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How can women safely alter their menstrual cycles?

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Quick Answer

Women can safely alter their menstrual cycles using extended-cycle or continuous methods of birth control, according to WebMD. Three FDA-approved pills that can alter women's menstrual cycles are Seasonale, Seasonique, and Lybrel.

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Full Answer

Women who choose to alter their menstrual cycle using extended-cycle birth control pills, such as Seasonale and Seasonique, take 84 hormone-containing pills followed by some pills that contain no hormones or a lower dose of hormones, WebMD explains. This reduces the number of periods that women have each year. Another option is to take Lybrel, a continuous birth control pill. Women who take this pill can avoid having periods for a full year.

Although the birth control pills mentioned above have been approved by the FDA, according to WebMD, long-term studies have not yet confirmed the safety of continuous birth control over the long term. There could be risks associated with the increased exposure to hormones. Women also need to be aware that there is a risk of blood clots associated with all birth control pills. Finally, women who choose to alter their menstrual cycles need to be aware that they might not notice a pregnancy as quickly as they would if they had regular periods every month.

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