Taking birth control pills can stop your period as long as you take it regularly without a break. Basically, while on birth control pills, there is a 21-day cycle when you have to take a pill each day, and a 7-day break from the pills. The last week of the cycle (with no pills) allows the uterine wall to breakdown and cause vaginal bleeding (also known as withdrawal bleeding). This cycle can be altered by adjusting the timing and duration of pill-intake. However, women should consult their doctors before taking such pills.
The pills consists of the synthetic hormones estrogen and progestin (the former suppresses ovulation whereas the latter thickens the cervical mucus and decrease chances of fertilization and implantation). There is also an oral contraceptive that contains only progestin. Although some research indicates that many women opt for taking birth control pills to completely avoid periods, this has not been approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration, US) as a safe option.
Another product that can alter periods is 12-week pill cycle that reduces a women’s period month to only four times a year. This pill has the same hormone combination as the other pills, and only differs in the length of the cycle. This product is only available in some countries.
There might be other products in the market that claim to be safe and effective for stopping periods, but unhealthy choices can cause harmful side effects and women should research such products before taking them regularly.
There are some precautions that should be taken by women before opting for period-altering products. Although these options provide a welcome relief from the painful monthly menstruation cycles, there are certain risks associated with it. The possible side effects include blood clots, increases chances of heart attack and stroke, decreased sexual desire, and may increase the risk of cancer of the cervix. Women who have a history of this condition should be cautious while taking this product. Having said that, it should also be stated that for some women this option is a relief from painful symptoms that they have to endure every month.
This ongoing debate about stopping periods might go one till more scientific data is available, but at the end of the day, it is an individual choice. What suits one woman might not be suitable for another. After all, every woman deserves a break once in a while!