Birth Control Pills That Stop, Delay, Prevent Periods, Menstruation… Common Risks & Side Effects
There are many methods of preventing pregnancy in women including the use of vaginal rings, injection, and IUDs (intra-uterine device); however, only a few are as effective as the use of birth control pills. Statistically, it is known that in every 100 women that correctly make use of birth control pills, about 91 of them are successful. That means only 9 of the women may get pregnant.
Birth control pills are oral contraceptive drugs taken by a woman who wants to prevent conception. The pills work by halting the release of ova from the ovaries while also thickening the cervical mucus to prevent fertilization.
Types of birth control that stop periods
Generally, there two major forms of birth control pills: progestin-only pills also called mini-pills, and combination pills which combine two hormones – progestin and estrogen. While both types are effective in preventing pregnancy, the combination pills are more effective. Examples of combination pills are Ogestrel, Portia, Sayfral, Gianvi, Kariva, Caziant, and Beyaz, while examples of mini-pills include Errin, Jolivette, and Heather.
Moving on, combination pills are further divided into three:
- Monophasic pills.
These pills are used in one-month menstrual cycles with each active pill providing the same hormone dosage. To resume your period, you need to take inactive (placebo) pills during the last week of the cycle.
They are also used in one-month cycles; however, the active pills provide different dosages of hormones. And like the monophasic pills, you can resume your period by taking inactive pills during the last week of the cycle.
- Extended-cycle pills.
These pills are used when you want to have fewer periods in a year – typically about three to four periods each year. You use the active pills for 12 weeks and the inactive ones during the 13 and final week.
Benefits of birth control pills
There are many advantages of using birth control pills over other birth control methods. Some of these benefits are:
- Effective in preventing pregnancy. Among the various methods of preventing pregnancy, the use of birth control pills is one of the most effective. When using the pills, you are assured of a complete protection against conception during intercourse.
- Few health risks. In addition, to the potency of birth control pills, they still have few health risks and side effects when compared to other options.
- For controlling irregular periods. For women having irregular or heavy menstrual cycles, the use of birth control pills can help them to control their periods.
- Protection against anemia. One of the symptoms of periods is bleeding. For some women, this can be a problem as they can lose essential blood components like iron during bleeding. Taking oral contraceptives helps to stop the bleeding and hence, prevent iron-deficiency anemia.
- Prevention of acne. Combination birth control pills help to prevent acne in women.
- Prevention of uterine and ovarian cancer. Using birth control pills can help in lowering the risk of having uterine and ovarian cancers.
- Complete reversibility. There are no side effects when a woman stops using birth control pills. Instead, their normal menstrual cycles will resume and they can still get pregnant.
Choosing a birth control pill
Every woman’s body may not work the same; hence, not every type of birth control pill may be good for every person. Before choosing a pill you need to consider a few factors such as whether you have other chronic health conditions that may interfere with the effectiveness of the pills, whether you are breastfeeding, and the possible side effects of each pill. No matter, you need to discuss with your doctor to help you decide the best pill for your body.
Examples of common birth control pills are:
Ocelia, Natazia, Enpresse, Seasonale, Yaz, Yasmin, Necon, Zarah, Junel, Cryselle, Balcoltra, Aviane, and Apri.
Can birth control pills be used to delay or stop periods?
Yes, birth control pills can be used to delay and even stop periods. Mini-pills and multiphasic combination pills can be used to delay periods while monophasic and extended-cycle pills, when used continuously, can help to limit your periods.
Moreover, there are new kinds of birth control pills that stop periods and PMS. These no-period and no-PMS pills contain fewer placebo pills than the traditional birth control pills. The estrogen content of these pills helps in the prevention of acne and PMS while the progestin hormones help to prevent bloating and weight gain in users. An example of this type of pill is Lybrel which is to be taken every day for one year and has no placebo pills. Another no-period pill is Amethyst while Seasonique can be used to delay or limit periods to only four (4) times each year.
Is it bad to take birth control to stop your period?
The answer to this question is somehow relative. This is because while taking birth control pills to stop periods in some women is safe, for others it is not. Thus, it is not bad to take birth control if you have no other health problems, but bad if otherwise.
Moreover, the advantages of using birth control far outweigh the disadvantages. For example, the use of the pills helps you – a woman – to avoid the issues or symptoms that are associated with periods such as cramps and bleeding.
Risks of using birth control pills
The major health risk of using birth control pills – especially combination pills – is blood clotting. This risk may be very minimal in some women while it can be higher for others such as those with high blood pressure and obese women. In addition, women that have been diagnosed with the following ailments should not use birth control pills: breast and endometrial cancer, diabetes, liver disease, and chest pain. Women having estrogen-sensitive conditions should not take combination pills if they have to use birth control pills due to the presence of estrogen in the pills, rather they should try any of the progestin-only pills.
Side effects of using birth control pills
Common side effects of using birth control pills include mood changes, swelling of the breast, nausea, and possible weight gain. Other side effects are severe headaches, pain in the legs, stomach pain, and blurry vision.