The Best Birth Control to Stop Periods

How cool is it that certain hormonal birth control methods can actually lighten or stop your period? Personally, we think it’s pretty darn amazing, but before you get too excited, there are a couple of catches. First off, every woman is different, so just because one of these methods works for your friend doesn’t mean it will also work for you. And second, it’s totally safe and healthy to suppress your period, but you definitely want to consult with your health care provider before trying any of the period-pausing methods (and really, any method) we mention below. Deal?

So now that all the disclaimer housekeeping is out of the way, let’s talk about how to outsmart Mother Nature’s monthly gift.

OPTION #1:

“The Pill Skip”

Most birth control pills have three weeks of hormone pills and one week of placebo pills. The placebo week is when Aunt Flo comes to town, but for many women, it may be safe to skip the placebo pills (and therefore skip your period) and start a new pack of hormone pills right away instead. Definitely check with a medical professional on this first though. He or she may say that it’s totally fine, that it’s only safe on occasion—say, you have a beach vacation scheduled and it falls right in the middle of your period—or that it’s just not a good idea for you. Like we said, it depends, but typically this can be a safe and easy way to avoid “the crimson tide.”

OPTION #2:

“The Fewer-Period-Pill Plan”

Certain brands of birth control pills are specifically designed to only give you four periods a year (that’s just one every season!), or even fewer. Ask your health care provider or a medical professional about your options, including the brands Seasonale®, Seasonique® and Lybrel®.

OPTION #3:

“The Mirena Effect”

Mirena is a brand of hormonal IUD that is placed by your health care provider. It provides highly effective birth control that lasts up to five whole years (you can have it removed earlier if you want). Even better, many women report that Mirena significantly lightens their periods, reduces cramps or stops their flow altogether for the majority of that five-year timeline. Score! But don’t get the Mirena confused with the ParaGard IUD. ParaGard is awesome for women who don’t want to have any hormones in their birth control, and it lasts ten years instead of five. The downside is: ParaGard can actually make periods heavier for most women.

Have questions about any of these? Make an appointment to visit your health care provider and discuss which might be the best option for you.