I have been fascinated by the notion of going without a period since the 8th grade, when I heard about an older, incredibly beautiful girl at my school who didn’t wear underwear. I was a maxi pad user at the time — tampons did not register as an option until 10th grade — so I couldn’t understand how this chick could go panty-less during her monthly flow.
“Where does she stick her pad?” I asked a friend as we sat on the school’s front lawn giving each other hairwraps. (It was a hippie school and it was the early-’90s.)
“Oh, I heard her tell someone that she rarely gets her period because she drinks so much water.” And so a curiosity was born. You could skip your period? I thought. By drinking water? I don’t actually know how true that is — in general or for the beautiful panty-less girl in question — but I have heard there are perfectly viable ways a woman can control how often she gets her period by using her birth control pill to control the regularity of her cycle.
But it was not until recently that I actually tried to skip my period. A couple months ago, my boyfriend was coming to visit the same weekend I was supposed to be on the rag. I’ve been on the pill (Ortho-Lo, to be specific) for awhile and my period always arrives like clockwork. I knew that bitch was dropping in the day he was supposed to arrive. My doc — and everything I’d read about such things online — had told me I could just go straight into a new pack of pills at the start of the fourth week of my cycle, rather than taking seven days of reminder pills (during which I would normally get my period). By skipping the reminder pills and continuing to take active pills, I would delay my period until I reached the reminder pills during the fourth week of this new pack. How easy! Huzzah!
And it worked, pretty well anyway. I didn’t get my period that weekend, but I did spot a little bit about a week before I finally got my regular ol’ period. No matter; a little spotting, I had read, was to be expected.
However, over a week ago, I attempted to skip my period again. This time around, it didn’t work. I am not having a full-on period, per se, with a couple super heavy days and then tapering off; I have, however, been spotting non-stop for the last, oh, 10 days. Normally my regular periods last four. I have gone through two huge boxes of tampons! WTF?! Every morning when I go to pull my tampon out — sorry, peeps, for the visual — I think to myself, Surely there won’t be any blood on this one. I’ve even fooled myself into thinking I was done, and have ruined a couple pairs of undies in the process. My uterus seems to be on “Continuously Shedding” mode. How much longer could this possibly go on? How do I turn it off! My tampon budget is taking a major hit!
I know there are birth control pills on the market that specifically limit your menstrual cycle to a few times a year — like Seasonale and Seasonique — but I’m actually not interested in messing with my monthly visitor that much. (It just would be nice to delay it on occasion.) The thing is, my body has always responded well to the hormone levels in Ortho-Lo and maybe this is just my body’s way of saying, “Amelia, please stop bossing me around. Let me do my thing. For the love of God, I need to bleed!” I guess I should listen. This will be the last time I try to force my period into fitting my schedule.
But what about you? Have you ever used to the Pill to skip your period? Has it worked? Got any tips? Oh, and if you are the pretty panty-less girl from way back when, email me and tell me your water-drinking period-skipping secret!