I assume you’re a woman and you already know how much of a hassle getting your period can be. Hot date? Better not wear those pants in case your “friend” (or “aunt”) shows up. Want to be intimate with your significant other? Put on the breaks because here comes the red firetruck. For those of you who find it a hassle to stock up on tampons and Midol every month, here are a few options for skipping, lessening, and stopping your menstrual cycle.
Is Stopping My Period Safe?
Yes and no. While many doctors agree that skipping periods with birth control pills is fine, they also point out that stopping your menstrual cycle completely may mask other health problems. Uterine cancer, for example, may show itself through changes in menstrual bleeding. Researchers are also investigating the affect of the menstrual cycle on things like bone density. On a positive note, getting rid of your period decreases other symptoms like cramps, anemia, and migraines. Talk to your doctor to find out if stopping your period is right for you.
Methods for Stopping Your Menstrual Cycle
Birth control options. Birth control pills contain a small amount of synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones that inhibit the body’s natural cyclical hormones. These synthetic hormones work by keeping the ovaries from ovulating. You can stop your period for the month by starting the next month’s dosage and skipping the placebo pills. Words to the wise: Spotting may occur—so be prepared.
Seasonique. Ladies want fewer periods and some companies have caught on. Seasonique is a combination birth control pill (has both estrogen and progesterone hormones) that allows the user to get only four periods a year, each lasting about four days. A four-day period would be pretty awesome compared to the average seven days.
Seasonale. Although Seasonale sounds like Seasonique, it is different. Seasonale is a birth control pill that allows the user only four periods a year, but the period will last the full seven days. Seasonale also comes with placebo pills.
Lybrel. Lybrel is the first approved birth control pill meant to be taken continuously so that your period stops for as long as you take it. It is a combination birth control pill and some bleeding and spotting may still occur.
Hysterectomy. A hysterectomy isn’t just for women who just want to get rid of their period. If you struggle with abnormal bleeding, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or uterine cancer, then a hysterectomy may be for you. A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the uterus. It also causes premature menopause. Talk to your doctor about this option.
Get Rid of Your Period Naturally
If you are having trouble remembering when your period is due or if you have somewhat irregular periods, it might be helpful to do a menstrual calculator or calendar. There are some you can find online or you can even make your own. Good things to include are: how many days before your period you get cramps, how long the cramps last, how long your period lasts, or if you noticed anything else (like abnormally heavy bleeding or migraines). This can really help with menstrual cramp reduction. If you know you get pretty bad cramps roughly three days before your period, you can take preventative measures to mitigate the pain—like taking Midol, drinking more water, or exercising.