A missed period while you are on birth control can be alarming, especially if you are someone who relies on birth control pills for contraception. However, it’s important to know that missing a period while on birth control doesn’t always mean you’re pregnant. There are several other potential reasons why you may have missed a period while on birth control.
In this article, get to know about the reasons for a missed period while you are on pregnancy control pills.
Potential Reasons for Missed Period While on Birth Control
A missed period when you are on birth control pills is not a reason to panic. It does not always imply that you are pregnant. Missing periods for more than 90 days is considered abnormal unless you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are through the menopause stage.
However, women can miss periods for various other reasons like stopping or starting pregnancy control pills, change of birth control methods, stress, exercise, change in diet, hormonal imbalance, etc. Let us understand the 5 potential reasons for a missed period while on birth control pills.
1. Starting or Stopping Birth Control Pills
Starting or stopping pregnancy control pills can cause missed periods due to the hormonal changes that occur when you introduce or remove synthetic hormones from your body. Birth control pills work by regulating hormones and preventing ovulation, which stops the menstrual cycle from occurring. When you start taking birth control pills, it can take some time for your body to adjust to the new hormone levels, which can cause irregularities in the menstrual cycle, including missed periods.
Similarly, when you stop taking birth control pills, it can take some time for your body to readjust to its natural hormone levels. This can cause irregularities in the menstrual cycle, including missed periods. Some women experience what’s known as a “withdrawal bleed” when they stop taking birth control pills, which is similar to a period but is caused by the sudden drop in synthetic hormones.
It is important to be aware of how to take birth control pills. Despite following the instructions, if you have concerns about a missed period or other symptoms you should seek help from your physician. They will be able to assess the reason for the missed period and advise accordingly.
2. Incorrect Use of Birth Control Pills
Not understanding how to use birth control pills can cause missed periods by altering the effectiveness of the medication. Birth control pills work by regulating hormones and preventing ovulation, which stops the menstrual cycle from occurring. However, if you don’t take your pregnancy control pills as directed, it can disrupt the hormone balance and potentially cause you to miss a period. For example, if you forget to take a pill or take it at the wrong time, it can reduce the effectiveness of the medication and increase the likelihood of ovulation.
Additionally, skipping placebo pills or taking too many active pills can also affect the hormone balance and cause a missed period. Therefore, it’s important to follow the instructions provided with your birth control pills carefully to ensure proper usage and the birth control pills effectiveness.
3. Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalances can cause a missed period in several ways. The menstrual cycle is controlled by a delicate balance of hormones, including oestrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH), among others. Any disruption to this balance can lead to irregular periods or missed periods.
For example, if there is an excess of oestrogen or insufficient levels of progesterone, the endometrial lining may not develop properly, and ovulation may not occur, leading to a missed period. Conversely, if there is insufficient oestrogen or excess progesterone, the endometrial lining may become overgrown, leading to heavy or prolonged periods.
Other factors that can cause hormonal imbalances include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, and stress. PCOS can cause an excess of androgens, which disrupts the hormonal balance and can lead to missed periods. Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism, can also interfere with the menstrual cycle. Additionally, stress can affect the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which regulate the menstrual cycle.
Even when you are on pregnancy control pills, hormonal imbalances can result in missed periods through a variety of mechanisms, and it’s essential to identify the underlying cause to manage the condition properly.
Stress can cause missed periods even when you’re on pregnancy control pills because it disrupts the delicate balance of hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. While birth control pills work to prevent ovulation and regulate the menstrual cycle, they do not completely eliminate the hormonal fluctuations that occur during a normal menstrual cycle.
Stress can affect the levels of hormones like cortisol, which can interfere with the production of other hormones like oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and preparing the uterus for a potential pregnancy. When cortisol levels are high due to stress, it can disrupt this delicate balance and cause irregularities in the menstrual cycle, including a missed period.
It’s important to note that while birth control pills are highly effective at preventing pregnancy, they are not foolproof. If you miss a pill or take it at the wrong time, it can reduce the effectiveness of birth and increase the likelihood of ovulation. Stress can also make it easier to forget to take your pills on time or to miss them altogether. Therefore, managing stress levels and understanding how to take birth control pills is important to ensure proper usage and effectiveness. If you have concerns about missed periods or the effectiveness of your birth control method, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider.
5. A Sudden Change in Diet
A sudden change in diet can cause a missed period while on birth control because it can lead to changes in body weight and hormone levels. When you make significant changes to your diet, it can cause a rapid change in body weight, which can affect the balance of hormones in the body. Hormones like oestrogen and progesterone are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and preparing the uterus for a potential pregnancy. When body weight changes rapidly, it can disrupt this delicate balance and cause irregularities in the menstrual cycle, including missed periods.
Additionally, certain types of diets can cause a deficiency in essential nutrients like iron and vitamin B12, which can also affect the menstrual cycle. Iron deficiency anaemia can lead to lighter or a missed period, while vitamin B12 deficiency can cause irregular periods. It is important to maintain a balanced diet and a healthy body weight to help regulate the menstrual cycle.
A missed period while on birth control can be concerning but you need not panic. There are several potential reasons why you may have missed a period besides being pregnant, including incorrect use of birth control pills, hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, starting or stopping birth control, stress, and sudden change in diet.
If you are concerned about the missed period, instead of worrying, you can seek the help of your gynaecologist who will be able to assess the reason and prescribe medication accordingly if needed.