How does birth control pill affect your period? That is the question many women ask when they are about to take the contraceptive pill. There are several hormonal methods to prevent pregnancy, which can range from the classic pills, through the patches that are placed on the skin, injections, the device that is placed inside the uterus and the ring that is inserted into the vagina. Among all of them, in this article, we will talk about hormonal contraceptive pills (which we will also refer to as “the pill”) and we will see how they act in relation to the menstrual cycle.
Since many times the symptoms associated with the rule are annoying (may include abdominal pain, headaches, cramps, heavy vaginal bleeding or menorrhagia, fatigue, changes in mood, etc.), many women look for contraceptive pills hormonal a way to cut the rule, but it is important to know all aspects of the pill, so as not to have problems such as an unwanted pregnancy.
Know how does birth control pill affect your period
What is this method of contraception?
The pill is a contraceptive method that consists of taking small pills or tablets every day, which contain synthetic hormones that emulate the natural that your body produces and that is not harmful to health. There are basically 2 types of pills:
- The pill that contains only progestin (a synthetic hormone that emulates progesterone), which is also called a “mini-pill” or “progestin pill”.
- The pill that combines progestin with estrogen. You should notice that 3 hormones in your body participate in the menstrual cycle: testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen.
Most pills contain 21 active pills and 7 that have no medication, so they are called placebo pills. The latter 7 are just to keep the routine day by day, in addition to helping to remember when the next pack will start (this will be done when the last of the 7 placebo pills is finished).
We can say that the combined pill (the one that combines progestin and estrogen) has more benefits, from a medical point of view, since it is more effective. However, some women do not tolerate it (it produces certain side effects), so in those cases, the doctor could prescribe the mini-pill (which contains only progestin). However, you should know that this mini-pill would only stop ovulation in half of the women.
It is clear that for contraceptive methods to have the expected effectiveness (more than 99%), the pills should be taken every day without exception, and at the same time. If you have some symptoms that may affect the absorption of the pill (such as vomiting), then you should supplement this method with any other type of contraceptive, such as a condom. You should note that in most cases (not taking it perfectly), the average effectiveness is about 92%.
How do you perform your functions?
There are basically 3 ways in which the hormonal contraceptive pill works to prevent pregnancy:
The main way in which the pill prevents pregnancy is by preventing the process of ovulation in the menstrual cycle. This process of ovulation what it does is to release the egg or ovum so that it can be fertilized by the sperm, so if there is no egg, there is nothing that the sperm can fertilize. In addition, contraceptive methods in general also make it difficult to move the ovum in the fallopian tubes.
The second field of action of the contraceptive pill is affecting the cervical mucus. This is a normal fluid produced by the cervix, blocking the innermost part of the uterus. The pill what it does is to avoid that this liquid is thinned, which will help to block the entrance of spermatozoa towards the uterus (and therefore, towards the ovule).
The third way that contraceptive methods like this help prevent pregnancy is by acting on the uterine lining also called the endometrium. We know that during menstruation the natural hormones of the body cause this coating to become thicker so that it can accommodate the fertilized female egg. Well, the hormones present in the pill prevent the endometrium from thickening, reducing the chances of implanting the egg.
How does birth control pill affect your period?
When the woman takes the pill regularly, she will suffer an interruption in her period, since these contraceptive methods “deceive” the body, making it believe that it is in gestation. Let’s talk a little about the menstrual period first: during the luteal phase of the menstrual period, your body will begin to prepare for the ovulation stage. As it does? Well, through hormones. More specifically, the body will increase the levels of estrogen and progesterone so that the uterine lining (or endometrium) becomes thicker, to accommodate the fertilized egg.
Now, when the uterus does not receive any embryo or egg, the levels of the 3 hormones (testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen) decrease. Remember that the body had artificially increased them, waiting for the egg to be fertilized. This low hormone level is what produces the premenstrual syndrome, with its annoying symptoms for most women (headache, herpes, acne, abdominal pain, cramps, fatigue, vomiting, nausea or insomnia, not counting those related to cheer up).
When you take the pills every day in a normal way, then your body will no longer undergo these hormonal changes, so there will be no ovulation or thickening of the endometrium. This is the reason why the period will not come, nor will premenstrual syndrome make its appearance. The latter is the reason why many women take contraceptives, avoiding the associated discomfort that we have already mentioned.
When the pill was designed, its inventors were concerned that women no longer had their period, as many needed to see the symptoms of menstruation to be sure they were not expecting a baby. There were also ethical or religious concerns that could have suppressed the period in women.
What to do when bleeding of abstinence?
The pills are normally designed to be taken for 21 days (the so-called active pills), there being 7 days when the pills will not contain hormones (the so-called placebo pills), or a notoriously lower amount than those of the regular pills. During this 1 week space, which is called a “placebo week”, the body will feel this lack of artificial hormones and will try to return to its normal hormonal levels, and the way to react this is with the withdrawal bleeding.
Now, this bleeding is shorter and milder than normal menstrual bleeding, since the time you have been taking the active pills the endometrium has not grown, as there is no ovulation. That being the case, there will be little that the body has to expel. It should be noted that during the placebo week, birth control pills will still protect you from an unwanted pregnancy if you have taken them every day and correctly.
It has not been proven that it is necessary for the body or for health, to have the bleeding of abstinence. This is the reason why many women choose to “skip” the placebo week, moving immediately to the next pack of pills. Many of these choose to have withdrawal bleeding only once every 3 menstrual cycles, that is, about 4 times a year (instead of about 12 times if you did not skip this week). This is achieved by taking the active pills (with hormones) for 3 months in a row, stopping for a week, time in which they will have their “period”.
Many women who want to discover a way to cut off menstruation eventually resort to birth control pills, because they are considered safe and they avoid suffering from the annoying symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.
If you choose, even for a while, to have your menstruation in a normal way, you should know what to eat during menstruation, in order to attenuate as much as possible and naturally, the annoying symptoms.
Did you know…
There are many causes of why the period does not come in many women, some of them related to diseases or conditions that affect the normal functioning of your sexual organs. Most of the women do not know how does birth control pill affect your period. If it happens to you, it is best to consult a doctor for a correct diagnosis.