Are There Side Effects Of Using The Pill To Skip Your Period Continually
The main side effect of having long bleeding-free stretches is an increase in unpredictable breakthrough bleeding . The good news is that the frequency of breakthrough bleeding may decreases over time . Other than increased rates of breakthrough bleeding, taking your birth control pill consecutively, as opposed to having monthly pill-periods, does cause any additional side effects .
A concern about not having a regular âperiodâ is that you lose the monthly confirmation that youâre not pregnant. Although skipping your withdrawal bleed with the pill provides you with the same contraceptive protection as before, it also comes with the same risks if you donât take your pill on a regular daily basis.
Breakthrough Period In Early Pregnancy
Around 30 percent of women experience spotting in early pregnancy. Spotting, in this case, is as a result of implantation.
According to Belly Belly, some women experience a breakthrough period in early pregnancy at the time when their menses would be due. This translates to around 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 12 weeks of pregnancy. This intermenstrual period may be accompanied by cramping, backache, and mood swings.
Vaginal bleeding after a month or three weeks of gestation means a serious underlying problem. It is always advised that you visit your doctor immediately to rule out a miscarriage or any medical problem.
Other common causes of vaginal bleeding that might be life-threatening during pregnancy include:
- Placenta previa
- Cervical polyps
Breakthrough Bleeding On The Pill Can I Be Pregnant
Unless you have discontinued taking your birth control pill, it is difficult to be pregnant if you are experiencing breakthrough bleeding on the pill. The hormones from the pills regulate your periods and avoid chances of conception. However, there might be a chance that you do get pregnant. A light or late period can be due to the pill as well.
Other signs of pregnancy are nausea, vomiting, tiredness, breast tenderness and increased urination.
It should be important that you know what the early signs of pregnancy are, so that you can immediately be aware if you do conceive. Pregnancy can be determined by using a home pregnancy test or get a blood or urine test done from the healthcare provider for accurate results. A physical examination can be done which will help in confirming or ruling out pregnancy.
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Should I Worry About Pregnancy If I Didn’t Get A Period On The Placebo Week
If youre on birth control and not getting your period during your placebo week, theres no need to worry, especially if you know youve been taking your pill every day. Its normal for your period to be lighter and shorter than usual, especially if youve been on birth control for a while. About 10-20% of people experience very light or no period after their sixth pill pack, while 10% of people do not experience any withdrawal bleed. Take a pregnancy test if youve missed your period and are experiencing symptoms of pregnancy, such as morning sickness or breast soreness.
If youre on the progestin-only minipill, know that only 50% of minipill users experience regular menstruation, so expect the unexpected when it comes to your period.
Spotting On Birth Control: Top 9 Questions Answered
You may experience some spotting while you are on contraceptives such as birth control pills, implants, rings, and injections. In fact, spotting on birth control is quite common. And although you may notice some mild symptoms when this occurs, if the symptoms become severe, it could signal something more serious.
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How To Control Or Stop It
If you smoke, quitting smoking can help control breakthrough bleeding.
If youre on the pill, the best way to stop breakthrough bleeding is to take your pill at the same time every day.
For most people, breakthrough bleeding stops 3 to 6 months after starting hormonal birth control. If youre still experiencing breakthrough bleeding related to birth control after that point, talk with your doctor.
When On The Pill
Am experiencing bleeding while on the pill, could I be pregnant? Unless you stop taking your pills, it is unlikely that you are pregnant. The pills regulate your hormones to prevent conception.
There is only a small chance that you would get pregnant while on the pill. The best way to rule out pregnancy is to have a pregnancy test and watch out for other signs such as nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, constipation, and diarrhea.
- Mid-cycle bleeding is also likely to occur the first few months after you start taking the pill or emergency contraceptives such as plan B.
- During the first few months of use, spotting or bleeding occurs as a result of the body trying to adjust to the different hormone levels introduced into the body by the pill.
- If this happens, it is normal but the discharge is expected to stop as soon as the body adjusts. This can take up to three months.
Spotting after years on birth control pills could be as a result of extended dosage of progesterone-only pills. Additionally, even after years on the pill, you are likely to bleed when you miss a pill.
Other factors such as diarrhea and vomiting might tamper with pill absorption causing breakthrough bleeding. If heavy spotting occurs even after three months contact a health care provider or gynecologist immediately.
Bleeding might also occur:
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Can You Take An Extra Birth Control Pill To Stop Breakthrough Bleeding
If you use estrogen-progestin birth control pills or the vaginal ring, taking occasional hormone-free days may help manage unscheduled bleeding. As long as you have been taking active hormones for at least 21 to 30 days, you can stop taking the pill or remove the ring whenever breakthrough bleeding becomes a problem.
When To Worry About Breakthrough Bleeding
There are a few causes of breakthrough bleeding that are more serious. For example, if you are also experiencing diarrhea and vomiting, it may be because the pill hasnt been absorbed properly or certain medications you have taken concurrently have interacted with the pill. Lets break down some of the more serious causes of breakthrough bleeding. As always, if you feel uncomfortable, consult with a doctor.
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How Can I Safely Skip My Period On Birth Control
There are many different combined hormonal birth control pills containing different types of synthetic hormones and doses. Some pills are monophasicâmeaning they have the same dose of hormones in each pill. Other pills are multiphasicâmeaning that the number of hormones in the pills changes throughout your pack. Your birth control package will indicate which kind of pill you have. You can choose to skip your âperiodâ on either type of pill, but itâs best to consult with your healthcare provider before you start.
If you are taking a monophasic combined hormonal birth control pill
Take your hormonally active pills as normal.
Once you reach your placebo pills , then simply skip over those and start your new pack the next day as Day 1.
