The study, published in January in the journal Contraception, is one of the first to examine why women do.

Researchers from the University of Oregon studied 1,324 women, college and graduate students, who had taken hormonal contraceptives in the past six months. Hormonal methods included oral pill, contraceptive patches and vaginal rings.

The 17 percent of participants said they had altered their pattern of rule by skipping the placebo week of pills in their containers or applying a new patch or the ring as soon as they finished the last, without a bye week. During the bye week "actually produce a cyclic bleeding menstrual imitates" according to dr. Maria Angeles Gómez Martínez, vice president of the Spanish Society of Contraception (SEC). "In the week of placebo pills are taken, no hormones in their composition, hormone levels decrease and the endometrium produces flaking and bleeding."

Some birth control pills are designed to lengthen the cycle between periods of bleeding. These extended cycle birth control pills allow women menstruate every three months, or even just once a year.

Of the women who delayed or skipped a period, half said have done for convenience or to prevent bleeding during a particular week of the month. About 30 percent said it was a personal choice and 16.7 percent said they simply wanted to avoid menstrual symptoms.

These results underscore the need to carry out a study to primary care to find out how women are using their contraception because, for example, many of them may be skipping the bye week to extend their cycles.

The patient information from your doctor should be important, because 53 percent of women who skipped a period they did on the advice of friends, family or other non-medical sources. Most of the healthy female population using hormonal contraception does so without risk to your health, but you should always by prescription and under medical supervision.


Picture By Victor byckttor (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons