Periods are a pain, and many women want to know if they can be safely stopped, delayed or sped up.
This is particularly true for women who travel frequently.
“Women using hormonal forms of birth control may find that their periods stop or change — usually becoming lighter or less frequent,” says Dr. Kate Killoran, OBGYN and medical advisor at Your Doctors Online, an online doctor chat site.
“This is safe. The ‘period’ you have on hormonal birth control is artificial (the hormonal IUD is an exception) in that it is caused by the medication you are taking.
“It can be delayed by taking active pills (patch or ring) for a longer period of time.
“This doesn’t always work, as some women will have what’s known as breakthrough bleeding and start bleeding sooner than expected.
“While it is usually possible to delay or stop one’s period, it may be more difficult to speed it up.
“It certainly can be done but can be harder to predict.”
Never try to stop or delay your menstrual cycle with severe dieting or excessive strenuous exercise, nor try to stop your cycle with intentional gain of significant levels of body fat.
Dr. Killoran has a private practice and is also a health coach at drkatemd.com. Your Doctors Online offers a free 7 day trial: Ask a doctor questions and get answers in minutes from anywhere 24/7. Learn more here.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.