control can be a total lifesaver if you’re not trying to get pregnant right
now. But it can also impact your period, and usually for the better. That’s why
some gynaes will prescribe certain forms of birth control for period issues.
if your primary reason for choosing a birth control is the ability to decide
when you want to have kids, you might not even think about how it can impact
your period – but it’s important to factor it in.
how your period can be affected by popular forms of birth control.
more: 9 struggles all women who take the
pill can relate to
hormonal birth control pill
How it changes your period: The Pill, made up of progestin
and oestrogen, impacts everyone differently, but it can shorten the duration of
your period and minimise bleeding, says Dr Jessica Shepherd, an assistant
professor of clinical obstetrics and gynaecology and director of minimally invasive
gynaecology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.
five- to seven-day period might be a three to four-day cycle on The Pill,” she
What else you need to know: This is a good option if you
struggle with periods that are a bit off.
use it to treat women with abnormal bleeding,” says Dr Christine Greves, a
board-certified gynae at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies.
more: The new contraceptive that won’t mess
with your hormones
How it changes your period: While it can help with your period,
Dr Greves says the mini-pill, which is a progestin-only option, is “not my
go-to” for bleeding issues.
women who take the mini-pill can have periods that are lighter and experience
less painful cramps than before,
What else you need to know: The mini-pill is pretty finicky.
have to take it the same time each day and if you take it outside of a small
window, the efficacy can go down,” Dr Greves says.
more: 12 contraceptives you should think about trying — other than the pill
How it changes your period: It depends on what kind of IUD you use. The
copper IUD may make you bleed more heavily for the first few months and then
cause spotting between periods, Dr Greves says. But, given that it doesn’t
contain any hormones, it may not impact your period at all, Dr Shepherd says.
you have a hormonal IUD (which uses progestin), your monthly bleeding will
usually go way down or even go away completely, Dr Shepherd says. “The majority
of women with this IUD forget to carry tampons in their purse because they
don’t need them,” Dr Greves says.
What else you need to know: Everyone is different and while the
hormonal IUD may impact your period, it also can have no impact on it, Dr Shepherd
IUDs last a lot longer than other forms of birth control and are pretty
fool-proof, making them an option many doctors recommend.
more: What happens to your body when you stop taking the pill
How it changes your period: This can impact your period the
same way as a hormonal IUD – minimising your period over time or taking it away
completely, Dr Shepherd says.
What else you need to know: The implant lasts for three years
(definitely a pro), but it can cause spotting.
of these are removed because women are annoyed at the spotting,” Dr Greves
more: All your birth control questions answered!
How it changes your period: The ring basically works the same way as
The Pill – you just don’t have to remember to take it every day. “It will
minimise your bleeding and regulate it,” Dr Shepherd says.
What else you need to know: You have to remember to change it
out on the right day every month. Still, if you’re good at keeping track of
those kinds of things, it may be a good option for you.
more: Exactly what to do if you forget to
take your birth control pill
How it changes your period: It’s pretty similar to a hormonal
IUD, Dr Shepherd says. Initially you might have irregular bleeding for up to
four months but, over time, the bleeding will be minimised or go away
What else you need to know: Everyone is different, so while the
shot can make your periods go away, it can also cause spotting or lighter
you’re still not sure which birth control method makes the most sense for you
and your periods, talk to your doctor. They should be able to steer you in the
This article was originally featured on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
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