Birth Control Pills and the Era of Seasonal Menstruation

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The approval of continuous-use birth control pills began the era of seasonal menstruation. Having more control over their reproductive cycles, women gained access to a contraceptive that will not only minimize the occurrence of menstruation, but would completely eliminate monthly periods for up to a year.

birth control pills

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The era of seasonal menstruation began in 2003 upon the approval of continuous birth control pills for commercial use. The said new generation of pills gave women the option to regulate their menstruation and limit its occurrence to only four times a year. The need to have more control over their reproductive cycles due to lifestyle, career, and health reasons had prompted many women to use this type of contraceptive. Using the said medication, women can now delay menstrual periods for as long as an entire year.


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Lybrel, the first birth control pill that made it possible for women to be one-year free from menstruation, was approved for sale and public use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May 2007. While this estrogen-progestin hormonal pill works like the 21-Days On, 7-Days Off Cycle Pill, it does not have a “week off” period that usually leads to bleeding.

While there are still concerns about the ill-effects of preventing monthly periods and its negative effects on health, in general, experts confirmed that there was no physiological “downside” to a period-free life. According to one expert, many American women have been doing away with their monthly periods using the traditional birth control pills without encountering any problems.
According to Dr. Camelia Davtyan, a gynecologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, the “period” women get while on conventional birth control pill is not connected to the natural cycle of egg production. “It’s not a natural period. It’s an artificially induced period that happens because she stops taking the hormones for seven days. So, she gets some vaginal bleeding,” added Davtyan.

Some women have a psychological attachment to their menstrual period as an affirmation of their femininity. More than the side effects, they feel more secure about their health when they are having regular menstruation.

Complete elimination of monthly period is just emotionally uncomfortable for some women. “They don’t feel right about not having their period. For those women, obviously Lybrel and other such products are not good products for them,” said Dr. Michael Petriella, vice chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Hackensack University Medical Center, in Hackensack, New Jersey.
But for women who experience troublesome premenstrual syndrome (PMS), acne breakouts, blood-clotting, and painful endometriosis, understanding that they don’t need to bleed prompted them to seek for contraception that will alleviate these physical, as well as emotional symptoms linked to menstruation.

Convenience and modern lifestyle encourage women not to have bleeding altogether. Having monthly periods mean wearing pads, and/or tampons which could limit them from engaging in sports and other physical activities.

The new generation birth control pills, which include the lighter-period pills, the no-PMS (premenstrual syndrome) pills, and the no-acne pills, are more likely to appeal to younger women and those with menstruation problems like endometriosis and menstrual migraine.

All these pills are variations of the traditional birth control pills, which is a combination of mini-doses of estrogen and progestin. At present, there are no high-dose pills on the market anymore.


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