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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » How does your body know??

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Author Topic: How does your body know??
m_azul
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How does your body know to start a period or breakthrough bleed while on your first pack of birth control pills?

Is each pill different in amounts of medication in them?

And when starting, does your first period usually come a few days into the inactive pills?

My doctor I went to was awesome about answering my questions, I just didn't think of these while in her office.

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Robin Lee
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Hey Maria,

A breakthrough bleed is something that just happens, more like a side effect. A withdrawal bleed is what someone gets instead of a period; we call them different things because the hormonal reason for them is different.

A person's body knows to start the withdrawal bleed when the inactive pills start. That is when the hormones are "withdrawn" from the body which gives the uterus a chance to shed the lining it's built up over the month. The bleed won't always start on the first day of the inactive pills. It varies for different people. Also, sometimes a person just starting the pills won't have a withdrawal bleed.

Here's an article that might also help this make sense:

How do birth control pills really work, even during the placebo period?

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Robin

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m_azul
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Thank you Robin, that makes sense. So you can miss a period/withdrawal bleed entirely the first time? And can you have PMS symptoms the last week of your active pills? I feel like I'm having PMS symptoms, and I was actually supposed to start my period tomorrow without the pills.
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Robin Lee
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HI Maria,

Yes, some people do fidn they miss their withdrawal bleed. Not everyone experiences that though. A lot of people do also find that they have some premenstrual symptoms while on the pill. So, that's not unusual. [Smile]

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Robin

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m_azul
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Okie dokie. And that's good to know because I'm having them!

So, with never missing a period in the past 4-5 years, even during all my pregancy scare stress, it's pretty safe to say that if I miss this month, it's probably because of my pills. Right?

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Robin Lee
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Absolutely.

When do your inactive pills start?

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Robin

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m_azul
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This Sunday
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Robin Lee
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So you'll likely get your withdrawal bleed some time that week. Nice to know when it'll be, right?

Do you feel like you know more of how this works?

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Robin

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m_azul
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Yes, I do [Smile] you've helped a lot. I feel I understand what my pills do and why a lot more than I did.

And it is sooo nice to know when it will come! I've been so irregular, so it's great!

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m_azul
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Hey sorry I forgot to ask this earlier! I read that BCP's were supposed to thicken your mucus/discharge. I've had thick whitish-with yellow tint discharge, but I've had a lot of clear than I used to. Is that normal as well?
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m_azul
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Nevermind, it's kinda stopped now. I suppose discharges will change
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Robin Lee
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Discharges will change, yes. Discharge gets thicker for most people on birth control pills but how each individual person's body reacts will vary.

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Robin

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m_azul
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Alright, I suppose it will take time to adjust. But gosh my stomach looks so "full" :/ I guess it's just bloating.
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Robin Lee
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If you're uncomfortable, things like warm baths, heating pads, pain relievers, anti-bloating meds, etc, can help you feel more comfortable.

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Robin

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m_azul
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Thanks about the advice in the previous post, Robin.

So my period was supposed to come in the 19th, but was put off of course by starting BCPs. Today was my last active pill (took it a couple of hours ago), I went to the bathroom and had one thick brown clump as discharge. I was worried about not having a period, actually, because I'm like that for some reason. Since I had that clump, is that a good sign a period is on its way?! [Smile]

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Robin Lee
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You know...that's probably what that means, but I can't say for sure. You just took your last active pill, and withdrawal bleeds usually don't start until a day after that, so be patient with your body. [Smile]

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Robin

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m_azul
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I figured that discharge maybe meant my body was about ready for a period. Thank you, and I'll be patient [Smile]
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m_azul
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Hey! My period came right on time [Smile] I'm liking birth control pills now lol. Just a quick question though, I started my active pills (or new pack, rather) yesterday and I got up and did my usual routine and I went to the bathroom for the second time today to see a splotch of blood on my panties. Not pink/brown spotting, but dark red like the beginning of my period. What is this??? I had a lighter 6 day period and nothing was unusual. I've had stress with family issues, could this be why? I'm just confused because its pretty heavy for spotting.
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Heather
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When did your period/withdrawal bleed end?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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m_azul
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It began Sunday the 23rd, and continued through Friday the 28th like it should have. And now I have bleeding like I'm beginning a withdrawal bleed again? I have only taken one active pill so far, and I have not done any activities that could hurt any tissues down there or anything. I was just worried and all and wanted to ask because I wanted to go hang out with friends tonight and not stress the whole time.
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Heather
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I don't see any need to stress out while you're hanging out with your friends.

It might be that this is just a continuation of that withdrawal bleed, or spotting from your pill.

But if it's not accompanies by any big pain or anything else, I see no cause for concern.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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m_azul
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Okay thank you for all your help. It could be a continuation, because I started the pill later in my cycle which put off my period. Have a safe and happy new year!
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WesLuck
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Have a great 2013, and may everyone else too! [Smile]
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