With many birth control methods to choose from, you may be tempted to change your method from one month to the next. But if you do, you need to be aware of how your birth control could affect your periods.
This birth control requires you to track your menstrual cycle to predict the days each month when you are fertile and most likely to get pregnant. This natural method does not affect your periods. (1)
This includes contraceptive sponges, diaphragms, cervical caps and both male and female condoms. All of these devices block sperm from entering the cervix and reaching the egg.
To be most effective, barrier methods should be used with spermicide to kill sperm. This method does not affect your periods.(1)
Hormones are chemical messengers that carry instructions from the brain to other parts of the body. The “female” hormones estrogen and progesterone work together with other hormones to regulate your cycle each month.
Hormonal birth control methods use the normal function of these hormones to deliberately change your body’s natural cycle.(1,2)
Hormonal birth control includes oral contraceptives often called “the pill,” skin patches, injections, vaginal rings and some types of implanted devices.
There are many variations between hormonal birth control methods and between different brands of birth control that can have different effects on your period.
For example, some birth control pills are available in packages of 24 hormone tablets with four placebo or “sugar pill” tablets. This type of pill can regulate your period. The hormone pills block your period. When you take the placebo pills, your period will begin.
Another type of BCPs are extended-cycle pills, which can prevent your period for long stretches of time, depending on the design of the pill packets.
Three-month packets use higher-dose hormones to block your period for three months, followed by a week of lower-dose hormones that allow you to have a period.