How To Prevent Spotting
People should adopt habits that can maximize a pills effectiveness and help prevent spotting. These include:
- Taking the pill at the same time every day can help maintain consistent hormone levels in the body.
- Continuing to take birth control pills regularly, even if there is some spotting. If a person has been taking the pill for less than 6 months, this may not be long enough for the body to adjust to it fully.
- Checking any other medications to ensure that they do not interfere with the effectiveness of the birth control pill.
If it has been longer than 6 months and spotting still occurs, switching to a different type of pill may help.
Spotting may be light enough that a person does not have to wear a pad or tampon. However, some people may wish to wear a thin panty liner to avoid staining clothing. Using a tampon for light or regular flow can also help.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, spotting can happen with any hormonal contraception, which includes:
- birth control pills
However, spotting is most common when a person uses:
- low dose birth control pills
- a birth control implant
A doctor can help if the spotting is connected to birth control use. They can also find other possible causes for unexpected bleeding aside from the birth control pill.
While some people take birth control pills for decades without any problems, others experience troublesome side effects. A person should call the doctor if any of the following occur:
You Could Get More Headaches
More than 50% of women associate migraines with their period, according to a 2009 review, likely due to a drop in estrogen levels. Certain birth control methods let you skip periods or go longer between them, such as extended-cycle pills, may prevent migraines. For these women, going off of birth control could cause their headaches to become more frequent.
Birth Control Pills: General Information
Posted under Health Guides. Updated 11 August 2022.
- There are many different kinds of birth control pills .
- Most types of birth control pills contain two hormones: estrogen and progestin . These are called combined birth control pills.
- Birth control pills are also called oral contraceptive pills , hormone pills, or the Pill.
Birth control pills
Birth control pills are a type of female hormonal birth control method and are very effective at preventing pregnancy. The Pills are small tablets that you swallow each day. Most pills contain two types of synthetic female hormones: estrogen and progestin. These are similar to the estrogen and progesterone normally made by the ovaries. These pills are called combination oral contraceptives, and there are many different kinds.
The hormones in the pills prevent pregnancy by suppressing the pituitary gland, which stops the development and release of the egg in the ovary . The progestin also helps to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg and thins the lining of the uterus.
Another type of pill contains only one hormone and is called either the progestin-only pill, or the mini-Pill. It works to thin the lining of the uterus and helps prevent the males sperm from reaching the egg.
Which birth control pill should I take?
First, talk with your health care provider to see if birth control pills are right for you. If they are, discuss which pill and what dosage is best for you.
How effective is the Pill at preventing pregnancy?
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Are There Any Serious Side Effects Of Birth Control Pills That I Should Be Worried About
Most teens who take birth control pills have few or no problems. If you do have any of the following problems, call your health care provider right away.
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- Chest pain , cough, shortness of breath
- Headache , dizziness, weakness, or numbness
- Eye problems , speech problems
- Severe leg pain
Using Birth Control To Treat Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Abnormal vaginal bleeding may be caused by more serious factors, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, pelvic organ infections or certain cancers. Birth control pills, patches, implants, injections or rings that contain a combination of the hormones estrogen and a synthetic form of progesterone may be used to treat the abnormal vaginal bleeding caused by these conditions. These low doses of hormones regulate the menstrual cycle, reducing or eliminating the abnormal bleeding.
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I Didnt Get My Period But Im On The Pill
- I didnt get my period, but Im on the pill
Its the fourth day of sugar pills and no bleeding you did everything right didnt miss a single pill, took it the same time every day but nothing no period. Dont panic! Many of the low dose birth control pills today keep your uterine lining so thin that it does not shed so, you dont get a period.
So, dont worry. Do a pregnancy test to confirm you are not pregnant, and then relax and enjoy not spending as much money on tampons!
Any questions, please contact us at .
When Birth Control Causes Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Birth control pills, patches, implants, injections and rings that contain hormones can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding as a side effect. This can occur:
- During the first few months when a woman begins using hormone-based birth control.
- When changing the type of birth control pill or the dose of estrogen.
- When a woman does not take her birth control pill correctly, missing doses or not taking them at the same time each day.
- After using birth control for a long time, which can affect the lining of the uterus and cause bleeding.
- During the first few days of using an intrauterine device , one either with or without the synthetic hormone progestin some women continue to experience spotting between periods with an IUD.
- When using the Depo-Provera birth control injection.
- When using a birth control implant.
It is important to check with a health care provider to determine the cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding. It may be due to one of the birth control issues above, which should be monitored.
