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My Once-A-Year Period

pills and cup

Photo Credit: Ben Goldstein/Studio D

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Q: Should I take the newly approved, get-your-period-once-a-year Pill (Lybrel)?

A: It’s had to pass the same safety tests your current oral contraceptives did, so whether or not you should take it is your choice. Gynecologist Anne Davis, M.D. at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in NYC has the clearest perspective on that I’ve heard so far: “Whether to take it or not depends on your philosophy, your culture, and your beliefs about menstruation. For some people, their period is a health problem: They’re miserable and miss work. For them, having a break from a period is a benefit. But if you feel like your period has a function, don’t take this pill.” And if you think you won’t be able to tell if you’re pregnant without a monthly bleed, then you’re better off with standard OCs, too.

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