During a time when I was very ill and having almost non-stop periods for several years, my doctor suggested that I take birth control pills continuously to eliminate my period. My problem was much more severe than that and I ended up having a hysterectomy, but the offer to stop my periods surprised me and stuck in my memory.
Knowing the pain and problems I went through almost since the beginning of my period, I had to wonder if this solution would have helped me had it been introduced earlier, and if it would help my daughter when the time comes.
I have always believed that, women’s bodies were designed to menstruate for a reason. Menstruation is shedding the lining of the uterus that prepares your body for pregnancy. Anything that would hinder the way the body naturally works is dangerous. After all, look at all of the side effects that someone taking these pills has to worry about. There is a risk of high blood pressure, stroke, blood clot, or liver disease. Migraines are common in many birth control users, it is said to possibly cause breast or uterine cancer and is dangerous to anyone with a family history of thrombosis. I am not alone in my beliefs as few doctors offer the option to their patients, as they are not sure it is a good idea.
I am forced however to question my beliefs as every bit of evidence I encounter says there are good health reasons to delay menstruation. According to the Mayo Clinic, Heavy, prolonged, frequent or painful periods, Breast tenderness, bloating or mood swings, and health problems that are worsened by menstruation are eliminated, at least for greatly lessoned when purposely delaying menstruation.
The biggest reason given however for delaying menstruation is convenience. After all, who looks forward to a period anyway? For me, all I had from age 15 to 35 to look forward to be was immobile days in bed in a tremendous amount of pain. Had I known about delaying periods back in my 20’s, I certainly would have considered it.
Still, I do not know if delaying a period is something, all young menstruating women should do. I believe that the risks of taking birth control pills for many do not outweigh the risks of the side effects. I do believe however that if your periods are especially painful causing you immense suffering each month, that it is something you might want to look into. For those women already taking birth control pills whose bodies have adjusted to it well without migraines and other problems, it might not hurt to skip a period or two for convenience.