There are women who stop having the period while they are of reproductive age, if they use certain methods of contraception. Sometimes it is a suitable choice, sometimes a medical recommendation and sometimes it happens. But does it have any kind of health consequences?
During a normal menstrual cycle (of an average of 28 days), estrogen levels increase and the lining of the uterus becomes thicker, preparing to feed the fertilized egg, if any.
If there is no pregnancy, the egg dissolves together with the thick lining of the uterus and the so-called natural menstruation
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Why are there women who do not have the rule
When a woman uses hormonal contraceptives, she stops ovulation and bleeding may go away if the supply of hormones is not stopped.
It is, therefore, a false artificial bleed that the Mayo Clinic defines as withdrawal bleeding.
"The vast majority of contraceptive methods can stop menstrual bleeding, but we often do not know if that will happen, "said Savita Brito-Mutunayagam, a specialist in sexual and reproductive health and a member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the UK.
These methods include the IUD (intrauterine device) with levonorgestrel hormone, subcutaneous hormone injection, subcutaneous implant, the single pill (which contains only progesterone) and sometimes also the combined pill (with estrogen and progesterone).
The IUD is usually one of the best to reduce bleeding and / or stop it, says Dr. Savita. And also, it is one of the safest, says the specialist and corroborates the NHS and the Mayo Clinic.
The argument is that the hormonal supply is local (goes directly to the reproductive system without going through the blood) and is also very effective.
Some women decide to try contraceptive methods that can reduce bleeding, delay it or stop it altogether to avoid the associated symptoms with menstruation: abdominal pain, mood changes, migraines, endometriosis and anemia, among others.
Occasionally, the provision of contraceptives that reduce bleeding is under medical prescription, with the intention of reducing the symptoms of endometriosis, anemia, colic, migraine or menorrhagia (uterine bleeding).
And sometimes the absence of bleeding occurs unintentionally simply because, as Dr. Savita explains, the pattern of bleeding in women using hormonal contraceptive methods is only known after a few months and the disappearance of bleeding is one of the causes. possible effects.
But then, should a woman worry if you do not bleed at the end of the menstrual cycle by taking hormones?
"From the clinical point of view It's completely safe. It will have no side effects and sometimes, as with some types of IUDs, it is even recommended for cases of endometriosis because the estrogen it contains makes the endometrial alignment much thinner, "says Dr. Savita, ensures that, in this way, the growth of uterine tissue in other parts of the reproductive system is also avoided.
The NHS has just updated its recommendations on the use of hormonal contraceptives. In his new guide, he ensures that there is no no health benefits in taking a break seven days of the contraceptive pill.
In fact, as Dr. Savita told BBC World, the NHS says that continuous use of oral contraceptives It has been associated with a reduction in the chances of suffering from endometrial, ovarian and colorectal cancer, as well as ameliorate the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome and help alleviate endometriosis and premenstrual syndrome.
But there are sectors within the healthcare industry that have reservations about the continued supply of hormones.
The vision of a naturopath
Aliyyaa Spring-Charles, chair of the General Counsel and Registry of Naturopaths of the United Kingdom and the British Association of Naturopathy says that the use of hormones always entails risks to women's health. And taking them relentlessly increases those risks.
"Excess hormones have a major impact on the liver, specifically depletes the body of valuable minerals, increases cardiovascular risk and increases the risk of breast cancer," he told BBC World.
He also emphasizes that among the side effects of hormonal contraceptive methods, especially the pill, include weight gain, mood swings and hormonal imbalances that can lead to more serious problems.
Spring-Charles emphasizes that a woman's fertile days are only three to five a month and that despite this small window open to conception, women decide to take hormones every day for long periods of their lives.
That is why, like other naturopaths, it supports natural methods of fertility control, such as condoms, diaphragms, or body temperature control, for example.
Dr. Savita recognizes some of the side effects that hormonal contraceptive treatments may havesuch as swelling, fluid retention, or decreased sexual appetite. But these are directly related to the use of hormones in general and not to the loss of bleeding in particular.
Another question that may arise is if, by not having the rule, we also cease to be fertile. Technically, yes, because through the contraceptive method we avoid pregnancy, but this is very different from the concept of fertility, says Dr. Savita.
"Sometimes I've noticed that some women worry about it, but I think it's a cultural issue … There's absolutely no no evidence that stopping the period affects your fertility. In fact, the minute after you withdraw the IUD, you can become pregnant immediately. "
But it all depends also on the contraceptive method that was taken and the woman.
Savita recognizes that the time a woman takes to get pregnant After using hormonal contraceptives, it varies from woman to woman and, in cases of subcutaneous injection, "reaching normal levels of fertility according to age can be delayed by up to one year."
Difficulties in getting pregnant are also important for Spring-Charles.
"Another problem after taking hormones for so many years is that when women want to get pregnant, they may have difficulties and some even require specific hormone therapy to help them. "
In any case, it is always necessary to consult your doctor to know which method is most appropriate.
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