How to Change Date of Period With Birth Control Pills


Birth control pills are designed to prevent pregnancy by suppressing ovulation. If a woman doesn't ovulate, she cannot become pregnant. While they are effective at pregnancy prevention, they can also help a woman choose when she'll have her next period.

Schedule Your Next Period

Open a regular 28-day pack of birth control pills and examine the package. The first 21 pills in your package should be active pills that contain hormones capable of preventing ovulation. The last seven pills in your pack should be inactive pills that are just used as reminders or placeholders.

Begin taking one active birth control pill each day until all the active pills are gone.

Throw the inactive pills away once you've taken your last active pill. These pills don't prevent pregnancy. They are just there to remind you to take your pill at the same time each day. If you take the inactive pills, withdrawal bleeding that resembles your period will begin.

Take the first active pill of a new pack of birth control pills. If you continue taking an active pill each day, you won't get your period.

Stop taking the active birth control pills when you'd like your period to begin. You're period should start soon after you've taken the last active pill. You may take the inactive pills at this time or skip them.

Ask your doctor about extended options for delaying your period if you want to defer it until a date two months in the future. For example, some women take their active birth control pills for 63 days and then follow up by taking their inactive pills for seven days, during which they experience vaginal bleeding.

Consider a 91-day pack of birth control pills if you want to skip your period for almost three months. You'll take one active pill a day for 84 days and then have vaginal bleeding during the next 7 days of inactive pill use. Seasonale (ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel) is one brand that offers this option.

Tips & Warnings

  • The vaginal bleeding you experience while taking birth control isn’t really your period. Instead, it’s withdrawal bleeding that occurs because you’ve stopped taking the hormone-containing birth control pills.
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, using birth control pills--extend-use or 28-day packs--to delay your period is unlikely to harm your health. However, some women may note the same side effects that are possible with regular birth control pill use, such as sore breast tissue, acne, weight gain and nausea.
  • You may notice spotting between periods, which is referred to as breakthrough bleeding and may occur when hormone levels fluctuate or in the early months of birth control pill use. According to Planned Parenthood, breakthrough bleeding may happen more often when a woman is using active pills continuously.
  • Birth control pill use, whether or not inactive pills are included, is thought to be riskier for smokers who are over 35 and women with certain underlying health conditions, such as high blood pressure and clotting disorders.

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