How Long Does A Period Last On Birth Control

How Do I Put On The Birth Control Patch

How long does it take to have regular periods again after stopping birth control?

Its easy to use the Xulane patch or Twirla patch: just stick a new patch to clean, dry skin. You can put Xulane or Twirla on your belly, buttocks , or back. You can also put Xulane on your upper outer arm.

  • Always check the expiration date before putting on a new patch.

  • If youre using Xulane, open the foil pouch by tearing along the top and side, then peel the foil open. Take the patch off the foil and peel half of the clear plastic off the patch.

  • If youre using Twirla, tear open the foil pouch and pull the patch out. Peel the bigger piece of the clear plastic off the patch.

  • Hold the patch by the side that still has the other piece of clear plastic on it. Try not to touch the sticky part with your fingers.

  • Place that sticky half of the patch on your belly, buttocks , or back. Xulane can also go on your upper outer arm.

  • Pull off the other piece of the clear plastic and press the whole patch to your skin.

  • Hold the patch in place against your skin with the palm of your hand for 10 seconds.

Once you open a pouch, put the patch on immediately. Pick a spot where it can lie flat and smooth, and wont rub against the waistband or seams of your clothes. Dont put your new patch on the exact same spot as your last patch.

When you take your old patch off, fold it in half so it sticks together, seal it in a plastic bag, and throw it in the trash. Make sure kids or pets cant get to it, and dont flush it down the toilet.

When Will My Periods Return After I Stop Taking The Pill

It takes a while for your periods to come back after you stop taking the pill. Most women will have a period around two to four weeks after stopping the pill, but this depends on you and what your cycle is normally like.

Weight, health, stress, exercise and conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome can all influence your cycle of periods.

Your periods may be irregular when you first come off the pill, and you should allow up to three months for your natural menstrual cycle to re-establish itself fully.

This is because the pill contains the hormones that stop ovulation each month.

The first period after stopping the pill is known as a “withdrawal bleed”. The next period after this withdrawal bleed is your first natural period.

It’s unlikely that how long you have been on the pill will cause fertility problems. Some women conceive immediately after they stop taking the pill.

However, while the pill doesn’t cause fertility problems, it can mask underlying problems you may already have, such as irregular periods.

You can get pregnant as soon as you come off the pill, so it’s important to use another form of contraception, such as condoms, straight away.

Find out more about getting pregnant

How Many Days Will Sperm Survive In A Woman On Birth Control

I started birth control a month and a half ago. Me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex for two weeks, I was taking my pill perfectly the entire time, exact time and everything. However, I begin to get an extremely irregular period that lasted about 2 weeks . So I stopped taking that birth control for 3 days of of fear! We had sex last on Thursday the 25th of June at about 8 p.m the last birth control pill I took was on Sunday the 28th of June, . I missed, Mon the 29th, tues the 30th, and weds the 1st and on Thursday took 2 pills, and started taking them regularly again. My concern is that I may be pregnant, because sperm can survive inside me for 5 consecutive days. We did not have any sex at all after the 25th. Is it extremely likely I am pregnant?

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Birth Control Pills And Period: Your Questions Answered

Laurel Klafehn

Laurel Klafehn

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.

Combination Birth Control Pills


If a combination birth control pill is started for the first time on the Sunday after your period begins, your period should occur about 25 days later. Ask your healthcare provider which day is the best to start your specific pill pack. If your period begins on a Sunday, you can start the pill pack on that Sunday.

  • In general, about 3 days after finishing all of the 21 active tablets in a 28 pill pack, most women will start their period.
  • If you use a 28-pill pack, you’ll get your period during the week you take the reminder pills.
  • If you use a 21-day pill pack, you’ll still get your period the week you do not take any pills. Remember that the 21-day pack has no reminder pills. Use a reminder to help you stay on track.

