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Do you really need a period?

Period Tips, Help and Advice / posted 2 years ago / Jayne Cherrington-Cook

Do you really need a period?

If you were offered a miracle pill that could take away your periods forever, would you take it?

Chances are if you’re in that 14% of people who are unable to work due to horrendous period pain, the answer would be yes.

While periods are a good thing – they’re proof, after all, that your body is working the way it should – for many women they regularly affect their quality of life.

Even if you’re someone who just wants to stop your period appearing on your honeymoon or when you have a big work event coming up, suppressing periods is a thing – and it seems – a perfectly harmless thing.

There are many ways you can stop your periods, whether that’s taking the contraceptive pill on a continuous basis or having an IUD inserted, but if we’re meant to bleed each month, surely stopping that will harm us in some way?

Good for your health?

Well it seems the answer is no. In fact, continuous contraception may even be beneficial to your health.

  • Even though studies are limited on this area, those that have been done have found that longer cycles not only reduce cramping and PMS, but also bloating and period-related headaches.
  • Supressing periods has also been found to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by around 40%, while also reducing the risk of benign ovarian cysts.
  • Obviously if you bleed heavily, restricting your periods to 1 or 2 a month means you’re less likely to suffer from anaemia.
The cons

While more studies need to be carried out to identify any major potential issues, there are potentially a few downsides to skipping your period.

  • Breakthrough bleeding or spotting may happen in the first few months of supressing your period. Obviously this can be annoying as the bleeding can often happen at odd times so you may not be prepared. However, this should settle down after a few months.
  • Other than that some experts have raised concerns that skipping your period could means losing the monthly boost to your heart and bone health, as the cycle can protect women against heart disease and osteoporosis.
It’s your choice

Having a period will always be a personal choice, but considering we now have an estimated 3 times as many periods as our early ancestors, perhaps it’s one we should all be offered?

As ever, if you’re interested in supressing your period, pay a visit to your GP who can talk you through the risks and advise on the right medication for you.

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