Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012, November 06, 1980, Section A, Page 4, Image 4

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Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mon.—Sat.
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BOOKSTORE
13th & Kincaid
Mon-Fri 8:15-5.30
Sat 10:00-2:00
Textbooks 686-3520 • General Books 686-3510 • Supplies 686-4331
ask the sexpert
Won’t being on the pill
cause a phony or unnatural
period?
To properly address this
question, let's look at the nor
mal menstrual cycle and the
cycle of a woman using the pill.
Normal menstrual cycle: In
the early cycle, the body
releases estrogen and proges
terone. These hormones cause
an egg to begin maturing within
the ovary and cause the lining of
the uterus to build up. The ma
ture egg is then released, leav
ing its egg sac behind. The egg
sac then produces hormones
which prepare the lining of the
uterus to receive the fertilized
egg
If the egg is not fertilized, the
egg sac stops producing hor
mones. At this point, the uterus
sheds and produces a normal
period.
Pill menstrual cycle: First
there is a build-up of the lining
of the uterus. An egg is not
released because of the hor
mones in the pills, so there is no
egg sac to produce "natural”
hormones. The hormones in the
oral contraceptives keep the
lining of the uterus built up.
During the pill-free interval in
the 20- or 21 -day pills, or during
the last seven pills on a 28-day
pill, no hormones are being ta
ken and the lining of the uterus
begins to shed. This shedding
or bleeding is similar to the
"regular” bleeding experienced
naturally, though it might be
lighter and not last as long as a
normal menstrual period.
Why do some women have
Si
irregular bleeding while on birth
control pills?
Bleeding between normal
periods is called breakthrough
bleeding (BIB) or spotting,
depending on the amount of
bleeding. It can occur while
taking any oral contraceptive
and sometimes even occurs
during a menstrual cycle where
no oral contraceptives are ta
ken. Such bleeding is usually
not as heavy nor as prolonged
as a normal period. Enough
bleeding to merit a pad or tam
pon is described as BIB, while
very slight bleeding is called
spotting.
Breakthrough bleeding or
spotting occurs when there is
not enough hormone to main
tain the buildup in the lining of
the uterus. It begins to break
down earlier in the cycle than
expected. This sometimes hap
pens while a woman takes the
■‘pill” because the body is not
yet accustomed to the amounts
of hormones provided.
Even when BIB or spotting
occurs, protection against
pregnancy continues provided
that pills are taken as directed.
How long should a woman be
on the pill continuously?
At Planned Parenthood, we
would review a patient's chart
before responding to this ques
tion. But generally, if a woman is
under 35 years old, has been
using birth control pills without
any problems and likes this
method, we would support her
decison to continue using the
pill.
There are increased risks for
women who smoke, are obsese
and more than 35. With extend
ed use of the pill (exceeding five
years), studies also point out
there's an increased incidence
of benign liver tumors and
gallbladder problems.
We recommend women have
an annual exam so that any po
tential or present problems can
be picked up. If a woman is over
35 years old, regardless of her
medical history, we will not dis
pense the pill but will encourage
the woman to use another
method of birth control.
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258 E. 13th
Between Pearl
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