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Reduce Your Flow

The commercial for Seasonale, a birth control pill, raves about getting only 4 periods a year. So what's the deal? Is that safe?

Birth control pills can either be monophasic, where you get the same amount of hormones each day, or triphasic, where you get a different amount of hormones over 3 weeks.

Seasonale and other monophasic pills allow you to take them in any sequence you want. Each pill pack contains a 3 month supply, and each 4 week supply contains 3 weeks of hormones and one week of sugar pills. So if you want, you can get your period every month by taking the sugar pills after taking 3 weeks of hormones. Or you can get it every 3 months by taking all the hormone pills for 9 weeks and then one week of sugar pills, thus keeping Aunt Flo at bay for over 2 months.

When you're on any birth control pill, when you get your period, it isn't a real period, because you're not actually releasing an egg (the pill stops you from ovulating). It's called a "pill period," and it results as your body's reaction to withdrawing from the hormones. Having this kind of period once a month is just as safe as only having it 4 times a year.

Fit's Tips: Monophasic birth control might be right for you if you suffer from painful periods, excessive bleeding, or unbearable mood swings. Definitely ask your trusted DR about this if you have questions.

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