Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Breakthrough Bleeding

Breakthrough bleeding (BTB) or spotting is the occasional, irregular bleeding/spotting you may experience while using a hormonal method of birth control. BTB is most common when you first start using a method (or when you switch brands, or regimens) and it usually stops after the first 2-6 months of use. Whether you experience BTB will depend on the brand, the method, and your body. [It depends on how fast or how slow your body metabolizes hormones, in particular estrogen.] Moreover, BTB can occur whether you're using birth control to prevent a pregnancy or to manage your period.

Like the fake period (withdrawal bleeding), BTB has nothing to do with your menstrual period. BTB is caused by the amount of hormones in birth control. Think of BTB as an "adjustment"--the bleeding/spotting occurs because the body is adjusting to the hormone dosages in the birth control method. [Of course, the BTB pattern will depend on the particular method you're using--e.g., expect a fair amount with some of the progestin-only methods.]

Practically, there are three important things you should remember about BTB:

It's not a sign that something is wrong; it's just a nuisance.

Think of it this way: if you're not using any hormonal birth control, and you start having irregular bleeding this might be a sign of a medical problem. However, while you're using, for example, the Pill, irregular bleeding is not a disease sign; it's an expected effect [granted, an inconvenient one] of the Pill hormones.

It does not cause any ill health effects.

If you experience BTB, do not stop using the Pill; it will only make it worse.

This is very important to remember, because BTB is one of the main reasons women stop taking the Pill. Instead, try to minimize the bleeding and shorten its duration. [Of course, you could just wait it out, but for most women this is impractical.] To do that, try to take the Pill at the same time each day. This minimizes the hormone fluctuations, and thus the BTB (it takes the body about 24 hours to eliminate the hormones in one pill). Here are a few other suggestions, from Dr. Miller (she's one of the principal researchers in the field of menstrual management), about what you can do if you experience BTB:



  • If you drink everyday, even a glass of wine, your body could be used to the alcohol, so if you stop drinking, your estrogen levels may drop and trigger spotting.

  • [A]t night, the pill does not have to compete with food in you stomach to be absorbed. So, if you are having persistent spotting you could try switching the time of day you take your pill.

  • Vitamin C, 1000 mg, taken with your pill can help increase estrogen absorption for some women, so you should try this if the spotting has gone on for more than five days. However, you should stop taking the high dose of Vitamin C either when the spotting stops, or after a week if the spotting hasn't stopped.

  • Grapefruit juice contains a chemical that slows estrogen metabolism if the pill is taken with a glass of juice. More estrogen may be available to your body to stop the spotting.



  • Update: Missy asks a very good question:

    What if you're on Depo.... Any tips for curbing the bleeding when you're on a progesterone-only form?


    Unfortunately, BTB is quite common with Depo-Provera. Here are a few things that help reduce/stop the BTB:


  • Taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), like ibuprofen, or aspirin for a few days. [Stop using it when the BTB stops, or after one week.]

  • A daily dose of conjugated estrogen (e.g., Premarin).

  • Adding a low-dose (20 microg) combination birth control pill for 1 to 3 months (e.g., Alesse, Loestrin).

    N.B. Please don't self-medicate; discuss this with your doctor first. [In case he/she is not familiar with the regimens, point them to this page, or print this one and bring it along with you on your visit.]


  • 109 Comments:

    At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What if you're on Depo, and the breakthrough bleeding isn't estrogen-triggered? I've been spotting every day for about a month now. I'm 6 months into it (getting my 3rd shot this week). Any tips for curbing the bleeding when you're on a progesterone-only form?

    Missy

     
    At 12:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have been spotting between my period for months and I am not on the pill. I have been to doctors who have run tests with no answers I am still bleeding what would be the cause and how do I stop it?

     
    At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Three months ago I switched to a generic brand of OrthoCyclen. I had been on the name brand version for the previous six years. I just started having some BTB two days after pain during sex. Now I have had BTB for three days now and in addition I have a yeast infection. Is this all coincidental or are these possibly related problems?

     
    At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I just started using the Nuvaring 2 weeks ago and am concerned about the BTB and spotting. Will it go away?

     
    At 4:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have been on Yasmin for the past 4 years. For the last year I have spotted midway threw my cycle. Recently the spotting has gotten worse. It is heavier and more frequent. When talking to my Dr.s they say nothing is wrong but my body may be used to the amount of hormones. I am just neverous that there may be something wrong other than the annoyance of breakthrough bleeding

     
    At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The Ring is the best!

     
    At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great site. Thanks for tha BTB advice on taking the pill at night and drinking OJ. I can't believe my OBGYN never mentioned that. Its so annoying having that ultra light period lingering around all the time. I'm going to try these tips as of now!

     
    At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I went off the Nuva Ring two months ago - had a regular period two weeks ago and now I am bleeding again. A LOT. Is this a result of going off the hormones or is there an underlying medical condition?
    Any insight would be great.
    I am 28 and trying to get pregnant.

