Pandia Health: Making Periods Optional

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Pandia Health, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% ours. Honestly, Making Periods Optional is just something we’re passionate about.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and wished you had met them decades earlier? That’s what happened when I spoke with Sophia Yen, a doctor and the CEO and co-founder of Our call lasted approximately 45 minutes, and my mind was blown over a half dozen times in that small window. I wish that was an exaggeration, truly.

Our topic? Women’s health, specifically our monthly cycles, focusing on birth control and periods.

Making Periods Optional

As you know, I’m a full-grown woman. With three darling kiddos, and a fairly good handle on my monthly cycle. I mean, I’ve done my actual research on this subject, I have reached out to doctors at huge universities. I’ve read so many studies and research papers.

During my twenties, I had all the tracking apps and was fascinated with learning all I could about women’s health. I’ve even educated actual doctors with real degrees on aspects of continuous cycling. And, I’ve skipped roughly ¾ of all my periods in my adult life on purpose. I’m not exactly a newb.

But, last week I had the privilege of talking to someone who knows more about doing a continuous cycle than anyone I’ve ever met. And, I got to ask her as many questions as I could dream up. Just typing that makes me feel giddy. 

Dr. Yen ended up being a wealth of information, even for someone like me who thought they were done learning about periods and cycles. We talked about women’s cycles, birth control options, about risks of menstruating, benefits of telehealth services, the pain of insurance battles, and just about anything and everything in between.

And, the one major topic at the center of our call was Making Periods Optional.

Making Periods Optional, ladies

Did you know you could skip your periods on many different birth control methods? That’s right, you can just *decide* to not have a period anymore. Really.

I found this out in my late teens when my favorite doctor told me about it, and then I requested to go on a continuous cycle at my next annual. Since then, I have had 4 periods a year on average, one every 3 months. And, I can schedule them whenever I want.

Since that time, I’ve never had my period during a trip or big event, and I’ve never looked back. It was only to conceive my three {and then again while breastfeeding and then again when I got talked into going an IUD route} that I haven’t been continuously cycling. It’s been glorious.

Making Periods Optional

But, what I didn’t know until my chat with Dr. Sophia Yen is that it’s actually quite natural for your body to skip periods. She related it to research done on the Dogon tribe in West Africa that have about a hundred periods in their lives, as opposed to our 400 periods in America.

From starting their periods later and then having babies and breastfeeding, the women of the Dogon tribe dramatically reduce the number of periods they have during reproductive years. Even just looking at American history, the number of periods we ladies have now vs when the country was founded is a stark difference, due to earlier periods and less babies and breastfeeding.

How to continuous cycle

Ready to start making periods optional? It’s really simple, you just skip the sugar pills {the placebo pills} or skip the ring-free week. That’s it. You can use any combined {estrogen and progesterone} birth control pill to skip periods.

It really couldn’t be any easier, unless you go with a pill that is specifically for skipping periods like I do. Then, you get a pack of three months at once, with only one week of sugar pills.

I didn’t even know this until my talk with Dr. Yen, but it turns out I don’t need to even have that period every three months. I could skip it just like I do the other ones. I just need to tell my doctor to write a longer prescription to compensate for the fact that I will need extra pills for the weeks I skip. That’s it.

Making Periods Optional

Now, sometimes my body craves a period. I’ll start spotting out of nowhere and I always take that as a sign I should just let my body do what it wants. Dr. Yen was the first professional who told me to go ahead and do what I’ve been doing – that my body knows that it wants and needs. It felt so empowering hearing her say that, as I’ve often felt guilty for not following the packs exactly.

One more thing to note: continuous cycling my not work for you, and your body may be predisposed to have a period every month. But, before you completely give up, I urge you to try a different type first and see if that helps. I can only continuous cycle on the pills specifically design for this purpose, and you may need your doctor to prescribe those instead of the typical month-to-month pills.

When I spoke to Dr. Yen, she said that even though you can use any birth control pill for continuous cycling but some progesterones might be better than others. Know that there at 8 different progesterones so if one doesn’t work for you, you have 7 others to try.

My past struggles with Making Periods Optional

I love doing a continuous cycle, but I often felt alone in doing it. There were no handbooks, no real guidance on how it affected my body, and no one to ask questions if I ran into problems. Oh, how I wish I knew of Dr. Sophia Yen back then!

When I was researching planning to conceive, there was so little information available online. So, I read study after boring study, research papers designed to be read by people with medical degrees, and I scoured the internet for information on how long to wait and what to expect coming off the continuous cycle. But, I’m a worrier like that.

