New Birth Control Allows Only Four Periods a Year - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/6/03

New Birth Control Allows Only Four Periods a Year

I think it's fair to say women don't look forward to that time of the month. That's why I think this news is going to be very appealing to some women. A new kind of birth control is just arriving in drugstores that allows a woman to have her period only four times a year. Like other birth control pills, Seasonale, as it's called, contains two female hormones -- estrogen and progesterone.

The difference is instead of taking them for three weeks, women on Seasonale take the active pill for 84 days then take a fake pill for seven to allow for a period. That means women who take Seasonale have their period just once in the winter, once in spring, once in summer, and once in the Fall. So, is that safe? Doctors will tell you that fewer periods used to be the norm anyway.

Dr. Tacoma Mcknight says that when you think about women in earlier times, they were pregnant or breast feeding, so they actually had fewer menstrual bleeds than we do today. Barr Laboratories, which developed Seasonale, admits that women who take it have more yearly hormone exposure compared to the conventional birth control pill. But researchers are confident that's not dangerous.

Of course, this may not be the best choice for every woman, but talk to your doctor if you're interested. Seasonale is already available at the Texas Tech Pharmacy at Thompson Hall and at Eckerds. Walgreens says it is expecting it to arrive any day now.

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