by Rachel Burt, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Roswell OB/GYN ……………………………..
It’s the fourth day of sugar pills and no bleeding… you did everything right – didn’t miss a single pill, took it the same time every day but nothing – no period. Don’t panic! Many of the low dose birth control pills today keep your uterine lining so thin that it does not shed… so, you don’t get a period.
Travel back in your mind to high school anatomy class… each month the uterine lining thickens as it awaits a fertilized egg. If implantation of a fertilized egg does not happen, the lining then sheds and you get your period. The birth control pill was originally designed to mimic a woman’s normal cycle. Scientists thought women would be more accepting of birth control if their monthly periods stayed the same. The 3 to 3.5 weeks of active pills (depending on your birth control brand) contain estrogen. The estrogen maintains the uterine lining. While on the active estrogen containing pills, the uterine lining stays thin but should not bleed. The placebo pills, do not contain estrogen. Your period starts a few days into the placebo pills because of your body’s response to the lack of estrogen. Newer birth control pills have lower dosages of estrogen. These lower dose pills still prevent pregnancy and have low side effects. The lower dosages of estrogen keep the uterine lining very thin. Sometimes the lining is so thin that it does not shed during the placebo week. There is no medical consequence to skipping a period while you are on birth control pills. The uterine lining is not thickening and you are not increasing your risk for uterine cancer.
So, don’t worry. Do a pregnancy test to confirm you are not pregnant, and then relax and enjoy not spending as much money on tampons!
Any questions, please contact us at 770-751-3600.