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 the ~magic~ of birth control.
What exactly do birth control pills do to our period?
To someone with irregular or very long periods, hormonal birth control can seem like magic. Suddenly, our bodies are regular! What a wonderful world! We know that they aren’t straight out of Harry Potter, however, so that has us wondering: How do birth control pills work, exactly?
Interestingly, if you’re on hormonal birth control, you’re not actually having a period at all. SCIENCE. “Birth control eliminates your period by taking away your natural hormones and replacing them with chemicals,” explained board-certified gynecologist Dr. Felice Gersh of Integrative Medical Group of Irvine told HelloGiggles in an email. “Once our normal hormones are no longer supporting our uterine lining, the lining becomes unsupported and it falls out, resulting in bleeding.” This is another reason why skipping your period with continuous birth control pills is 100% safe.
Hey, it seems like magic to us!
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?
- Is skipping your period with continuous birth control pills actually safe?
- What *not* to eat when you have food cravings before your period
- Is there any way to invoke your period after you’ve skipped it?
- Does having sex affect your period (other than pregnancy)?
- Should you change your tampon every time you pee?