Skipping periods

Periods often have a way of starting at the most inconvenient time — like on the day of a big presentation, or in the middle of a romantic weekend. But if you use the ring or any monophasic pill for birth control, you can skip periods when you want to.

Is it safe to skip periods?

Yup! There is no health risk to skipping periods. In fact, for women who have very painful or very heavy periods, skipping a period or several may even improve their quality of life. You can skip periods as often as you like, though you may experience some spotting as your body gets use to the continuous hormones. You may be able to reduce spotting by taking a 4-day break from active pills every 3–4 months to have a period.

To skip your period using pills:

Make sure you have a new pack of pills before the end of the third week of your current pack.
When you take the last active pill of your current pack (this will be either day 21 or day 24 depending on your brand), start the first active pill of the new pack the very next day at your normal time. You can toss out the placebo pills of the current pack.
Continue this cycle until you want to have a period again. You can reduce the chance of spotting by taking a break to have a period about once every 3–4 months.

To have your period again after you have skipped one (or several):
As long as you’ve been taking the active pills consistently for 3 or more weeks, you can stop to have your period at any time and still be protected from pregnancy.
To have a period, just stop taking active pills for 4 days. You can take placebo pills during these 4 days, or take a break from taking pills altogether.
On the 5th day, start taking the active pills again.

To skip your period using the ring:

Make sure you have a new ring by the end of your fourth week on the current ring.
Leave your current ring in for up to 4 weeks (no longer!) and put the new ring in immediately after you remove current ring.
Continue this cycle until you want to have a period again. You can reduce the chance of spotting by taking a break to have a period about once every 3–4 months.

To have your period again after you have skipped one (or several):
As long as you’ve had a ring in for 3 or more weeks, you can stop to have your period at any time and still be protected from pregnancy.
To have a period, just take the ring out for 4 days.
On the 5th day, insert a new ring.

Can I skip periods on the patch?

No. It is important to have one patch-free week every month because of the way the patch delivers hormones to your body. Continuous use of the patch may increase the risk for blood clots.

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