Medical Questions > Womens Health > Birth Control Forum

Changing my cycle

Must Read
Birth control is helpful in preventing pregnancy. Need to know more about birth control? Start here to learn more about popular methods of birth control....
You have many birth control options. Each works differently. What are the choices and what should you consider in order to help you make your decision? ...
Each method of birth control comes with risks to your health. What are the general problems you could encounter?...
I have been taking Tri-Sprintec for years and I am scheduled to get my period right in the middle of my honeymoon this upcoming June. I want to try to get my period one week later but I cant figure out how to change my cycle. If I skip my period I will get it a week do I make it one week later? Could I just stop the pill and start taking it all over again on the week I want to, even though it would probably be 1 week after my period rather than the Sunday right after like you are supposed to??
Did you find this post helpful?
First Helper UnknownABC

replied February 13th, 2010
Especially eHealthy
Elle, Tri-Sprintsc is a generic version of Ortho Tri-Cyclen. When you get to the end of the active pills, do not take the 7 inactive pills but start the next pack. Take the first 7 of the next pack's active pills and then take the 7 inactive pills that you skipped. After the 7 days of inactive pills, move to a new pack and use as you always did. You have now moved your bleeding 7 days later. (Keep the 14 active pills you have left for emergencies.)

You have certainly given yourself enough time to do this and get rid of any spotting that may occur because of it.

If I am you, I will also get a box of Instead SoftCups just for in case. You never know what the stress and little sleep will do to your body close to your wedding day. These are disposable menstrual cups and can catch menstrual flow and odor for up to 12 hours at a time. They do not interfere with any fun activities or sex. Try one before your wedding to make sure you know how to use them. Even if you do not have to use them on your honeymoon, they are great to have for that day on the beach, long plane flights or other times you do not want to wear or change tampons or pads.

Best of luck with your wedding plans and congratulations on taking timely action on this.
Did you find this post helpful?
Users who thank UnknownABC for this post: Elle4628 

replied February 14th, 2010
Thank you very much for your response...I'm wondering where you got this information. Is it safe?
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 14th, 2010
Especially eHealthy

You do not menstruate when you take birth control pills. The hormones stop your ovulation and stop the uterus preparing for implantation. You thus do not have a uterus lining to shed like other women do during menstruation.

So why do you still need pads and tampons once per cycle? When you get to the inactive pills, the hormones that withdraws from your system causes withdrawal bleeding, not menstruation. The difference is that menstruation is the shedding of the uterus lining when it dissolves after it is clear that you did not conceive that cycle. On the pill your normal uterus lining just bleeds, it does not shed its lining. This is actually quite an unnatural thing and caused by the hormones in the pill. This is also the reason why you bleed on a regular 28 day cycle with the pill and why it is lighter and shorter and does not have the cramping and PMS associated with it.

This bleeding serves absolutely no purpose. Women do not have to let blood to purify their systems like it was believed in the middle ages. When the researchers started researching the extended cycle pills, they discovered that women freak out when they do not see regular bleeding. I know it is strange, but it is true, it does not matter how uncomfortable and miserable it makes us; women actually grew attached to Aunt Flo visiting once a cycle. Women are worried that they might be pregnant and not know it or have some other illness that will only show up when they do not menstruate as expected.

So these companies made a compromise. For extended cycle pills they packaged 84 normal birth control pills with 7 inactive pills, allowing for 4 cycles per year. The active pills in these packs are plain normal monophasic pills (like Tri-Sprintec and Ortho Tri-Cyclen), same dose, and same hormones. This has been studied and approved by the USA FDA which looks after the safety of prescription medicines. Up to now, no negative health effects have been found. The officially packaged pills are branded as Seasonale and Seasonique.

Currently a year long cycle pill called Lybrel is under study. It does however face stiff resistance, not from the scientific or medical communities but from women. Speak to your mom, aunts or granny about this to see how misinformation makes it into our medical system. They will all tell you how bad this is but cannot name one single scientific fact to back up that opinion. The best they come up with is normally that women need to cleanse their female parts and menstruation does that. Never mind the fact that you do not menstruate while taking the pill.

The extended-cycle pills increase your risk of blood clots slightly when taken for long periods of tiime, not if you do it only once for a few days. They should not be used by people with:
* High blood pressure
* A personal history of stroke, heart attack, or blood clots
* Migraine with aura
* Unexplained vaginal bleeding
* Breast or uterine cancer

Women over 35 who smoke shouldn't use any kind of hormonal birth control.

The side effects are also the same as conventional oral contraceptives, which include breakthrough bleeding, breast tenderness, nausea, headaches, mood changes, leg cramps, acne, bloating, weight changes, and dark spots on the face. If you are already taking birth control pills, you will not get any more or new side effects.

Other mechanisms to manipulate Aunt Flo’s visit is to use Yaz or Loestrin 24 Fe. It shortens your bleeding by 3 days. Research shows women using these pills have even shorter and lighter periods. It however keeps you on the 28 day cycle with 24 active pills and only 4 inactive pills.

Another use for birth control pills/hormones is Plan B, the morning after or emergency contraceptive. It contains a massive dose of birth control hormones – the equivalent of 53 mini pills. You can gain the same effect by taking more regular pills at the same time. Princeton University runs a web site listing the pills and dosages needed to gain the same effect.

So the decision is yours about what you want to do. Speak to your doctor to verify these facts. If you are still worried, just go for a menstrual cup. It is extremely safe, much safer than tampons, has a low hassle and worry factor, are clean and odorless and totally safe for you to enjoy your honeymoon fully.

If you decide to move your bleeding by a few days by manipulating your pills, you have nothing to worry about. Do it now and make sure you get rid of the possible (but unlikely) pesky spotting now. That way you do not have to add to your stress closer to your wedding.

Another thing you should consider is that you are probably more worried about period sex than your future husband. Modern men think nothing of period sex, oral sex or even anal sex. It has become part of the standard sexual repertoire. Of course this is not always true but young men are in general much more informed and comfortable with your normal bodily functions than the previous generations. Just use old towels to prevent the bed from getting messy.

I hope this helps you to make a decision on how to handle this.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 14th, 2010
I truly appreciate the time and consideration you have put into your responses. It makes sense and I plan on trying it. I have skipped my period once before and I suffered with cramps, stomach aches, and spotting...I do not want to deal with that on my honeymoon. I would much rather get it over with now and enjoy my time with my new husband to the fullest. Thank you once again!
Did you find this post helpful?