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Birth Control/Skipping Period on Triphasic Birth Control


Hi there,

I am planning a trip this summer and I am supposed to get my period while I am there. In order to get around this I have been looking into trying to skip my period by continuing my use of birth control through the placebo days. Currently I am taking TriCyclen Lo, a triphasic birth control. Through my investigations I have seen that you may be able to combine two packs and take the two "first" weeks back to back, followed by the two "second" weeks back to back, and finally the two "third" weeks back to back, before having your period. Additionally, I found that this was listed as one of the better methods rather than simply taking two packs one after each other.

If you could provide more information regarding this method, if it is appropriate, safe, if it works, etc. OR if you could provide me with an alternative way that would be great. If there isn't a great way I will just have to suck it up but I would prefer to have that time more worry free.

Thank you so much!

Hi Arielle,

Thanks for your question. You say you want to change when your period comes in the summer by taking back-to-back pill packs and you are on a triphasic birth control. You say you want to take two of the first week then two of the second week etc.

First of all I want to say that taking pills back-to-back (that is, one full month, then skip the break, then the second full month) does not always work for skipping your period, as it depends on which pills you are on and how your body reacts to the hormones. However, it is still effective at preventing pregnancy and you absolutely can change when your period is due in the summer by doing this now.

As well, triphasic pills are much less likely to work than monophasic pills. What often ends up happening is that the woman will end up having spotting for an extended period of time instead of missing her period.

You absolutely can skip the non-pill week and take no break between months to change when your period comes in the summer. I would recommend doing it now, that way if it does end up being a lot of spotting you will be home in your regular schedule instead of on the holiday.

I have never heard of taking two packs together, as you suggested with two first weeks then two second weeks etc., so absolutely you should talk to your doctor first. The only way I have ever heard of that you could do this and still be protected is to take one full pack, then the second full pack without the break in between. I am not a clinician and I don't know where you found this information, but please talk to your doctor before attempting this. The way that is normally done it two packs without the break in between.

I hope this helps. Like I said, it may not work for skipping your period, but you certainly can do it now so that you change when your period comes during the summer.

Take care,

Birth Control

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Allison Macbeth


I can answer questions about how to choose which method of contraception is right for you, how to deal with mistakes, effectiveness, and emergency contraception. I also have training in HIV, STIs, and sexual health education. I cannot tell you what is the right choice, but I can tell you the pros and cons of each method to help you make an informed decision for your circumstances. If you have had a condom break or had unprotected sex and need emergency contraception please call you local Planned Parenthood or check out


I have been working in the field of sexual health for a decade with specific training in contraception, STIs, HIV, and sexual problems. I have worked in several Planned Parenthood-affiliated charities, telephone helplines, research, education, and currently work for a local health authority evaluating HIV programs in the city.

Macbeth, A., Weerakoon, P., Sitharthan, G. (2009). Australian Parentsí Opinions about School-based Sexual Health Education. Sexual Health. 6, 328-333. I write a weekly advice column for Morning Quickie website which can be found here:

I have a Masters in Applied Science (Sexual Health) where I did research on sex education in schools and at home with parents and young people, as well as many counselling skills courses.

Past/Present Clients
I have worked extensively with young people under 25, people living with or affected by HIV, and parents.

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