What really happens to your body when you skip your period.

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If you feel like your period comes around a little too quickly every month, it might surprise you to learn there’s a good reason for thinking that. Women today experience three times as many menstrual cycles as the generations before us. We have earlier onset periods, later first births, fewer pregnancies, shorter breastfeeding periods, and later menopause to thank for this surprising stat.

A recent study showed that 91% of women who use birth control pills would like to skip their period every once in a while. But is running your packs together or skipping the sugar pills dangerous? And will it affect future fertility? We spoke to Associate Professor Pete Benny, a sub specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and Medical Director of Sydney fertility clinic BUMP to find out.

1. Will skipping your period potentially stuff up future fertility?

No. Skipping your period will not upset your potential fertility in the future and in fact in the US and Europe there is an Oral Contraceptive Pill (OCP) marketed as a seasonal OCP where you take active pills for 84 days then 1 week sugar pills, thus only having a period every 3 months (ie every season). This has been deemed safe by health professions and health organisations. So skipping your sugar pills for a cycle or two is completely fine.



Related links:
“How I got my period back after 7 years without it.”
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2. Will it stuff up your cycle if you do it too much?

No, it will not upset your cycle if you do it too much so long as you don’t do it too long. No more than 3 months at a time between periods so that the uterine lining can then be shed.

3.  Is it okay to stop your body from doing what it’s meant to do every month?

Yes, the OCP is mimicking the bodies own hormones and controlling your periods. They have been used for generations now, are safe, effective, inexpensive and very convenient for many women.

It isn’t necessary to have a period every month if you are not trying to get pregnant. The only reason women have periods every month is to maximise the chance of getting pregnant at the time. If you are not trying to get pregnant there is no health benefit from having periods every month.

4. Are there any other health concerns we should be worried about?

Not unless you skip your period for too long at a time, when the uterus lining becomes too thick and needs to shed, you need to have a period. But this will not affect your fertility for the future and is not harmful to your health in any way.

5. Is there anyone who shouldn’t use the pill to skip their period?

  • Women who have a genetic blood clotting disorder or have had issues such as PE’s(Pulmonary Emboli) or DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) shouldn’t use OCP’s at all.
  • It is advised women over 35 who smoke should not take the OCP due to blood clotting risks.
  • Women with existing heart disease,  severe obesity and/or hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol level) should also not use the OCP.

6. Who should do it?

  • Women who are busy ‘on the go’, and can’t afford to have a period due to many reasons like social-travel-sport-life issues may consider skipping periods.
  • Women who experience heavy or painful periods can consider skipping their period for the sake of comfort also.
  • Women with endometriosis will often get benefit from having less frequent periods.

Do you use the pill to skip your period?

What do you think?


Join the Conversation

  • melissa12345678

    Ovulation doesn’t occur when you are on the pill anyway, the “period” you get is only a bleed due to a lack of hormones during the sugar pill phase…(I was shocked when I found this out a few months ago, helped me make my decision to come off the pill 2 months ago as this doesn’t sit well with me!)  so “skipping your period” when you’re on the pill doesn’t really exist as far as I am concerned!

  • MaryMay

    I suffer from endometriosis, and skipping periods (as advised by my doctor) has been the best thing ever. No more periods and no more excruciating pain. I’m not planning to have children so I wouldn’t care if I never had a period again.

  • jacobalee

    My doctor advised to only have every second or third period as my hormones were out of control. It really helped me and my husband is grateful I don’t scream, laugh then cry anymore.

  • naomidaveson

    Wow. There are so many things that upset me in this article, right down to the tone of dishonouring the female body. Drugs “controlling your periods”. “It isn’t necessary to have a period”. “If you are not trying to get pregnant there is no health benefit from having periods every month”. Wow. It’s not necessary? Really? So the natural cycle of female hormones that ebb and flow throughout the month are not necessary? Periods aren’t just about one week (or a few days, what ever is normal for that woman) of blood flow. They are the result of a delicate and intricate dance of the female hormones for the WHOLE month. To have more of one with out the others throws the body out of balance, those hormones out of rhythm. I beg to differ. It is necessary. And those hormones that play a part in a woman having a period, aren’t, are involved in so many different mechanisms in her body. “91% of women who use birth control pills would like to skip their period every once in a while” because we live in a society where women have become too disconnected from their body. It is a constant struggle to find a message within our society that rejoices in a woman’s beauty regardless of her size, colour of her skin or straightness of her hair let alone a message that accepts and honours her natural cycles and flow.  And to provide the necessary changes to point 6. Who should do it? Change the three dot points to NO ONE. You can afford, and it is in your health’s best interest beautiful women, to have your period. If you have painful periods, suffer endometriosis or other discomfort with monthly cycles, the OCP does not resolve these issues, it hides them and lets the underlying problem fester. You should consider a natural or integrative practitioner who honours the female body, understands the hormone cycles and is able to work with you through diet, lifestyle and other healing modalities to help bring your hormones in to better balance getting to the root cause of the problem. The only people that benefit from women taking OCPs are pharmaceutical drug companies and IVF specialists. If there is no harm in messing with the female hormones, I wonder what your thoughts are on the rise of infertility, PCOS and endometriosis. I suppose it is mighty convenient that these conditions would see the increase of patients needing more pharmaceuticals.

  • TeresaLopezWard

    I have for about 7 years. Got pregnant first month we tried. I notice every three months even if I try to skip periods come anyway

  • stellajandri

    Nope. I did and it messed my fertility up. Big mistake.