If you take contraceptive pills, you've probably skipped the hormone-free placebo tablets to avoid having your menstrual flow during a big event or to avoid painful cramps. People on birth control pills can skip their periods by not taking the placebo sugar pills and going straight into their next pack when using the combination hormonal birth control pill.

Before you decide to skip your period, talk to your gynecologist.

Why do we even have placebo pills?

It may come as a surprise that the placebo pill was not originally part of the plan. The placebo week was added to birth control packs when the contraceptive pill was being developed in the 1960s, the monthly sugar pills added to appease the Catholic Church.

John Rock, M.D., a gynecologist and devoted Catholic, was part of the initial clinical trials of birth control pills. Rock saw the great promise that birth control would have in