Is skipping your period with continuous birth control pills actually safe?

Some of us have had our periods for decades, but are still mystified about what’s going on down there and why. In the HelloGiggles series “Period Talk,” we ask gynecologists our biggest questions about all things period-related and finally get the answers to what is really going on . . . because everyone should be up-to-date on that time of the month! Our next question is about those birth control pills that keep you from having a period. 

Is skipping your period with continuous birth control pills actually safe?

No-period birth control is pretty much like other birth controls, except you don’t take the placebo pills that start your period every month. You are taking the “active” pills continuously, meaning no period — and pure heaven, for those of us with exceedingly painful and heavy periods. But is continuous birth control safe to do to your body? Is stopping your period bad for you?


The resounding answer: Nope! “All birth control pills create a man-made chemical system that controls the female body and eliminates periods. Some women still experience an artificial withdrawal bleed, but not experiencing this is not bad for you,” board-certified gynecologist Dr. Felice Gersh of Integrative Medical Group of Irvine told HelloGiggles. And don’t worry — your uterine lining is not building up inside you.

There’s no real reason you need to have a period while on birth control, said Dr. Tara Harris, OB/GYN at Baylor Obstetrics and Gynecology at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in Houston. “While you are taking the active pills, you are suppressing your hormones; the cycle that occurs with the placebo pills is just a response to the withdrawal of hormones,” she said. “While you are taking hormonal birth control, you can basically have a period however frequently you want.”

You’ve probably heard of hormonal birth control that allows you to have your period only a few times a year (called extended-cycle birth control), such as Seasonale. It’s the same idea and there are lots of options you can discuss with your doctor if you’re interested.


What a beautiful world.

Read more from the HelloGiggles series “Period Talk”:

This is the best birth control to manage cramps

This is why your boobs get so sore before your period

The surprising reason you get constipated during your period

This is what happens to your uterine lining if you have an IUD

Is Midol the best pain relief for cramps?

Is it normal to have super-short periods?

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