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Author Topic: Withdrawal Bleed
copper86
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Hi;

I feel really awful posting another topic, but I need some advice.

As I've posted in other threads, I had intercourse 18 days ago (with the pill and withdrawal as protection); and the morning of the 14th day after the incident, I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. I usually have irregular or varying bleeds while on the pill (breakthrough bleeding is common - I can sometimes start the last day of my active pills). Last month, I started my bleed on a Monday (May 28th)- two days before I start my placebo pills. It's now been exactly a month since I had a bleed; but I was assuming this current cycle might be a bit longer, since I started so early last month.

If I don't start my bleed early, I usually get my bleed Thursday before 10 AM; or later in the afternoon. So far, it hasn't shown up yet; and though I know my body needs to feel the hormones' withdrawal before it can bleed, I'm pretty worried about this.

I know stress can mess up my cycle; and I've been really stressed this month. I cried a lot yesterday - would that have any effect? I read your "MIA or Dude: Where's My Period?" Article, as well; but since I'm on the pill, there are only a few causes of a missed period.

My doctor at university once told me that it's sometimes okay to miss a period while on combined contraceptives - is that true? I know I post here a lot and I'm sorry; but I feel as if I can't tell anyone else. I'm thinking of taking another pregnancy test if my bleed doesn't show up by tomorrow. I have also read your "Limit on Pregnancy Risk Questions" and respect that very much - I'm just wondering about other causes for a late bleed.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

[ 06-28-2012, 09:23 AM: Message edited by: copper86 ]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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For sure, periods can be skipped, even on the pill.

But I also wonder about the constant irregularity with bleeding you have had on the pill: how long have you been using it for? have you always used the same brand? If not, was it ever any different with other brands?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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copper86
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I took another test about an hour and a half ago and it was negative. When I went to pick up my pills, the pharmacist told me that a lot of stress could delay it by a few days; but that the tests I used are pretty accurate. I've never skipped a period on birth control before.

Yes, I've mostly had irregular periods with the pill. The first brand - TriCyclen-Lo, sometimes had me start five days earlier. I switched to Linessa; and it would either have me start a day early or a day late, usually (though there are still variances).

I'm really scared and tired of being scared, especially with two negatives. I still feel like my bleed will show up (and it once showed up later on a Thursday afternoon) but I'm getting exasperated. I've been on the pill for a little over 2 years. Thank you so much for your reply!

Edit: I'm sorry; but by "skipped" periods I meant "missed" (not skipping your placebo week and taking active pills instead so your period wouldn't come). My doctor said that periods could be missed while on the pill.

[ 06-28-2012, 12:10 PM: Message edited by: copper86 ]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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And when asking your healthcare providers about your irregularity, they have evaluated other reasons for it, too? Like for instance, low body weight, nutritional issues, etc?

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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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copper86
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No, they have never looked into nutrition or weight. I'm 23 and 112 pounds - I believe that is a normal weight for my height and age (I'm barely five foot two). I don't always eat a lot or as healthily as I should... But I thought the problem had been more with the pill brand I had been on (my first brand) and not me in general.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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That's actually still a pretty low weight, low enough that if you also undereat, I'd talk with your doctor about it. Because that certainly could be playing a part here.

Personally, I'd be interested to see what happened if you did, even for, say, one month, on your own, eat three healthy squares a day, especially if before you started the pill, you weren't regular, either.

If your weight stayed the same with that change in how you ate, then I think we could safely assume that is a normal healthy weight for you, and if things like that didn't change your periods/bleeds, that it was probably about the pill. But either way, changing those habits is better for you anyway, so seems worth a try!

--------------------
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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copper86
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I should probably go to a walk-in clinic and ask about that, then. And your idea about eating three square meals a day seems like a good idea, as well.

I was irregular when off the pill; but I never charted, but looking back at varying bleeds and them always "showing up" and surprising me, I'd say they were irregular. I'm just extremely tired of buying tests and freaking out about this. My pharmacist recommended a blood test too; but also said that the tests are accurate and for me to relax. At this point, that sounds like a foreign concept!

If I eat like that and my bleeds shift to be more regular, then the cause of all of this would've been my nutrition? How common is it for periods to be missed while on birth control? My previous doctor made it sound like university students had this issue often (though I had visited her during exam time; and she said most missed periods she got then were due to stress). Thank you so much!

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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Well, in order to menstruate, a certain amount of body fat is required, which is part of why menstruation doesn't happen until puberty starts. And for regular ovulation and menstruation, general health is always a factor.

For sure, our behaviors with stress -- more so than stress itself, it's really about how we do or don't manage it -- can have an impact on cycles, but no more so than general health.

Irregularity is also typical during the first five years of menstruating, but after that, things should get more regular for most people.

--------------------
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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copper86
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What you've said about body fat, ovulation, and menstruation make a lot of sense. Regardless of the pill, I have to eat better and drink more. When I'm stressed, I either don't eat or eat something unhealthy; or I just don't want to eat because I'm nervous.

I just started my bleed about a half hour ago; but it happened in an odd way. I was just standing in my kitchen and felt a really bad cramp - the kind I'd get before a bleed, but worse - and when I went to go to the bathroom, I saw a lot of blood. Was that painful cramp just a coincidence for me to feel at the time?

I want to thank you for bearing with me through all this, Heather. It helps to have someone really in the know to talk to. I hope you are doing well; and that you know that we appreciate everything you and the other staff and volunteers do on this site.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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