The impact of contraception on periods and the cycle

Pill, IUD, implant… if these contraceptive methods each have their advantages and disadvantages, all act on the rules in a different way. Phenomena to know in order to spot worrying situations.

The contraceptives used often affect our periods in the long term, but not always in the same way. With Anne-Sylvie Tardieu, gynecologist, let’s discover how the contraceptive pill, the implant and the copper IUD affect our periods.

the contraceptive pill & the rules

There are several types of birth control pills: some require a seven-day break between two packs to make room for mock periods, which are actually called hormone withdrawal bleeding. Others are taken continuously and may suppress the rules altogether. In fact, the period pains that could occur before the pill, are reduced or even eliminated:

“Normally you shouldn’t be in pain. There are women who have severe pain during menstruation, the pill relieves them a little, but if it continues it may be interesting to consult to take stock, see if there is no endometriosis, s make sure the pill is taken correctly. And if the pain persists, you can take the pill continuously to stop your period. ”

As the pill needs to be taken every day, some decide to influence the rules by combining two platelets for those with a seven-day break. However, Anne-Sylvie Tardieu, gynecologist, warns against spotting: when the endometrium becomes very thin, which is the case on the pill, it can bleed and cause untimely small spots of blood. Need to start a new birth control pill? Usually, your gynecologist will ask you to start on the first day of your period to make sure there is no pregnancy. There is also a method called “quick start”, which allows you to start anytime. But for the first seven days, she will need to be accompanied by other contraception, such as condoms.

We had already written a full article on the period on the pill.

the implant and the rules

The implant is a stick that is inserted under the skin, and which diffuses hormones in the body for three years. Its effects on periods can vary a lot from one person who is having a period.

“We have three types of bleeding patterns: we continue to have periods, it’s normal. In some women there will be no more periods, that’s ok too. Some women will have their period anytime or continuously, then the implant is removed. When you put an implant you have to give yourself two or three months to see what happens. You can change the type of bleeding with the same implant, or from one implant to another. ”

Like the pill, it usually occurs on the first day of your period, or anytime with the “quick start” method. From longer or heavier periods are possible with this type of contraception. This does not necessarily indicate a problem, but can become annoying over time: too heavy periods can create anemia and fatigue. If this persists, do not hesitate to return to see your gynecologist, who may suggest removal of the implant or another method of contraception. Do not hesitate to use period panties during your cycles or other periodic protection.

Under implant, the reproductive system is at rest. Period pains therefore tend to decrease or even disappear. If they persist or intensify, then again, your best bet is to consult to make sure all is well. Sometimes the rules are brown too, so there is no need to worry. It is quite simply oxidized blood, a phenomenon that is found quite often at the start and end of periods.

the IUD (IUD) and menstruation

There are two types of IUDs: the one in copper, and the hormonal IUD.

the copper IUD is an interesting solution if you want to stop taking hormones. This device has a dual function. It acts both by inflammation on the endometrium to prevent the attachment of the egg in the uterus but also has a cytotoxic effect on sperm which will prevent fertilization.

However, the copper IUD is not recommended if your period is heavy and painful, since it tends to worsen these effects. With the copper IUD, the rules will therefore appear in the classic way in the absence of pregnancy. This is also the right time to ask.

“The IUD is always placed during the period of menstruation: we go through natural channels and we will cross the cervix. To pass an intrauterine device, the cervix must be more open, and this is the case during menstruation. It can also be used as emergency contraception. At the time of intercourse, fertilization will take place in the tubes of the uterus, then the egg will move and settle in the uterus, which takes several days. It is therefore in the first five days after unprotected intercourse that one can intervene with the IUD. ”

Like the copper IUD does not release any hormones, it does not remove the rules. If they do not appear, it is better to take a pregnancy test. Anne-Sylvie Tardieu points out that the copper IUD protects better against intrauterine pregnancies than extrauterine. Taking a test to ensure the absence of pregnancy therefore remains a good reflex. Likewise, bleeding outside of menstrual periods requires a consultation, to ensure that there is no infection, for example.

The copper IUD does not regulate the rules, since its action is local. In addition, the pain may be stronger since the uterus will contract on this foreign body. In case of pain and heavy periods, Anne-Sylvie Tardieu recommends instead the hormone-based IUD, which does not act by inflammation. It can help women who have a tendency to have fibroids, and also calm endometriosis. On the other hand, if you want to stop taking hormones, the copper IUD remains an interesting option.

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The impact of contraception on periods and the cycle

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Catherine Coaches