• Kerry C. Bullerdick, MD

Is it okay for me to take birth control pills continuously and not have a period?


There are many women who would prefer just to skip “that time of the month.” Fortunately, for a majority of women, there are several options to either reduce and/or stop monthly menstrual periods some of which include pills. Your specific medical history as well as the current birth control pills you are taking should be reviewed by your doctor to see if this would be an option for you before making any changes to your current birth control pill regimen.

It is important to realize that while the goal may be to not have a period, many women may have irregular bleeding or spotting for the first few months while taking continuous pills. Furthermore, irregular bleeding and spotting can also return with prolonged use of continuous pills. For that reason, some women prefer taking extended-cycle pills that cause you to have a period every 3 months, meaning only 4 periods a year. We have found that this regimen reduces unscheduled and breakthrough bleeding compared to regimens where one never has a menstrual period.

While irregular bleeding on continuous or extended-cycle pills can often be due to the medications themselves, any irregular or unexpected vaginal bleeding should always be brought to your doctor’s attention as there can be other causes for your abnormal bleeding than just your birth control.

Finally, there are birth control formulations other than pills that can also decrease the frequency or stop periods as well. If not having a monthly period is something that interests you, be sure to talk with your doctor.

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