Is it Safe to Skip Periods on Birth Control?

By Eva

What’s happening in your body when you skip your “period” on the pill

Skipping your periods on birth control is as easy as just going straight to a new pill pack, ring or patch right after three weeks. There are no negative consequences for skipping the hormone-free weeks, but what is going on inside our bodies causing this to happen?

When you’re not on birth control, during the first half of the cycle the ovaries produce estrogen causing the uterine lining to build up and thicken. After two weeks into your cycle, you start to produce progesterone which stops the thickening in preparation for pregnancy. When pregnancy doesn’t happen, the uterine lining sheds in absence of a fertilized egg – your period!

The hormones in birth control prevents ovulation and also the uterine lining from thickening. As a result, when you take sugar pills or hormone-free pills, the lack of hormones weaken the uterine lining enough to cause some shedding, which is called withdrawal bleeding. It is not quite your period but acts like it. This was created intentionally by the first manufacturers of birth control to mimic the natural cycles. They thought that women would be more comfortable with birth control if the “period” was still happening every month.

The positives of skipping your period in addition to the obvious (not having your period), is reducing the risk of user failure and thus involuntary pregnancy.

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