     
    At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I recently took the morning after pill about a week ago and I had sex the next day and I experienced severe abdominal pain (I was doubled over and crying) I slept on a heating pad for a couple of nights and this morning I spotted a little after masturbation (clitoral stimulation only no insertion) and I had sex later that day and experienced spotting but no pain I was just wondering if anyone's experienced anything similar with the Plan B or should I be worried?

     
    At 1:10 AM, Blogger Tica927 said...

    I am on NuvaRing. I decided to start skipping my cycle since it's usually painful and uncomfortable. Three months into it, I started having BTB. First two weeks I used 1-2 liners. Third week it became a regular cycle. Planned Parenthood nurse told me to take it out, wait for the bleeding to stop, and start the birth control over. I'm now past the 4th week and this is the heaviest I've ever had it--it's insane! I'm changing out my feminine products every two hours, including at night. I'm scared about becoming anemic. I called the nurse and she's too busy to call me back or take the time to talk to me on the phone. HELP!

     
    At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I was on the nuvaring for almost 6 months and after experiencing some pain and lack of a sex drive I decided to stop using the nuvaring and just use condoms. Now it's been 4 weeks and I still haven't started my period, I'm wondering if this could be normal, and I should just wait a few more weeks before getting freaked out.

     
    At 4:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I
    HATE
    HORMONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
    At 5:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I started on the pill last month. I started it on the first day of my period like the doc said and it made my period last 9 days instead of the usual 5. I stopped bleeding for 2 weeks and now have been bleeding a little every day for about 2 weeks it is so aggravating! I dont know about the oj thing as I have always taken 1000 mg of vitamin c daily and drink oj for a long time now and it doesnt seem to matter. Aggh, hormones.

     
    At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    My question is is what do you do when you have breakthrough bleeding after you missed a pill? I did that once before and I bleed for almost a month until I started my next period.

     
    At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I was on Nuva Ring for over 2 years. I stopped it because I spotted for 5 weeks. now it has been months, that I am on nothing. I have spotted almost every day.

    ALL birth control suck. I spotted on Depo too by t he way). I dont want it anymore.

    I think there is a reasdon these stupid birth controls are making us spot. It is wrong what we are doing. So we dont get pregnant? Well, I am done. I am worried that after like 7 years of b.c. it is ruining my body.

    THis is making us all sick. I see blog after blog saying it.

    NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
    At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You say that there are no ill health effects but if the bleeding is heavy and continues for a while anemia is an issue along with fatigue.

     
    At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have been on the Depo for 6 months and have had bleeding. especially after sex. My doctor prescribed Premarin ( estrogen) and it works. He told me that Premarin normally stops the bleeding as my body needs more estrogen because the depo is only progesterone based.

     
    At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    premarin? Funny, my OB said to get on the same thing. Only I didnt. That was 8 months ago, still spotting and waiting not-so-passionatley for my body to get back to normal.

    Hey, you want to stay on this? ARE YOU ALL CRAZY? I was on it for a little over 2 years, stopped b/c of spotting and am still spotting. Hey where are the huge warning signs that too much estrogen is bad? WT heck??

     
    At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    the cause of spotting is supposedly the 'estrogen' levels are wrecking our womenly area. So, you tell me...get pregnant and have a baby or ruin your insides? Hmmm...tough call.

     
    At 4:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have just started to take an anti seizure medication and now all of the sudden 2 weeks before my period i now find myself running to the bathroom for a tampon, but it doesnt seem like just BTB... it seems like my feel period, cramps and all... what could this be? Is it just a medication interaction?

     
    At 8:30 PM, Blogger Jean said...

    if i'm skipping a period for the first time, when will the breakthrough bleeding or spotting most likely occur? would it be during when my normal period would be or later?

     
    At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I was off the pill for about 3 months. In the beginning of May I was recently put on Yaz but that did not help my period. Ever since I started taking that pill, I had light bleeding everyday for the whole month!! I spoke to my doctor and they put me on Yasmin b/c they said I might need a stronger prescription. I still have BTB. Should I call my doctor again or give this pill a chance?

     
    At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Im on Yaz and i just started taking it this month when i got my period. Before taking it i used to have a heavy flow, but now its very light compared. However my period has been going on for 8 days now,which is a bit strange for me. Is this normal? Should my period go for longer now that my flow is ligher as the whole lining still must shred? Please help!!

     
    At 1:39 PM, Anonymous art said...

    I've taken the pill in 7 consecutive weeks now, and for the first time I've been getting breakthrough bleeding - not too heavy, but enough to warrant a pad. I've been on Levlen ED for a few months and until now I haven't had any cause for concern. I'm going overseas in a week and I want to make sure I don't bleed during that time. I don't know whether to stop taking the pill now and start taking it again after a week or so, or to keep taking it until i return from overseas (in about a month). Will I experience breakthrough bleeding the entire time if I don't induce a withdrawal bleed now? Can i stop and start taking the pill at any time (noting of course that only taking it seven days in a row will protect me against pregnancy).