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Are You Looking To Have Periods Less Frequently
If you are looking to limit the number of periods you have during the year, you can get birth control pill prescriptions online. Doing this will save you some time.
The first step in completing the process of getting an online prescription is to consult with a local Alpharetta gynecology clinic, like Roswell OB/GYN or physicians office. During the consultation with an Alpharetta gynecology physician at Roswell OB/GYN, you will want to evaluate your current health and preferences for birth control methods. Once this is complete, you will then be able to get a prescription for a birth control pill brand that works best for you. Women can get birth control pills without having a copay with their health insurance policy.
Some services let you get a birth control pill subscription for only $15 per month. Once you have received your prescription, you will get the pills delivered right to your home for free, so you dont have to visit a pharmacy.
How Can I Find The Right Solution For Me
Different women experience their periods differently, and the amount of menstrual blood they lose can vary naturally from month to month. But the amount of stress caused by heavy periods can only be determined by the woman herself: Whereas some women who have heavy periods may not think its a big problem, others already feel very uncomfortable with less heavy periods.
Its important to first have a doctor look for possible causes of the heavy periods. In most cases you can then take your time to decide whether to start treatment and consider which of the treatment options is right for you. If you’re not sure, it may be a good idea to get a second medical opinion especially if a hysterectomy has been recommended. Our decision aid may help here. It briefly summarizes the main pros and cons of the different treatments.
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It Can Happen With Any Type Of Hormonal Birth Control
All these methods work by delivering hormones that prevent pregnancy. These methods include
birth control pills
the birth control implant, a small plastic rod thats placed under the skin of the upper arm
the birth control shot given by a health care professional
the vaginal ring that women can place and remove on their own
the skin patch that contains hormones
Hormonal Iuds Or The Implant:
During the first few months: Its common to have light, irregular spotting or bleeding thats hard to predict. Sometimes youll have light bleeding or bleeding that lasts for more days than your regular period.
After the first three months: Your bleeding will stay light, and sometimes your period stops entirely. Studies have found that most implant users report that they like their bleeding patterns better the longer they use their implants. And the longer you use the IUD, the more likely it is that your period will stop comingabout half of people using Mirena or Liletta IUDs dont have periods at all if they use their IUDs for three or more years continuously.
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Using Birth Control Pills For Health Conditions
Taken correctly, birth control pills can be more than 90% effective in preventing pregnancy. The pills can also be used to treat some gynecological conditions. The usage can cause spotting or bleeding for different reasons.
Birth control pills may be prescribed for the following conditions:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder that affects the ovaries and is characterized by low progesterone levels. While birth control pills can help treat PCOS, the sudden spike in progesterone can cause spotting due to the shedding of the uterine lining. Irregular bleeding usually stops after a few menstrual cycles.
- Endometriosis occurs when uterine tissues grow outside of the uterus. Birth control pills can relieve symptoms by keeping the body in a steady hormonal state. Even so, spotting affects up to 50% of women with endometriosis during the first three to nine months of starting oral contraceptives.
- Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that tend to occur during the childbearing years. Birth control pills do not make fibroids grow and can reduce the vaginal bleeding fibroids sometimes cause.
Why Is My Bleeding Different On The Contraceptive Pill
The contraceptive pill prevents the lining of your uterus from growing thicker, as it would in a typical menstrual cycle . It also prevents ovulation and the typical cycling of reproductive hormones. When you have withdrawal bleeding, the bleeding tends to be lighter than normal menstrual bleeding.
Itâs also possible to have no withdrawal bleeding or only spotting during the days you take inactive pills . This is more common for people taking higher doses of estrogen, or a pill with a shorter hormone-free interval .
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Can Switching Birth Control Cause You To Have Lighter Periods
Can switching birth control cause you to have lighter periods?
Yes. In general, hormonal birth control methods that contain both estrogen and a progestin decrease the number of days of bleeding and the amount of blood women lose each cycle. Since these methods all have varying levels of estrogen and progesterone in them, a change from one kind of birth control to another can also change the days and amount of flow.
During a normal menstrual cycle, hormones cause the uterus to build up a thick lining with a lot of blood vessels called the endometrium to create a welcoming environment for a fertilized egg to attach. If conception doesnt happen, the hormone levels drop, the blood vessels shrink and the endometrium sloughs off. Voila you have a period! Hormonal birth control causes the endometrial lining to be thinner than normal, so there is less to shed each month. In fact, there may be no fresh blood at all. A period could be just a drop of blood, or a brown smudge.
