Here’s Why You Missed Your Period While on Birth Control

Why You Missed Your Period First Month On Birth Control?

1) No Bleeding During Pills:

When you take birth control pills, there are certain hormones which make your body produce less blood during the menstrual cycle. This means that you won’t have any bleeding or spotting during the pill. If you do have bleeding or spotting during the pill, then it will usually last only one day and then disappear completely within two days after taking the pill.

2) Less Cholesterol:

Birth control pills contain some cholesterol which helps lower your risk of heart disease. Taking birth control pills may even prevent you from developing high blood pressure and stroke. When you take birth control pills, you will also lose weight because they are low calorie foods.

This means that your metabolism slows down so that you burn fewer calories than usual. This effect is similar to losing weight when dieting or exercising regularly.

3) Reduced Risk Of Cancer:

Taking birth control pills reduces your risk of cancer. These drugs decrease estrogen levels and increase progesterone levels. Progesterone is known to reduce the growth of certain types of tumors such as cervical, uterine, ovarian, endometrial and stomach cancers.

They also slow down the growth of other forms of cancer including prostate cancer and lung cancer.

4) Less Acne:

Birth control pills can help people who have acne, mainly teenagers. This is because these drugs contain less of the androgen hormones which cause acne. When you take birth control pills, you will suffer from less breakouts and your skin may even improve over time.

5) Regulates Periods:

A common side effect of birth control pills is regulated periods. This means that you will experience reduced blood loss and shorter periods. This can be great for women who have very painful or long periods.

6) Menstrual Migraines:

Birth control pills can help people who suffer from Menstrual Migraines. This is because these drugs even out estrogen levels which may trigger migraine attacks. Reducing these hormonal changes may help prevent future migraines.

Taking birth control pills should also reduce the length and severity of periods too.

7) Lighter Periods:

When you take birth control pills, your periods may become much lighter. There are different types of birth control pills which can be used to manage your periods. If you have very heavy periods, then you should talk to your doctor about which type of birth control pill is right for you.

8) No Cramps:

The pill also helps people who suffer from very painful cramps during their period. This is because of the amount of hormones in the pill. The dose of hormones in birth control pills is much higher than the amount of hormones that occur naturally in a woman’s body.

Why You Missed Your Period First Month On Birth Control Methods?

There are various types of birth control methods that you can use to prevent pregnancy. These include hormonal birth control methods, barrier methods and Intrauterine Devices (IUD). When you begin using any of these birth control methods, you may experience some changes in your period. You may also experience other side effects such as nausea, weight gain and headaches.

It is common for women to miss their periods or have irregular periods when they first start taking the birth control pill. Your body needs time to adjust to the amount of hormones in the pill. It can take up to 6 months for your period to regulate itself when you first start using hormonal birth control.

If you recently started using hormonal birth control or any other type of birth control, you should not be too concerned if you miss your period. It is common for women to experience spotting or bleeding the first few months after starting birth control. If your bleeding continues and you have been taking your pills correctly, you may want to visit your doctor to rule out more serious problems such as an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb) or miscarriage (loss of pregnancy).

How Does The Birth Control Patch Work?

The birth control patch has been on the market since 2001. It is a way for women to receive low dose hormones through the skin on their backs to prevent pregnancy. The birth control patch is one of few hormonal birth control methods on the market today. Taking the patch out of the box you will find a 4×2 adhesive patch which looks like a small square bandaid and is sticky on the back.

The patch works by releasing hormones through the skin into the bloodstream and prevents pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation. The main ingredient in the birth control patch is called norethindrone. Norethindrone (a type of progestin) and another hormone called ethinyl estradiol (a type of estrogen) are the key ingredients which prevent pregnancy.

The amount of hormones released into the body is much less than if taken in a pill form. This is because the birth control patch allows the body to absorb the hormones through the skin slowly over a set period of time. Small amounts of hormones are released into your body day after day.

