Pros And Cons Of Period-Eliminating Birth Control
As many women know, today there are birth control options that eliminate your menstrual cycle. A period occurs when there is a build up of hormones in the body, as ovulation occurs or the ovary releases an egg. During this time, the uterine lining thickens in preparation for pregnancy. But if no pregnancy occurs, the body produces less of the hormones it was pumping out before, and the uterus sheds that extra lining. This is called a “withdrawal” of hormones. You experience this as a period. On period-eliminating birth control, the body never even creates that buildup of pregnancy-preparing hormones, so there is no withdrawal and no period. For most women, the idea of not getting a period sounds like a dream come true. You may be surprised, however, to find that there are some drawbacks of not allowing for your monthly visitor. Here are the pros and cons of period-eliminating birth control.
Con: If you’re pregnant, you can be at risk
If you are pregnant, you may not realize it, because not getting your period is the norm. That means you may continue to take your birth control—or you may not remove your semi-permanent device like your IUD—which could be harmful to your pregnancy.
Pro: Spending less on tampons and pads
You get to spend less on pads and tampons. You also spend less on things like Midol. You could save thousands of dollars by not getting your period.
Con: No periods to prevent pregnancy scares
You don’t get that monthly relief, when you see those little red dots in your underwear, of phew I’m not pregnant. You just have to trust that your birth control is working.
Pro: Not worrying about toxic shock syndrome
You can forget ever worrying about toxic shock syndrome again. You don’t need to set an alarm to remember to remove your tampon. You don’t even need to choose between chemical or natural tampons.
Con: No “I’m on my period” excuse
You can’t use the, “I’m on my period” excuse to get out of sex with your partner. You’ll just have to tell him that you aren’t in the mood and offend his delicate sensibilities.
Pro: You’re always good to go
Of course, if you do want to have sex, you never have to abstain because you’re on your period. If you’re cool with having sex on your period and your partner is, too, then it was never an issue.
Con: It can feel unnatural
For some women, not getting a period can feel like giving up some of their women-ness. Our menstrual cycles are a part of what make us female. Without them, we can feel…unbiological.
Pro: Not worrying about packing feminine products
Gone will be the days of making sure you remembered to put a tampon in every purse, desk drawer, and car center divider.
Con: Unpredictable bleeding
Even on period-eliminating birth control, infrequent and light periods can occur. These will not be as predictable as regular periods though, so you may experience light bleeding at any given time.
Pro: No PMS
Ah. What a glorious concept. No PMS. No PMS?! Can you imagine not having the cramps, headaches, mood swings, cravings, and bloating? It’s quite liberating.
Con: No PMS special treatment
If you don’t have PMS then you don’t get special PMS treatment—like sending your boyfriend to the store to get you ice cream or having your boyfriend do your chores because you’re PMSing.
Pro: Fewer ruined underwear
You won’t wake up to find you’ve ruined yet another pair of underwear, because your period came half a day early in the middle of the night. That being said, there may still be that light, sporadic spotting mentioned earlier.
Con: You must take all the pills
If you take a pill, you must take all pills. There is no hormone-free, inactive week as there is on the traditional pill. You must remember to take every single one in the packet.
Pro: You can get a period if you want
You can always go back to getting a period if you want to. Just stop taking your birth control.
Con: It can be shocking when you do
If you haven’t had a regular period in a while, having one can be shocking. The cramps and mood swings may be worse than ever, and the bleeding can be quite heavy at first.