All about each symptom of menopause

Irregular Periods and Birth Control Pills

Most women experience an irregular period at least once in their life. This can occur because stress, weight loss or gain, fatigue, and other difficult situations or lifestyle habits. Additionally, some types of birth control can affect the regularity of a menstrual cycle.

Some types of birth control can affect your menstrual cycle.

What Are Irregular Periods?

Irregular periods are periods that do not occur between 21 and 35 days, and last three to seven days. However, every woman is different and typically knows what a normal cycle is for her.

They are many factors that influence irregular periods, but they are largely caused by hormonal imbalance. Birth control pills work by changing the levels of hormones in a woman's body, so it is possible for a woman to have irregular cycles or to even stop having her period while taking some types of birth control pills. However, some women find that their period is more regular while taking birth control.

To monitor your periods, use a chart to keep track of your cycle. Mark down the first day of your last period and the first day of the next, and continue this process for the next several months.

Do Birth Control Pills Affect Irregular Periods?

The answer is yes. For many women, birth control can alter the length of the cycle, duration, frequency, and the flow. Birth control pills can change the hormone levels in your body, causing your body to react differently and prompting menstruation to happen at different times. There are many different types of birth control pills with different levels and types of hormones. You should talk to your doctor to find out which pill will work best in your case.

Treatments for Irregular Periods While Taking Birth Control

It can take time for your body to get used to the changes that birth control pills produce. The side effects from the birth control pills can sometimes cause feelings of dizziness, headaches, and stomachaches.

It is important to talk to your doctor about your birth control when you begin it. It is also a good idea to consult your doctor or pharmacist when you pick up your prescription if you have any questions. You should talk to your doctor if your irregular periods are worried or you think you may be pregnant.

There are few lifestyle changes that you can make while adjusting to the birth control pills, like practicing stress-relieving techniques and eating healthy.

Also, there are certain alternative medicines that may help a woman cope with the changes in her body. Alternative medicines cannot work as birth control, but they can balance your hormones and help you manage uncomfortable symptoms like cramps.

Some prescription medications can help control your irregular periods. Your doctor will be able to prescribe them to you and help you make a choice that is right for you.

Can Irregular Periods Lead to Hair Loss?

Irregular periods do not lead to hair loss, but they can be indicative of other conditions that are related to hair loss. Find out more here.

Irregular Periods and Brown Discharge

Normal lasting periods can also be considered irregular if characterized by irregular bleeding and brown discharge. Find how to overcome them here.

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.

  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2013). Birth Control Pills. Retrieved from
  • 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