Everything You Need to Know About Continuous Cycle Pills

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A quick online search reveals numerous forms of birth control. In the past, you went to the doctor and you were put on the pill. These days, however, you have multiple options to choose from. A type that has increased in popularity is continuous birth control. This is a type of combination pill, meaning it contains both progestin and estrogen.

If you’re thinking about going on birth control, make sure to research your options. Keep reading to learn more about continuous birth control pills, including what they are, how they work, and why you might want to take them.

Continuous Birth Control Types:

Continuous Cycle Pills

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There are three basic types of continuous birth control pills: 91 Day, 365 Day, and Mini Continuous Cycle Pills, which come in 24- or 26-Day packs.

91 Day:

91 Day continuous birth control pills are available under the following brand names:

Regardless of the brand you choose, you will receive your active pills in a pack of 84 at a time. This is enough pills to last for 12 weeks. In addition, your pack will come with seven inactive pills. If you opt for the 91 Day version of continuous birth control, you will likely have your period during week 13. Yes, that means you will have your period only about four times a year. For many women, periods last only three days when they’re on continuous birth control.

365 Day:

There is only one type of 365 Day continuous birth control pill that has been approved by the FDA — Amethyst. You’ll receive 28 active pills in a pack and no inactive pills. Most women do not have a single period when taking a 365 Day continuous birth control pill.

Mini Continuous Cycle Pills:

Many women opt for mini continuous cycle pills because they receive more hormone pills, thus decreasing hormone fluctuations. This means there is a lesser likelihood of mood swings. If you opt for mini continuous cycle pills, you will choose between:

  • 24 Day: Available under three brand names: Safyral, Yaz, or Beyaz. Your packs will come with 24 active pills and four inactive.
  • 26 Day: Available under the brand name Lo Loestrin Fe. Your packs will come with 26 days of active pills, two inactive pills, and two estrogen-only pills. Many women like having the two days of estrogen-only pills because it helps their periods be both shorter and lighter.

Benefits of Continuous Birth Control:

Continuous birth control pills have been shown to provide relief to those suffering from:

  • Painful periods
  • Heavy bleeding
  • PMS or PMDD
  • Frequent periods
  • Mood swings
  • Breast tenderness
  • Menstrual-related bloating

Side Effects of Continuous Birth Control:

As with any type of birth control, continuous birth control does come with possible side effects. Some of these side effects counteract the benefits of the pills. For example, some women find relief from headaches while taking continuous birth control, while others find it increases headaches. Other possible side effects include:

  • Bloating
  • Delay of recognition of pregnancy if you were to become pregnant
  • Spotting
  • Vaginal bleeding

Speak with your doctor today to learn more about continuous cycle pills. After reviewing your medical history, your physician can outline the various options he or she thinks will be best for you.

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