In most cases, the placebo pills are sugar pills that do not contain any active hormones. However, some brands of pill also include other vitamins or minerals, such as iron or folic acid.
The placebo pills are there to mimic the natural menstrual cycle, but there is no real medical need for them.
People usually get their period while taking the placebo pills because the body reacts to the drop in hormone levels by shedding the uterine lining.
Many women find that they skip a period or experience lighter bleeding while taking birth control pills, especially over time. This may be due to a few vital functions of the pill, which works by:
- stopping ovulation
- thickening cervical mucus to block sperm
- keeping the lining of the uterus thin to prevent implantation
- When the uterine lining is thin, there will be less blood and tissue to shed during the hormone-free period.
While it can be alarming to miss a period while taking the pill, it is common and can be completely normal.
If a person is concerned that they may be pregnant, they can take a home pregnancy test or see a doctor.