If I had Dr. Yen back then, I would have been so much more relaxed about coming off the continuous cycle. And, I would have felt even better in my resolve to continue to jump back on the continuous cycle after breastfeeding each time, and I would have been glad I had been doing one for so long. I would have been an even bigger advocate of Making Periods Optional.

Making Periods Optional

Benefits of trying a continuous cycle and making periods optional

Obviously, the biggest benefit is just not having a period each month. Not spending ¼ of your adult life having a period is a truly amazing thing.

On the same note, think of all the period supplies you will not have to buy! No more mega packs of tampons or pad, no more excess feminine products in the landfill.

The next biggest benefit is being able to schedule the periods you decide to have. It’s all up to you – on your schedule, instead of being at the mercy of your cycle. I can predict my period within a matter of hours when I go off my pills for the week off, which is amazing.

If you’re one of the many, many of us with painful periods, skipping them is an obvious benefit. Period pain is the #1 cause of missed school and work, which puts so many girls at a disadvantage. Level that playing field by being able to control your own schedule.

Then there’s all the health benefits, like less anemia, decreased risk of ovarian cancer, and decreased risk of endometrial cancer.

There’s also a list of medical conditions that continuous birth control can help improve, like acne, PCOS, diabetes {less cycling = stable hormones = better glucose control}, certain seizure disorders, bleeding disorders, and more.

Want to read more? Check out Making Periods Optional and see Dr. Sophia Yen’s TEDxBerkeley talk at the bottom of the page.

Making Periods Optional: birth control delivered with

Pandia Health is doctor founded, doctor led, and they are also women-led. Their mission is to get birth control delivered, but deeper than that is the desire to educate women on their own bodies and help them get the care they need.  

It was founded 4 years ago to make the pain of birth control a thing of the past. They saw that the main barrier in birth control was access, so their aim was to make it as easy as possible to get your prescription, all you need is internet and a mailbox.

No more running to the pharmacy for pill packs every few weeks, no last-minute refill requests, no worrying that you will run out if you go out of town, and no more excuses. With Pandia Health, your packs you need will just arrive at your door effortlessly, and all you have to do is take it. Easy peasy.

Making Periods Optional

What about if you don’t have a prescription?

So many women were wanting to order birth control who didn’t have an active prescription that Pandia Health began diversifying. They started offering telehealth options for getting a prescription and now you can get everything you need right from Pandia Health in many states.

Simply pay $20 for a online consult with a doctor to get your prescription filled for an entire year. It’s an easy questionnaire, and you just need a blood pressure reading from the last 365 days and a government or photo id. That’s it, you can get great care by real doctors, right from the comfort of home.

After that, your prescription will be mailed to you automatically. Pandia Health will handle everything else, including billing your insurance and fighting on your behalf, and you just relax and let them.

During our call, Dr. Yen educated me on the difference between good telehealth and bad, and showed all the ways Pandia Health goes above and beyond to provide the best possible care for their patients. You can read more about their approach to telehealth here.

Ready to take charge with Pandia Health?

If you are on the birth control pill/patch/ring, I highly recommend you try Pandia Health.  Pandia Health delivers a year’s supply of birth control, free delivery to your mailbox, and automatic renewal. They take almost all private insurances except for Kaiser.

If you have an active prescription {either already at a pharmacy or you can have your doctor send it in}, the delivery service is FREE through Pandia Health. You can skip the trip to the pharmacy each month for FREE and never run out of birth control again. 

If you need a prescription, if you live in AZ/CA/CO/FL/GA/TX/WY/NV/WA they can provide a doctor consult for just $20 ONCE a year. This gives you access to their expert doctors for 364 days, and you can get your prescription automatically.

Enter code RaveAndReview {not case sensitive} here for $5 off your telemedicine visit.

If you have insurance, the medications are also no cost as they have no copay and no deductible. If you do not have insurance, most pills are $15/pack.

Pandia Health FB live every Tues at 5pm in Spanish, 5:30 in English. You can check out their Facebook live here and see older broadcasts.

About Dr. Sophia Yen

Dr. Sophia Yen is Board Certified in Adolescent Medicine with 20+ years of experience in medicine. She graduated from MIT, UCSF Medical School, and UC Berkeley with a MPH in Maternal Child Health. She serves as a clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Stanford Medical School. Dr. Yen co-founded Pandia Health and enjoys educating the public and other physicians about birth control, acne, weight management, and other adolescent health issues. She has been featured in many publications for her work in reproductive health and as CEO of Pandia Health.

It’s the ONLY #WomenFounded, #WomenLed, #DoctorLed birth control delivery company.

Check them out on social media: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter

Making Periods Optional

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