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Can Birth Control Cause an Absent Period?

Birth control can cause changes to your menstrual cycle which may include a skipped period. It’s important to understand how birth control works so you can respond appropriately to these changes.

Reasons for a Missed Period on Birth Control

Birth control pills change your hormone levels, which are responsible for regulating your period. When you’re taking the pill, you typically experience breakthrough bleeding while you’re on the placebo pills, but you don’t have a normal period as you would if you were not on the pill. These hormones may cause your period to be lighter, shorter, or absent for a brief time, especially if you’re taking a new pill.

Some birth control pills purposely delay your period. Continuous birth control pills have more than 21 active pills in a pack. This will cause you to skip your period until you reach the placebo pills in your pack.

Other Causes of a Missed Period

In addition to the birth control pill, there are other factors that may contribute to a missed period other than pregnancy. These include:

  • High stress levels
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Overexercising
  • Illness
  • Obesity

What Should I Do if I Miss My Period on Birth Control?

If your period is a full week late and you’re sexually active, you should take a pregnancy test, even if you’re on birth control. Though extremely unlikely, you can become pregnant even on the pill and it’s important to recognize a pregnancy as early as possible.

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