Sammy Nickalls
April 22, 2016 12:28 pm
Shutterstock

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 how to get your period back after skipping it.

I’ve been using continuous birth control to skip my period. Is there a way to prompt it to come back after I’ve skipped it?

Plenty of birth control pill-users, myself included, have skipped that placebo week when it falls during an inconvenient time. After all, no one wants their period when they’re on vacation at the beach and it is safe to skip that time of the month when you’re on birth control. Skipping our period by dumping the placebo pills in the trash is great if you don’t want to end up like this:

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But what if you actually wanted to get your period after you skipped it? Is there a way to invoke your period after the fact? The answer is yes — but you need a prescribed medication to do it. “[W]omen can take a prescribed hormone known as Provera, which will invoke a menstrual period within two weeks,” Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak OB-GYN Mark Werner, M.D. explained to HelloGiggles. Provera is a type of progestin, the female hormone, and is also given to women going through menopause.

Provera “change[s] the uterine lining to a secretary state to mimic the menstrual cycle,” board-certified gynecologist Dr. Felice Gersh of Integrative Medical Group of Irvine added. “[T]his is not a natural period.” In fact, WebMD explains that doctors use Provera to spur a period in women who have stopped menstruating due to amenorrhea.

So yes, you *can* invoke your period, but a better question is perhaps. . . why would you want to?

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After all, if it’s not unhealthy to skip your period on birth control, you might as well coast the next month sans period. (And if you were on birth control, it’s highly unlikely that you could possibly be pregnant — as less than one in 100 women will get pregnant if the pill is taken as directed, according to Planned Parenthood). But if you really miss Aunt Flo this month, feel free to head to your doctor to talk about your options.

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

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