Dr Judy 24/7

Good Health with Emily > All birth control all the time

I have heard that it not necessary for women to have their monthly "curse" if they take certain kinds of birth control pills. This would be nice because I always tend to get that "gift" around special occasions or on vacations which is extremely disappointing to my husband and I if you know what I mean... Are these pills really safe? It it healthy to never have your period for the sake of your sex life?? Thanks!

August 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterR.P.

Well, R.P, I definitely know what you mean! Why is it that when we (women) are looking forward to something, our lovely friend always has to show up to “enjoy” those times with us?! One reason is because that our stress levels increase (good things can cause stress by making us more excited than usual). Sometimes when we are stressed our bodies react by bleeding or spotting. Even when women are on the pill (monthly or tri-monthly) this spotting from stress effect can occur. There is some hope with the tri-monthly pills.

The benefits of using the tri-monthly pills (extended) according to the Contraceptive Technology Update Journal are . . .

• Reduces the number of periods per year
• Reduces PMS frequency
• Reduces cramps
• Reduces acne
• Reduces endometriosis
• Can help menstrual migraines
• Can help reduce pain and problems associated with polycystic ovary syndrome
• Works well with active and athletic lifestyles
• Reduces the amount of money spent on feminine products

Another positive aspect of using the extended oral contraceptives was found in a recent research study. The study showed that using the 3-month long oral contraceptives may be more effective in reducing hormonal problems associated with the ovaries. So, less intense PMS? Maybe? That might be a great perk if you experience mood swings and bloating.

So now for the problems associated with this kind of extended birth control. Just like the one-month pills, the same health risks such as stroke, heart attack, and blood clots apply. Another problem with the 3-month method is that it will take you longer to figure out if you are pregnant or not. The effectiveness of oral contraceptives depends on consistent use. Please use this one consistently, because it could create problems for you and the baby if you continue to take these pills for 3-6 months while unknowingly pregnant.

Another problem with this method of birth control (especially if this is a problem for you and your hubby anyway) is that the first 3 months tend to include unpredictable breakthrough bleeding. The good news is that the longer you are on this method, the more your body will get used to it, and the less bleeding you will have between periods.

As with any form of birth control, please ask your doctor about using the 3-month packs of oral contraceptives. And here is some food for thought. In a recent study published in the Contraceptive Technology Update journal, doctors were asked to chose one oral contraceptive that they would recommend to their patients if there were no other considerations besides their opinion. Out of 10 options, Seasonale was only chosen by 1.8% of the doctors. This was the lowest number chosen (the “other” category was chosen more). Seasonale is the name brand of the 3-month long birth control pill. The hormone pills are taken for 3 months before taking a week of placebo pills. Regular birth control is taken for 3 WEEKS instead of 3 months.

Well, R.P., thank you for this question. I was actually wondering the same thing. ☺ I hope this information has helped you to become a little more familiar with this birth control option.
Is there anyone else out there who is actually on a 3-month oral contraceptive? If so, what has your experience with it been like? Let us know! Thanks again and keep the conversations flowing, everyone!

Your Loving Sex-pert,

Emily

Eao2116@columbia.edu

October 8, 2009 | Registered CommenterEmily Owens