Parting Ways With Aunt Flo By Choice: To Have A Period Or To Not Have A Period?

August 14, 2013  |  


While perusing through the hefty September issue for Glamour magazine on my tablet, I ran across an article that caught my attention and that I could somewhat relate to. It was titled, Why No One Is Getting Their Period Anymore, and the piece was on the growing trend of women making the choice to forgo their periods because…well, they just want to. And not for a few months, but even for years.

“Suppressing periods (by skipping the placebo pills at the end of a cycle and going straight to a fresh pack, or by using a continuous hormonal birth control method like Seasonale) is not only safe to do; it even makes you less likely to develop certain cancers, research shows.”

The author of the piece, Shaun Dreisbach, spoke about a party that was heavy on the wine that she attended recently. While feeling loose as a goose, somehow the topic came up about periods and she revealed to her friends that she hadn’t had her period in years, to the shock of her homies. However, many women have the same story. Dreisbach went on to encourage women to see their doctor before they decide to just dump Aunt Flo for however long they choose to, and that if they do and get the greenlight from their gyno, to still expect spotting here and there. While periods can be a pain (both literally and figuratively), I found myself sitting on the train thinking, could I really be comfortable living without it?

Just last month I made the decision to skip the placebo pills in my birth control. I did so as a last minute idea because I realized that I had planned an anniversary vacation with my boyfriend at the same time that my period was going to kick in and rain on my parade. I hadn’t even thought to check out of all things, my period’s schedule.

At the advice of my friend, I just moved from my placebos on to a fresh new pack, and because of that, was able to jump in pools and walk around South Beach carefree (and do other stimulating things of course, if you know what I mean). I didn’t think about my period until I came back home and all that spotting they speak of started happening. Weeks before my new period was supposed to come, I was bleeding irregularly while at work and while hanging with girlfriends. And when this period took longer than scheduled to show up even while back on the placebo pills, I was paranoid as all hell wishing it would hurry up and arrive (what had happened was, there was an incident after Miami and I needed that visual proof…once again, if you know what I mean). Once it finally did arrive, my bleeding was irregular and a little too light. Like pressing a curly fro then washing it and expecting the curls to come back the same way, I guess in the same way, periods take time to get back to normal.

Clearly there are major benefits to skipping your period, because 17 percent of young women are doing it nowadays. When you drop your period for convenience sake, there are no longer restrictions to when you’ll put on that crisp white ensemble, you can have sex all year round without possibly freaking your man out (period sex bothers some men big time), and you can save money on tampons and pads (a lot of which claim to be comfortable but still feel like diapers). Congrats. That’s all good and dandy.

However, when it comes to me, as of right now, I’m not trying to mess up the natural flow of what my body is supposed to be doing. I learned from the period after that Miami trip that I’m probably not going to pass on it again. Not because it wasn’t nice to have Aunt Flo out of sight and out of mind until more convenient times, but because it’s just not for me. I guess you can say that I just like the piece of mind that seeing Aunt Flo brings, even if that heffa can cramp me up good and ruin a nice pair of new drawls…

Are you someone who passes on monthly periods? Do you think you would or could do it?

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  • Yvonne Watkins

    A friend of mine immigrated from Africa after having suffered deprivation to the extent that she stopped having periods. She came to this country at age 60 AND STARTED HAVING PERIODS AGAIN! If you don’t release your eggs at a young age, will you still be having periods at 70 years of age? Count me out.

  • Zan

    I would choose not to have mine if I didn’t have to introduce more hormones into my body to do so…hormones that can cause more problems down the line than my period does. No, thanks.

  • Zan

    I would choose not to have mine if I didn’t have to introduce more hormones into my body to do so…hormones that can cause more problems down the line than my period does. No, thanks.

  • toya

    I take seasonale and I have a period every 3 months .I’ve been doing this 4 years ,just continuing with the pill and skipping the placebo. Its great all my paps are normal and I skip a 5 day cramp fest.They had a pill that I could take and not have a period but once a year I’d love to take, but my insurance wont cover that. It doesn’t affect your ability 2 have kids. When we were ready I stop taking the pills and we have 3 kids so I’m still fertile lol

  • unemotionalthinker01

    I would choose not to have mine in a heart beat, more days to have sex. If Im not trying to get pregnant I do not want my period!

  • Rae

    I suffer from Endometriosis and periods for me are the worst kind of pain, after an operation I made the decision to go on the contraceptive implant so haven’t actually had a real period in about 5 years.

    For me its a medical decision and have been informed that should I wish to get pregnant I can try immediately after removing it. (For some unknown reason the most effective way be rid of Endometriosis is having a baby). I neither am ready for a baby or for such regular pain effecting both my work and personal life.

