Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Jacquie C
Brrrr… The long-awaiting winter break and the holiday season are upon us! Winter break means no work deadlines, no finals and no stress.
That is unless your period is going to get in the way of your holiday and vacation plans. If you’ve been excited about a long-awaited vacation or just want to relax during your time off, the last thing you want is for your period to be joining you for the trip.
Don’t worry — Pandia Health can help you safely skip your periods with birth control. That means waving goodbye to the unnecessary stress of leakage, filling half your suitcase with tampons and distracting cramping, and more time for fun.
#PeriodsOptional means you can do winter break on your terms. Here is how to safely skip or delay your period and three winter activities that you can enjoy by pausing your periods this holiday season!
How to stop your period from coming with birth control
If your period is due over winter break, skip your bleed!
There is no medical reason why you need to have a bleed every month, meaning you can skip your period if you wish.
The Pill, Patch and Ring
The patch, the pill and the ring are three birth control options that allow you to skip your period entirely if you want a month off or want to enjoy your vacation without the stress of cramps and period upkeep.
To skip your period, all you need to do is make sure you skip the break/bleed week for the patch/ring or don’t take the sugar pill/placebo week for birth control pills.
If you are using the combined birth control pill, simply skip the row of placebo pills or the week off after you finish three rows of active pills and go straight into the next pack. With the ring, change it after 28-30 days, rather than the usual 21, as it has 35 days of hormone in it. Similarly with the patch, just switch to a new patch after week three, rather than having a free week.
When skipping your period with the patch, you should NOT use it for more than 12 weeks in a row without having a bleed. Make sure to have a bleed at least every 12 weeks, otherwise, you will experience a build-up of estrogen and risk blood clots, which can lead to complications and even death.
If you are taking a progesterone-only birth control pill that cannot delay your period by taking two packs back to back, you have the option of switching to the combined contraceptive pill.
The Hormonal IUD and Implant
For a more long-term solution, that doesn’t require you to do as much mental math, the hormonal IUD or Implant may be recommended. Many women, though not all, experience lighter periods with these forms of contraception, and some experience no periods at all.
These forms of contraception don’t require you to take a pill or change a ring or patch anywhere near as frequently. The Implant can prevent pregnancy for up to three years, and different types of IUDs can last anywhere from between three to twelve years before needing to be replaced.
How to delay your period
If you want to delay your period but don’t currently take birth control, your doctor may offer you an alternative medication.
Norethisterone is a progesterone-only pill (POP) that can be used to delay your period when taken in the right way. Your doctor will recommend how much to take, when and for how long, but usually you will begin taking the tablets three to four days before your period is due to begin, so this method requires some planning. This is a temporary solution and your period should return around two or three days after you stop taking the tablets.
If you do use this method to delay your period, make sure to use another method of contraception because norethisterone doesn’t prevent pregnancy when used in this way!
Don’t have time to visit the doctor’s office? Pandia Health’s doctors can prescribe Norethindrone (or other generic equivalents) at special request, with free delivery. Get started.
Is it safe to skip my period?
Despite popular belief that not having a period leads to a dangerous build-up in the uterus, this is not true. When an individual with a uterus uses hormonal birth control, it is actually very safe and incredibly practical to skip their periods.
This myth is based on a historic view of sexual health and periods and is the reason why most pill packs include a placebo week. Dr. John Rock, one of the creators of the birth control pill, wanted women to have a period every month and was concerned that the Catholic Church would not be accepting of this form of contraception if those that took it did not bleed.
The science of skipping your period is simple. When an individual takes birth control, the bleed they experience is called a withdrawal bleed; it isn’t a period. The bleed is caused by a drop in hormones as opposed to the uterine lining shedding. There is no medical reason for women to experience this bleed when taking birth control that can allow them to skip it.
Watch Pandia Health’s founder and CEO Dr. Sophia Yen explain the science behind why it’s SAFE to skip your periods.
Three winter activities to enjoy this holiday season
No matter what your winter break plans involve, your period shouldn’t ruin the fun. Here are three activities that you enjoy more by skipping your monthly bleed.
Fun in the snow!
Nothing beats a classic snow vacation. Whether you’re sledding, skiing, snowboarding or ice skating, you should be comfortable and not have to worry about needing to change a tampon or pad.
The last thing you want when you’re on the slopes is to have to rush away to find a bathroom or worry about leakage from a dislodged tampon. Not only is getting blood out of snow clothes a pain (trust us, we’ve been there), but you should only be speeding down the hill if you’re daring to tackle a black diamond!
Speaking of snow clothes, not having to pack boxes of tampons or pads leaves more space for additional layers, socks, or maybe a second pair of gloves.
Plus, menstruation can actually increase your risk of injury, adding a further complication to snowboarding on your period. People in their mid-luteal phase may get tired faster, leading to a higher risk of injury.
Netflix and Chill
This cold weather calls for one thing – cuddles!
Whether you’re planning a movie night snuggled up wi
With your best friends, Netflix and Chill with your SO, or enjoying a cozy night in alone, your period arriving is a sure-fire way to put a damper on the evening.
There’s nothing worse than having to ask your friends to pause the film just as the story is getting good so you can haul yourself to the restroom to take care of your menstrual needs.
This winter break, avoid a mishap by skipping your period with #PeriodsOptional. With Pandia Health, get your birth control right to your mailbox with FREE delivery, so you can safely skip your period each month. Happy #PeriodFree holidays!
New Year’s Party
There’s only one way to see the old year out. With a New Year’s Eve party! The best part of NYE parties is the fantastic outfits. Really, it’s just an excuse to put on your most glittery dress and highest heels.
But there’s always one thing that is guaranteed to ruin your mood and knock your confidence; your period.
While we’re body positive here at Pandia Health, we understand why period bloat is not something you want to be experiencing on NYE (plus, it can be SUPER painful). And there’s nothing worse than spending the whole night worrying about whether or not you’ve leaked onto your new party dress. No one wants to be running to the bathroom to swap out their pad as the clock strikes midnight.
So skip your period, douse yourself in glitter, and have an amazing time!
Tell a friend and save them the trouble of period panics, too. Go to www.pandiahealth.com to sign up today and get birth control sent to your mailbox with FREE delivery and automatic refills.
The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.