Is the pill free week necessary?


The pill free week was artificially created to give women a 'regular and normal' cycle. There is no medical mandate for safety of creating a pill free week. Traditional pills had a 7 day pill free week.

Newer pills can have a 3 day pill free week (Yaz and Loestrin 24) while others have 84 days on and 7 days off for a 91 day cycle (seasonale). All options are safe. Side effect profiles may vary and can be very different from person to person, but most extended regimens have a higher risk of breakthrough bleeding, especially in the first few months of use.

Wendy Fried, M.D., FACOG, FACS, is an OB/Gyn with Northern Obstetrics and Gynecology, PC in North Hills, New York

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