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The 35-day Birth Control Pill Pack

Why mess up the same week, year after year, with the monthly "repairs"?
  (+7, -5)
(+7, -5)
  [vote for,
against]

And why get your period every four weeks when you can stretch it out to every five? No woman enjoys her menstruation time (dubbed by my boyfriend as the "monthly repairs") and it's mostly a nuisance. Although many experts and pamphlets state that 28 days is the average cycle time for most women, these same sources will also say that 35 days is also normal and common. I used to lean towards 35 days myself, before taking The Pill.

Bottom line is, keep the regularity and predictability of most birth control pills already on the market, but adjust the doses and number of pills per pack so that periods are one additional week apart.

• Annual events (like anniversaries, vacations, etc.) would escape the monthly blood monster most years, (rather than possibly never, on a 4-week cycle).
• Periods come by less often, which means:
---- less mess,
---- less money spent on feminine products,
---- and guys: less PMSing!

Adding a week to the cycle also keeps the weekly thing in place, too, if you've figured out your best way to keep your favorite day(s) of the week in minimal contact with the bloody beast. I added only one week because I'm not sure what effect any further tweaking might have on women's bodies.

Drug companies: I think it's time to start testing some new pills on some lucky volunteers.

XSarenkaX, Aug 12 2002

Should we stop the bleeding? http://www.noperiod.com/
Info on skipping the dummy pills [XSarenkaX, Aug 13 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

ABC Article http://abcnews.go.c..._periods011030.html
Includes blurb on a study of women on 49-day pill cycles [XSarenkaX, Aug 13 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Passing Up Your Period http://health.yahoo...s?lb=s&p=id%3A24594
[XSarenkaX]

Seasonale http://www.time.com...s/invseasonale.html
Women can regularly skip three periods in a row with Seasonale, a 91-day pill pack with 84 active tablets followed by seven inactive pills. [XSarenkaX, Oct 01 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Seasonale http://www.time.com...s/invseasonale.html
Women can regularly skip three periods in a row with Seasonale, a 91-day pill pack with 84 active tablets followed by seven inactive pills. [sheep, Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       Are you saying there is a 35-day Pill on the market? If so, please provide a link.   

       Note: I am not trying to eliminate the period or budge one here or there; I want to change the monthly period from 28 to 35 using slightly adjusted dosage of birth control pills.
XSarenkaX, Aug 12 2002
  

       What bliss said. You can safely add as many mentruation free weeks to your cycle as you like by skipping the dummy pills. The thing you can't do is to stop taking the pill and make your period come early, which would make you unsafe for at least another four weeks.
Helium, Aug 12 2002
  

       "unsafe" ? Can these things make women explode or something?
DrCurry, Aug 12 2002
  

       You're the doctor....you tell me.
Helium, Aug 12 2002
  

       Not that kind of doctor.
DrCurry, Aug 12 2002
  

       In that case the only exploding women you would hope to see are the ones eating your curry.
Helium, Aug 12 2002
  

       Not at all sure I would hope to see *any* exploding women...
DrCurry, Aug 12 2002
  

       Sure, you can tweak this and tweak that, but tell me why the hell FDA won't approve it and just package nicely dosed pill packages that are not meant for a 28-day cycle? If there's risks involved, I'm not going to tweak anything. If there aren't, let's have some convenient options on the market.
XSarenkaX, Aug 12 2002
  

       if the almighty is a half-baker you *could* have a word with him
po, Aug 12 2002
  

       Now wait a second bliss, I'm sure he liked your Cupcake idea ;-)   

       Here's a solution, just stop having sex and let your body do whatever the hell it wants. Or only date a man that got himself fixed....
Susen, Aug 13 2002
  

       //Bear in mind, that for most women the time prior to period is the most difficult and hystrionic//
Not just for the women.
angel, Aug 13 2002
  

