Why Birth Control Can Never Regulate Periods

Do you take birth control to make
your period come every month? If you do, you’re not alone. Of all the women who take the Pill, almost
1 in 3 take it to regulate their period. But why does your period need regulating? Perhaps your doctor told you, you have a
condition called hypothalamic amenorrhea. Or perhaps she said you have
polycystic ovarian syndrome. Or perhaps your doctor doesn’t know
why you don’t get a period. To her, it may not matter very much —
because the treatment is always the same. Take the Pill, and have Pill bleeds. But wait a minute.
Are Pill bleeds the same as real periods? A real period is a withdrawal bleed from the
hormones estradiol and progesterone — made by your ovaries. A pill bleed is a withdrawal bleed
from pharmaceutical steroids — such as ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel. Those steroids are kind of similar to real
hormones — but they’re not the same. They have different structures,
and that small difference can make a big difference in your body. For example, progesterone calms your brain
and can reduce anxiety But levonorgestrel excites your brain and
can cause anxiety. There’s another difference between a real
period and a pill bleed. A real period happens approximately every
28 days because that’s how long it takes for your ovaries to make estradiol, and then
to ovulate, and then to make progesterone. The timing of a real period is about the
healthy functioning of your ovaries. The timing of pill bleed is about the
dosing of a drug. A pill bleed doesn’t have to be
every 28 days. It could be every 46 days, or every 93 days. Or not at all. There is no medical reason to
bleed monthly when on birth control. So why do it? It all started in the 1950s, when it wasn’t
legal to prescribe birth control. A doctor could prescribe a drug to
“regulate periods” so that’s what they did. And that little lie led to
the legalisation of birth control, which is something that we can all celebrate! But now we can stop pretending
that pill bleeds are periods. If you need contraception,
you can take hormonal birth control, or you can use condoms, IUD,
or Fertility Awareness Method If you want a real period,
you can help your body to do that. There is a better way.

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