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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Tricycling pills

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Author Topic: Tricycling pills
Member # 37328

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I know you're all busy but there's been something that I've been wondering about since I went to my contraception nurse at Uni a few weeks ago.

I usually get my pill (Femodette) from a contraception nurse at a hospital clinic in my home town, but this month I ran out early and had to go to the uni clinic to make sure I had enough for Christmas holidays.

I often bi or tricycle my pills because I'm in a long distance relationship and periods always seem to fall on the rare times I can see my boyfriend. My home nurse said that was fine, but my uni nurse said it's bad for me to have a build up of hormones.

Since then I've been reading up on the internet but there's such mixed messages.

What I've found is

- The pill free interval was devised in the early days of the Pill because it was felt that women would find having a 'period' more acceptable - therefore it's unnecessary
- The pill free interval is the 'Achilles heel' of the Pill's efficacy as it can contribute to pill failure - the lengthening of the pill free interval is one of the most common causes of pill failure and is often associated with a woman starting her new Pill packet late.
- Other contraceptive devices like the implant provide constant hormones with no break - therefore skipping the pill free interval is no different.

- Skipping pill free interval would mean the girl is exposed to more artificial hormones in the year.
- Many women rely on their regular menstrual period for reassurance of not being pregnant.


Are there any actual scientific studies about skipping pill free intervals? It seems crazy that something as important as the pill hasn't been researched since back when it was invented!!

Thanks so much!!!

Posts: 24 | From: UK | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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The best link I can suggest for you about this is to look through the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research:

And the ARHP: (LOTS of studies cited at the bottom of that page.)

There have been studies on this, but so far, they have been limited to women over 18, and, last I checked, to a period of two years. In other words, we can only speak to the impact on health of adult women for two years. Those studies did not find any health problems based on suppressing menstruation (so long as women have a withdrawal bleed four times a year) for that period of time for those women.

I'm not sure why you're suggesting the pill hasn't been studied since the 60's. It very much has, in a world of ways.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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