Monophasic dose birth control pills allow flexibility since you can technically schedule your period for whenever you wish. You can stop taking your pill for a few days to have a withdrawal period . Note that this is considered âmissing two or more pillsâ even though you are missing them on purpose. Youâll need to use a backup birth control method for seven days to prevent pregnancy.
One study found that if you experience three days of consecutive breakthrough bleeding, choosing to start your period at that time would result in fewer bleeding days throughout the entire year .
If you are taking a multiphasic pill:
Take your hormonally active pills as normal.
Is There A Cure For Spotting Associated With Mirena
Mirena-related spotting is a challenge in some patients. As we stated in our article, researchers continue to explore antiprogestins, NSAIDs, and antifibrinolytic drugs such as tranexamic acid as possible treatments for nuisance bleeding associated with progestin-only methods. In Mirena users, irregular bleeding improves with time.
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How To Stop Spotting
There are a few strategies you can try if you are experiencing frequent heavy spotting or breakthrough bleeding:
- Switch birth control brands.
- Find a birth control option with an easier schedule.
If you have breakthrough bleeding for more than a few months even though youre taking your birth control consistently, ask your doctor about switching to a different brand of birth control. Slight variations in the formulations of birth control brands can provide the same level of protection against pregnancy without certain side effects. For example, switching to a brand with a higher dose of estrogen may alleviate spotting symptoms. If you take progestin-only birth control, you can ask your doctor about taking low-dose estrogen pills.
Missing a dose of birth control on a regular basis can increase your risk of becoming pregnant unexpectedly. If are consistently missing doses or taking doses late, you may want to switch to a type of birth control with a schedule that is easier for you to stick to. For example, you could switch from birth control pills that must be taken at the same time every day to a birth control patch that only needs to be applied once a month.
Is Skipping Your Period Safe
Medical studies have reported no significant negative health effects when you skip your period on the combined hormonal birth control pill . That being said, itâs still important to mention that there have been no long-term studies examining the safety of continually skipping your period. Sometimes medical repercussions take a longer time and/or need a larger population sample size to emerge.
If you choose to stop taking hormonal birth control, your natural menstrual cycle and fertility will usually return to normal after one month, regardless of how long you skipped your âperiodâ .
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Skipping Your Period With The Pill
If you are using the combined pill, aka oral contraceptives you will skip the placebo pills, which you would normally take for your inactive days.
When are the placebo pills?For 21-day packs , this is the last 7 days. For 24-day packs, this is the last 4 days.
You’ll then start your next pack right away. If you decide to skip your period and use your next pill pack, you may experience breakthrough bleeding, which is normal.
What is continuous birth control?If you are regularly looking to skip your period, you may want to get medical advice on extended-cycle birth control meaning you get a period every 3 months. Popular brands include Seasonale, Seasonique, and Jolessa.
When Should I Be Concerned That Things Arent Normal
Despite how common BTB is, itâs important to recognise when there might be a problem. In some rare cases, spotting and BTB can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.
Itâs important to note that inter-menstrual bleeding between periods is commonly caused by STIâs and cervical changes. For women who are experiencing BTB, your GP should offer you an STI screening. Plus, itâs important to make sure your pap smear tests are up to date to identify any irregularities.
That means itâs important to speak with your doctor or GP if you experience:
- Severe headaches
- Swelling in the limbs, particularly your legs
- Severe abdominal pain
- Severe chest pain or shortness of breath
- Eye problems, such as vision loss or blurring
Although light spotting and BTB are common in the first few months of taking the Pill, you shouldnât put up with unscheduled heavy bleeds between periods. As a general rule, one of the most effective strategies for preventing unscheduling bleeding is to ensure youâre taking your Pill at the same time each day. By doing your best not to miss a dose, your body has the best chance of regulating your hormone levels to manage unwanted BTB.
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What Does It Look Like
A blood-tinged discharge between periods does not look like the normal menstrual period. It is usually lighter than your normal period. Spotting might appear dark brown or pink. The flow is minimal, and might not soak a pad or tampon. This usually occurs mid-cycle or during ovulation.
It does not last more than three days, but if it does you may need to visit your doctor to determine the cause. Spotting may go on for years when a woman approaches menopause. This is considered normal.
Heres a picture that illustrates how it looks like.
But Wont My Body Get Backed Up
Noâyou wonât get backed up. One thing to keep in mind is that when youâre on the pill you actually donât have a normal âperiodâ. In fact, the combined hormonal birth control pill doesnât allow your endometrium to grow as thick as it normally would, which is why your periods on the pill are much lighter than natural periods . If you skip a cycle, the continuous exposure of synthetic hormones will maintain your endometrium at the same suppressed level .
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Why Do I Experience Breakthrough Bleeding On The Pill
I was wearing a white dress when it happened. I knew instantly it wouldnât end well. I shuffled to the bathroom and was greeted with the worst-case scenario: an unexpected bleed. Despite my period still being seven tablets away, my body had other plans.
I had only been taking The Pill for a couple of months when I experienced my first breakthrough bleed. It shocked me at first and made me feel totally out of control. A quick Google search revealed I wasnât alone. In fact, around 30% of women experience breakthrough bleeding during their first cycle of the Pill. From that day forward, jeans and black pants became my best friends.
Letâs face it, unexpected bleeding can be incredibly inconvenient. Aside from ruining perfectly good pairs of undies , breakthrough bleeding can make us feel on edge in between cycles. Itâs not surprising that breakthrough bleeding is one of the most common reasons why women ditch using the Pill altogether. For many, the perils of stained pants and embarrassing runs to the restroom outweigh the benefits of this form of contraception.
But what can we do to reduce the chances of breakthrough bleeding? And are there any warning signs to watch out for that might indicate things arenât ânormalâ?