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

     
    At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    it's my first time taking microgen 30 and i missed two pills back to back, however i did take the first 7 pills. this is the 3rd day i am bleeding and it's just like a period, using pads per day, cramps, lower back ache. is this normal or should i consault my doc. could someone please, please help. my noyfrind ejac in me just hours before bleeding stated, could i get preg.

     
    At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Ok so heres the full story i was on Yaz for like 2 weeks and forgot to take my pills for like 5 days
    (i was on vaction) i then experienced BTB......me and my husband have had unprotected sex every day since then.....what i want to know is does the BTB count as a "period"?

     
    At 2:34 PM, Blogger Liz said...

    I just got the depo shot 7 days ago. I got it a week before my period was due....i have not experienced any breakthrough bleeding...is that common? It is strange not getting my period...should i be concerned

     
    At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i started on yax on june 15th, two weeks after my period and two months after I had my daughter. last friday i started spotting and then the next day it seemed like my period came on but i wasn't bleeding a lot only a little. now its been a week and usually me period and i'm still bleeding its been a week now and it has not stopped

     
    At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    For NuvaRing users....

    I first went on NuvaRing about a year ago, and had BTB for about half a week before and after I removed the ring. It went away after 2 months, and I had a perfectly normal, short, light flow period thereafter.

    My prescription ran out, and I went 2 months without the ring. I just recently went back, and am having to start the process all over again. Whatever you do, STAY ON THE RING! It works, I swear by it, and I promise the BTB will go away after 2-3 months. Its a pain in the ass at first, but totally worth it in the end. My partners generally don't even notice it.

     
    At 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ortho tri cyclen lo
    during the 3rd week of the 2nd pack of pills i skipped the last 2 days before the green placebo pills...
    and went straight onto the new pack.
    for the first 2 days i was in the clear and then on the 3rd day at night i started spotting.. its been 5 days and its bloody --i also have cramps and stomach pain.
    what do i do-- how do i get the bleeeding stop

     
    At 4:41 PM, Blogger olivia said...

    i have been on this pill for ages! recently because of circumstances i decided to stop my pill half we through the pack for my week break but i had sex the saturday morning i took a pill on the saturday but stopped the sunday am i covered? any ideas?

     
    At 5:24 PM, Blogger mira31 said...

    I've been on Alesse for 3 months now, and I begun spotting mid-cycle; at least I did't gain any weight yet...anyway I hate pills, I really like my 'natural' body; I feel like stop taking them, but I'm gonna give it a 6 months trial I guess

     
    At 2:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I just started using birth control. I've only been on it for a month. Almost every single day of the month, i had spotting. When i had sex, there was a heavy amount of blood. and that is making me wonder whats going on. i'm afraid to have sex, because thats really awkward. I dont know if this is normal or if it's something else.

     
    At 3:55 PM, Blogger lac said...

    i have been on the Depo for just over a month. Yhe first few weeks were fine but now im very very light stopping this has bn going on for nearly a month now my boyfriend is getting so annoyed at me....i dnt know what to do, its so annoying please help

     
    At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I started depo in july and had btb for the entire time , so I decided not to get another shot. When it was time the Dr. gave me camila an i still continued to spot. Now that I'm on loetrin 24 i hope to stop btb soon and was told if still spotting n the second week double up anit should stop. Do anyone think I hould stop quick?

     
    At 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I had so many health issues for a while... i started provera in june and had a lot of btb then I went onto yasmin in September. I still get on and off btb and its really worrying... i take the pill at the same time daily... am i doing anything wrong? suggestions?

     
    At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I take PROMETRIUM which has been great, second two weeks of the month--I cheat sometimes and take more right after a period till my own progresterone levels build back up again a few days into the new cycle. This time was different, instead of ovulation, I am bleeding like crazy, like a cut, I am wondering whether taking the Prometruim whenever I feel like I need it is messing things up??

     
    At 5:57 PM, Blogger ema said...

    Anon @ 8:01 AM,

    Unless you're anemic, there's nothing to worry about, medically, with occasional BTB. [Sure it's annoying and inconvenient, but not dangerous.]

    One option to consider -- use of an extended regimen. Since you're on Yasmin you could skip the placebo pills, and go to a new pack and do that for a few months in a row and see if that takes care of the BTB. Or you could try a different brand. Check with your Ob/Gyn, of course.

    Anon @ 7:00 AM,

    Why are you taking Prometrium?

