There are various methods to prevent pregnancy. One of the most common is the birth control pills. And birth control pills can be further classified into different types. But these pills, in general, work by controlling the female hormones. And this results to controlling your menstrual cycle, and thus preventing you from getting pregnant. But what happens when you stop taking birth control pills? One cannot help but get a little anxious and ask, “Should I worry when I have no period after stopping birth control?”
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are oral contraceptives. These are a female hormonal birth control method, meaning that it controls the female hormones, thus preventing pregnancy. It is considered to be among the most highly effective birth control methods. There are two types of birth control pills, the Pill and the mini-Pill.
The Pill is a combin ation pill. It contains the combination of two female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. The Pill’s combined hormones prevent ovulation. Without ovulation, there is no egg to be fertilized. The Pill also thickens the mucus around the cervix, making it difficult for the sperm to enter the uterus and fertilize the egg that was released. The lining of the uterus is also affected, making it difficult for the egg to attach to the wall of the uterus.
Combination pills come in either a 21-day pack or a 28-day pack. One pill is taken at around the same time each day for 21 days. For a 21-day pack, you will stop taking pills for 7 days. For a 28-day pack, you have to take the placebo pills (pills without hormones) for 7 days. And after a woman stops taking the hormone pills, her menstrual period starts. There is also another type of combination pills wherein you take hormone pills for 12 weeks and placebo pills for 7 days. So instead of having menstrual periods every month, it only happens once every 3 months.
The mini-Pill, also known as progestin-only, only contains a small dose of progesterone, thus the name. This pill works by thickening the cervical mucus, changing the lining of the uterus, and sometimes affecting the ovulation. The mini-Pill is slightly less effective compared to combination pills.
The mini-Pill is taken every day at roughly the same time of the day without any breaks. A woman who takes the mini-Pill may have no period at all or have irregular periods. Missing a dose may lead to it becoming inefficient.
After the Pills
Birth control pills affect the woman’s menstrual cycle. Using the pills regulates the menstrual cycle, making one have a period regularly, every 28 days or once every 3 months depending on the type of pill you use. But what happens when you stop taking the pills altogether? Because the menstrual cycle is controlled by the hormones provided in the pills, it may take some time before one starts ovulating properly again.
When one misses her period, the thought of pregnancy comes into mind. But missing your period, or amenorrhea, may either be due to pregnancy or no ovulation occurred. The best way to really know, whether one is pregnant or not is through a pregnancy test.
If amenorrhea happens after one stops to take birth control pills, there is no need for much worry. Because the pills are the ones that are providing you the hormones and controlling your menstrual cycle, it will definitely be affected by the sudden stop of using pills. Your body needs to adjust to the absence of the pills and start producing the hormones, estrogen and progesterone, on its own. And this can cause some sort of delay in your menstrual cycle. This happens quite common to women who choose birth control pills and decide to stop.
The estrogen and progesterone in the pills suppresses the natural hormones of the body that promotes the ripening and releasing of the egg. Once you stop taking the pills and take instead the placebo pills, then your period comes. By using this contraceptive again and again over time, your body gets used to regular menstruation every 28 days. When you stop entirely from taking the pills, your body needs to start its own production of hormones. And this needs getting used to.
It usually takes 2 to 3 months before one gets a regular period. If you still don’t have your period after three months without birth control, you might need to do a pregnancy test or visit your doctor and have yourself checked.