Should you be skipping your period on ‘the pill’?

‘The pill’ is one of the most common types of contraception – Levlen, Yaz, Diane 35, whatever form it takes, it’s likely once we reach a certain age, we’ve either taken an oral contraceptive, or know someone who has.

But recently, it in a recent article is was revealed that women may have been taking oral contraceptive in an unnecessary way for almost 60 years, and the reason has nothing to do with science or health, but rather, the Catholic Church. According to an article by Science Alert, “The seven inactive pills, included in most oral birth control packets, are not there for a medical reason. Each time a woman pops out a sugar pill, it is a reminder of a futile attempt to placate the Pope”.

So, the seven day break when you take the sugar pills triggers what is called a “withdrawal bleed”, which mimics a real period but is not technically the same thing, and this is scientifically unnecessary.

This made us think, how many of us really know what the pill does, and how it works in our bodies?

Our Take:

The pill will give you relief from symptoms like pain etc, after all that is what most drugs are designed to do. But we can’t ignore the fact that taking fake hormones for a sustained amount of time, let alone without a 7 day break in between, has an enormous effect on the millions of reactions happening in your body every second to keep you functioning within specific parameters (homeostasis). Throw in skipping your period back to back for several months to years, and the effects on your body accumulate.

What it won’t give you is a fix for the cause of your issues. So ask yourself, why are you taking the pill?

  • For contraception?
  • Help with skin issues?
  • To ease painful periods?
  • You want to regulate your period?
  • A ‘cure’ for Endometriosis?

If your answer is purely for contraception, there are other alternatives, and it is completely up to you to weigh up the pros and cons for your lifestyle, and health concerns.

But if problematic skin is your major concern, consider why you have this issue in the first place? Do you get jawline acne? Does it get worse with your period or in the lead up to it? Often this can be due to high testosterone, which is linked to PCOS and the function of your adrenal system (check out our IGTV episode on hormonal acne).

Similarly, if you suffer from painful or heavy periods, it’s likely your endometrial lining is thicker (which is commonly called endometriosis), and this is caused by high oestrogen levels. High oestrogen levels are the result of increased stress hormone in the body and a relative decrease in our progesterone levels. (more info in this video

So really, what we’re getting at is the need to look at the cause of your symptoms, rather than just using the pill to mitigate them without all of the information.

When your brain is in Sympathetic Dominance mode (Fight/flight) and believes you are under threat, it thinks: ‘I don’t need to fall pregnant, eat, or heal anything … I just need to get away from the threat!’.  So if your periods are irregular, it means your brain is not regulating your hormones correctly, a problem not solved by oral contraceptive, but through balancing out the automatic functions of our body. It means restoring the balance between fight/ flight and rest/digest/repair and reproduce.

How do you do that?

Check out the SD Protocol, for a comprehensive toolkit you can implement right now!

Key takeaway: Look out for any masks you commonly use in your life to cover symptoms, because in the long term the consequences can be much worse than some zits and menstrual cramps.



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