Question To An Expert: Is It Possible To Drink Contraceptive Pills Without Interruption

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Question To An Expert: Is It Possible To Drink Contraceptive Pills Without Interruption
Question To An Expert: Is It Possible To Drink Contraceptive Pills Without Interruption

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OLGA LUKINSKAYA

ANSWERS TO MOST OF THE QUESTIONS ARE EXCITING TO US we used to search online. In the new series of materials, we ask just such questions: burning, unexpected or common - to professionals in various fields.

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We talked about how regular ovulation and menstruation are unnecessary (and even harmful), and hormonal contraception is a safe way to give your body a break from your menstrual cycle. In this case, the scheme for the use of most contraceptive pills implies breaks in the intake of active ingredients. During these breaks, menstrual bleeding develops - it does not bring harm or benefit, and the scheme itself was invented so as not to "scare" women with the complete disappearance of bleeding.

Considering that withdrawal bleeding is associated with inconveniences, many want to get rid of them completely - for this, you can take traditional pills without taking breaks, or switch to a drug whose use scheme is based on long-term continuous use. True, no one gives guarantees that there will be no "menstruation" - daub or so-called breakthrough bleeding may appear. Together with an expert, we figure out how safe it is to take COCs without interruption and which options are more likely to relieve bleeding.

Tatiana Rumyantseva

doctor - obstetrician-gynecologist, candidate of medical sciences, author of the blog "Rumyantseva, MD"

All studies on the prolonged use of COCs were carried out on traditional tablets (which are usually used in a 21 + 7 regimen). The first large-scale studies were carried out for the 84 + 7 scheme (four packages without a break, then a break for seven days) using preparations containing 30 μg ethinylestradiol and 150 μg levonorgestrel. Now there are studies for continuous use for six or even twelve months - but these are the same dosages, nothing has changed in this regard.

Some manufacturers release their drugs in packs of 63 or 84 tablets, and after the end of the intake, you can take a break for 7 days. There is also a special dispenser in which you can adjust the duration of taking active pills up to 120 days. That is, all the active ingredients and the tablets themselves are the same, only new options for the duration of the intake.

This is not to say that such a technique threatens with something special. If we are talking about irregular bleeding or daub, then they really occur more often with prolonged use, but only in the first months. Starting from the fourth month, the likelihood of bleeding is approximately the same for "standard" and prolonged use of contraceptives. So far, there is no evidence that prolonged use increases the risk of thrombosis, stroke, or breast cancer compared to standard use.

Most likely, you can take contraceptives without interruptions indefinitely, and so far there are no strict guidelines for when exactly to stop. Early research focused on 84 days, but there is now a decent amount of information about taking it for six months without interruption. As for safety, it does not depend on the regimen - there is no reason to believe that drugs 21 + 7, 24 + 4 or 26 + 2 are safer than 84 + 7.

Intrauterine hormonal systems are indeed slightly safer (for example, for women who smoke), but this applies to their comparison with pills in general, and not just with prolonged use.

Unfortunately, the complete disappearance of bleeding cannot be guaranteed - and even with continuous taking of pills, using implants and IUDs, there is a possibility of irregular daubing, and with pills this probability is lower. The hormonal "coil" will remove menstruation in about half of the patients, but in 20%, irregular smears will remain.The situation is similar with implants: up to 78% may experience irregular discharge. With COCs in this matter, everything is much more predictable: spotting is most often associated with missing a pill, and without violations of admission, they are rare.

PHOTOS: stas_malyarevsky - stock.adobe.com, Ievgenii Meyer - stock.adobe.com

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