The primary benefit to using the birth control patch is that it gives women another choice in hormonal birth control other than the birth control pill. The patch can provide women with the convenience and reliability of the pill but with the adhesion and ease of putting on a birth control patch.

How Effective Are Birth Control Pills?

The birth control pill is just one of many methods of contraception or birth control. It is usually referred to as the birth control pill but it also comes in a variety of other forms such as the ring, injection and diaphragm. The pill is one of the most popular and widely used forms of birth control. In 2014, over 100 million women were using the birth control pill.

The first birth control pills became available in the 1960’s and have undergone many changes since then. There are a variety of different types of birth control pills with a variety of hormones combinations. In most cases, there is a combination of estrogen and progestin (a synthetic form of naturally occurring progesterone).

A smaller amount of women may also need an estrogen-progestin combination for treatment of menorrhagia (heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding) or endometriosis.

The birth control pill works primarily by preventing the release of an egg during ovulation. This is called contraception. It also thickens the mucus at the entrance to the womb (cervix) which prevents any sperms from entering the womb.

If and when pregnancy happens, the hormones in the pill can also prevent a fertilized egg from successfully implanting into the wall of the womb.

How Does The Patch Work?

The birth control patch is a thin square patch which sticks to the skin and releases hormones into the body. It is designed to be applied once a week on the same day of the week for three weeks and then no patch for one week. During the week that no patch is used, thin menstrual-type bleeding will occur. At the start of the fourth week, a new patch is applied and the cycle begins again.

The patch comes in a box of either 3X or 4X strength. The 4X patch contains 50mcg of estrogen compared to the 20mcg found in the 3X patch. It also has slightly more mg’s of gestodene compared to the 3X patch (3mg compared to 2.5mg).

The 4X patch is designed for women who have not given birth and the 3X patch is designed for women who have previously given birth.

There are several brands of the patch on the market in Australia. These include:

Ortho-Evra®

Evra®

Climbazole

femPatch®

Why Would A Woman Use The Patch?

The birth control patch is a convenient and easy way of preventing pregnancy. It is essentially the same as using birth control pills but without the inconvenience of having to remember to take a pill every day. The patch needs to be changed once a week for three weeks and no patch used on the fourth week. During this week, a woman will experience a period-like bleed which usually lasts for about three days.

At the beginning of the fifth week (commencing from the first day of bleeding), a new patch is applied and the cycle starts again.

How Effective Is The Patch?

The patch is just as effective a method of birth control as the combined contraceptive pill.It works by preventing ovulation, thickening the mucus at the entrance to the womb (cervix) and preventing sperms from reaching the eggs and also changes the lining of the womb making it less likely that any fertilised egg will be able to implant in the wall of the womb.

The patch is considered to be a reliable form of birth control and when used correctly, the chance of pregnancy is less than 1% (only slightly higher than the pill which is around 0.5%).

What Are The Disadvantages Of Using The Patch?

As with the pill, there are some disadvantages associated with the use of the patch. These can include:

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Nausea and vomiting

There have been reports that between 1 – 5% of women may experience nausea and or vomiting whilst using the patch. This can be caused by either a sensitivity to the Estradiol (estrogen) present in the patch or by a mild reaction to the gum that is included in the patch packaging. If you feel nauseous, it is recommended that your take the patch off and if necessary see your doctor.

Headaches

Again, headaches are not uncommon with this method of birth control. Up to 10% of women have reported experiencing a headache with the use of the combined pill (which the patch is modeled on) and the incidence may be slightly higher for the patch which contains more estrogen. Most of the time these headaches are minor, however if you experience severe or prolonged headaches you should consult your doctor.

Breast Tenderness

As with the pill, the patch can cause tenderness and swelling of the mammary glands. Again this is due to a high concentration of estrogen being absorbed through the skin. If you suffer from PMS (premenstrual syndrome) you may find that this is exacerbated when using the patch.

