How To Skip Your Period Using The Pill

Using the Pill to Skip Your Period
Using the Pill to Skip Your Period. Jamie Grill/Getty Images

A monthly period, for some women, can be experienced as a minor inconvenience, yet it can also be a major health concern for others. The use of birth control pills gives you the choice to:

  1. Decide when and if you want to become pregnant while also,
  2. Letting you control when and if you have a period.

Research shows that if given the choice, most women would prefer extended menstrual cycles. Many women may have medical reasons for wanting to skip a period.

The most common reasons that women give include headaches, cramping, painful periods, heavy bleeding, and PMS. Other women just don't want the hassle of having a period -- perhaps they have a vacation coming up, a honeymoon, a sporting event or a big project at work. Having the power to skip a period can be a welcome sign of relief for women everywhere.

The good news is... skipping your period with the pill is easy, safe, and reliable. There is some concern about whether or not this is natural or safe, yet medical doctors continually express that there is no need to have a period when you are on the pill. Besides, you don't even have a true period... it's actually called a withdrawal bleed.

     ----> No More Periods: The Safety of Continuous Birth Control

Skipping Your Period Using the Pill:

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: N/A

Here's How:

  1. Determine the month that you wish to skip your period.
  1. Continue to take all the pills in your pill pack during the month prior to wanting to skip your period.
  2. After finishing the pack's active pills, do not begin the placebo (or inactive) pills. Instead, start day 1 of your next pack on the day that you would have taken your first placebo pill.
  3. Continue taking all the pills in your new pill pack.
  1. When you reach the placebo pills in your new pill pack, your monthly withdrawal bleed (i.e., period) should return.
  2. Keep in mind that some women may have spotting/breakthrough bleeding at the time when they would have had their period.


  1. Make sure you have enough pill packs (if you only want to skip one period, then you will need two packs of pills -- one for your current month and one for the upcoming month).
  2. Keep track of where you are in your pill pack as you must start the next pack during your fourth (placebo) week of your previous pack.
  3. If you only wish to skip one period, as soon as you begin your next pack, continue as you normally would. However, if you want to skip the next month’s period as well, just repeat steps 2 to 5.
  4. Some women are concerned about the safety of skipping periods. Research has consistently shown that this is common and completely safe to do. Plus, this practice does not compromise the effectiveness of your birth control pills.
  5. Some insurance companies will not allow you to pick up a prescription early. So make sure to find this out in advance if you are planning to skip your period and need to purchase that next pack of pills before the end of the month.

    A Special Note: If you know ahead of time that you will want to use the pill to skip your period AND you are not yet taking the pill. Give yourself enough time to:

    1. Get in to see a doctor to be prescribed the pill.
    2. Make sure you have at least 3 weeks to take all of your active pills before you would need to skip your period.
    3. Remember, that you typically need to wait for your next period to begin to start using birth control pills.

    **So, to be on the safe side, you probably want to have at least two months of time set aside if you know you want to use the pill the skip your period and haven't started it yet. Time to make an appointment, be seen by a doctor, fill your pill prescription, wait until the Sunday of your next period to start taking the pills, then have three weeks of regular pill use.

    What You Need:

    • At least 2 packs of birth control pills
    • A calendar (to keep track of dates)


    Andrista LC, Ariasb RD, Nucatolab D, Kaunitzc AM, Musselmanc BL, Reiterd R, Boulangere J, Dominguezf L, Emmertg S. "Women's and providers' attitudes toward menstrual suppression with extended use of oral contraceptives." Contraception. November, 2004; 7(5):359–363. Accessed via private subscription.

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