What You Should Know About Breakthrough Bleeding With Birth Control
Breakthrough bleeding rarely signals a health problem. But your ob-gyn can help.
Breakthrough bleeding is a common concern among women using hormonal birth control. Its usually a small amount of spotting at a time when youre not expecting your period, though some women have heavier bleeding. Most often, my patients come in saying they feel fine, but are noticing a little spotting when they use the bathroom. Should they be worried?
I reassure them that breakthrough bleeding rarely signals a health problem. And it doesnt mean your birth control isnt effective at preventing pregnancy. But there are ways we can try to fix it.
Heres what I tell my patients about birth control and breakthrough bleeding.
How The Pill Interrupts Things
Now when you’re on the pill, things are very different.
The pill delivers synthetic hormones estrogen and progestin to your body. It tells your system don’t even bother releasing an egg this month . Ovulation is when a mature egg, good and ready to match with a suitable sperm, is released from the ovaries.
What Birth Control Side Effects Should I Expect While Taking The Pill
The hormones in birth control pills may cause side effects in some people. But this doesnt happen to everyone many people use the pill with no problems.
After starting the pill, some people may have:
Changes in your periods
The good news is that these side effects usually go away in 2-3 months. So if you just started the pill and you have side effects that bother you, try to stick it out and give your body a chance to adjust to the hormones.
Birth control shouldnt make you feel sick or uncomfortable. If you still dont like the way the pill makes you feel after a few months, talk with your nurse or doctor. They may suggest another brand of pill or a different birth control method. Some people try a few different types of pills or birth control methods before finding the right one for them.
And remember: if you stop taking the pill and dont use another birth control method, youll be at risk for pregnancy right away.
The birth control pill has been around for decades, and millions of people have used it safely. Birth control pill side effects arent dangerous . You can always call a nurse or doctor, like the staff at your local Planned Parenthood health center, if you have any concerns while using the pill. And you can keep track of any potential side effects with our birth control app.
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Number : Can You Get Your Period On Birth Control During The Active Pill Weeks
Yup. Most certainly, you can get your period, or what may seem like your period, when you’re not supposed to get it. Unscheduled bleeding that just shows up is one of the main reasons women stop using a birth control method. But before you decide to give up, know that unpredictable bleeding or spotting usually gets better in a few months, depending on the method. Talk to your doctor about what can help and how to address the problem if it gets too bothersome.
Who Can Take Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills can be taken safely by most women. They are not recommended, though, for those over age 35 who smoke. If you don’t smoke, you can use hormonal contraceptives until menopause. You shouldnât take hormonal contraceptives if you have had:
There are other conditions that may raise your level of risk that comes with taking birth control pills. If youâre not sure if youâre affected by one of these conditions, ask your doctor. Also, tell them if you have a first-degree relative who has had blood clots in the legs or lungs.
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How Could Birth Control Affect My Period
Birth control can be very helpful for women who are sexually active and who do not want to become pregnant. However, certain forms of birth control can affect a womans body in different ways. This includes potential effects to the menstrual cycle. Since some of these effects can be positive in nature, certain forms of birth control may be prescribed to women experiencing issues with their period. Still, many women select their preferred method of birth control without even considering the impact it can have on their periods. Thats why our board-certified gynecologists have provided some details on how the most common types of hormonal birth control can affect a womans menstruation.
Birth Control Pills
The most common form of birth control, birth control pills are made up of the hormones progestin and estrogen. Although taking The Pill can have different effects depending on each person taking it, it is somewhat common for women on birth control pills to experience shorter or lighter periods. This can mean a cycle that normally lasts 5 – 7 days being cut down to 3 – 4 days. Birth control pills can also be used to help women who experience irregular bleeding, endometriosis pain, and more.
Birth Control Implant
Birth Control Pills And Period: Your Questions Answered
Laurel is a linguist at heart and studying to become a Certified Spanish Interpreter and Translator. She believes in making quality healthcare accessible, and is proud of PlushCare’s mission to do so.
Birth control pills, also known as oral contraceptives or the pill, are one of the most common forms of hormonal birth control. Birth control pills have been studied for over 50 years, and were approved by the FDA for contraceptive use in 1960. Your menstrual cycle will change depending on the type of birth control pill you choose because each variety contains different quantities and types of hormones that work together to prevent pregnancy.
Understanding your options will help you determine the nature of your period while on birth control pills.
Recommended Reading: How Can You Track Your Period
Can Stress Cause Birth Control To Fail
Folks dealing with stress or depression might have a harder time dealing with side effects from birth control. In fact, the same researcher found in earlier studies that women who felt depressed and stressed were more likely to notice changes in their weight or mood they were also more likely to quit the pill.
Is Birth Control Safe
Birth control is one of the most effective forms of contraceptive and can be used for medical purposes, such as regulating periods or resolving heavy menstrual bleeding. Birth control is deemed a safe option for most women. However, birth control does pose its own risks for example, your risk of cervical cancer will increase while you are on birth control. Birth control will also not protect you from the transmission of sexual diseases.
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What Is Basal Body Temperature
Your basal body temperature is your body temperature when you first wake up in the morning before rising and movement will increase your body temperature through blood circulation. You can think of basal body temperature as your baseline temperature for the day.
The average baseline body temperature for women who are not ovulating is between 97°F and 97.5°F . During and after ovulation, this temperature will increase between 97.6°F to 98.6°F .
