We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.
Was this helpful?

You can stop your periods with birth control pills (and some other forms), choosing to have no periods or a reduced number. Here are the brands we do and don’t recommend.

If you experience very severe menstrual cramps, live with PMDD, manage painful conditions such as endometriosis, or simply don’t want your period on vacation, among other reasons — you may want to use birth control to stop your period.

Know that spotting or light bleeding can still occur in some people. This is especially true for the first few months and may decrease over time as one method is used consistently.

In a 2008 study, participants took hormonal birth control for 91 days straight, and no negative changes were noted in their endometrial tissue when they continued taking birth control and avoided the drop in hormones.

That said, more research is needed to confirm the long-term safety of continuous birth control use. If you have health conditions that make hormonal birth control a higher risk for you, continual birth control will carry those same risks.

With that in mind, we think these are the best birth control options to stop periods.

Periods vs. withdrawal bleeding

The period that you have if you’re already on hormonal birth control isn’t technically a period —it’s withdrawal bleeding, a response to the sudden stop of hormones during your break week from the pill.

A true period is the result of the uterine lining shedding two weeks after ovulation if the released egg isn’t fertilized and doesn’t implant. Since hormonal birth control typically prevents ovulation, the bleeding experienced during your placebo week isn’t technically a period, although it’s also caused by a change in hormone levels just like a regular period.

Was this helpful?

There are different types of birth control pills that stop periods:

  • If your doctor says it’s OK for you, you could continually take your monthly combination birth control pill packs every day until you decide not to, skipping the placebo week that causes withdrawal bleeding.
  • Some birth control pills, which we review below, are designed without a placebo week. These pills may be the most effective for stopping your period, but also can have a higher rate of breakthrough bleeding.

Other forms of birth control, such as patches, IUDs, or injections, can have “no period” effects — but there’s often less of a guarantee.

Monthly combination birth control pill packs tend to come with 21 active pills and 7 placebo pills. But if you carry on taking the active hormone-containing pills, you won’t experience the drop in hormones and will skip withdrawal bleeding.

Other options are specifically designed with fewer placebo pills for fewer or zero periods.

The drop in hormones is what triggers the body to release blood and mucus from the uterus lining. This is similar to a regular period, except the uterus lining doesn’t thicken as much each month. No period birth control pills mean you’re continually getting a dose of hormone-containing pills.

Yaz is an oral birth control pill designed to prevent pregnancy and to treat acne and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and we previously included it on our list. Since it’s a combination pill, you can carry on taking the active pills and avoid taking the inactive pills so that you will not have a period.

However, in 2012 the FDA released a statement saying that birth control pills containing drospirenone (a synthetic form of progesterone found in Yaz) may increase the risk of blood clots more than other birth control pills. For this reason, we removed Yaz from our roundup.

We also considered alternative forms of birth control, such as the Depo-Provera injection or the Mirena IUD. These hormone delivery systems do cause many people to stop menstruating after the first year of use, and most people to stop menstruating after years of continual use.

However, these take longer to stop periods than oral birth control pills or the vaginal ring, and they both have a higher incidence of side effects than some other forms of birth control.

Having a period is natural and can be an indicator of overall health. It can also help indicate whether you’re pregnant or not. But if you’re not trying to track your fertility or get pregnant, it’s not known to be biologically necessary to have a period.

So far there are no known increased risks to taking continual birth control to stop your period. However, more research is needed to know if this is true.

A 2014 research review found that it was safe to stop periods with birth control. No study has found adverse effects of using an extended or continuous birth control schedule. In fact, some doctors say you can suppress your period for a long time if you want to. However, there haven’t been any long-term studies on this.

Research shows that combination pills can come with an increased risk of things like strokes, blood clots, and liver tumors. It may also be more difficult to detect pregnancy if you’re not having a period.

According to a 2017 resource sheet posted in the NIH’s National Library of Medicine, oral birth control pills are the best choice for shortening long periods or reducing the flow of heavy periods. This could include combination pills (containing synthetic estrogen and progesterone) or the mini-pill (which contains progestin only).

Almost any type of hormonal birth control will cause thinning of the uterine lining, so when you do experience bleeding, it should not be as heavy as a typical period.

If you have not gone through menopause, your periods should return within 3 months months of stopping birth control pills. For many people their period returns sooner than this.

If your period does not return after 3 months of being off of birth control pills, you should take a pregnancy test and schedule an appointment with your doctor.

While birth control pills are considered generally safe, there’s much we still don’t know. More research is needed to know if birth control pills may permanently stop your periods or alter your fertility. If you have questions or concerns, it may be helpful to talk with your doctor.

According to the National Women’s Health Network, it’s generally considered safe to stop your periods with birth control pills. The bleeding you experience during placebo weeks on birth control is withdrawal bleeding. You can opt to stop withdrawal bleeding or to just have a few weeks off hormonal pills per year.

Any form of hormonal birth control is not without risks or side effects, especially if you have certain underlying conditions. Just remember to speak with a healthcare professional about the best option for you.