I want to start my period a week early in order to avoid having it while on vacation. Is it ok to stop taking my active pills a week in advance? I am not having any sex to speak of, so pregnancy is not an issue. Would you suggest I do this, or skip my period? My only concern with skipping my period is that I will have to do it again next month as well, because I will still be on vacation? Which do you think is a better decision? Start my period early by skipping a week of pills or skip my period two months in a row?
It's safer to simply skip the placebo week and continue taking the active pills of the next pack. This means you take 4 weeks of active pills instead of 3, and keep taking active pills until you're ready to bleed. I wouldn't do this for longer than 3 months, however.
Taking less than 21 active pills in a row can cause your ovaries to "wake up" and ovulate, which can not only put one at risk of pregnancy, but cause cycle disturbances when the pills are resumed.
However, once you've taken those 21 pills, you can take a break of no more than 7 days whenever you like no matter how many active pills you've taken. Many doctors who prescribe pills taken for menstrual suppression recommend allowing a 4-7 day break if significant breakthrough bleeding occurs and the method has been used at least 21 days to let the body have a period, without causing a risk of pregnancy.
Of course, your own doctor is the best person to ask, especially since some pills are poor choices to use for suppression (usually ones with "tri" in the name, or have different hormone doses by week). It's generally accepted that skipping periods with the pill short-term or occassionally is perfectly safe for just about anyone who can use the pill healthily.
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