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For some, the birth control pill can arguably be said to be the best thing since modern medicine. As women, many of us would probably agree. Used since the early 1960’s, questions still linger as to the safety. Below are some common questions and answers about the infamous birth control pill.
What’s the difference between birth control pills that eliminate all of your monthly periods from the traditional birth control pills?
Traditional birth control pills allow you to have a cycle. In fact, this type of pill controls your cycle to mimic a regular 28-day cycle. First, you take 21 days of active pills and then seven days of a placebo, during which time you will experience vaginal bleeding.
On the other hand, when using the extended birth control pills, you take the hormones for much longer. Some pills, such as Lybrel, are meant to suppress all bleeding. This pill is taken nonstop. But with other extended birth control pills like Seasonale and Seasonique, you may take them continuously for a three month period, but then afterward, either a placebo or low-dose estrogen is taken.
So why can’t you just take regular birth control pills continuously to stop your period?
Basically, you can, but it is strongly suggested that there should be a break from the hormones after three months. During the “break,” you would use the seven-day placebo, afterward resuming the birth controls pill if desired. Some find that if they have something important planned that this may be a good alternative.
I’ve stopped taking the pill, but my cycle has not started back yet. What do I do?
This may be normal. In general, regular menstruation should start about three months after stopping the pill. It takes awhile for some so there may be no cause for alarm. But if you don’t have a cycle within the first three months, the Mayo Clinic recommends taking a pregnancy test first. And after six months without a period, you will need to see your doctor.
Do birth control pills make you gain weight?
It is a very popular opinion that the pill makes you gain weight. But according to the Mayo Clinic, studies showed that weight gain is very small, if any at all.