Here at U by Kotex, we often get questions about whether it’s possible to control when your period comes. Using oral contraceptives, aka “the pill,” is one way that you can have a bit of control over when your bleeding will happen.
Traditional pill packs employ a twenty-eight day, typical menstrual cycle, where hormones are given for twenty-one days, followed by seven days of placebo pills. This placebo pills tell your hormone feedback system that there is no reason to maintain the lining of the uterus in preparation for a baby and causes the lining of the uterus to slough. This sloughing is what we call your period. For more detailed information, please refer to this article: All About Hormones During Your Period**
In more recent years, extended cycle packs have become available. These pill cycles are closer to ninety days. At first, skepticism regarding the safety surrounded this idea, but research reviews by Edelman, et al. (2005) and more than ten years of use has shown this method to be as safe as regular pill cycle. Benefits may also include less bloating and headache and less overall bleeding days. They also have a similar prevention of pregnancy profile as the traditional cycle pill. One downside is that in the initial months, spotting may be more common than traditional cycle pills.
So, the question remains. How do you alter the date of your period when it will occur during your special event? My suggestion is that planning ahead is essential. If you have time, start way ahead so that your risk of spotting during that time is reduced. You may want to use a calendar and pencil for this planning. You can easily alter your period by a week using a traditional pill pack by skipping the placebo pills in one pack and move directly into the hormone pills in a second pack. This would equal forty-two straight days of hormone pills then your week of placebo pills, which should bring your period one week earlier.
Using a continuous/extended cycle pill pack, you can alter your period days by eliminating the last week or ten days of your hormone pills, so that you bleed seven to ten days earlier than you would normally.
If your event is sooner than either of these methods allow, you could also continue your hormone pill use through your event, then take the placebo pills when you get home. Using these methods to change your period by a week or so is generally considered safe. Without your healthcare provider’s recommendation, I recommend this approach for occasional use only.
Source: Edelman, A., Gallo, MF, Nichols, MD, Jensen, JT, Schulz, KF and Grimes, DA “Continuous versus cyclic use of combined oral contraceptives for contraception: systematic Cochrane review of randomized controlled trials” Oxford Journals. Human Reproduction. Vol 21, Issue 3. Pp. 573-578 retrieved on February 14, 2015 from
I started my period only 4 days ago, and it happened at school. I went to the bathroom, and when I went to pee, I looked in my underwear and saw blood. I thought "No...nononono MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!"" - Leigha
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