Why Am I Getting My Period On Birth Control

Will Birth Control Make My Period Stop


if I get on birth control will i stop getting my period?

It depends on what kind of birth control you use and how you use it. In general, women who use the IUD, patch, pill, or ring will have menstrual periods every month. Women who take the shot may not have periods often or at all while they use the method. Some women use combined-hormone methods the pill and the vaginal ring to skip periods.

Combination pills, for example, usually come in 28-day packs and are taken without interruption. The first 21 pills in the pack are called active they contain hormones that prevent pregnancy. The last seven pills in the pack are called reminder pills. Theyre inactive placebos that do not contain hormones. Theyre taken during the fourth week to let a woman have her period and to help her keep the habit of taking a pill on a regular basis.

Some women choose to skip placebo pills and go right into the next pack to avoid having a period continuously or during certain events like their vacations, for example. They may still experience some spotting light bleeding when they do this.

When Will My Period Show Up

Most birth control pills run a tight ship oer the crimson tide. Hormones are regulated on a 4-week cycle, and you can expect your monthly friend to visit every 28 days.

On some birth control methods, you might get your period more frequently, less frequently, or not at all.

There are two types of birth control pills. One combines estrogen and progesterone, and the second is a progestin-only mini pill.

TAKE THE PLACEBOS. This will get you in the habit of constantly taking the pills.

Taking your pill at the same time every day keeps your hormones stable. Three weeks of hormones, 1 week of placebos = 4 weeks of consistently taking the pill. Make sure to start your new pack on time too.

If you take your birth control pills SUPER consistently, theyre 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Being human and sometimes taking the pill a few hours later than usual puts their effectiveness at a more realistic 91 percent.

Always check with your doctor if you start taking new meds, since some can interfere with the effectiveness of hormonal birth control.

Why Do I Menstruate While On Birth Control

Dear Alice,

I read on the Tri-cyclen website that the hormones mimic pregnancy and trick the body into thinking that I’m pregnant so that an ovum isn’t released for fertilization, or in other words, no ovulation. If that’s the case, why do I still menstruate? I thought that the only reason why I menstruate is to expel the unfertilized egg. Can you clarify?


Dear Curious,

You’re on the right track. Birth control pills like Tri-cyclen use synthetic hormones to prevent ovulation and thicken the cervical mucus â both of which help keep sperm away from an egg and thus prevent pregnancy. Technically speaking, there’s no need for menstruation if you’re on the pill. However, most birth control packs contain placebo pills that cause monthly bleeding similar to a period. Here’s how it works:

Normally, a woman’s menstrual cycle is regulated by the ebb and flow of several hormones. Each month, these hormones signal the uterus to grow an extra cushy lining to welcome a fertilized egg. If fertilization doesn’t occur, then the uterine lining, or endometrium, is shed as menstrual fluid. In a way, your period is the body’s way of cleaning house to get ready for the next possible pregnancy. The hormones in birth control pills prevent ovulation and also stop the uterine lining from growing. So you ask, why do women still menstruate while taking the pill?

Hopefully this info fed your curiosity and cleared up any confusion about the pill!

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What Does Breakthrough Bleeding Look Like

Breakthrough bleeding refers to bleeding that takes place at an unexpected time during your menstrual cycle. It is usually either light red or dark reddish-brown, like the blood at the beginning or end of a period. But it may also resemble regular menstrual blood, depending on the cause. This type of bleeding may be sufficient to require the use of a tampon or sanitary napkin.

Is It Safe To Skip Periods With Birth Control

Why Am I Getting Brown Discharge Before My Period?

Health care providers have been prescribing birth control to stop periods for a long time. Some people on birth control choose to skip their period only for special occasions . Other people use birth control to stop their periods if they have conditions such as endometriosis or period-related anemia.

Scientific research has found that using birth control to skip your period is as safe as taking your pills normally. If youre interested in stopping your periods with birth control, though, its always a good idea to talk to your health care provider about it first.

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Some Women Are More Likely To Experience It

Breakthrough bleeding happens more often in women who smoke cigarettes and in women who dont take their birth control pills consistently. Some medications, like emergency contraception pills, also can cause irregular bleeding. Having certain infections, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, also can increase risk.

Its also more common when women who use birth control pills or the ring take a continuous dose of hormones to skip their periods altogether. One more factor: Benign growths such as uterine fibroids can cause irregular bleeding thats unrelated to birth control.

Does Bleeding Decrease The Efficacy Of The Pill

Bleeding does not decrease the efficacy of the pill. Certain birth control pills are known to cause breakthrough bleeding, especially the ones that only contain the hormone progestin. Most women take birth control pills that contain both progestin and estrogen to prevent or decrease breakthrough bleeding.

Also, taking birth control pills continuously over a long time can cause breakthrough bleeding. This is why health care providers sometimes recommend taking a break from contraceptive pills to avoid health complications.

Like all medications, oral contraceptive pills have some contraindications and side-effects. Thats why its crucial to consult a health care provider before starting or changing any contraceptive pills.

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What Is Withdrawal Bleeding

Withdrawal bleeding is common among those who use combined oral contraceptives . It occurs when you take a scheduled break, stop taking pills at all, or take placebo pills for seven days. This type of bleeding is easiest to control. Its called withdrawal bleeding because it is induced by the withdrawal of certain hormones during the break.

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Why I Don’t Get My Period At 20 Years Old: Implanon/Nexplanon Birth Control

If you havent missed any of your pills but your period still stood you up, pregnancy isnt likely.

It may be the hormones in the pill. If you miss a second or third period, its worth it to take a pregnancy test or check with your doctor to make sure everythings all right down there. Especially if youre sexually active.

