Does Microgynon stop or delay your period?

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Reviewed by Dr Melanie Davis-Hall on 27th March, 2023

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What’s the lowdown?

  • Microgynon can be taken in different ways to stop or delay periods
  • Bleeds while using Microgynon are “withdrawal bleeds” and not real periods
  • Taking Microgynon back to back or even continuously is safe and a great way to control your bleeds


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Microgynon 30 and Microgynon ED are popular combined contraceptive pill choices and are often one of the first brands you may try. Try our easy recommender tool to see if it’s the best contraception for you and your symptoms. Microgynon can be used to either completely stop or delay periods depending on how you take it.

Traditionally the Microgynon is taken for 21 days followed by a break of between 4 and 7 days. In Microgynon ED, the 7-day break is built within a 28-pill packet by including 7 placebo pills at the end of the packet. In this break, the change in the levels of hormones causes your body to shed the womb lining in a withdrawal bleed. We call this a withdrawal bleed rather than a period as no egg has been released to be expelled from the body (accompanied by cramps, crying and chocolate cravings if you’re like me). 

However, modern life has changed and we may want more control over when we have these withdrawal bleeds or if we even bleed at all. 

Using the Microgynon pill in different ways, such as continuous pill taking allows you to stop or delay bleeds as we explain below.

Does Microgynon stop ovulation?

Yes, Microgynon can stop ovulation by suppressing the natural hormonal fluctuations of our cycle.

To understand how Microgynon stops ovulation, we need to go back to the classroom and remind ourselves of the science behind the menstrual cycle.

During our menstrual cycle, 2 hormones called FSH and LH increase at different times to cause an egg to mature and then be released. Microgynon stops ovulation as it contains hormones which suppress and stop the rise of FSH and LH. This means your body no longer has the hormonal triggers to ovulate (release an egg).

By stopping ovulation, Microgynon can help with menstrual symptoms including PMS, heavy or painful periods and conditions such as endometriosis.

Does Microgynon stop periods?

If you take the Microgynon pill correctly, the hormones found within it will prevent the womb lining from shedding in a monthly bleed. As described above, this is due to the natural fluctuations of our hormones through the menstrual cycle being suppressed.

The withdrawal bleeds that happen during a pill break are caused by a sudden drop in the oestrogen and progestogen you had been taking daily for at least 3 weeks. The oestrogen and progestogen stabilise the womb lining and stop any bleeding, when these hormones are removed from the body, the womb lining doesn’t have anything to keep it there so it is shed in a bleed.

So technically, Microgynon does stop periods, but can still cause some bleeding as withdrawal bleeds. We can use this lovely knowledge of hormones to stop and control when and if we bleed….read on to find out more.

Does Microgynon stop periods straight away?

If you start taking Microgynon during the first 5 days of your period, it will protect you against pregnancy immediately BUT won’t necessarily stop that period, you’re likely to still bleed until it would have naturally finished anyway. From then, you can take Microgynon in different ways to control or avoid bleeds in the future.

However, it’s important to know that some spotting or bleeding called breakthrough bleeding is common in the first 3 months of starting Microgynon. This is as your body gets used to the new levels of hormones and the womb lining gradually thins out and stabilises. Important note – if bleeding during a packet carries on after 3 months or randomly occurs again in the future, make sure you see a healthcare professional.

Is it normal to have no period during the pill break?

Yes, it is normal to have no bleeding during the pill-free break, although it is more common to have a bleed. This is because the action of Microgynon thins out the womb lining, and eventually, for some people, the womb lining becomes so thin that there is nothing left to shed….and so no bleeds! Again, this is perfectly safe. However, if you don’t bleed in the pill break, you might want to do a pregnancy test JUST in case. You can buy 2 Clearblue tests from Amazon (affiliate link).

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Can I take Microgynon to stop my period?

You can use Microgynon to stop withdrawal bleeds and this can be really convenient to time your bleeds around events like holidays, weddings, sexy weekends away or that big work interview. It’s completely safe to do and really easy.

If you use Microgynon 30, continue taking the pills nonstop without a break between packets. By doing this, you can prevent the bleeding from happening that would usually occur during your break. It’s quite popular to “tricycle” pill packets, which means taking 3 packets in a row without a break and then having a 4-7 day break for a bleed. (Remember that a 7-day break isn’t needed and you can reduce it to 4!). This has the bonus of only around 4 bleeds per year.

If you use Microgynon ED, you can still stop bleeds, just take the 21 yellow pills like normal, ignore the last 7 pills which are white, and move straight onto another packet.

If you want to bleed even less, you can even take the pill continuously without any scheduled breaks. However, this often leads to breakthrough bleeding or spotting after a while, which varies from woman to woman – it could be 3 months, could be over a year! If you do start spotting or bleeding while taking the pill packets back to back, remember Dr Fran’s rule of 4 to make things simple. If you bleed for 4 days in a row, have a 4-day break to shed the womb lining then go straight back to continuous taking. If you spot for a couple of days, you can keep continuing but as soon as it reaches 4, allow your body to shed the womb lining during a 4-day break. This method is called a tailored regime and although it is an unlicensed use, we know it is safe and can improve many contraceptive side effects. We’d like to thank Professor John Guillebaud, the first-ever professor in family planning, for revolutionising how we use the combined pill!

If you’re interested in Microgynon 30 or Microgynon ED, you can order the pill online. Through The Lowdown, you can subscribe to our easy pill delivery service to also make sure you have enough to stop those pesky periods!

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One of The Lowdown’s fab Clinical Directors, Dr Frances Yarlett MBBCh (Hons) BSc (Hons) MRCP (2016) MRCGP DFSRH completed her medical training from Cardiff University in 2013. She is currently working as a salaried GP partner in Sheffield with an interest in complex medical patients and women’s health. Fran is really passionate about patient choice and wants to empower women to take control of their bodies and contraception needs.