Starting birth control mid-cycle, specifically to be period-free for a certain week.
October 28, 2011 11:26 PM   Subscribe

I have an international trip coming up in two weeks. I went off birth control about 6 months ago, and would like to get back on it, to avoid dealing with my period during the trip. I have no experience with starting BC mid-cycle, and when breakthrough bleeding generally happens (immediately? Towards the end of the 30-day pack?). When is the best time to start? Now? A few days before the trip?

My periods have generally been regular, except that this month, I've skipped a period. According to my phone's period-tracking app, I'm currently on Day 49 of not having a period! (I haven't had any sexytimes for months. Yes, seriously. So, definitely not pregnant.)

I'd appreciate any advice! Thanks!
posted by Xere to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
Breakthough bleeding can happen anytime. It depends on the person. You might not have any breakthrough bleeding. I think given your irregular cycles, you might as well start now, I don't think anyone can tell you what is going to happen, but I think it has a good likelihood of working out for you.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:57 PM on October 28, 2011

I've done the same thing for the same reason, and I just started them as soon as I thought of it. Once it was about two weeks before the vacation. The vacation itself was 2 weeks, so when I had finished the first 21 days of pills, I was mid-vacation, so started the next pack without taking the 7 day placebos. Another time, it was about a week before the event (surgery) and about 9 days before my period was due.

I didn't have breakthrough bleeding in either case, but then I had never had breakthrough ever in over a decade of using BC pills.

My entirely unscientific thinking was that it was better to start the pills before you expect to ovulate, because it's better to get the hormones in before your uterus gears up to shed its lining. But that is based on nothing but my memories of grade 8 health class, so take it for what it's worth!
posted by looli at 1:36 PM on October 29, 2011

Oh, and this is just if you are taking it to stop your period. I wouldn't count on them as actual birth control unless you are taking them the way the package insert tells you to.
posted by looli at 1:38 PM on October 29, 2011

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