Once you know whats blocking your lunar flow, there are options to get your cycle back on track:

  • Eat well and be healthy about weight management.
  • Exercise regularly and amp up training at a manageable pace for your body.
  • Relieve stress with yoga, walking, journaling, meditation, or breathing exercises.

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You’ve Been Traveling Recently

If you get back from vacation and find an earlier-than-expected period welcoming you home, you might be able to blame said vacation on your irregular bleeding. Depending on how far from home you went, excessive traveling can disrupt your period.

Interfering with your circadian rhythms, like changing time zones or working night shifts, can cause changes in the hormones that trigger your cycle, says Dr. Masterson.

What to do about it

As long as the travel was a one-time thing, this should resolve on its own. If you work the night shift regularly, though, irregular periods might be your new normal. Aim to clock at least six hours a night, and make the most of the sleep you do get by blocking out noise and light and avoiding using screens right before you nod off.

Since youre already feeling the effects of late nightsand shift work can do harm to your health over time, increasing the risk of anxiety, depression, GI problems and even heart diseaseyou may want to consider talking to your boss about whether its possible to rework your schedule.

Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and other tissues that form a sling across the pelvis, which holds together the vagina, uterus, bladder, rectum, and other pelvic organs, according to the NLM. Just like any other part of your body, your pelvic floor can become weak or injured, particularly after pregnancy and childbirth, and cause symptoms such as pelvic pain, lower back pain, and the feeling of pelvic pressure or fullness that are akin to those during your period.

The standout difference from menstruation pain? If you can feel a bulge inside the vagina or, in more extreme cases, you can organs start to push out of the vaginal opening, per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , then you are probably dealing with pelvic floor muscular problems.

Other symptoms include pain during sex, burning feeling in the vagina and while peeing, leaking urine when you cough, laugh, or exercise, and leaking stool or hard time making it to the bathroom in time. To determine whats going on, ACOG says that your health care provide will typically conduct vaginal and rectal exams in which you may be asked to cough or strain to see if you leak.

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I Have Bleeding During My Active Birth Control Pills Is This Normal

If the bleeding is severe: If the bleeding is heavy enough to fill 1 tampon or pad per hour for 2-3 hours in a row or you are feeling dizzy or lightheaded, we recommend you see your primary care provider or go to Urgent Care to ensure there is not a serious issue going on. Make sure to tell them youre using birth control and be prepared to tell them the name of your birth control. Please let us know what they say so we can ensure we are prescribing you a safe and appropriate medication.

If the bleeding is not severe, but still annoying or concerning: Are you experiencing breakthrough bleeding in the first 3-6 months of your birth control? Breakthrough bleeding is unscheduled bleeding during the active pills, or during the ring-in or patch-on phase of your cycle. Dont stress! This is not abnormal. Breakthrough bleeding is the most common side effect for women beginning birth control. Just continue using your birth control as normal and give your body time to adjust to the birth control you are using. Breakthrough bleeding typically goes away with time and the second cycle is usually much better than the first, but it may take up to 3 full cycles for breakthrough bleeding to go away for good.

If you are interested in switching birth control brands to help reduce spotting or bleeding, our medical team can help you find the right fit. Get started here or for more answers to your healthcare questions, visit our Knowledge Center.

Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding & Birth Control At A Glance:

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  • Vaginal bleeding that is considered abnormal occurs when a woman is not expecting her menstrual period, when the flow is lighter or heavier than normal, or when spotting occurs between periods.
  • Sometimes birth control pills, patches, injections, rings and implants can cause spotting between periods or abnormal vaginal bleeding.
  • In other situations, these hormone-based birth control methods are used to treat abnormal vaginal bleeding that result from other medical conditions.
  • Women who experience abnormal vaginal bleeding should consult their physician, as it can signal a serious underlying disorder.

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So Why Am I Bleeding If I’m Taking The Active Pills And Not Placebo

  • You don’t consistency take your birth control pills
  • If this is the case, consider taking a pregnancy test if you have also been sexually active and aren’t using an alternative form of protection
  • You’ve been using this particular birth control pill for three months or less
  • Your body just needs time to adjust
  • You’re a smoker
  • Studies demonstrated that cigarette smoking can lower estrogen levels, impacting your hormonal balance
  • You may have an underlying STD
  • STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause irregular bleeding. Get tested!
  • You may need a different dose of estrogen or progestin in your birth control pill
  • Talk to your gynecologist about continuous irregular bleeding
  • 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.

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    Is It Really Ok To Not Have My Period

    One of the most common questions I hear from patients is whether or not it is safe to not have periods. Most women are so accustomed to their menstrual cycle that the notion of not having a monthly period feels strange and unnatural. However, the reality is that not having a period can be perfectly safe in certain situations.

    Its helpful to understand that the monthly bleeding that women experience while taking some forms of birth control, including the pill, patch or ringis not the same as a natural menstrual period. Natural menstruation occurs as a result of the changes in hormones that are triggered by ovulation, or the release of the egg from the ovary, and the buildup of the uterine lining in preparation for pregnancy. When pregnancy does not occur, the body reduces the amount of those hormones that it makes. This withdrawal of hormones causes your body to shed that lining as your monthly period.

    The hormones in the pill, patch and ring methods of birth control are similar to your bodys natural hormones. They stop ovulation from happening and prevent the uterus from building up a thick lining. When you take a week off from these methods , this mimics the natural withdrawal of those hormones that occurs during a menstrual cycle. This is considered a withdrawal bleed.

    If youre considering your birth control options or want to discuss your period, contact a Womens Healthcare Associates office to schedule an appointment.

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