     
    At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Why don't your doctors warn you that this may happen. Cos now ive got told that if i come off them it will be worse. Its like im stuck with it forever now.
    Im embarrassed to have sex or anything, but i think the hormones are kinda making me hornier. i was wondering if anyone has had a success story with the tips left on this website cos i am wishing to try them. Like the regular one, cos sometimes id take the pill at like 6 in the mornign adn others id take it at like 11. like today i ttok it at 11 and my btb was evn worse.
    This is sooooooo annoying, as if im not stressed enough already.
    Anyway goodluck to all of you. and i hopt the tips work

    Nancy

     
    At 6:45 PM, Blogger Adriana said...

    FYI--you can have breakthrough bleeding when you are not on the pill and it isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's more about consistency rather than symptom.

     
    At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've been taking BCP for over 25 years now and have gone through a variety of them with no problems. Last year I began having really bad headaches and my OB put me on Lybrel. I had no problems with it with the first year and half, but today I had my first EVER break through bleeding (at least that is what I think it is) and I've been unable to function normally. I'm usually very high energy and a great multi-tasker. I guess my question is....am I experiencing these things because of my BCP or am I possibly beginning menopause. How can you tell when you don't have a normal period? Thank you for your help and suggestions.

     
    At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have been on Yasmin for four years and recently lost weight and have been under a huge amount of stress.. I have break through bleeding when stressed it seems to get worse. But I too think my body has just gotten used to the amount of hormones or I should try taking it at a different time instead of night. Anyone else have problems with yasmin?

     
    At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I used Yasmin for 3 months without a break (no sugar pills), because of my HSC so I wouldn't get my period which was quite uncomfortable with cramps, tiredness and headaches. About 10 days ago I got BTB for several days and felt very uncomfortable like I was having a normal period. I thought I should stop taking Yasmin entirely and for the last few days I have had the worst period in my life and the clots are awful. Does anyone know if this is normal?

     
    At 3:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I started taking birth control a month ago for the first time ever and it made me bleed a pretty moderate flow constantly until the sugar pill week, which I had no bleeding at all during. I just started a new pack today and I'm worried I might bleed again. I've never ever had sex in my life, but I plan to in the next 2 weeks and I'm so worried that I'll be bloody! How embarrassing and gross! What are my chances of bleeding? If they are high I'm gonna stop taking these pills and just risk condoms.

     
    At 12:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I just started a pill, this is the first one I have ever taken and I have had the worlds longest period I have been going for 8 days and it just got heavier, I am normally very reular and never go for this long :S is this normal or BTB? or...? Should I see my doctor?

     
    At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have had the same problem with Yasmin. I have been on it for 2 years with no problems up till now- I recently lost a lot of weight and have experienced BTB for the last 2 weeks or so,it has gradually got heavier and is also made worse during sex.. I tend to run 3 packs together then have a break and a period...could this be the cause?

     
    At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ive been taking seasonales generic Quansense for like 9 years and this week ive had my first break through bleeding experience and still bleeding just lightly it comes and goes, could this be from being on it for so many years? i think im just going to stop taking it and go to condoms. any thoughts?

     
    At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've been on Lo/Ovral for a few years and decided to take a break from it last summer (because I wasn't having sex anyway). I never had any issues with it that I can remember. I met someone, so I recently started back on the same brand. I am in my second pack and I had my monthly on the 7th. It's still here, 12 days later. Very annoying. I couldn't wait any longer (I was hornier than ever---must be the hormones) and decided to try the tricks to make it go away. I only tried Advil, but it worked! At least for that night it did. Unfortunantly, BTB is back. If you want to try it for one night, here's what I did: I took around 600 milligrams every 4 hours until that night. Hope it works for you!

     
    At 3:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i stopped taking the pill after day 7 and had unprotected sex on the eighth. Then I had" breakthrouhg" bleeding following that, which lasted for 7 days (I didn't go back on the pill). i haven't had my real period yet (its due this week). could i be pregnant?

     
    At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Michelle said...

    some help please?
    i was taking yaz for about a year now and i didn't want to take it anymore so halfway through this pack i stopped taking it. i stopped wednesday and then i started getting light bleeding with cramps on friday, its now saturday and i still have the light bleeding and cramps. i'm wondering if this is normal or should i be worried? i hope this is normal and nothing is wrong, will it go away soon? i'm starting to get worried.

     
    At 3:37 AM, Blogger ema said...

    Anon @ 3:05 AM,

    Pregnancy id always a possibility if you have unprotected intercourse. If you are concerned, take a home pregnancy test and maybe use a different method of birth control if you're no longer satisfied with the Pill.

    Michelle,

    Yes, it's normal, nothing to be worried about. It's hard to predict exactly when the bleeding will stop but knowing that the bleeding is not harmful should help a bit. Also, OTC pain meds (like Ibuprofen) should help with the cramps.

     
    At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I had sex with my boyfriend on the 4th day of my menstruation and gosh I still bleed on our sexual contact, we had sex around 10pm and in the morning I take contraceptive pills that is around 1 pm and now 6 days after I have a light bleeding, I think this not spotting because it does made my short wet with blood, is it possible that this is a breakthrough bleeding or I am pregnant? Please give me some advice, I badly need it..Thank you

     
    At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Trisha said...