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects are rare with the patch, however you should always check with your doctor if you experience any of the following conditions:

Allergic Reaction

If you have an allergic reaction to the adhesive in the patch (usually caused by a sensitivity to the gum alligator or beeswax) you should take the patch off, consult your doctor and find an alternative method of birth control.

The patch should not be used by women who have or suspect they have adrenal or thyroid problems, uterine disease or cancer. The patch should also not be used by women who have liver or kidney disease.

Other Side Effects

Other possible side effects include migraine, nausea, vomiting, changes in vaginal secretions or a missed period. If you experience any of these then see your doctor immediately.

The patch may also make you more vulnerable to getting bruising and blood clots. It is recommended that you do not take part in contact sports whilst using the patch. Additionally you should try to stay fully hydrated by drinking around six to eight glasses of water a day and avoid cross-country travel (or at least get off the bus every couple of hours and walk around).

Pregnancy

Although unlikely you can still become pregnant while using the patch. If this happens you should consult your doctor immediately.

How Do I Use The Patch?

To get the most effective use out of the contraceptive patch, you need to apply it to clean and dry skin on your upper body or torso (i.e. on your upper back, shoulder or hips). You should try to keep the area flat and smooth (i.e. not down the side of your stomach right next to your belly button or under a roll of fat).

The name brand “Ortho Evra” recommends that you change the patch every seven days (this should be on the box) however you may want to change it more or less often depending on how quickly it wears off for you.

The first patch you put on should be placed on the upper outer arm or upper body (i.e. not the belly).

From then on you can move it around as long as you keep it away from the waistline.

When you change the patch, remove the old one and make sure any leftover gum is off your skin. Then clean the area with water, dry and finally press a new patch in place.

You should always check the patch every day to make sure that it is sticking well and that it hasn’t come off inside your underwear or somewhere else less convenient.

You will probably find that you wear more than one type of bra, so you may want to keep an old beater in the back of your wardrobe for when you are at home, just in case the patch starts peeping through. Alternatively you can put a band aid over the top if this becomes a real problem.

Can I Use The Patch If I’m On Another Form Of Birth Control?

There is no harm in using the patch if, for example, you are already using the combined pill. In fact, many doctors will only prescribe the pill if you are not able to take a hormonal IUD (to avoid the problems of the pill affecting the copper in the IUD).

Can I Use The Patch If I’m Taking Another Medication?

There are no known medical interactions with the patch and other medicines. However, always let your doctor know if you start using any new medication.

What If I Forget To Change My Patch One Day?

This is probably not going to be a problem. The patch is not absorbed into your body so it just passes through and is excreted in your urine and feces. So as long as you change it the next day, there should not be any adverse effects.

What If I Have Problems With The Patch?

If you are experiencing severe problems with the patch such as pain, irritation or reactions at the site of application you should see your doctor immediately.

The brand name “Ortho Evra” has a 1-800 number that you can call if you experience any problems with the patch: 1-800-562-4536

What If I Want To Get Pregnant?

Some women use the patch for just this reason. It is easy to use and doesn’t interfere with sexual spontaneity.

To get pregnant all you have to do is stop using the patch. The hormones will leave your body within a week and your fertility is back to normal (and it stays that way until menopause).

Can I Use The Patch For Birth Control And Then Use Another Form Of Birth Control Later?

Absolutely. Many women do this for two main reasons.

First, the pill takes a few months to settle in and get used to. Not all women can take it (some experience weight gain, mood swings or headaches) so some women try a different brand before finding one that works for them. During this time they may not want to be relying on it for birth control.

The other reason is expense. Although the patch is fairly cheap, some women just don’t want to pay for the convenience.

What Are The Benefits Of The Patch?

Once it is in place it is effective immediately and you do not have to remember to take it every day. It is convenient: you can wear it while swimming and doing sports, there are no worries about whether you took it before you went out or if you missed a day.

It also has a very high effectiveness rate (99%) and does not interrupt sexual spontaneity. There are no known risks to the fetus if worn during pregnancy and it is easily reversible, so you can get pregnant as soon as you take it off.

