Dr. Sophia Yen talks about how to stop your period when on the birth control pill, patch, or ring. But first, sign up for Pandia Health’s FREE delivery and automatic refills of your birth control!

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Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health headshot

“The inventor of the birth control pill, Dr John Rock, wanted women to have a period every single month so he built it so that you were 3 weeks on the .
hormone and then one week off. During that one week off, you would get your period (withdrawal bleed).

However, he had two co-founders who questioned why women had to have a period every month. They could have a period every 3 months, every 6 months, or never. But Dr Rock was insistent and won that argument. Because of him, every woman on the birth control pill, patch, or ring has a bleed every month on that one week when you’re off your hormones.

If you’re on the birth control pill, you’ll notice there are 3 weeks of hormones and then one week with no hormones or there’s 7 sugar pill as a placeholders (also known as placebo pills). If you want to skip your period, just take those 3 weeks of active pills and then, when you get to the fourth week, go straight into your next pack.

The first time you do this you can usually keep going out to about 3 months and then you’ll have some breakthrough bleeding. When you experience that, come off the active pills for 5 days and you’ll have a withdrawal bleed. On day 6, regardless of whether you’re still bleeding, restart active pills and that will turn off your period. The bleed will reset your uterus and hopefully you’ll get out farther before you have a breakthrough bleed.

The next time, you should be able to get out to 6 months before the breakthrough bleeding and come off. The time after that, you might be home- free (aka no periods/bleeds). Every woman is different. Some can get home-free immediately, whilst others have to go to 3 months and 6 months.

But it’s a great thing not having to have a period every month.

With the ring, there’s actually 35 days worth of hormone in every ring and, because there’s less than 35 days in every month, you can just change it on the same day every month – maybe the first of the month, your birthday or whatever day you happen to start it.

Then, if at anytime you get breakthrough bleeding (BTB) AND you have used the ring for at least 3 weeks in a row before this BTB, take out the ring and leave it out for 5 days, have that withdrawal bleed, then put in a NEW ring on Day 6 whether or not you are still bleeding.

And, then, you may never have any more breakthrough bleeding. Again, every woman is different and you might be one of the lucky ones who has no bleeds at all, right from the start.

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You should NOT skip bleeds on “the patch” for more than 12 weeks in a row, because the estrogen builds up and puts you at risk of a blood clots and death. So, if you want to skip your period longer than 12 weeks in a row, you have to switch to the pill or the ring.

One more note: if you’re on the pill and skipping bleeds, it will require 17 packs per year because you’ll be running through them faster than the regular 13 packs. All Insurance should cover it. Just tell them you’re having painful periods or that periods are creating unnecessary blood loss.

If you or your doctor has any more questions, check out our page: https://bc.pandiahealth.com/periods-optional/

If you have any questions, check us out on YouTube or at pandiahealth.com

We also have a great blog on “Yes, you can skip your period”.

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The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.