       //nobody's ever shown that birth control pills do any long term harm//
Sorry, but that's absolutely not true. These pills are dosed to a level over what is strictly required; all those stories about sealife developing spontaneous sex changes are due to over-use of hormones in the pill, and in many other supplements for agriculture too.
In terms of long-term harm to human users, my own experience is that I cannot now take a pill with oestrogen in it, otherwise I might have a stroke. I am also prone to migraine now, having never had one before taking the pill. I don't know what the physiology of all this is, and I don't know whether there will be any effects to consider on my fertility or what might happen at the menopause (presumably I'll still be unable to follow an oestrogen-based course of HRT then). There are numerous immediate and long-term side-effects of oral contraceptives. I'm afraid abstention or condoms is really the only way, if you didn't need the pill to regulate your cycle or help with excessive period pain, as it seems sarenka didn't.
sappho, Aug 13 2002
  

       //tubal ligation, which is permanent and irrevocable//
No, it's not. My sister-in-law had it reversed.
angel, Aug 13 2002
  

       What [Susen] said is: //Here's a solution, just stop having sex and let your body do whatever the hell it wants. Or only date a man that got himself fixed....//   

       This idea is posted for those women, already on the Pill, who wish to achieve regular period cycles at the non-standardly available 35 days vs. the mass-marketed 28 days. Susen's "solution" does not do this for me. Going off the Pill leaves me to unpredictable periods, which I do not want.   

       [blissmiss]://You seem to need a new gyn and/or a more patient and understanding "parts mechanic".//   

       First of all, cool off a little, we're just discussing an idea here. I mentioned no opinion of my current gynecologist, so please don't judge him. I have not taken this matter to him; I have simply posted my thought here, at the HB, for you all to scrutinize.   

       Secondly, regardless of your opinions regarding the absense of menstruation altogether (which seems to be the way to go, now that I've had an opportunity to research it a little - see link), please do try to focus on the issue at hand: that birth control pills should come in adjusted doses that keep cycles at 35 days, rather than 28 days.
XSarenkaX, Aug 13 2002
  

       I also just want to mention that giving medical advice in this forum is usually not as simple as it seems. I, too, suffer migraines now, thanks to the Pill that keeps my cycle so predictable and me so not pregnant. I also have other health issues that are affected by what I take. Please restrain yourselves from playing doctor at the HalfBakery.
XSarenkaX, Aug 13 2002
  

       The part about having to make a big deal out of it. I want to know why 35-days isn't the standard.
XSarenkaX, Aug 13 2002
  

       //I want to know why 35-days isn't the standard//
I would guess that it's because 35 days isn't the standard for non-hormone-manipulated cycles. The original purpose of contraceptive pills was just that - contraception. They performed as advertised, without affecting the natural 28-day cycle, and that is the purpose for which they are supplied. Lighter or non-existant periods, and reduced symptoms thereof, are side-effects of certain types of pill.
While I appreciate the reasoning behind this idea, I feel that your requirements could be catered for in the manner that [blissmiss] suggests. An ex of mine avoided periods altogether by going straight from one three-week set onto the next, missing out the low-dose / placebo pills.
angel, Aug 13 2002
  

       Not happy. Why did you delete my anno?   

       There is one other reason for having it at the average: the pill is often used by women who have extreme irregularities in their cycles. To try to get them "on track" it's better to try and aim for the best average.   

       Also, to restate my previous question: If a lady has a cycle that is longer than average, will there be any related increase in gestation over the average, and if so, how are they related?
yamahito, Aug 13 2002
  

       There is an ongoing debate about whether menstruation is needed at all. A few hundred years ago, many women were married young & stayed pregnant almost continually (not that I recommend this!). The inventor of the pill put the 'dummy' days in, because he honestly didn't know whether there would be adverse effects otherwise. And it stuck.
pfperry, Aug 13 2002
  

       Sorry, [yamahito], but your anno contained instructions to stop moaning and do as I am being pressured to by you and other bakers, and I felt it was immature wording on your part and not in the spirit of the concept of the HalfBakery, where ideas should be given a chance if they're not utterly ridiculous. I'd like to keep this discussion civilized if possible.
XSarenkaX, Aug 13 2002
  

