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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Spotting on the Ring?

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Author Topic: Spotting on the Ring?
HeyLife
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So I started the ring a few weeks ago, and I started keeping a journal about how I'm feeling, what's going on down there, etc. So far the only side-effects that bother me are hot flashes that last about a few minutes. I can handle that--but, I've also had some strange discharge, and I wonder if that's why it's there. I have pretty heavy discharge normally, clear or whitish, but lately it's been only a tiny bit, either pink or dark brown. Is this normal?
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atm1
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That sounds like some spotting, which is definitely normal with hormonal BC, whether it's the pill or the ring.

As long as you're not experiencing itching and it doesn't smell bad, there's nothing to worry about.

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HeyLife
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It smells almost sweet. It's very strange in my opinion =)

I went through two pantyliners just today. Is it normal to have like, a miniature period? I find it fascinating.

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atm1
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I'd still say it's not something to worry about. If it continues into your second cycle, you may want to check in with your prescribing doc.
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HeyLife
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I have another question about the ring. When you take it out you have a withdrawal bleed, correct? How's that different from a period? Does taking the ring out make you have the "period" or does it happen anyway>
I had a mini-period for the whole last week with the ring in. I took the ring out tonight. Is that normal, and what should I expect now?
Also, I'm out of town and forgot to bring my packet for disposal. I just wrapped it in toilet paper and threw it away. That's okay, right?

Thanks.

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HeyLife
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It's occurred to me that the "mini-period" might have been my actual period, since I started the ring the 4th day of my period last month. Now that it's out, the flow has gotten heavier. I'm not sure what should be happening and what will be happening, or anything.
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atm1
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They way you threw it out should be fine.

This may be your withdrawal bleed. The difference between a period and a withdrawal bleed is that a period is the natural shedding of the lining your uterus builds up, whereas a withdrawal bleed is a similar bleed triggered by the artificial drop in hormones in your body.

If your bleeding continues to be a bit irregular after another month your two, you might want to check in with your health car provider. There's nothing to be concerned about right now, though.

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HeyLife
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Also, exactly how does the ring protect against pregnancy during the week of my period, when it's out? I thought it was that the hormones were still enough in my bloodstream that they continue to work, but they do drop when I take the ring out, right?
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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It protects after pregnancy during that week because of the hormones from the active ring before, and the hormones you'll put back in with the NEXT active ring.

In other words, just like what our hormones do per natural cycles when we're NOT using a method -- create times of fertility and times of infertility -- the same goes for hormonal methods. Make sense?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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