting event, you don’t want to have to worry about tampons and pads. With your doctor’s guidance, you can learn how to use birth control to ensure you don’t have a period during this time. Then you can enjoy your time at the beach or take part in your sporting competition without worry.

Other options, risks

It’s easy to understand why some women would want to skip a period. That Jamaican vacation or a new job can be much more enjoyable if you don’t have to worry that you’ll start your period. Additionally, if you have painful symptoms or excessive menstrual bleeding that interferes with daily life every month, you might like a break from it for a while.

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Some people may not like the thought of having to take a pill every day. As another option, you can use a vaginal ring contraceptive to skip periods. Normally, you would place the ring in your vagina and wear it for three weeks, then take ihholt out for seven days to have a period. Then you would insert a new ring. But if you immediately insert a new ring after the three weeks end, you’ll avoid your period.

The only real risk to using birth control to miss your periods is that there’s a small chance of breakthrough bleeding, which is any vaginal bleeding that occurs mid-cycle or when using hormonal methods to avoid your period. Because of this, you might want to carry some pads or tampons with you just in case.

Any medication can cause side effects, so be sure to ask your doctor if birth control is right for you.


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Linda Bradley, MD

Linda Bradley, MD, Vice Chair of our Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health Institute, embraces Hippocrates' statement: “Let food be thy medicine.”