‘Birth control’ and ‘periods’ are both terms that are followed by a great deal of shushing and whispering. In most circles, conversations around these words happen in closed rooms with only close friends or family members. However, with better information dissemination and constructive dialogue being started around women’s reproductive health, more and more communities are becoming empowered with information regarding a woman and her health.
Let’s get a quick understanding of what these pills are so that we better understand how they influence the menstrual cycle.
Birth control pills or oral contraceptives are medicines that contain hormones like estrogen and progesterone and are designed to be consumed orally.
Birth control pills come in a pack of 28, with 21 pills containing the hormone and seven placebo pills. A woman gets her period on these seven days when she is consuming the placebo or inactive pills.
Birth control pills act by preventing ovulation, i.e., preventing the release of the egg into the uterus. Or, it thickens the mucous membrane near the cervix, and this prevents sperms from entering the uterus to fertilize an egg.
There are several effects birth control pills have on periods due to the hormones it contains. These effects include:
Oral contraceptives can change your body’s calendar. While most pills help to regulate the menstrual cycle, using them for a prolonged period might result in irregular periods. One may also experience spotting between cycles. Even suddenly stopping the pills could affect the cycle. The flow during your period may change, too.
These pills can reduce menstrual cramps. This should bring a sigh of relief to millions of women around the globe who experience pain during periods and are rendered incapacitated by the cramps.
However, one potentially harmful influence of these hormone-laden birth control pills is that they can influence the individual’s mood and induce mood swings.
It is highly recommended that you consult your doctor before you start your dose to understand how your body adapts to hormonal changes and what potential side effects will you be comfortable with and which are most challenging for you.
All said and done, do consider the importance of being on birth control pills or any other effective contraceptive if you do not wish to get pregnant in the near future.