    I started the depo a while ago. For 2 months I didn't have a period. The 3rd month I started my monthly. I
    bled and bled and bled. FOR 19 DAYS STRAIGHT!!!!!! I went to the ER and the dr. said he couldn't do anything and I might have to deal with the bleeding a for maybe another month, but I wasn't anmeic so there wasn't any concern. Finally I went to my family doctor and he put me on a birth control pill called Apri and it stopped the bleeding.

     
    At 5:37 PM, Blogger Amber said...

    I have been on Yaz for about two years. About 2 or 3 months ago, my pharmasist gave the generic form of yaz which is gianvi. About a week ago, I started spotting with brown blood.. Not a lot. Today, its red. I'm getting a little nervous. Is this normal? I've herd other ladies say they have had spotting issues while switching from yaz to gianvi. Just want to know if it should be red.

     
    At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    im starting using pills first day of my period im still bleding 17days until now how can i stop the bleeding .. because im worried this the effect of the pills im using?

     
    At 3:04 PM, Blogger ema said...

    Amber,

    Yes, red is fine. Probably just a result of the switch to a different brand.

    Anon @ 11:15 AM,

    If you can tolerate the bleeding, just continue taking the Pill, finish this pack and start a new one. The bleeding is a nuisance side effect, not dangerous to your health (assuming, of course, you're not anemic).

    If you cannot put up with the bleeding, try this: Stop taking the Pill (make sure they're active pills) for 3 days, and then continue taking the pack until it's done and start a new one.

     
    At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi, I been on the depo shot for 5 years I last took my depo shot july 5th andd my doctor said to come back in 3 months. When I went back i had a couple of questions about changing my birth control...he talked to me about loestin...couldn't make uup my mind so he told me to come back in two weeks with an answer. He said ur supposed to take the depo shot every 3 months but its really 4 months....well two weeks later he called in a script for me and I started taking it on Sunday october 17 th...but I been brwon spotting for 2 weeks. I feel bloated tired I been burping like crazy and sick to my stomach...I have no real appitite but when I don't eat the nauseousness is worse...I took 3 pregnancy test and their all negative...this was happening even before I started taking loestrin and continuing after....what shall I do ...?

     
    At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    No ill effects? Seriously? Since I started Lo Seasonique on Aug. 22nd my husband and I have had sex 3 times, this is the end of October! Not the healthiest thing for a relationship. I've had constant break-thru bleeding and I've never missed a pill. Just to go off of it for 3 days to see if it will stop the bleeding. And I'm soaking thru a tampon AND pad about every hour. Can you say anemia? I was put on it for endometriosis but I'm ready to say open me up and forget this bc crap. Sorry, but this is very frustrating!

     
    At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I just tried skipping my bleeding for the first time with the triphasic pill(Ortho Tri-Cyclen). I took the first pack normal, skipped the placebo and started the next pack backwards. BTB started lightly at the end of the 2nd week of blue pills and increased to a heavy flow during the week of light blue pills. I am having a full menses at this point, cramps included. Should I continue with the pills like planned or stop taking them and let the menses happen without interferance from the pill?

     
    At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Mary said...

    Been on BC pill for 6 years...various different pills. I missed a pill about a week and a half ago and woke up in the middle of the night with bleeding (not spotting, closer to a light period flow). Freaking out! Any tips or advice.....

     
    At 3:59 PM, Blogger ema said...

    Anon @11:14 PM,

    It's probably just BTS, but if the other symptoms persist, go see your Ob/Gyn to have a blood test.

    Anon @ 10:37 AM,

    Continue taking the pills. Best to skip the placebo for the next pack as well. Maintaining a steady level of pill hormones should help with the bleeding.

    Mary,

    Did you make up the missed dose? Sometimes that can be the cause of BTB.

     
    At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I just started on the pill and took it for 12 days and experienced alot of BTB. I couldnt stand it anymore, so I abruptly stopped taking the pill alltogether. -It's been 3 days since that day when I abruptly stopped taking the pill, and i'm STILL bleeding. The bleeding isnt slowing down at all, and I have a romantic weekend planned in 6 days. IM SO FRUSTRATED! PLEASE HELP ME!

     
    At 2:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Im on Seasonique and this is my second month i have had no problem but was put on a antibiotic Nitrofurantoin for a UTI and i had a one day of spotting. Could that be the cause and could it affect how my birth control works?

     
    At 10:25 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

    I'm on Loestrin24 and have been since June of 2010. I'm currently on my 3rd week of pills and have been very strict on timing and taking a pill each day. I have been bleeding for about five days now, small amounts of dark brown blood. I plan on becoming sexually active very soon and am concerned about the pregnancy risk. Should I be concerned?

     
    At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Mischa said...

