A while back, I discussed whether or not it was safe to get only four periods a year by using Seasonale birth control pills.
It is safe, and here's why: When you take the week of sugar pills while on birth control, the period you get isn't a real period, since the hormones prevent you from ovulating and you're not releasing an egg. It's actually a pill period, and it is your body's reaction to the withdrawal of hormones. Having a pill period every month is just as safe as having one every three months.
OK, but what about having no periods at all? The birth control pill Lybrel is all over this idea. For the details, read more.
This low-dose combination birth control pill allows you to take it 365 days a year with no sugar pills, so you don't get any pill periods. Some women do experience unscheduled bleeding or spotting in the first six months (or longer) but for many, they'll take that over a monthly period any day. So is it safe to take hormones 365 days a year and never get your period?
Since the period you get while on the pill isn't a real period and is unnecessary, doctors feel that it's OK to get it once a month, every three months, or never at all. The FDA approved this pill in May 2007, but since this is a fairly new drug on the market, the long-term effects are unknown. In addition, cancer experts are concerned about the possible health risks of taking hormones continuously, since there are no long-term studies yet about whether it could cause breast cancer or other hormone-fueled tumors.
As with all methods of birth control, you have to choose the one that fits in with your needs and lifestyle. If not getting your period sounds like the best news ever, talk to your doctor about your questions and concerns. If unscheduled spotting and unknown long-term side effects don't bother you, then Lybrel could be your new best friend.