       Ah, XSX, any complaint I made was done so with only the best intentions, and fondest regard. I would rather you had vocalised your displeasure so that I could have edited.. As for the spirit of the halfbakery, as you and I have both argued before, that is up to each member to decide upon for themselves, I believe. The idea is not a bad one per se, it is just baked to a crisp. Hence I do not see the point in going on about it, when you could go and fulfill your wish instead. I am sorry that you were insulted by my choice of wording; I know I can be a little blunt at times.
yamahito, Aug 13 2002
  

       As the recently posted link above will show, apparently it is not an entirely original idea, so, apparently, you're right, it is baked. I really shouldn't have deleted your anno, but, to tell you the truth, that comment irked me so I hovered over the "delete" button until it clicked...then it was too late.   

       My dilemma in deleting this admittedly baked idea, though, is losing all the great discussion that has ensued as a result of my posting. Of course this reflects badly on my HB record, but I'm allowed, right? (How long can I still say I'm new?)
XSarenkaX, Aug 13 2002
  

       bakedness isn't grounds for deletion. Leave it if you want. My point was not to simply continue complaining when you no longer have cause to...   

       Plus, I want someone to answer my question before this post goes ;op
yamahito, Aug 13 2002
  

       sarenka, I am not "playing doctor" and I dislike being accused of such. If you are having migraines and you think this is a result of taking the pill you need to see your doctor *now*. Adverse side-effects of oral contraceptives come in two types: those which affect the circulartory system (leading to things like high blood pressure and in the worst case, to thrombosis and possible death), and those which affect the nervous system (leading to things like migraines and in the worst case, to a stroke and possible death). You said you used to lean towards a 35-day cycle before starting on the pill; and the implication is that you started taking it for purely contraceptive reasons. Thus, you had a choice between condoms, diaphragms, IUDs, abstention and the numerous other contraceptive plans of which we can now take advantage. You chose to control your menstrual cycle with a daily oral dose of oestrogen and progestogen, and as a result of this, you want your other hormonally-controlled sisters to go with you from an average of 78 menstruating days per year to 62 per year, just because you think a 35-day cycle is better. Well, I'll confess I've fishboned, because I don't think your idea is necessary or any fraction more natural than the status quo.

yama, as far as I'm aware there are no strong correlations of the type you suggest.
sappho, Aug 13 2002
  

       two points here:   

       1) I have to say again "Thank (insert appropriate name) that I am a guy".   

       2) I'm fixed, so my partner doesn't need to worry about all this. Not the solution for everyone. A message for the guys, nothing says I love you like consenting to have someone operate on your genitals.
rbl, Aug 13 2002
  

       To clear up a few things with [sappho]:   

       //I'm afraid abstention or condoms is really the only way, if you didn't need the pill to regulate your cycle or help with excessive period pain, as it seems sarenka didn't.//   

       For the record, I don't know why you make assumptions about my reasons, but having regularity is a big factor in my decision to go on the pill.   

       //sarenka, I am not "playing doctor" and I dislike being accused of such.//   

       I didn't mean anyone specific, but I also dislike unsolicited advice, especially by people who don't know all the facts.   

       //If you are having migraines and you think this is a result of taking the pill you need to see your doctor *now*.//   

       Here's more personal info for you all, in case you're worried. My doctor has long been well aware of my migraines and other health issues, and I have tried a few different kinds of pills. I still get migraines, but not enough to panic about it.   

       //the implication is that you started taking it for purely contraceptive reasons.//   

       I have considered my contraceptive options and made my choice for more than one reason - I am also taking them for the cycle regularity, as I stated before.   

       //...you want your other hormonally-controlled sisters to go with you from an average of 78 menstruating days per year to 62 per year, just because you think a 35-day cycle is better. //   

       I have posted an idea for consideration. To be clear, *I* am not ordering anyone around; I simply would like the option to be readily available. My point is that somebody picked 28 as the right number of days when experts all state that a cycle anywhere in the neighborhood is perfectly fine. If we're already forcing a fake cycle, why not create one with a more desirable length of time?   