    I just started on Levlen ED seven days ago, with the start of my period. I bled heavily for six days (usually I'm heavy for two, light for three) and now I have continuing btb. I've been taking the pill at the same time everyday, but i just want to know if the btb will go away. It's my two year anniversary in four days and I don't want to have to put up with that. And I don't want to stop taking it now in case I have cramps and more bleeding due to the change. Should my btb stop?

     
    At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i have been on ortho lo for 2 months, and i bleed in the 3rd week so the doc changed me to cyclessa, and i did that for 3 months, and i started bleeding in the 3rd week. than they changed be to lutera. and i liked it, but the first month i was nauseas all the time. but now i am on my 3rd month with lutera and i have BTB. in my second week. im getting irratated with the process. i called planned parenthood and they said they would change me to something else. any suggestions, since i have been on bc for about 8months and nothing has really worked for me?

     
    At 4:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    please somebody help me!!!! i took the depo shot feb 8 2011 n now ive been bleeding since march 7-8 around the time i usually get my period. now it march 23 n im still spotting what can make this go away completely just for a couple days at least. pleaseeee somebody help me does the grapefruit juice actually work and the ibeprofen? would aleve work also?

     
    At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    A month ago I was on yasmin and I decided to shorten my pill break by 3 days. I also took 2 pills in one day 2 days in a row, I've now been spotting for a month now and have changed pills to cerazette as I'm thinking about having the implant. I've been on cerazette for 4 days and spotting has only got worse. Is this because I took to many pills? How long will it take for everything to go back to normal? Will going back on yasmin help?

     
    At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I had the depo provera injection about six weeks ago and started getting spotting after sex 9 days ago. It has been getting heavier since and I have had some cramping. Is there anything I can do to stop this??

     
    At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    its normal to btb quite often on depo. ive been on it for about 2 years. usually get a bit of btb but sometimes go months without any. started btb end of january but was due a shot in feb so thought that would stop it, it didnt and now its been over 2 months of btb every day. going to doctors tomorrow because they said they can put me on some tablets to hopefully stop it *fingers crossed*

     
    At 1:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I started taking beyaz in feb. for a short time after my abortion and never bled before or after so I stopped. I spotted for one day at the end of feb which is around time of my usuall cycle and then nothing I only used one tampon???? It's now April and I have only spotted once after the abortion and beyaz I haven't really bled since and I have had sex nothing wrong down there I am just a lil nervous and need in sight, is this normal???

     
    At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi, i've been on microgynom for about 2 and a half years now. never experienced btb when i first went on it. had my last period as clockwork, then on sunday a week after my last period i started bleeding. i'm under the impression it's btb but it's not spotting and i'm having to use tampons etc. basically how long does btb generally last? cheers

     
    At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I was on the yaz and I really liked it but then they switched me to giavni (they didn't even ask, just automatically gave me the generic) and it was okay but now I'm in the 3rd month and having break through bleeding I still have like 12 active pills left. Does taking it with food make the problem better or worse?

     
    At 9:29 PM, Blogger Ruthann said...

    Okay, so I have been on Trinessa for a month now. I had what I thought was my period a week ago, but yesterday I started having cramps and bleeding again as though I were on my period. Is this considered BTB? My bleeding right now isn't very heavy. My bleeding a week ago lasted 8 days and was really heavy all 8 days. I wasn't sure if this is BTB or not and I'm getting worried.

     
    At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i am older was on pill for 5mth got tried of btb all the time so i stopped taking them went to different dr. she gave me different pills not geniric they male u bleed a lot more

     
    At 10:20 AM, Anonymous long term pill user said...

    I have been continuously on the pill for 12-13years (guee that makes me sound old!)I am 28 and in the last 6 months experienced spotting (generally around the time of ovulation but also sometimes other times like a couple of days after my period) should I be concerned?

    I am also thinking about having a baby next year and wonder how long it is likely to take to get my fertility back after such a long time on the pill. Should I go off the pill now? Or wait until I am ready for a baby?

     
    At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've been on NuvaRing for 3 years! I have only purposely skipped a period twice. The first time was a dream. The second time I skipped, I had breakthrough bleeding for about two weeks. The bleeding began two weeks after I put in the new ring. Not really sure why. Other than that, I would suggest nuvaring to EVERYONE! It truly is freedom from THE PILL!

     
    At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I started on Cezeratte just over a month ago, and since I started I have been spotting every day, its really annoying and getting me down, how can i prevent this? or help it?

     
    At 4:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've been taking the oral contraceptive elogen for about a year now. My body was reacting perfectly to the drug until a couple of months ago when i had mild blood during sex. i havent had sex since that time and im very nervous about it. i have stopped the pill that i was prescribed due to endometriosis. and this is my first period after stopping the pill. it seems unusually heavy. im very worried about this. please help!

     
    At 5:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Help! I got my first depo shot a month and a half ago, and 2 weeks ago I started spotting. It stopped for a few days then kept going. I need it to stop in two weeks because I'm going away on holiday with my bf and really don't want it there.

