Managing PMS on Birth Control: A Comprehensive Guide

Sourav Gupta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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Managing PMS on Birth Control

PMS can bring various physical and emotional symptoms, making periods challenging for some individuals.

For those who are on birth control, managing PMS can be a different experience. 

Some may get relief, while others may face severe symptoms. 

In this article, we will learn about the connection between PMS and birth control, exploring how different contraceptive methods can influence PMS symptoms. 

We will also provide valuable insights and practical tips on effectively managing PMS on birth control.

Understanding PMS and its symptoms

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a collection of different physical and emotional symptoms which occur in the days leading up to menstruation. 

These symptoms can vary from person to person and may include mood swings, irritability, bloating, breast tenderness, fatigue, and more. 

PMS is caused by hormonal fluctuations, primarily changes in Estrogen and Progesterone levels.

These can affect neurotransmitters in the brain and lead to the manifestation of various symptoms.

Impact of birth control on PMS

Birth control methods include hormonal contraceptives such as oral contraceptives, patches, injections, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and hormonal implants.

These Work by altering hormone levels to prevent pregnancy. 

As a result, they can also impact the experience of PMS symptoms.

Oral contraceptives and PMS

Oral contraceptives, known as birth control pills, contain Estrogen, which regulates the menstrual cycle and prevents ovulation.

While PMS on birth control pills can alleviate the symptoms for some women, they might exacerbate symptoms for others. 

The hormonal balance introduced by birth control pills can sometimes help regulate mood swings and reduce symptoms like bloating. 

However, it’s important to note that individual responses can vary, and the body may take a few cycles to adjust.

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Hormonal patches, injections, and implants

InjectionsSource: Dejan_Dundjerski_from_Getty_Images
Nurse preparing injection

Similar to oral contraceptives, hormonal patches, injections, and implants release synthetic hormones into the body. 

These methods can impact PMS symptoms in a similar manner by providing relief for certain symptoms.

But they can also cause changes in the severity of other symptoms as well.

Consulting a healthcare provider is essential to determine which method might be the most suitable based on an individual’s medical history and specific PMS symptoms.

IUDs and PMS

Intrauterine devices, both hormonal and non-hormonal (copper), are inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. 

Hormonal IUDs release Progestin, which can worsen the severity of symptoms in PMS on birth control, such as mood swings and anxiety. 

Some women may experience reduced PMS symptoms with hormonal IUDs, while others might notice little to no change. 

On the other hand, non-hormonal IUDs do not directly affect hormone levels. They might have a different impact on PMS.

Copper IUDs work as a highly effective form of birth control by releasing copper ions, creating an unfavorable environment for fertilization. This prevents sperm from reaching the egg, offering a hormone-free contraceptive option.

Managing PMS while on birth control

Effective management of PMS symptoms while on birth control involves a combination of medical and lifestyle-based strategies. 

Here are some approaches that can help alleviate the discomfort of PMS:

Lifestyle modifications

YogaSource: FatCamera_from_Getty_Images
Yoga class

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can significantly impact PMS symptoms. 

Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and stress reduction techniques like yoga and meditation can help manage mood swings and alleviate physical discomfort.

Tracking and awareness

Keeping a menstrual cycle journal can aid in identifying patterns of PMS symptoms. 

This information can be valuable for you and your healthcare provider in making informed decisions about birth control adjustments.

Consider alternative birth control methods

If PMS symptoms are severely impacting your quality of life, exploring alternative birth control methods under medical guidance might be beneficial. 

Switching to a different hormonal combination or considering non-hormonal options could result in a better symptom management experience.

Support system

Engaging with friends, family, or support groups can provide emotional assistance during challenging times. 

Sharing experiences and coping strategies can offer relief and a sense of solidarity.

Consult your doctor if you face persistent and severe PMS symptoms. If left untreated may cause complications


To tackle PMS on birth control methods, it is very crucial to understand their interplay.

PMS is common, but its impact can differ when birth control is involved. 

The effects of birth control on PMS symptoms are highly individual, and what works for one person might not work for another.

For some individuals, birth control can help in providing relief from the PMS symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.

Staying informed and talking to a doctor, along with making lifestyle changes and adjusting birth control if needed, can help manage PMS symptoms. 

This way, you can have a more comfortable menstrual cycle while on birth control.

Remember that your healthcare provider is your best resource in finding the most suitable approach for your unique needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have PMS on the pill?

PMS on the pill can happen due to the hormonal changes caused by birth control. While the pill regulates hormones, individual responses vary, impacting PMS symptoms. Adjustments or alternative methods can help alleviate these effects.

Can PMS get worse on birth control?

Yes, PMS can sometimes worsen on birth control due to hormonal changes introduced by the medication. Individual responses differ, and some may experience heightened symptoms. Consulting a healthcare provider can help address this issue effectively.

Can you get PMS cramps on the pill?

Yes, it is possible to experience PMS cramps while on the pill. Though the pill regulates hormones, some women may still have menstrual-like symptoms, including cramps. Adjusting the pill type or dosage might help manage this discomfort.

Can birth control give you PMS but no period?

When using any birth control method, your body needs time to adjust to the new hormones, which can lead to missed periods while still experiencing period symptoms for several months. Additionally, skipping sugar pills or being on seasonal birth control can also result in missed periods.

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