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Women's Health

Delaying menstrual cycle

09/03/2010

Question:

Can you delay your period by starting birth control pills one week before your period is supposed to start?

Answer:

If you are currently on an oral contraceptive, you can delay beginning your period by skipping the inactive pills and moving directly in to taking the next pack's active pills. However, if you are starting pills for the first time, and you begin the pack the one week before your period is due, it is unlikely to prevent you from bleeding. In fact, this may cause you to have irregular bleeding.

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Response by:

Lisa M Keder, MD, MPH Lisa M Keder, MD, MPH
Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University