Can I use birth control to skip my periods?

Last updated on September 1, 2020

If you want to use birth control to skip your periods, it's easy to do, but you should talk to your doctor ahead of time to make sure your prescription is written to account for the way you’ll be taking your pills (i.e. since you’ll be taking just the active pills, you’ll need more pill packs in a 12 month period than if you took them cyclically). It's also safe: there's no evidence that skipping periods causes any ill-effects, short or long-term.

  • If you take a combination pill, you can skip the placebo pills and begin taking the next pack right as soon as your active pills end.
  • If you use the ring, you can insert a new ring every three weeks and skip the ring-free week.
  • If you use the patch, you can apply a new patch every week, and skip the patch-free week.

You may experience mid-cycle spotting for the first cycle or so after starting to take birth control continuously. If you start to have mid-cycle spotting after months of continuous usage, you should take your placebo pills to give yourself a withdrawal bleed before skipping the active pills again. 

Unfortunately, progestin-only pills work differently than other types of birth control, and you cannot use them to skip or control your periods. 

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