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Changing Your Menstrual Cycle with Birth Control

Let’s face it, having a period every month isn’t always convenient. You may have something important coming up and you don’t want to deal with your usual menstrual discomfort. Nobody wants to worry about leaks while wearing a white wedding dress! If you have an important event coming up and you want to skip your period, is it possible? With the use of birth control you may have some control over your menstrual cycle and it may be possible to delay or prevent your periods. 

How does it work?

Using birth control is a big health decision, and not all methods are safe for everyone. The first step is consulting with your doctor to decide what birth control is right for you. You may choose hormonal birth control pills, an intrauterine device (IUD), or a birth control injection (commonly known as Depo-Provera). 

If you’re already using something like hormonal birth control pills, your healthcare provider can discuss ways to safely delay your period by changing when you take the active pills, and when you take the inactive week.

How early should I start?

You’ve probably heard the advice not to try new products right before an important event, and that holds true for any birth control decisions you make. You want to give yourself plenty of time to acclimate to any new birth control you decide to take. Additionally, you may experience breakthrough bleeding if you’ve just started a new method of birth control.

What are the drawbacks?

It would be nice if we could turn on and off our menstrual cycles like a lightswitch, but they do play an important part of our health. It’s important to make decisions with your healthcare provider and remember that using birth control can affect much more than just when we bleed. Additionally, it can be more difficult to recognize the signs of pregnancy when you’re going on, off, or changing birth control methods. You may also need to use a backup contraceptive method to ensure that you don’t have any unprotected gaps while your body adjusts. 

At Southdale ObGyn, we offer you the choice of a physician, Certified Nurse Midwife or Certified Nurse Practitioner. Whomever you choose, make sure to discuss the options and side effects of changes to your birth control. We can help you ensure that you give yourself enough time before your special event.