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Women are stopping their periods to get ahead at work

There’s a strange, new trend ambitious career women are implementing to increase their productivity at work. No, it’s not night classes or brain stimulation drugs — it’s using hormones to stop their periods altogether.

This may sound extreme to many, because as women, having our periods is simply what we’re designed to do. The idea of using a pill or injection to put a stop to them might seem unnatural and even dangerous if done for too long.

However, many women have been doing it for years and don’t appear to be any worse off. In fact, most declare it’s the best decision they ever made. Alanna Allen, a 29-year-old owner of several hair salons in Surrey, England, swears it has made her unstoppable at work. She told Daily Mail, “I’ve not had a period for seven years now, and I’ve never looked back.”

More: 22 Women share why they use birth control — but why do we have to give a reason?

“Stopping my periods has allowed me to ‘man up’ and get on with things. I’m not only in charge of my own staff but I oversee the managers of our other salons and I have very little sympathy for any of the young female apprentices who say they are suffering from period pains. There’s no need for any woman to have to put up with that.”

Allen, like many women, suffered from terrible period side effects when she used to get it back in her early 20s. When she heard she could take hormone injections to stop hers completely, she jumped at the chance. As a result, she was able to climb high in the managerial world, because she’s no longer hindered by a monthly visitor that has been known to take women out of work entirely for days.

But at what price? So far science says there are no known risks to “turning off” your period by continuously taking birth control. In fact, there are even birth control pill brands on the market, like Seasonale, that do the work for you and even allow for four periods a year just so you know you can still get them. In fact, gynecologists say there’s actually no need for a woman to get her period every month.

More: Hormonal birth control might not be your best choice

Dr. Amanda Black, an Ottawa-based OB-GYN told Best Health Magazine, “Some people think that it’s natural to have a period every month when they are using birth control, but it’s not a real period that you’re getting.” It’s actually what’s called “withdrawal bleeding,” which only happens at the end of your menstrual cycle because your hormone levels drop. However, if you’re constantly taking hormones, your levels never drop; hence, no periods.

This abstaining from periods is becoming more and more common, according to medical professionals. While there are some suggested risks to long-term, consistent use of specifically the combination birth control pill — namely, reduced bone density, higher risks of cancer and lowered fertility — nothing’s been proven yet. And as far as inability to have children goes, many of these career-driven women are unconcerned, because they’re not sure they even want to be mothers. Morgan Spicer, a 27-year-old graphic designer who works in a mainly all-male office, said, “If it affects my fertility, I’m really not concerned, because I’m pretty set on not having children.”

This reluctance to be mothers and a drive to succeed in their careers have become a growing theme for millennial women now that they’re making their way in the workforce. However, halting one’s period is still a relatively new concept, so let’s hope as more women do it for longer, it isn’t accompanied by the adverse side effects many women fear.

More: Birth control long-term effects you should know about

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