    But if I go to my doctor and go on the pill to stop the bleeding how long does it take to kick in and stop it?

     
    At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i was only on nuvaring for about a week and didnt like it. my legs were always cramping and lost my sex drive completely, so i stopped. well 2-3 days later i had the breakthrough bleeding and that lasted for 4 days and now here it is the 20th of july and i was supposed to be putting my second ring in on the 22nd, and im having cramping but no period. was the breakthrough bleeding considered my period or just coming off the hormones? and is it too soon to possibly be pregnant? i was only on the nuvaring for a week. and i started it June 24th. whats goin on with my body????

     
    At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ok i was on alesse for a year and recently ive been spotting and have btb for the past 2 weeks now, i started a new pill 4 days a go and its still bleeding, very brown, sometimes pink blood. im starting to get sick and naesuous from the changes. i just want this to do away

     
    At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    My name is Michelle and i have had btb on and off for the past 2 years its awful.You cant really ever have sex,unless you partner dosent mind a little blood im gonna try the vitamin c that people our talking about and see how that works.Ive been on norethidrone and Mirena iud which i spotted everyday for a year on and gained tons of weight on.

     
    At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The first time I started taking birth control I think I was 14. I took it to make my periods regular. But the problem was it made me bleed for 6 months NON STOP. I wanted to stop taking it, but my doc said " it sometimes takes time for your body to get used to" Well I have been on 5 different BC's since including; yaz, dp, some old school BC and the dp again, and I have had the same reaction to each one. I'm starting to think that birth control is just not for me. I am almost 20 and I'm so tired of birth control. I cant even have sex because I'm bleeding all the time and its pretty sad I think. Right now I'm on Ortho Cyclen and ever since I started it. Which was almost a month ago its been non stop bleeding for me. Should I stop taking it and stop trying new stuff and just stick with condoms? I can except the fact that I could get pregnant. I have been before and actually miscarried two weeks before i started the ortho. PLEASE HELP I don't know what to do and I'm about to through my next two months out the window.

     
    At 3:55 PM, Blogger Ms. Shin said...

    I've had breakthrough bleeding for 13 days now...sometimes its very heavy and sometimes it light...this is the first time I'm using bc so I suppose it is expected...my question is this...seeing as how i have been bleeding for so long should i skip the placebo pills (i'm suppose to start taking the placebo pills today)? How will I know the bleeding is my period and not the breakthrough bleeding?

     
    At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I was diagnosed by a doctor with this condition as it was called "Spotting" but I am positive that I am on no or was never on any contraceptive. I usually experience this problem when there is a lack of iron in my body, which is usually caused by heavy monthly bleeding, which has resulted from the condition of uterine fibroids.

    Someone should take the time to explore this other option, as when I take my iron during my menses this problem does not exists.

     
    At 4:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I started on Yaz a couple of days ago. I started it on the first day of my period, then had some light spotting and then my period stopped. Is this normal because I'm taking active tablets?

     
    At 12:23 PM, Blogger True North said...

    I had sex last week and the condom broke. Two days later I took 9 Apri pills hoping it would have the same effect of Plan B. I threw up like crazy and now I'm bleeding. My menses were supposed to start today. But I can't tell whether it's my period or breakthrough bleeding from the pill!

     
    At 5:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've been on Brenda for about a year now and it's awsome, never had any problems. Recently though I ended up skipping my period twice in a row and I'm getting spotting. It's been about 8 days now. It's really light but usually my period only goes for about 6 or 7 days. It's more annoying than anything else. Do you think it will stop soon?

     
    At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    some times BTB between periods is caused by ovulation

     
    At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I started Leven ed, I'm up to my 21st pill on a 28 pack. I was told by the pharisaic to start on the fist active pill and not the red section. My period lasted about 6 days, usually lasts about 3 days, 4 at the most. I've been spotting ever since. Most of the time it's been post period blood, but it's still quite a lot of it. I know this isn't normal, but is it something I should be worried about?
    Please HELP!!

     
    At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Learn proper grammar and writing mechanics.

    Thanks for posting your BC thoughts Romney... or is this one of the members of Congress who was on the birth control panel????

    Your experience definitely proves that we all spot because birth control is "wrong".

     
    At 2:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Ive been on depo since november, and I bled for 6 months straight. I see everyone saying what helps them with the btb, but most has not worked for me until my doctor had me use the patch along with the depo and guess what??? No more bleeding. I finally stopped ruining underwear....yay lol

     
    At 2:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I started depo in june 2012 i missed my while period in july. Thenwhen it got to august i startd my peruod on the 19th and im still on it til this day( thats 17 days) is this normal ? My next shot is due on the 26th should I go back and get it or not ?

     
    At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    A few days before I was scheduled to take my Depo shot I started spotting which turned heavier. After taking the shot it only got worse. I went to the hospital and was told everything was fine. For a month now I've been bleeding everyday. Sometimes I hurt so bad all I can do is cry, but I have to keep going. Can anyone tell me what I can do to stop the bleeding and the hurting because I don't know how much longer I can go on like this.

