I don’t understand how taking a break works. How am I still able to have periods when being on the pill. Also what if I don’t want to have any periods… Do I keep taking the pills without a break?
I think you can keep taking the pill without taking a break if you don’t want any periods, I have a friend who does that to stop periods altogether. Here is more info about it: New safe ways to take the combined pill (and bleed less often!)
I have heard that it is not an actual period you have when you bleed on the pill, but not entirely sure what it is instead… anyone know?
Thanks @Linde for pointing out the thread about different ways to take the pill (and bleed less often!).
In a normal period, when you don’t take contraception, the lining of the womb builds up ready for a fertilised egg to implant. When the egg doesn’t get fertilised the hormone levels drop making the lining unstable and so this lining is shed by the body. As certain hormones drop other hormones rise and so starting the menstrual cycle again- building up the lining of the womb incase the next month an egg is fertilised. It’s this fluctuation in hormones that controls ovulation, thickening of the womb lining and menstruation.
The combined oral contraceptive pill contains both oestrogen and progesterone. If you take it the level of these hormones stays stable. You then stop taking it for the 7 day break, the level of hormones drop and the lining of the womb becomes unstable so you bleed. When taking the combined pill the level of these hormones is stable there is no ovulation or thickening of the lining, you only bleed because you stop taking it. This is why your period is usually lighter and shorter while on the pill.
@lisamarie if you don’t want to get periods have you thought about other types of contraception that can stop them completely? The progesterone only pill or hormonal coil for example. Or, if you want to stay on the combined pill you could always try a different way of taking it like Linde suggests.