The patch also reduces the amount of estrogen in your body, which means there is less chance of getting a blood clot.

What Are The Disadvantages Of The Patch?

It has to be changed weekly (some women do not like the idea of putting a new one on every week). Some women experience skin irritation at the site of application.

Some women find that the estrogen in the patch causes fluid retention, mood swings or depression. These side effects usually go away after a month or two. If they do not, you should stop using the patch.

The patch does not protect against STIs (so you’ll need to use a barrier method as well) and it is more expensive over the long term (as you are replacing it every week).

Does The Patch Offer Any Other Benefits?

The patch has lately been heralded as a treatment for women with severe acne. Many dermatologists now prescribe it “off-label” (that is, for a condition that it was not originally intended for) as a treatment for adult women with severe acne.

Many women report that their skin clears completely, and stay on the patch solely for this purpose. If you suffer from adult acne, you should definitely discuss this option with your doctor.

If you are under 21, the choice is a little tougher. The pill is the first line of defense for most gynaecologists when it comes to regulating your hormones. However, many women find that the patch works just as well and results are faster.

Discuss both these options with your doctor and decide which one (if either) is right for you.

The Patch And Diabetes

Diabetics are prone to developing blood clots. Although the patch does decrease your risk of getting a blood clot, if you are a diabetic you will need to check your blood regularly for signs of blood clots.

The Patch And Liver Disease

Since one of the liver’s jobs is to break down estrogen, women with liver disease may find that the pill puts an extra strain on their livers. It is recommended that those with liver disease do not take the pill.

The Patch and Obesity

If you are extremely overweight, your doctor may not prescribe the pill for you, as it is thought to put an extra strain on your liver (as discussed above). If you are seriously overweight you should definitely not be using any type of estrogen-based HRT.

If you choose to go the progestin-only “mini-pill” route, however, there is no reason you can’t be extremely overweight and still take it.

The Patch And Smoking

If you are a smoker you should not take either the patch or the pill. Smokers have a much higher risk of getting blood clots regardless of whether they are on the pill or not. If you smoke and want HRT, talk to your doctor about other methods.

The Patch And Other Conditions

If you have a history of blood clots, certain cancers or liver disease you should not take the pill. If you have multiple sclerosis (MS) you may be able to take the pill, but you will need to discuss this with your doctor first.

If you are taking the pill (or the patch) and you have a history of depression or epilepsy you will need to keep watching for mood changes or seizures. If you experience any of these, tell your doctor immediately.

If you have abnormal cells in your cervix, you will need to have them monitored while on the pill. If they are not benign, you may not be able to continue taking it.

If you are planning on getting pregnant in the future, you should continue taking your birth control pills (or using your patch) until your doctor tells you to stop. Pregnancy while on the pill can be extremely dangerous due to the increased levels of hormones. Even if you’ve been on it for years, when you come off the pill your body will go into “lactation mode” almost immediately.

It is not advised that you go off the pill if you are planning a pregnancy in the near future.

If none of these conditions apply to you, congratulations! You can now choose which method of delivery (pill or patch) is more convenient for you. If you do have one or more of the conditions listed above, your doctor will help you decide which is best for you.

Other women also look at: Abnormal Uterine Bleeding and Birth Control Implant Essure.

Sources & references used in this article:

Are Food Sensitivities Making You Feel Bad? Here’s What You Need to Know by J Blume – 2015 – Macmillan Children’s Books

A practical guide to prescribing OCs for teens by K Roesner – keilaroesnernd.com

Are you ready for Y2K? Here’s what you need to know by J Formichella – 2005 – MacAdam/Cage Publishing

From here to maternity (reissue): becoming a mother by JM Mansbach, SJ Emans – Contemporary OB/GYN, 2001 – search.proquest.com

The purpose driven life: What on earth am I here for? by P Wingert, B Kantrowitz – 2006 – Workman Publishing

The psychology of hope: You can get there from here by D Peak – ED MANAGEMENT, 1999 – researchgate.net