Is It *Really* Okay to Use the Pill to Skip Your Period?

‘Cos the option to miss your period can seem too good to be true.

Skipping past your period on the Pill seems like the perfect lifehack; you get to miss out on the cramps *and* you still won’t get pregnant? What’s the catch? There are a lot of myths surrounding skipping your period, like it will make you infertile in the long run or that it’s ‘bad’ for your body. Let’s unpack the facts:

It’s not even a real period TBH

First things first, if you’re on any form of hormonal birth control then you are preventing your body from ovulating. Therefore the bleeding you experience every month (if you don’t skip it) is not a regular period anyway. It’s actually called ‘withdrawal bleeding’ (also known as a fake or hormonal period). In the last week of your Pill packet, you take placebo pills. This results in a withdrawal of the hormones your body is used to, which weakens the lining of your uterus just enough to release some blood. Because you haven’t been building up a thick uterine lining this withdrawal ‘period’ is usually much lighter and shorter.

Read: Do You Need to Freak Out If Your Period Blood is Black?

Okay, but is it safe to skip it?

In short, yes. There is no medical reason for you to bleed while you’re on the Pill. Studies show that there are no reported long-term effects for continuously skipping your ‘fake period’ while on the Pill. No matter how many times you skipped your ‘period’ while on your hormonal contraceptive when you go off it your period will return back to normal (unless you have some other menstruation issues going on). Basically, as long as you’re on the Pill you’re not having a normal period, but rather withdrawal bleeding. So, you’re technically skipping your period any way the whole time you’re on birth control.

Read: Is It Safe for You To Have Sex While on Your Period?

The side effects of skipping your period

The main downside to skipping your period is that you increase your chances of mid-cycle unpredictable bleeding. You know, that random spotting you sometimes get out of nowhere. That’s because your endometrial lining isn’t thickening up every month like it would if you weren’t on birth control. This can cause the underlying blood vessels to break, resulting in spotting, but studies show that this lessens with time.

So if you’re someone who suffers from debilitating cramps, friendship-ending levels of PMS, super heavy flow, or if you just freakin’ hate getting your period, going on the Pill so that you can skip it out altogether is a good option. Just be sure to always have a chat with your gynae before making any changes to your birth control plan to double-check that it’s the right option for you.

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