How Birth Control Affects Your Period

How Birth Control Affects Your Period

Birth control can be an amazing thing and not just because it prevents unwanted pregnancy. It also can really help with regulating your period, making your periods lighter, or even making them stop completely (which is a medical miracle). BUT it is extremely important to remember that these methods are not at all used for preventing STDs.


The Pill

We all know and love the pill. The pill is our trusted friend in the war against period irregularity. But do you really know how it actually affects your period? When pills first came to be they were originally packaged with 28 pills (with hormones that stop ovulation) and seven placebo pills (with no hormones). Many pill brands still create pills like this but there are some out there that have thrown the idea of monthly periods out the window (they're the real MVPs). There are now many different regimens for birth control pills. You can have a three-month prescription where you don't get your period for three months and then in the last week of the three months you get your period. You can even get one that makes you not get your period for a whole YEAR! What a time to be alive! But what can happen to your body when you take these pills? Well, ovulation stops, and your periods are fakes. Because these pills don't let an egg release it just mimics the symptoms of having an actual period. So basically your period is an imposter. Additionally, during this time you might experience some spotting in the first few months of taking this birth control method, which is totally normal! This is just your body getting used to the pill and you should return to normal after a few months on it.


The Ring

The ring is exactly what it sounds like… a literal ring, except this kind is flexible. This ring is inserted high up in the vagina and it releases the hormones estrogen and progesterone to stop ovulation from occurring. Usually, the ring is left in for three weeks and then taken out the fourth week to allow menstruation to happen. You are also able to skip your period by putting in a new ring right after the old ring. Similar to the pill, some spotting may occur in the first three months of use but should go away after that time.


The Patch

Yeah, it’s literally a patch you just stick on your body… that has hormones, how crazy is that? It’s really just that simple. You use the patch by peeling it off the sticky paper and placing it on clean and dry skin. Preferably on your stomach, your outer upper arm, or on one of your butt cheeks. Through your skin, the patch releases the hormones progesterone and estrogen which (as we know) stops ovulation from happening. When using the patch method you must change it every week on the same day. For example, if you start using the patch on a Wednesday, then Wednesday is your day to change it every week. After three weeks are over you can either take off the patch for a week and let menstruation occur OR you can just start a new month of patches and skip your period (which is completely safe to do by the way).


Intrauterine Devices (IUD)

More commonly known as an IUD, it comes in two different forms. There is the copper IUD, which can cause spotting between periods, and heavier, longer, and more painful periods in the first three to six months after having it put in. Although it seems like it’s pointless to have an IUD if it causes these symptoms, many women have reported back saying that after this time their periods become more normal. The other kind of IUD is the progestin IUD. This IUD is similar to the copper one in the sense that spotting and irregular periods are common in the first three to six months after insertion. But with the progestin IUD, many women say that their period becomes very light or some stopping altogether. Additionally, the progestin can be used for up to five years! How awesome is that?!



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