Recommended Reading: How To Tell When Your Period Is Over

Removal Of The Lining Of The Womb

Another option is to remove the lining of the womb . Here the tissue is removed using surgical instruments or destroyed, for instance using laser beams or microwave energy . After the procedure, the woman often stops having periods, or her periods are much lighter. This makes pregnancy unlikely.

But the lining of the womb can grow back. If heavy periods start again as a result, the procedure can be repeated. About 20 out of 100 women have this kind of surgery again within two years.

Endometrial ablation or resection can sometimes be performed as outpatient surgery. Women recover relatively quickly afterwards.

Your Period Can Change Over Time

Maybe you used to get a heavy flow during your periods, but now theyre lighter. Or maybe some periods are lighter and others are a little heavier. This is pretty normal, Zhang says.

It depends on whats going on with the lining in your uterus, she says.

The time between each cycle can also vary: Maybe one month its 28 days, then the next its 30 days.

Your PMS symptoms can vary each cycle, too, depending on hormone fluctuations, Zhang says.

Its not uncommon for your period to become shorter as you get older, too. In adolescence, periods tend to be longer and a little heavier, then ease up after a few years. Menstruation changes in the years before menopause and can be more irregular after pregnancy.

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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.

When Is A Period Too Long

If I stop taking birth control pills, how long will it take before I ovulate again?

A menstrual period that lasts longer than seven days is considered a long period. Your doctor may refer to a period that lasts longer than a week as menorrhagia. You may also be diagnosed with menorrhagia if you experience unusually heavy bleeding that lasts less than a week. Five percent of women have menorrhagia.

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Recap: Your Period On Birth Control

We get it: We’ve been taught that getting your period is a natural sign of femininity and means that everything is working normally for having babies. But the truth is that having your period on birth control is not the same thing as natural menstruation. Instead, it’s a different beast altogether.

*Editor’s Note: If you’re having irregular periods or spotting and you’re NOT taking birth control, then you should follow up with your doctor.

You should know that:

  • Changes to your periods are typical when you’re taking birth control pills. Make sure you’re taking your pills as directed.

  • Unless you have other concerning symptoms, not having your period while taking the placebo birth control pills does not automatically mean you’re pregnant. However, you can check with your doctor if you’re unsure.

  • Once you stop using birth control, then your periods should go back to normal, and your chances of getting pregnant will return to normal.

  • As always, if you have bothersome irregular bleeding, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor. There may be a way to change your method, or they can let you know if it’s something that will go away anytime soon. It’s super helpful to track what’s going so you can present that to your doctor. Believe us, they like data, so record the dates it’s happening and what it looks/feels like. You’ve got this!

    What Are The Treatment Options For Heavy Periods

    There are various treatment options available for women who have very heavy periods, including medication, hormonal contraceptives and surgery. Knowing about the advantages and disadvantages of each can help make it easier to choose an appropriate treatment.

    If very heavy periods become too much of a problem, treatment can help you to cope better. Different types of medication can reduce the bleeding and related problems. If one medication doesn’t work, it is usually possible to try out other kinds.

    Hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills or intrauterine devices affect the menstrual cycle and lessen the amount of bleeding. Any fibroids or polyps that are found to be the cause can be surgically removed. If the effects of heavy periods are particularly bad, other procedures can be considered.

    The choice of treatment and best time for treatment will depend on whether a woman is planning to become pregnant. The most effective treatments all limit a woman’s ability to get pregnant either temporarily, like the pill, or permanently, like the surgical removal of the womb .

    But as long as the heavy periods arent causing anemia, they dont necessarily need to be treated. Some women learn ways to prepare as well as possible for heavier days. But its a good idea to see a doctor and try to find out what the cause is.

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    Pms Is Still A Mystery

    Itâs 1 or 2 weeks before your period starts, and here come the breakouts, sluggishness, cravings, bloating, and mood swings. Sound familiar? Every woman is different, but for many, PMS is a fact of life.

    But doctors donât know exactly why that is. It seems to be a mix of hormone changes during your menstrual cycle, chemical changes in the brain, and other emotional issues you might have, such as depression, that can make PMS worse.

