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Should I Take Pills to Regulate My Period?

I'm 15 and I have irregular periods. I have been told by people similar to me that they are given pills to help regulate their periods. I am unsure on whether I should go on them and I'm scared of the side effects. Do these pills work and what are some of the side effects? Are there any other ways to help regulate a period?
- Nikeyah*

It's normal to have irregular periods for the first few years of menstruating. Several things can cause irregular periods, including changing hormone levels. Doctors sometimes prescribe birth control pills (the Pill) to regulate periods because they can help control hormone levels.

Birth control pills can have some side effects, like nausea, possible weight gain, headaches, mood changes, breast tenderness, and blood clots. But most young women who take it have no side effects or very few. Girls who take the Pill should not smoke because smoking can increase the risk of some side effects, like blood clots.

Birth control pills can be an effective way to regulate periods. But the only way to find out what's causing your irregular periods (and to see if treatment is needed) is to visit your doctor.

Note: The Pill does not protect you from STDs. So, if you do have sex, be sure to use a condom every time. This will help prevent STDs and give you extra protection against pregnancy.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date Reviewed: 04-11-2020

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