Dear DOLLY DR,
I was wondering if it’s OK to skip your period if you're on the pill? A girl I know sometimes doesn't take the sugar pills and goes straight onto the proper pills so that her period doesn't come. She only does it when she has a holiday or something special on. Could this be harmful at all?
NO it's not harmful and is a perfectly reasonable way for women to try to skip or control their periods.
Some women take three 'packets' of hormone pills in a row and then the sugar pills, which gives them a period every 2-3 months instead of monthly; but it's OK to go for even longer than that.
The main downside is that sometimes the body will have a 'breakthrough bleed' which means that even when on the active, hormone pills, you get a light, small period-like bleed. This can have nuisance value, as it’s nice to know when to expect your periods.
However even when the pill is taken in the 'regular' way, with sugar pills every packet, some women still get breakthrough bleeding. It's basically a well known side effect of any hormone contraception (the pill, the rod or the injection). Breakthrough bleeding doesn't reduce the effectiveness of contraception.