Every time I fill a prescription for birth control, I feel drunk with power. Not only do they make me feel like I’m having awesome, conception-less sex (don’t mention pregnancy statistics, just don’t!) but they also make my period cramps less painful. Oh, and they regulate my period like a motherfucker.
I mean, when I let them.
A few years ago, I performed the age-old tradition of skipping by the placebos right into a new pack of pills so I’d miss my period and not have to worry about it on a vacation I was leaving for. Flash forward a bit and I’ve become Alice, falling down the rabbit hole of skipped periods and revolting ovaries. That’s what she passed on the way down, right? And like an umbrella?
Using The Pill to skip a period is one of those little secrets I keep hidden away. I tell the few select friends who won’t judge me and won’t pierce my eardrum with a shriek when I tell her it’s totally fine because ‘the internet said so.’ It’s the little secret I absolutely do not tell my doctor because I know she’ll say to stop immediately and don’t be so damn stupid, it’s your period we’re talking about here.
It’s not the healthiest choice, but dammit I did a juice cleanse last month and don’t I deserve to be period free for a bit?
I have to admit, I definitely went overboard with it but the thought of going months without a period was just too irresistible a thought. No tampons, liners or stained accidents? Sign me the fuck up.
Alas…as the saying goes: what goes up must come down. And if you suppress Mother Nature, she will come at you with a vengeance. Believe me.
As we’ve been told since sixth grade health class, having a period is totally normal and healthy and it lets us know that our bodies are doing what they should and everything in there is just dandy. Being given a gift like The Pill that allows us to easily skip a few days of cramps, emotions, bleeding and general gross feelings can be too much to handle for some ladies. Me, obviously. So for a couple of months I used my pills in vain…and I do mean vain.
When I finally relented and paid a quick visit to my doctor, I pulled the old ‘my friend is thinking of…’ and, naturally, she saw right through it and proceeded to tell me that (A) Yes, birth control pills can be used to skip a period for things like vacations and special occasions but (B) She recommended a maximum skippage (my word) of three months, not to be exceeded.
As I was currently in my fourth month, I cringed on the inside.
If you’re in the same predicament I was (because I stopped the foolishness) let me just give you a little heads up of what you can expect when your body is literally aching to just have a goddamn period.
-Major cramps that feel like your ovaries are revolting against the rest of your insides.
-A continuous nauseating feeling that prevents you from eating for a few days.
-A bloodstain to end all bloodstains on the bedsheets.
I did eventually let my period come…except by ‘let’ I really mean it came whether I wanted it to or not. And just as suddenly as all my symptoms came on, they completely abated after my body did it’s thing and shed that lining.
Jerilynn C. Prior, MD, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of British Columbia says that having a regular period is beneficial to our bone and cardiovascular health, and now I’m a little ashamed of myself.
“I think that the normal menstrual cycle is absolutely crucial to women’s health.,” says Dr. Prior. “My perspective is that the normal menstrual cycle is incredibly complex, it’s created from the brain, and it serves a general health purpose, not just a reproductive purpose.”
This is a long way of saying that if you skip your period using The Pill (say, as opposed to things that are specifically made for it like a contraceptive implant) your period will have its vengeance. And if you’re as unlucky as me, it’ll take its revenge in the bed of a super cute guy and you’ll wish for the elegant death of a piano dropping on your head. Or you’ll settle for a good cry in the shower.
*Of course, this could all be a moot point as I’m on Yasmin and could die at any time.
Bianca Teixeira is a freelance writer and radio personality. She writes on post-its, napkins, her hand and scrap pieces of paper. Occasionally, those scribbles make it online.You can follow her random musings at @TheBiancaT.