    Whatâs more, once you get your period, the rollercoaster may continue. One study found that period-related pains such as cramps, bloating, backaches, and headaches can cloud your thinking, because the pain may make it harder for you to focus on the tasks at hand. Not that you canât still do them — you can. It may just feel like it takes more work.

    Lifestyle changes are usually the best way to take control of PMS. Aim to get about 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week, get 8 hours of shut-eye per night, and donât smoke. Your diet makes a difference, too, so fill up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains while you limit salt as well as sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.

    Let your doctor know if PMS keeps you from doing what you normally do, or if you have symptoms of depression or anxiety. You may have a more serious condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder that needs medical attention.

    How Can Hormones Help

    Nelson Hardiman

    Painkillers like ibuprofen and diclofenac both of which are non-steroidal are often used for the relief of menstrual pain and cramps, and also for heavy periods. In addition to relieving the pain, they may also help to lower the amount of blood lost. Acetylsalicylic acid is not suitable for heavy periods because it has an anti-clotting effect so it can increase the amount of blood lost during menstruation.

    The most common side effects of NSAIDs are stomach problems, nausea, vomiting, headaches and drowsiness. The women who took NSAIDs for heavy periods in studies didn’t experience many more side effects than women who took a placebo for comparison.

    Another medication that can help in the treatment of heavy periods is tranexamic acid. It affects blood clotting and reduces the tendency to bleed. Studies have shown it to be more effective than NSAIDs. Tranexamic acid may cause headaches, tiredness and muscle cramps. But these side effects are not more common than with NSAIDs.

    There is no good-quality research on whether herbal products can relieve heavy periods.

    If excessive loss of blood is causing extreme tiredness, iron deficiency anemia is probably the reason. It is normally treated by taking iron tablets. Iron supplements may have side effects such as stomach ache and constipation, and can cause your stool to turn black.

    Read Also: How Early Can You Get Your Period

    Age Affects How Long A Period Lasts

    It is natural for a womans cycle to shift as she ages. Heres a brief outline of what a woman may expect to happen at a certain age:

    • Menarche: The time when a girl first starts menstruating is called menarche. In this stage, irregularity is most common. Typically, as girls age, their cycles become more consistent, but some degree of irregularity is always possible.
    • Adult: How long does a period last? For adult women, its typically between 2 and 7 days. Most women will experience a heavier flow during the first couple of days.
    • Menopause: The time in a womans life when she has gone 12 months without menstruation. In the years preceding menopause, a woman may experience some degree of irregularity again.

    Signs Your Period Is Too Heavy Long Or Irregular

    It’s important to remember that what’s ‘normal’ for your friend, will be different for you. However, there are some things that tell us whether our periods aren’t quite right and we need to speak to our doctor.

    Each period most women will lose 60 millilitres of blood, which is around 4 tablespoons. On average that means it would take 4 hours for a pad or tampon to become full. If a woman is bleeding around 80 millilitres each period she is considered to have heavy bleeding .

    Physical signs of heavy periods include:

    • Regularly needing to change pads, tampons, or reusable menstrual products after only one or two hours.

    • Using two or more menstrual products at the same time to prevent leaking.

    • Large clumps of blood in your pad or when you remove your tampon.

    • Feeling tired and sluggish.

    Heavy periods can have a huge impact on our emotional state too such as,:

    • A negative impact upon work productivity.

    • Our family life and social relationships and events.

    • Our sexual relationships.

    It’s important to recognize that heavy menstrual bleeding has a major impact on a woman’s quality of life, and any interventions should aim to improve this rather than just focusing on blood loss.

    If your periods are longer than 7 days on a regular basis then it’s considered a long period and you should speak to a doctor , . Longer lasting periods are often referred to as menorrhagia, meaning someone is experiencing heavy periods. Around 1 in every 20 women has menorrhagia .

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