Many women don't know that while on birth control pills, it is not medically necessary to have a menstrual period. In most cases, the week of placebo pills that is offered at the end of each cycle of birth control pills is to verify that a woman isn't pregnant by having a period. Continuous birth control allows you to take pills continuously for three months, then have a period. The Mayo Clinic notes that three-month, continuous birth control pills are a good option when you don't want to have a period each month.
Seasonale, the first continuous birth control available on the market and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, blocks female ovulation with a dosage of hormones that mimics the hormones in a pregnant body. You take Seasonale for three months straight, with one week then reserved for a period before beginning a new package of pills. Side effects for Seasonale are much like those of standard, monthly pills: increased risk of stroke or heart disease, as well as milder problems, such as breast tenderness and breakthrough bleeding.
Seasonique is another brand of three-month contraceptive pill. The manufacturer claims that after avoiding your period for three months by taking the pills continuously, you will take a week's worth of low-dose estrogen pills that allow you to have a short, light period. Seasonique is taken the same way as Seasonale, with the same risks. The Seasonique manufacturer's website does note that breakthrough bleeding can occur while taking the pill; this can be light spotting or bleeding, much as with a regular birth control pill.
Regular Contraceptive Pills
You don't need to see your doctor for a prescription for a continuous pill if you only want to skip your period for an inconveniently timed event of vacation. If you have an event coming up and want to skip your period while taking a regular contraceptive pill, simply discard the row of placebo pills and start immediately on the next pack of birth control pills. The Mayo Clinic advises that you should only do so for three months in a row, then have a period to make sure that everything is normal and to make sure that you aren't pregnant. If you want to make continuous birth control your primary form of contraceptive, see your doctor about going on this type of pill.