For over 10 years, teens have been asking us questions on every topic imaginable. While we are no longer taking new questions, we have a wealth of information we would like to share with teenagers.
Questions about suicide? Call the NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).
Navigate: FAQ Home Page > Drugs, Specific > Should females take breaks from birth control?
You did not say how old you are or where you live or what kind of birth control you mean. Of course - using barrier methods, does not require a break, unless you are having a reaction to the spermicidal or lubricant.
If you are talking about birth control pills - with the newer low dose pills, there is really no reason to have to stop the pill long-term, especially if you are taking it for reasons other than contraception (ie endometriosis, ovarian cysts, acne).
If you are talking about the Depo-Provera -- you are limited to taking it for 2 years because of the effects it has on lowering bone density, which in young women recovers after you stop using the drug. BUT it has been recommended by the World Health Org that if the risk of pregnancy is high and there are no other good alternatives, it is acceptable to continue for longer. This is often the case in third world countries and places in which other forms of birth control are either not acceptable or impractical.
Elizabeth Lee , M.D.