I Know It’s Perfectly Safe, But Skipping My Period On Purpose Scares Me

At first, I was convinced that skipping my period by messing with my birth control pills would mess up my body forever. It just doesn’t seem natural, you know? I do it all the time now, but it still scares the crap out of me.

  1. I’m one of the lucky ones who has a perfectly regular cycle thanks to years on birth control. I started on the pill to control heavy bleeding, not because I was having sex, and it worked like a charm. I stop my active pills on Sunday and like clockwork, mother nature sends my monthly visitor by Tuesday. I don’t take for granted that it happens this way, and it’s part of the reason I feel so guilty messing with my calendar.
  2. It’s not necessarily the worst week of my month. Sure, it’s a pain to have to remember to change tampons and going to the pool requires a bit more planning, but overall, my life doesn’t really change during my period. I typically have a day or two where I feel like crap, but in the scheme of a 30-day month, it’s not the end of the world. I stuff my face with whatever I’m craving, usually get out a much-needed cry, and get on with my life.
  3. I’ve even been known to use my period as an excuse not to hook up. When I was in the early stages of dating, I blamed my disinterest in fooling around on having my period and would even schedule meetups when I knew I wouldn’t be able to do anything with a guy. Now that I’m in a committed relationship, I can just tell my boyfriend if I’m not in the mood, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the once a month excuse to cuddle without the chance of anything escalating.
  4. Other times, I want to skip my period so that I can get it on as much as possible. Whether it’s a date night, special holiday, or beach vacation, sometimes my period coming on a particular day is the absolute end of the world. It’s times like those that I often start a new pack right away to intentionally miss my period. I don’t do it often, and I don’t do it for no reason, but when the occasion is important enough, I grit my teeth and go for it.
  5. My friends and doctors keep reassuring me that it’s no big deal. I’ve asked everyone from Google to female relatives and my OBGYN, and everyone confirms that it’s safe to skip a period. Your body won’t be harmed by starting a new pack right away, and even people who take all 28 pills are taking a week of placebos that don’t have any hormones whatsoever. Every person or source I consult as the same conclusion: no harm, no foul.
  6. This is my vag, so I’m obsessed. People can tell me until they’re blue in the face that I’m mad, but I can’t help but be scared when this is arguably one of the most important parts of my body. I want to stay healthy and I want to have kids one day, so the idea of doing anything that could mess up my body is really hard for me to wrap my head around. I have friends who roll their eyes at me every time I express this fear and others who have been skipping periods for years with no consequence. But for me, something just doesn’t sit right.
  7. As much as it annoys me, my period is also a relief. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy as hell when it comes right on schedule. My boyfriend and I are otherwise precautious, but I’m NOT ready to have a kid, and though the cramps and mood swings suck, it’s worth it for me to know every four weeks that I’m not pregnant. I’m sure one day I’ll be disappointed when it comes, but right now, it’s something I look forward to every month.
  8. I can’t help but feel like karma is going to get me. With my luck, I’ll be in the .1% that get screwed over by the otherwise effective birth control, and skipping a month will cause my entire body to freak out or get me knocked up. I know the odds of that happening are slim to none, but we all know someone who’s gotten pregnant from birth control failure! So far, it hasn’t led me wrong, so why tempt fate by messing up my cycle?
  9. I’ll do it, but I’ll be a nervous wreck. At the end of the day, there are some events too important to let a period mess up. When one coincides with my time of the month, I’m able to take a deep breath and start a new pack. I usually spot that first week and spend at least an hour on the phone with my sister talking out my anxiety, but then I get on with my life. Maybe someday I won’t feel this way, but for now, when it comes to my period, I’m as obsessed as they come.
We only have one chance to live this life and I'm making the most of it. I'll make plenty of mistakes along the way but each one will send me further down the right path.