  • Guest

    I thought about this today. 10 years ago I considered removing the uterine lining to avoid the monthly discomfort but ultimately chose the cramps vs. the mustache. The discomfort of the process is what makes us women. The pms symptoms not so much but the hormones keep your skin from wrinkling, growing facial fuzz, and regulates specific body functions. I choose to exercise more around that time, drink H2O, and rest. I’ve mastered the red winged fairy visits. She no longer intimidates me.

  • guestSS

    One thing that you only briefly mentioned is it DOES reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. And if I am not mistaken they are still looking into whether or not it reduces breast cancer but its looking like it decreases that risk as well. Also, for the people who think it goes against nature, women didn’t always menstruate 12 months of the year. I thought that way too but after discussions with my doctor and looking into studies done on these contraceptives I found out there is a lot of misinformation out there. For me personally, an IUD greatly reduced the monthly breast pain and migraines I was getting and was also recommended bc I have a family history of ovarian and breast cancer.

  • Treacle234

    No thank you! Not having your menstrual cycle during your reproductive years is known as. amenorrhoea, unless you are pregnant why would you want to induce this condition. There is no benefit to stopping your menstrual flow for extended periods. Women with really low levels of total body fat, or extremely high levels total body fat do not have their menstrual flow and they have fertility issues. So why on earth would you want to take a drug that stops you from having it. Sorry, but I’ll pass.

    • toya

      Its a good way to make sure black women stop having unwanted kids. Some black women try and use the side affects as reason not to take the pill.( not saying u r) That helps accounts for 73% of black child being born to unwed women.

  • Bambi

    If you have bad PMS, cramp and heavy flo.
    You’re most likely eating the wrong foods. To much meat in your diet!

    • Sheena B

      Endometriosis and/or fibroids.

  • Trisha_B

    No thank you. I dont even trust birth control lol. I would love to see this study done on the same women like 20 yrs down the road, & see how their body is then. You may get positive results now, while your young in your 20’s. But who knows what lasting effects are taking place even if your just doing this for a yr or 2. I can’t stand my period. The 5 days I’m on that thing, I’m a monster & cry baby rolled in one. But that is a sign my body is working right, letting me know things are going good. Having 4 periods a yr does not sound right to me at all, forget what them doctors & scientist say! If it works for others, good. But I pass on birth control, I’ll let my body do what female bodies have been made to do for centuries lol

  • guest

    This is one of the greatest things about birth control! I would do an every other month thing. One month skip one month on. Never had any complications and it was always on time when I chose to be on. I stopped using the ring in March and got pregnant in June so no issues.

  • Theresa K

    I discovered this about ten years ago via a white co-worker after I asked how sh was planning a wedding 18 mnths out without a suprise from mother nature. She went on to tell me to just start a new pack when the placeb pills cae arund. I did it fr the lonest time. Like years. I already had irregular perods so, my husband and I could never really plan anyway. I never suffered any adverse reactions and when I did run it by my doctor he said there was no worry. He said te plcebo pills allow your lining to sed. But if I kept foregoing the placebo pills my lining was not building up, thus, nothing to shed. I eventually got on Yasmine when it came on the scene.

  • Growth

    I used to take bc. Tried the pill, shot, and ring. But I got clots once and then had horrible bleeding for a week to where I needed a blood transfusion. Never again. Found out the hormones were way too strong and messed me all the way up. But I did try the skipping the white pill thing and it worked. The aftermath was the previously mentioned story though.

  • Guest360

    Although having a period is the bane of my existence, I can’t say that I would choose to get rid of it altogether. I am on bc so they’ve definitely made it easier to deal with but I’m a person that follows instructions to the letter. Theres a reason for the placebo pills. Unless your doctor says its ok to skip ahead to next pack, I just can’t see why anyone would take that chance. I’m going to need more research first before I ever feel ok with stopping a whole biological process that my body is supposed to go through.

  • woman2woman

    Oh, I am sooo glad you wrote this! I started Seosonique four years ago( where you have your period 4 times a year) and I am the happiest I have ever been. I didn’t realize how much PMS ruled my life the bloating, ( I don’t cramp thank God), the mood swings, the acne,etc. usually the week before my period and the week of. Now when I get my period its only for a few days, relatively light and I’m usually confused by the PMS because I’m not used to it anymore. I’m 29 and my friends say I’m crazy and they’re concerned about reproductive difficulties, I haven’t tried to have a baby, my doctor said there should be no more problems than any other bc, and I’m so happy, it’s a chance I’m going to have to take.

  • kierah

    I wouldn’t. I think there is a cleaning out process every month for good reason. I wouldn’t want to disrupt it (pregnancy being the exception).
    Although the pill is very effective at BC, it ain’t fool proof. It would take longer to realize that you’re pregnant and you could be indulging in behavior harmful to the embryo for a longer time.

    • Bambi

      I don’t even like the idea of birth control.
      How is a pill that stops a body function ”okay”. Would you be cool with a pill that stops you from peeing? …..all of it sounds off to me.

      • unemotionalthinker01

        So…what is your method of birth control?