Holy Hormones Journal: Society for Menstrual Cycle Research colleague, Holly Grigg-Spall began writing a blog, Sweetening the Pill, in 2009 based on the research she had undertaken for a feature for Easy Living magazine about the side effects of hormonal contraceptives. After ten years of taking the pill, she decided to come off hormonal birth control and documented her experience of this transition. It was then that she asked, “Who am I when I’m not on the pill?” This question prompted her radical reassessment of the mythology of the birth-control pill, which became the book Sweetening the Pill: How We Became Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control to be published in September. Grigg-Spall is currently also working as co-director and producer on a documentary on the same topic.
With an estimated 200 million women on birth control by 2015 – it is time to be busting the myths about Menstrual Suppression.
5 Facts About Menstrual Suppression
by Holly Grigg-Spall
July 13, 2013
Recent research revealed that 20 percent of women skip their periods by running packs of birth control pills together without a break. This statistic was widely reported by the media with the majority of articles stating that doing so is both “safe” and “beneficial”. There are more drugs and devices that can suppress menstruation available to us, from Seasonique pills to the Nexplanon implant, than ever before.
However, there is a growing counter movement that asks that women think twice before showing Aunt Flo the door. Here are the top five myths you may have read and the opposing information you ought to know.
MYTH: Birth control pills regulate your period and treat cramps and heavy bleeding.
FACT: Birth control pills, or any kind of hormonal birth control, suppresses your own cycle—that’s both ovulation and menstruation—and supersedes it with a dose synthetic hormones. The bleed you experience during the break is not physiologically a period but a “withdrawal bleed” that has little relation to menstruation, which is why it might be lighter, shorter, and less painful.