Earlier period or breakthrough bleeding?

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chickenkatsu
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Earlier period or breakthrough bleeding?

Unread postby chickenkatsu » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:01 pm

I'm on birth control pill since March 2018, and it's been very regular since then. Four day periods. My last period was last week. However, last night when I wiped there was enough blood that it looked like a light period. I asked around and sent an email to my doctor, and the consensus for most that this was just breakthrough bleeding. The nurse who responded to my email said to wait until this keeps recurring because it could be just my body adjusting to the time changes since I went out of state for a week in early January and had to change twice according to the time zone, but I've had two periods since then that came on time and no breakthrough bleeding until now. Tonight it got heavier, to the point where I need a regular size pad and not just panty liners. I also don't think I could be pregnant because the last time I had sex was a week before my last period. I'm really confused because this has never happened to me before on the pill. Does this situation sound familiar to anyone and what should I do about it?

[staff edit: I took out a request that was here to move this topic to the "Bodies" forum, and moved it!]

al
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Re: Earlier period or breakthrough bleeding?

Unread postby al » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:08 pm

Hi there chickenkatsu,

There are a few reasons why you might be experiencing breakthrough bleeding - things like stress, changes in diet or exercise, or slight differences in when you take your pill can affect the regularity of your period. If you're not experiencing any other concerning symptoms (cramping, pain in your vagina or vulva, etc), it probably isn't anything to worry about. If you're not already doing it, it can be helpful to track your cycles and symptoms to give you a clearer idea of what's normal for you. I've heard good things about apps like Clue and Flo, but a calendar and a pen work just fine too!
Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it. -Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully

chickenkatsu
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Re: Earlier period or breakthrough bleeding?

Unread postby chickenkatsu » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:19 am

Thank you, that helps a lot! I actually have been super stressed lately since I'm supposed to graduate this semester, and I recently started tracking my calories through an app to keep them down. I guess I just wasn't aware that I could have breakthrough bleeding while on the pill, since the whole reason I took them was to regulate it in the first place.

I've actually been using P tracker, which was how I was able to keep track of when I was intimate or had my last period! From my chart my period has been super regular until now. Can I ask how long breakthrough bleeding typically lasts? Thanks again.

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Re: Earlier period or breakthrough bleeding?

Unread postby Heather » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:29 am

It's really hard to say, because it varies. Some people will only have it for a single wipe on a single day of a cycle, others can have it the whole time they're using a given method or brand.

What you'll just want to do is keep your prescribing physician in the loop. If this keeps happening, what they can usually do that will solve it is just switch to a different formulation where breakthrough bleeding is less likely.
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chickenkatsu
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Re: Earlier period or breakthrough bleeding?

Unread postby chickenkatsu » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:04 pm

The bleeding lasted about five days and was heavy as my regular period. It's been a week and I've started bleeding again, and my period still isn't due for another two weeks! Is this normal for a lot of people? I've never had this problem on birth control and I'm a little confused with the nurse I messaged as she blew it off on me changing the time I take my pills, even though that was over a month before my current bleeding issue and my period was consistent before that.

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Re: Earlier period or breakthrough bleeding?

Unread postby Jacob » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:19 am

Hi chickenkatsu!

I'm sorry that the bleeding has been a little unexpected and random... I don't think it's anything to worry about in and of itself. It's common enough with changes in the time you take your pill that the nurse seemingly didn't see it as a health issue. This is probably why they seemed liked they were blowing it off.

I will say that when you are on birth control pills with a placebo week, what you experience aren't periods (the cyclical shedding of the uterus lining) per se but bleeding caused by the withdrawal of hormones on the placebo days.

It's not unusual for impacts of changing how/when our bodies get certain hormones or chemicals to happen over months, so it could still be having an influence.

That said it could be another birth control method could be more comfortable for you if this doesn't level out in the coming months and you want to try something else, there are plenty of options here: Birth Control Bingo!
"In between two tall mountains there's a place they call lonesome.
Don't see why they call it lonesome.
I'm never lonesome when I go there." Connie Converse - Talkin' Like You


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