Birth control pills are considered to be the most reliable method to avoid unwanted pregnancy by women all around the world. They contain hormones that help in preventing pregnancy from occurring. According to the level of hormones in them, these pills can work in three different ways. While certain pills make sure that the sperm does not reach the egg to fertilize it, there are other types of birth control pills which see to it that the ovulation does not take place. On the other hand, there are some pills which weaken the uterine lining, thus making it impossible for the fertilized egg to attach itself to it. Whatever kind of birth control pills one uses, they are believed to be 99% effective in avoiding the chances of pregnancy, if used properly. Hence, these pills have become a favorite among women who want to delay starting a family. However, not many women know that these birth control pills can be used to skip, as well as delay their periods.
Birth Control Pills to Delay Periods
These come in a pack of 21 tablets as well as 28 tablets. Women who use the 21 pills packet, take 21 pills continuously and then, stop taking the pills for seven days during which they get their periods. On the other hand, the 28 pills packet contain 21 hormone tablets and 7 placebo tablets which are also called sugar pills. These women take the 21 hormone pills for the first 21 days of the menstrual cycle and the placebo tablets which does not have any hormones for the seven days. After the seven days, they start with another pill packet. However, if a woman wants to delay her menstruation for vacation or because she has to attend a social function, party, etc., all she has to do is discard the placebo pills and start with another set of hormone pills on the 22nd day. In other words, after she completes the 21 hormone pills, instead of starting with the sugar pills, she should begin taking another packet of hormone pills. This would help in delaying her menstruation for another three weeks. If she wants to delay her menses for some more weeks, she has to continue the same procedure after the 21 tablets get over.
Alternative Methods to Delay Periods
Sometimes, women who do not usually take birth control pills would want to postpone their menses for a week or so because of some personal reason like a wedding, honeymoon, etc. In such cases, they try delaying menstrual cycle with over-the-counter pills. However, experts are of the opinion that this is not safe and hence, and it would be best to consult a doctor before opting for the same. Most doctors prescribe some types of pills that a woman will have to take everyday till she wants to delay her menses. When she wants it to come back, she just has to stop taking them and her menstruation will resume within 3-4 days.
Though both the aforementioned methods are said to be effective ways of delaying periods, many women avoid using them because they have various side effects. Sometimes, women who take birth control pills to postpone their periods experience certain problems like nausea, mood swings, weight gain, etc. Their continuous intake may cause infertility and increase the risk of having a stroke, heart attack, blood clots, etc. Therefore, there are many women who are looking for ways to delay their period naturally. One of the most commonly used natural methods is by altering the person's diet. It is said that avoiding spices like garlic, peppers, and ginger in one's food can help in delaying periods. Apart from this, it will also be a good idea to refrain from eating foods like sesame, papaya, etc., that increase the body heat, thus, leading to the occurrence of periods. One has to start this diet at least 2 weeks before their menstruation starts. Though this method does not have any side effects, its effectiveness is still questionable. Hence, one would have to try it several times to see whether it actually works in their case.
If one is using birth control pills to postpone their menstruation, make sure to start administering them at least 2 months before the time one wants it to get delayed. This is because continuous use of these pills can give rise to spotting which is also called breakthrough bleeding. Another important thing one has to remember is that whatever method one may wish to opt for, do not use it without consulting the doctor. This is in order to avoid any kind of complications.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.