You Likely Won’t Gain Or Lose Any Weight
If you believe birth control leads to weight gain, you need to know that the opposite isn’t necessarily true: Going off of birth control likely won’t help you lose or gain weight. According to a 2014 review of 49 relevant trials, the birth control Pill did not appear to have a major impact on weight. There has been no definitive evidence showing that startingor stoppingbirth control will affect your weight,” Neha Bhardwaj, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, previously told Health.
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What If I Forget To Take A Birth Control Pill
If you forget to take a birth control pill, take it as soon as you remember. If you don’t remember until the next day, go ahead and take two pills that day. If you forget to take your pills for 2 days, take two pills the day you remember and two pills the next day. You will then be back on schedule. If you miss more than two pills, call your doctor. You may be told to take one pill daily until Sunday and then start a new pill pack, or to discard the rest of the pill pack and start over with a new pack that day.
Any time you forget to take a pill, you must use another form of birth control until you finish the pill pack. When you forget to take a pill, you increase the chance of releasing an egg from your ovary. If you miss your period and have forgotten to take one or more active pills, get a pregnancy test. If you miss two periods even though you have taken all your pills on schedule, you should get a pregnancy test.
With some pills, you may not have a period. Talk with your doctor before you start taking your pills about what to expect, and follow their instructions about what to do if you don’t have a period.
It is very important to take the minipills at the exact same time each day. If you miss a pill or are more than 3 hours late for a pill, you should take the pill as soon as you remember and use a backup method for the next 48 hours.
How To Keep Track Of Your Menstrual Cycle
You can use a menstrual tracker like Flo to keep track of your cycle. Period tracking apps let you log your symptoms and determine when you should expect your period. This can also take some weight off your mind, since you wont have to remember when your period is due to arrive. The app will do it for you!
Overall, as long as youre taking it correctly, birth control is highly effective at preventing pregnancy and those missed periods can happen now and again.
If youre not sure, take a pregnancy test to ease your mind. Adding some relaxing activities to your life and staying healthy can help get your cycle back to normal.
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Other Forms Of Birth Control And Your Period
The truth is, theres no answer to the question, Which are the best birth control pills? Each pilland overall contraceptiveoffer its own unique benefits and drawbacks. If youre looking for the best birth control pills, the best thing to do is consult with your healthcare provider.
That said, other forms of hormonal birth control can also affect your period. If you use the patch, the ring or the IUD, you might have a shorter, lighter period, as well as side effects such as spotting in between your periods.
Our guide to your birth control options goes into more detail on the major benefits of the popular forms of birth control, including the effects they can have on your menstrual cycle.
You can also learn more about how the hormonal IUD can affect your period in our guide to the IUD for birth control.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
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You Could Experience Breast Tenderness
Many women report achy breasts before their period, thanks to the spike of progesterone that stimulates breast milk glands. Birth control can be used to treat breast tenderness, so going off it could bring the sensitivity back.
However, breast tenderness can also be a side effect of being on birth control, Guirlaine Agnant, MD, chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital in Mount Vernon, New York, previously told Health. So if you were dealing with tenderness while on birth control, stopping will bring back normal breast tissue, and no tenderness should be experienced.
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No Period After Stopping Birth Control What’s That About
If youve decided to stop taking the pill, it can take a while for your cycle to return to normal. This varies from person to person. Most people will have their period around two to four weeks after stopping the pill. However, your cycle may be irregular for some time. Its normal for your body to need up to three months to go back to normal after stopping your birth control. If your cycles remain irregular for longer, make sure to visit your health care provider to find out the cause of your irregular cycles.
Number : Because Of Pregnancy
Okay, this is the reason we’ve all been waiting to hear. Note that doctors say that it’s common for women on birth control to have irregular or no periods, and further evaluation usually isn’t needed unless there are concerning symptoms. That said, every contraceptive has a failure rate. If you’ve missed birth control pills during the month and had unprotected sex, you should consider this possibility.
Here are a few common symptoms the Mayo Clinic says women experience in early pregnancy:
If you’re wondering more about when to take a pregnancy test, click here for more info.
Note that if you’re breastfeeding, that could also be a reason you’re missing your periods on birth control. Entering menopause will also do that to you!
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How Does The Pill Work
Before pills could be formulated to modify human ovulation, researchers needed to figure out how the menstrual cycle usually works. The normal cycle consists of several distinct phases that average approximately 28 days in total each phase corresponding to physical changes that occur to build up and break down the uterus in preparation for pregnancy, with ovulation occurring at the midpoint of the cycle. These phases are associated with dramatic changes in the levels of certain hormones that follow carefully scripted roles in promoting ovulation and subsequently menstruation.
The shedding of uterine lining leading to the observed bleeding is the Menstrual Phase. As bleeding ends, Follicle-Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone show small peaks above their normal low levels, leading to thickening of the uterine lining and maturing of oocyte-containing follicles in the ovary. Meanwhile, the estrogen, Estradiol , is steadily rising to a peak a few days before ovulation, after which point FSH and LH spike once more, triggering the release of a mature oocyte. Levels of Progesterone and E rise for the next two weeks, preparing the uterine lining for implantation of an embryo. If no implantation occurs, both hormone levels drop sharply, triggering menstruation. If fertilization and implantation do occur, levels of P and E remain high throughout pregnancy, suppressing the spikes of FSH and LH that drive ovulation.