I'm 15 and I have irregular periods. I have been told by people similar to me that they are given pills to help regulate their periods. I am unsure on whether I should go on them and I'm scared of the side effects. Do these pills work and what are some of the side effects? Are there any other ways to help regulate a period?
- Nikeyah*

It's normal to have irregular periods for the first few years of menstruating. Several things can cause irregular periods, including changing levels of hormones. Doctors sometimes prescribe birth control pills to regulate periods since they can help control hormone levels.

Birth control pills can have some side effects, like nausea, possible weight gain, headaches, mood changes, breast tenderness, and blood clots. But most young women who take the Pill have no side effects — or very few. Girls who use birth control pills should not smoke because smoking can increase the risk of some side effects, like blood clots.

Birth control pills can be an effective way to regulate periods. But the only way to find out what's causing your irregular periods (and to see if treatment is needed) is to visit your doctor.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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