As most women can attest, getting a period during certain situations is very inconvenient. Whether it be due to a tropical vacation, special date or athletic event, many women wish they could skip getting their period for a month. Using hormonal birth control pills to suppress menstruation can make this desire a reality. This practice is generally a safe and effective way to change the dates of menstruation, but you should always get a doctor’s approval first.
Talk to your doctor. If you don’t already have a prescription for birth control pills, you will have to undergo a physical exam to obtain a prescription. If you do have a current birth control prescription, it is still wise to get your doctor’s permission before attempting to suppress your period.
Begin taking the birth control pills. If you are already taking the birth control pills, simply continue taking the active pills as usual. If you are just starting birth control, talk to your doctor about the best time to begin taking the medication. Take all active pills of the package until you reach the reminder pills.
Skip the reminder pills and begin taking the active pills of another birth control package. The reminder pills do not contain hormones, and the lack of hormones is what triggers bleeding. Continuing to take the active pills keeps the hormone levels steady and prevents menstruation from occurring.
Continue to take active pills until you want menstruation to occur. This may require skipping the reminder pills of the second package of birth control pills and starting to take active pills of a new package.
Stop taking the active pills a couple days before you want your period to come. You can take the reminder pills during this time or simply not take any pills for seven days. You should begin bleeding within a few days of stopping the active pills. Remember that if you go more than seven days without taking an active pill, you need to use a backup method of birth control or you may become pregnant, warns the Feminist Women’s Health Center website.
Breakthrough bleeding may occur when you first begin using birth control pills to suppress your period. You may want to consider suppressing your period a few months in advance of the specific event to minimize the chance of experiencing this breakthrough bleeding during that event, suggests the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals.
Taking an active pill just a couple hours late may increase the chance of breakthrough bleeding occurring, warns Dr. Leslie Miller on her website NoPeriod.com.