Sunday, June 27, 2010

Are Regular Periods Normal?

This is a non question for most of us, as we have been brought up in the era since 1960 when birth control was available and a woman expected to have a period every month of her adolescent and adult life save pregnancy.


LET ME EXPLAIN..............

Prior to reliable birth control women were paired ( married) soon after they were fertile. They did not have birth control available, and then bore six to ten children which they breastfed. Most of their adult lives were enmeshed with childrearing and they had few periods.

It was a decision to continue with monthly menses when birth control pills became available as a means for a woman to be certain she was not pregnant. Pregnancy testing was difficult and often unavailable at that time. For years now, pregnancy testing has become available is accurate, and is inexpensive.

That leaves us with the concept of extended cycling for birth control pills that has become recently available in an FDA labeled product. OB/ GYNs for years have been using regular birth control pills for the purpose of avoiding menses for decades. I used to call it the "honeymoon special" or the "cruise special". Someone would inevitably call and tell me that she would be on her 25th anniversary cruise when she expected her period, or that someone would calculate that she would have a period about the time for her honeymoon, and ask me to make a period not happen. That was OK. We are able to use birth control pills to help delay a period. Extended cycling via birth control pills is also safe. The pills are not just for birth control. They help with menstrual control to a degree. There is always some percentage of women who have "break through " bleeding which drives us all crazy.

Come to think of it, there's a lot about gyn practice that should have driven me crazy ( or crazier) years ago. Somehow I manage.

Anyway, extended cycling is safe and convenient. It can be done with the FDA prescribed pills or with regular birth control pills. Just make sure you take 84 active pills in a row, then one week off/ or the placebo pills. You get 4 periods a year. Whoopee!! Nothing is going to back up. It is safe. It is more natural than monthly menses. Now, there's a thought.

Until next time..............

1 comment:

  1. I have always been somewhat amused by the Natural Family Planning advocates who don't want to use birth control pills because they are unnatural hormones. Our own hormones coming every month is really pretty unnatural as well.