A lot of women have been prescribed the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) for various complications associated with their period. It’s used to address things ranging from acne to painful periods to heavy bleeding. But what does it do once you take it?

The OCP, aka the pill, seems to work well – if you are on it your symptoms look like they completely resolve. While you take it, they seemingly disappear. This is because the pill hits pause on your hormones and prevents ovulation. 

This means that while you are on it you don’t have a real period.

Some women do bleed when they are on the pill, but this is not a true period. A true period is part of a hormonal cycle that includes ovulation, progesterone production and results in the shedding of the uterine lining.

While you are on the pill you may experience a bleed. This bleed is different to a normal period – because it isn’t one. Ovulation cannot occur when you are on the pill as the entire menstrual cycle is effectively on pause. 

What triggers the bleed then? 

Withdrawal. Typically, the pill is taken for 21 days, followed by 7 days off. This is the cycle that most forms follow, and it is during that pause in the pill cycle that the bleed occurs. The withdrawal from the hormones the pill normally provides stimulates the uterine lining to bleed.

It is different to a period because ovulation has not occurred. There has been no true menstrual cycle.

Knowing the difference can help put your menstrual health into perspective: Is the pill solving your problem or putting it on hold until later? 

Natural period repair focuses on supporting your ovaries and helping them function normally. Not suppressing them as the pill does.

Taking the time to do manage your periods naturally means that when you do it right it’s done for good. From that point, if you are healthy, your periods will be healthy.

Ruth Griffiths

Ruth has had a lifelong interest in and passion for nature, natural medicine, and the human experience. She began her studies in Health Science, Aromatherapy, Remedial Therapies, including Manual Lymphatic Drainage, in Melbourne over 25 years ago. On completion of these studies, Ruth operated a clinic for 8 years in the Grampians region, specializing in […]

Read More… from Ruth Griffiths

Lou Chalmer – Autoimmune Disease, Counselling, And Philosophy

Lou is a certified Heartmath and Immune Function Practitioner and Counsellor in training. Lou’s interest in health and wellbeing was sparked many years ago, but she decided to pursue a career in wine and environmental science. After working on her PhD in Regenerative Agriculture for two years, she decided that she would be able to […]

Read More… from Lou Chalmer – Autoimmune Disease, Counselling, And Philosophy

Katherine Knott

Katherine is a certified naturopath and the founding director of Acorn and Oak.   Her journey into studying Naturopathy started when she was 18 years old.  Katherine  has also studied 2 1/2 years of nursing and midwifery, but decided that she was happier to work with women as a naturopath and support them through their […]

Read More… from Katherine Knott

Gurudaya – Shiatsu Therapist, Kundalini Yoga Instructor

Gurudaya is a practitioner of Shiatsu and Oriental Therapies and a Kundalini Yoga instructor. She completed her studies of Kinesiology in 2004, followed by Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in 2007, and Shiatsu in 2014. She has found Shiatsu to be her preferred method for treating clients, for the calm and quiet mindfulness it promotes in […]

Read More… from Gurudaya – Shiatsu Therapist, Kundalini Yoga Instructor