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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Early pill free week

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Author Topic: Early pill free week
lisa7122
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I had taken to pill packets back to back and after the second week of the second pack I got some heavy breakthrough bleeding. I then took my pill free week early as it would be more convienant to have the bleeding now. I have taken 5 weeks of pills non stop then my pill free week, would protection be compromised? I will start a new pack after the pill free week as normal. I did not want to run 3 packets together as I would get too much breakthrough bleeding.
Many THanks

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L Wilson

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Heather
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So, if you stop taking the pill in the middle of an active cycle, then, indeed, you can lose the pill's effectiveness.

It's really important not to ever shorten an active pill cycle, and to recognize you can really only mess with the pill so much when it comes to trying to have bleeds only happen when you want, you know?

So. What you'll want to do if you want to be as protected as possible is to use a backup method for now, and through the time that you start the NEXT pill pack and have been on that for seven days.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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lisa7122
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I had read a post on here when I goggled the topic which one of your volunteers said that it would be fine as long as you take no less than 21 active pills?
This is not something I would do at all, which is why I am concerned. The bleeding came whether I wanted it too or not.
Is there any serious medical effects of this?? As long as I use another method of contraception?

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L Wilson

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Heather
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Right, but unless I'm misunderstanding, in that second pack you did not take all 21 active pills. If I'm not understanding that correctly, please correct me.

There's no data so far to show that for people over 18, for studies as long as two years, last I checked, that taking pill packs back to back, so long as one has four withdrawal bleeds a year, poses any health risks the pill itself doesn't already pose. If you're under 18, though, or for periods of time longer than two years of doing this for those over, the answer is that we don't know yet.

Too, having breakthrough bleeding when you try and suppress menstruation is common, and not an indication of anything wrong with your body or a poor health effect. That's very typical and nothing known to suggest anything being wrong.

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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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lisa7122
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I have taken 35 active pills in a row (5 weeks worth) the post i am referring too the girl had taken 28 and taken an early pill free week. The volunteer replied and said as long as she had taken no less than 21 active pills protection would no be compromised?

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L Wilson

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Heather
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That means no less than 21 pills per pack, not across more than one pack.

I'm sorry if you misunderstood (though for future reference, if you ever want to change how you take any medication, including the pill, it's best to always check in with your prescribing physician first), or if you read information from a volunteer that wasn't correct or sound.

So, you took less than 21 pills for that second pack, thus the problem per en effectiveness standpoint. Make sense now?

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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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Heather
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This link may also be helpful now or for future reference: http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather_corinna/2010/04/01/a_very_important_note_on_menstrual_suppression

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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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lisa7122
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http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/27/t/019747/p/1.html
This is the post I had mentioned. I hope this clarifies my confusion. Sorry

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L Wilson

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lisa7122
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http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/27/t/019747/p/1.html
This is the post I had mentioned. I hope this clarifies my confusion. Sorry

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L Wilson

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Heather
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Thanks for that. I can see why you got the idea you did.

Next time around, instead of looking at a post that's several years old, just ask your own question, okay? Or at least look for answers from the last year?

Again, ideally the very best bet with any medication when not taking it as directed, though, is to ask the person who prescribes that medication first and foremost.

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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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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Do you feel like you understand the scoop with this now, including how long you need to back up so you don't have a big pregnancy risk?

If not, happy to keep explaining more.

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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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lisa7122
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Thank you for your help. I had a chat with a local pharmacist and I'm more content now. I'm starting a new pack tomorrow and I know to use condoms for the next 7 days.

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L Wilson

Posts: 6 | From: Belfast | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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