     
    At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It's probably better to use vitamins C pills, 1000 mg when u take ur pills..instead of oj...that is what doc said above..

     
    At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    can anyone answer this!!

    ive been bleeding since i started the pil a month ago which is normal ya but it made my withdrawal bleed very short (4 days) so im worried about ovulating earlier too since ive to wait 3 more days to start a new pack

     
    At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have been on the pill (trinessa) since I was 16 (I'm now 21). I rarely if ever have BTB, but this time I have had it for at least 2 weeks. It started a few days after my last period and it is getting severely annoying. Is there a way to get it to stop quickly? Would drinking some OJ help? I am 100% for the pill. I used to have 3.5 week long, heavy periods with one week off and it was miserable. I'm just worried that being on the pill for so long, my body will start rejecting it. I would rather not go back to those miseable periods. Do you think the BTB is a sign that my body is rejecting it or is it normal?

     
    At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I take Trinessa also. If your period was really irregular before taking trinessa, your body could still be trying to be irregular. It could take a couple months for the pill to work properly. I used to have 3.5 week long heavy periods with one week off. I started on Trinessa and it took a few days to get the bleeding to stop and I had BTB until my next period, which only lasted 7 to 8 days. Now I'm sitting on 5 to 6 day periods and I've been taking Trinessa for 5 yrs. Every once and a while I will get BTB, but it's just an annoyance now. Give the pill and your body time to work together. If you continue having BTB after a few months on the pill, ask your doctor. P.S. I sometimes get cramps when BTB, too.

     
    At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i just had abortion last week friday,my doctor told me to take yasmin on this friday,bt i still have slight bleeding until now.how long will i bleed like this.i'm taking yasmin already 4days now.Can anyone tell how long will i bleed,its really irratating.




     
    At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    No reason to worry. You may be one of the "few but LUCKY" that won't have the long term spotting.

     
    At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I switched from Beyaz to Microgestin FE 1/20 and experienced some side effects along the way to almost my third week of the first pack. I discovered having severe depression to a low sex drive and now..I been seeing spotting after feeling cramps. The spotting was semi-light with a pinkish hue, now it has some brown areas when I wipe. However, I've noticed it getting a bit heavier than I expected for it to be and the cramps are still present. It's light when I wake up, towards the afternoon it gets a bit heavier then slows and gets lighter then at around the time I go to bed it's not there, nor when I wipe! This is frustrating me and making me nervous that I might even contact my gyn tomorrow and see if I can change for the depression part but will consult about the odd spotting.

     
    At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    im taking birth control for my irregular and hurting period, but ive been taking it for a month and the doc said there will be light spotting for the begining, but ive had heavey flow all month and i dont know when its going to stop what is going on? what do i do?

     
    At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have had same promblem for several months. Its like im having my cycle all month! I heard from a friend about apple cyder vinager. 2 teaspoons in a glass of water daily. It helps shed the lining of uterus and gets your period back on track. Hope this helps.

     
    At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have been taking Lutera BC for about 9 months now. this month I started my period on the second to last day, of the second week. It was on a Tuesday when I started noticing light spotting. then by thurs/fri it was a heavier. through out the whole month so far I have been having a lot of unprotected sex. & he lets it go inside of me. even when I was spotting. I have been feeling off and moody, tender breats.. vould it just be the pill? what should I do?!

     
    At 5:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I had my daughter 6 months ago and have been on the Camila (progesterone only pill) since I had her. I had some BTB last month and did not have my regular period. I called my doctor and got put on the ortho tri cyclyn. Has anyone else dealt with this? If so how long after starting the new BC did you start your period? I'm freaking out thinking I may be pregnant even though I never missed a pill and always use other methods. Thanks in advance!

     
    At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'm 40 years old, on my 2nd month of Beyaz and started having a light period (that has lasted 15 days so far)… but sometimes heavy enough where I would need a tampon. So it wasn't just light spotting. the first month seemed fine and my period was nice and light (I usually have horrible cramps)… the second month I took one dose bout 8 hours late. I forgot to take it before bed and I took it right when I woke up. A day or two after the light period started and has not stopped. I have one more day til I get to the last 4 placebo pills. Ugh, do I need to have a 20 day period? And then what? Do I wait another month? Maybe I need another pill… when do I decide that? Also my father's side of the family has a history of strokes. I'm wondering if Beyaz is the wrong pill for me. Thanks for any input!

     
    At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    @Anonymous @12:31 - Abdominal cramping and heavy bleeding is pretty typical in the 24 hours after taking Plan B. Plan B basically gives you a really hard period, really fast - that's how it helps you not be pregnant. Ibuprofen and heating pads are totally helpful.

     
    At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Is it possible you can be pregnant while on pills?????

     

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