       One more note: [sappho], I encourage you to continue annotating your thoughts, but please be aware of the stuff I mentioned above when you do it. No offense is intended.
XSarenkaX, Aug 13 2002
  

       Always gotta have the last word, don't ya, blissy?
XSarenkaX, Aug 13 2002
  

       The trouble starts when Sarenka posts an idea with a tone implying that what is better for her might be better for the world. This hooks Bliss into posting a possible workaround in the tone that says, "I have found the one true answer so why are we still talking about this," and everyone else (now including me) pitching in with their own advice and guidance. Calm down, there's some interesting stuff here (random image of fat man wearing shell suit and dark curly wig).   

       As has been pointed out this idea is easily possible. There is nothing to prevent a drug company from creating a variety of pre-packaged different cycle length contraceptive pills.   

       Unfortunately, in a market where the consumers accept the lack of variety but want otherwise, it is usually the first manufacturer to 'blink' and create a variety of products, who takes the biggest hit. The hit being the production of educational and informational marketing to both consumers and resellers (in this case menstruating women and doctors).   

       If one or two drugs companies produced the variety that Sarenka is suggesting shortly a great many of them would. While none of them does it's to each company's advantage to stay quiet and not bring variety to market.   

       I read one article in New Scientist about some research into a 90 day pack which was presumably sparked by a pharmaceutical company kiteing the idea of releasing this as a product. So, there is some hope.   

       There is no 'right' length for a period. There are advantages to lengthening the cycle for women who intend never to have children (from new scientist article for which I am still digging). There are bound to be some disadvantages found when longer cycle pills are taken by a larger group of women.
st3f, Aug 13 2002
  

       Thanks, [st3f]. That was a quality annotation.
XSarenkaX, Aug 13 2002
  

       Another reason I'm so glad to be a guy...
RayfordSteele, Aug 13 2002
  

       (damn, I'm sitting in forrest's living room :-) and I forgot to log him out before I responded to this...my apologies to forrest and everyone just pretend that I'm not really here in the states on a visit :-) yes, I know....busted! --- boy, those comments had to sound weird coming from a guy....
Susen, Aug 13 2002
  

       any thoughts on the idea of an eighteen month pregnancy. the rate I knit, the baby might just have three pairs of bootees to his/her name and not all facing the same way (long story) by the time he/she is born and it would give you time to paint the spare room and explain to the relatives why another baby was, yes, planned.
po, Aug 13 2002
  

       [po], you do NOT want to give birth to a nine-month-old baby, do you?
XSarenkaX, Aug 13 2002
  

       (double-checking to make sure I'm me....)   

       po, explain that further!
Susen, Aug 13 2002
  

       Susen, NO!   

       while you are at forrest's can you find out why he marks some of his doors with big red crosses. TA
po, Aug 13 2002
  

       He's actually making me paint door frames to pay for my keep. He's annoying that way.
Susen, Aug 13 2002
  

       just make sure you put a signature at the bottom. reminds me of the time I was asked to sew buttons on a shirt and I did with the most outrageous and differing sized buttons in my box.
po, Aug 13 2002
  

       don't give her any ideas. her woik is bad enough.   

       bliss, remember, you are supposed to rent a room from me. what color shall I have my slave paint it?
runforrestrun, Aug 13 2002
  

       go away, we are talking to Susen
po, Aug 13 2002
  

       Not in LA, forrest moved. Check the cupcake map. Remember last week when neither one of us were around? I *made* him drive down to the gulf and pick me and the dogs up off a boat. He has to take me back at some point, although I may have to swim back to my hut. I only came because I needed stuff from WalMart ;-)   

       //go away, we are talking to Susen//   

       :-) I banished him from the living room. We actually just got back from dinner and a movie.
Susen, Aug 14 2002
  

       My wife takes Ortho-Tricyclen and skips her period every other month. She's been doing it for years and has not had any problems from it.
namuh, Oct 01 2002
  

       It's a good idea, but.... BAKED! See link..
sheep, Nov 16 2003
  

       Sure, but it was only baked in 2003, right? I posted this idea in 2002. Of course, Seasonale is way better than my original idea was.
XSarenkaX, Nov 19 2003
  
      
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