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Birth Control

Do you ovulate on the pill?

by Erica Avey, Former Writer at Clue
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The short answer: no.

The long answer is that if you're regularly taking the pill, your ovulation will stop, and your period is not a “real” period, but rather withdrawal bleeding. Read on to find out more about what happens to your body on the pill.

Before working at Clue, I didn't know much about the menstrual cycle. And like many people, I honestly couldn't have told you what happens during ovulation (that's different now: ovulation occurs when an ovary releases an egg).

I didn't think about my fertility. I was on the pill, and that was that. I had no idea I wasn't ovulating or that my period had actually been withdrawal bleeding—essentially a fake period that happens in response to the decrease in hormones—for the previous eleven plus years. And my doctor(s) didn't tell me any of this.

The more I started talking to my friends about their birth control, usually the pill or IUD, I realized they didn't fully understand what was happening inside their body either.

The basics: What happens to your body on the pill?

  • Ovulation is halted (if you take it regularly).
  • Your period is not a "real" period, but rather withdrawal bleeding. It's an artificial period which is why it tends to be much lighter than a regular period.
  • Estrogen and progesterone levels are stabilized. Off the pill, these fluctuate.*

* Here we're talking about the combined (or combination) pill, and this information may differ for some mini pills and IUDs.

Why don't we know more about our own bodies?

You don't know what you've been missing until you have it. Before joining Clue and learning more about the cycle, I didn't realize the disconnect between my own mind, mood, quality of life and health.

We get questions every day from users all over the world who need basic information — like "What's a period" and "What's ovulation?" So people all over the world are in the dark when it comes to their reproductive health: how they're doing now and what they might need in the future.

There is a connection between your mind—the way you perceive the world around you—and your body. There's also science that correlates many aspects of our health to the menstrual cycle. When you're aware of these connections, you'll be healthier—even just psychosomatically to start—and feel more empowered when making important decisions throughout your life.

Understand your body better. Start tracking your health in Clue today.

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