Irregular Periods Articles

The Effects of Birth Control on Your Irregular Period

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Many women use birth control pills to regulate their periods. During perimenopause, periods often become significantly more irregular. There are many different types of irregular period, such as abnormally heavy or light flow, infrequent or too frequent menstruation, and a period that lasts more than seven days or less than three. This can lead to a variety of problems, including iron deficiency. If you are considering birth control pills for your irregular periods, here are some useful facts.

How Will Birth Control Pills Help Me?

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During perimenopause, hormonal changes begin to affect your uterine lining. While your body continues to produce estrogen and progesterone, hormone levels can fluctuate drastically. When there is more estrogen in the system than progesterone, the uterine lining may become thicker, or take longer to shed, making periods heavier.

Birth control pills can, in some cases, regulate these two hormones and eliminate heavier and longer periods. Depending on your symptoms, a physician may recommend you take a continuous dosage of pills — not stopping during the week of your period — in order to stop bleeding altogether.

Are There Other Advantages To Taking the Pill?

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Taking birth control pills can help you manage some other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and osteoporosis. Women in perimenopause are more prone to ovarian, endometrial, and uterine cancer, however, taking the pill can reduce that risk. It's still possible for a woman to get pregnant during perimenopause, so even if you chose not to take the pill, you may want to continue using contraceptives if you are sexually active.

Is it Dangerous to Take Birth Control Pills?

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While birth control pills may reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer, they also increase the likelihood of cervical and liver cancer in some patients.

There has been substantial research on the relationship between breast cancer and birth control pills. Although the findings aren't conclusive, studies have demonstrated a link between pill usage and breast cancer in premenopausal women (women who have not yet reached perimenopause). This risk seems to decrease ten years after women stop taking the pill.

In some women, birth control pills also increase the likelihood of developing blood clots.

More Information about Irregular Periods

Taking birth control pills is one way to treat irregular periods. Lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption can also treat menstrual irregularities. Click on the following link for more information about treatments for irregular periods.

How to Treat Irregular Periods

Women approaching menopause often experience irregular periods. Click here to learn about natural ways to handle irregular periods.

Constant Irregular Periods

Irregular periods are one of the earliest signs that a woman is approaching menopause. They can be caused by a range of medical conditions.

Thyroid and Irregular Periods

Irregular periods are usually not a concern, but they can be caused by an underlying issue, such as a thyroid condition. Click here for more info.

Sources:
  • Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007