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Extended-cycle birth control pills such as Jolessa have unique benefits and downsides. Extended-cycle birth control pills may be a good option for women who experience bothersome symptoms during their periods while on the pill, such as heavy bleeding, menstrual cramps, migraines, moodiness, or other problems, since these medications allow for fewer periods per year.
However, extended-cycle contraceptives are not right for all women. Some women find having a period every month to be reassuring and a way to make sure they are not pregnant. For these women, a traditional birth control pill is preferred.
Also, breakthrough bleeding or spotting between periods is more likely with extended-cycle contraceptives, compared to traditional birth control pills. Some women may not like the inconvenience and unpredictability of such breakthrough bleeding.
As a combined oral contraceptive, Jolessa prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). It also prevents pregnancy in two other, minor ways. Jolessa alters the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. In addition, Jolessa alters the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
There is no reason women need to have a monthly period while taking birth control pills. In fact, the "period" you experience while taking these drugs isn't really a period at all.
Because ovulation does not occur, the body does not prepare for a possible pregnancy by building up the lining of the uterus, so there is no need to shed the lining, as with a regular period. Instead, the "period" that occurs with birth control pills is actually caused by a withdrawal of the hormones in the pills, which causes bleeding.