On the other hand, if you are using a birth control method that contains only a progestin and no estrogen you are more likely to experience irregular bleeding. Many women experience either an increased number of days of light bleeding or no bleeding at all.
If you have any questions or concerns about birth control, the clinical staff of our Womens Services Department is always happy to see you!
Beth Askue, MS, CNP
How To Stop Breakthrough Bleeding
About 30 percent of people experience breakthrough bleeding in the first month of using combination oral contraceptive pills. This bleeding usually decreases significantly by the third month of taking birth control pills.
Generally, this type of bleeding will run its course. Some people find supportive counseling to be helpful if bleeding prompts anxiety or concern. Most health care providers recommend continuing to take your pills unless counseled otherwise by your health care provider.
In some cases, a health care provider may prescribe you supplemental estrogen or NSAIDs. If the bleeding does not subside despite taking medication or supplemental estrogen, a health care provider might switch you to a different pill formulation.
Most likely, a different birth control pill will help increase your levels of estrogen and progestin. Alternatively, an underlying health problem could be causing persistent breakthrough bleeding.
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You Can Get Pregnant Before You Even Get Your Period Again
When your body realizes youve stopped taking the birth control , you might begin to ovulate, which means you can get pregnant right away, she says.
No period in sight? Says Dr. Dweck: Number one, two, and three on the list of why someone isnt getting their period after coming off the Pill for a while is pregnancy, pregnancy, pregnancy.
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Why You Usually Get A Period On The Off
If you get your period on birth control pills, lets say during the 7 days of placebo sugar pills, its because the makers of the original combined oral contraceptives succumbed to societal and cultural pressures to mimic the naturally occurring menstrual cycle not because it was biologically needed.
So a missed period on birth control doesnt necessarily mean somethings wrong. Okay, heres some quick science to back this all up because this is some deep, revelatory stuff. So here goes
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Chances Of Pregnancy On Birth Control Patch
Birth control patches contain estrogen and progesterone, which are absorbed through the skin, where they have to be applied on a weekly basis. The most common birth control patch brands include XulaneÂ® and Ortho EvraÂ®.
With perfect use, a birth control patch is an effective contraception method . As such, the chances of getting pregnant on the patch are about 1%. Certain factors, such as obesity or current medications, might decrease their effectiveness, while increasing the odds of pregnancy to 9%.
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I Missed A Pill What Should I Do
If you missed 1 pill, take it as soon as you remember to. If you are taking todays pill and realize you missed yesterdays pill, take both pills at the same time. You are still protected from pregnancy as long as you catch up your doses within 24 hours. In this case, you do not need emergency contraception. If taking a progestin only pill, you should use a back up method for the next 48 hours.
If you missed 2 pills in a row including starting your pack 2 days late you have lost protection against pregnancy. Use emergency contraception if you have had unprotected intercourse. Catch up on your missed pills by taking 2 today and 2 tomorrow. Continue taking the rest of the pack. Make sure to use back-up contraception, such as condoms, for 7 days. Expect break-through bleeding.
If you missed 3 pills in a row, you are going to bleed just consider this your period placebo days. Start a new pack of pills right away. Make sure to use back-up contraception, such as condoms, for 7 days. Do not rely on the pill to protect you from pregnancy until you are back on it for 7 days! Use emergency contraception if:
- You have unprotected sex during those 7 days.
- You have unprotected sex after missing your pills for 48 to 72 hours and you have not been taking your pills correctly and on schedule for 7 days.
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Are There Any Medical Benefits With Taking Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills not only prevent pregnancy, but they also have medical benefits. Many teens take the birth control pill just for its medical benefits and not for its protection against pregnancy.
- Regular and lighter periods: Oral contraceptive pills can help to regulate the menstrual cycle so your period comes about every 28 days. The Pill usually causes lighter periods too. You may only have a brown smudge on a tampon, pad, panty shield or underwear. The hormone doses in BCPs are very low. When you are taking the birth control pill, the lining of your uterus doesnt become very thick so very little blood needs to come out each month. For the extended cycle pills, you might have a period every 3 months or even less.
- Clearer skin: Birth control pills can improve acne. The hormones in most types of BCPs can help stop certain acne from forming. Be patient though, as it can take a few months to see an improvement.
- Fewer cramps, or no cramps: Birth control pills can help to decrease menstrual cramps.
- Other medical benefits: Because theres less menstrual bleeding with the use of birth control pills, teens taking the pill are less likely to become anemic . Birth control pills also lessen your chance of getting endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, and ovarian cysts. BCPs also protect against pregnancies that occur outside the uterus .