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Skipping placebos with contraceptive pills

4 May, 2016

Question:

I'm so glad to have found this amazing site as I have a question I would love to have the proper halachic answer to.

I am currently on the pill with a Rav's heter. Looking into the way the pill works I discovered what may be common knowledge to many women already.
The pill interrupts the woman's natural menstrual cycle, and the bleeding that occurs during the placebo week is in fact withdrawal bleeding.

I have read in a few articles that seeing as it is not a real period there is in fact no real medical reason to take the placebo pills and allow the bleeding to happen. There are even pills that last 3 months before taking a placebo week, and for regular pills one can adjust their period as they need by avoiding the placebos and moving straight to the next pack of active pills.

My question is this: seeing as taking the placebo pills is the cause of this withdrawal bleesing that we call period, would it be halachically permissible for me to skip the placebos?

I would like to know basically if halachically it is okay for me to take three active packs skipping the placebos, and allow this withdrawal bleeding to occur only four times a year?

Thanking you for your time and great website:


Answer:

There is no obligation to become niddah on a monthly basis. It is halachically permissible to extend your cycle by taking multiple packs of pills back to back but please speak to your doctor first.  

You would only become niddah once you experience a flow of blood. Some women are able to successfully take three packs consecutively without a break but other women begin experiencing breakthrough bleeding before getting through the full three months. If you start experiencing bleeding (or staining that doesn't subside after a few days), it usually makes sense to stop taking the active pills (even if you are mid-pack in the second or third pack) to allow your period to come, and restart the active pills after a seven day break (either placebos or seven pill-free days).  You may have better success building up a tolerance to extended use of the pill by starting with two packs back to back and building up to three packs during subsequent cycles.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions

B'hatzlacha!


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