Some oral contraceptive pills have the ability to suppress menstruation by adjusting a woman’s bleeding pattern. The adjustment results in your period stopping completely or having it for an abbreviated time during the year. The National Women's Health Network supports menstrual suppression products as part of a comprehensive list of contraceptive options for women.
There are various reasons women may choose to suppress their menstrual cycles. According to the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, some women decide to do so to alleviate period-related symptoms, such as painful cramps and headaches. Others suppress their periods to address certain medical problems such as anemia (low iron), endometriosis or blood-clotting disease.
Lybrel, the first continuous birth control pill, is no longer on the market; however, there is a generic form available called Amethyst. According to the health information site VeryWell, Amethyst is taken every day of the year and does not include placebo pills; instead, each pill is active/hormonal. If used correctly, Amethyst users should not have their period for the whole year. It is important to note that when Amethyst is first started, many experience irregular bleeding and spotting before their period is completely eliminated.
The possible side effects of Amethyst are similar to those of other combination hormonal birth control methods. VeryWell explains that while taking Amethyst, certain medical risks can increase in women who smoke, have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, diabetes, or are older than 35. Women over 35 can still take Amethyst; however, it is suggested their health care provider more closely monitor them.
Continuous birth control pills are a safe option for menstrual suppression. Additionally, menstrual suppression can help manage period-related symptoms and certain medical problems such as anemia. Consult with your healthcare provider to explore available treatment options.
Information about taking birth control pills after 50 can be found here: http://www.healthywomen.org/content/ask-expert/1778/birth-control-and-age
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