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Author Topic: Strange withdrawal bleed
dorey56
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Hello again. So I have my withdrawal bleed right now but it's lighter than usual. Not as light as spotting, there is bleeding that's bright red, and was dark red in the beginning, but lighter than usual. I've had cramping as well that has been quite uncomfortable but has stopped now. I thought it was going to be a heavy one because I cramped yesterday morning quite a bit and bled completely through a tampon in 2 hours. This is the end of the second day of the bleed and I'm just confused as to what could have made it so much lighter? Other than the risk I had close to 4 months ago, I haven't had any sexual contact (unless it's possible to do it in your sleep and not know it!). I just want to know what the cause could be? Couldn't be decidual bleeding could it?
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Karybu
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Lighter withdrawal bleeds can happen for pretty much the same reasons lighter periods do: illness, stress, changes in diet or weight or sleep schedules, more exercise, all sorts of things. And sometimes there's no obvious reason at all. Just because you're on the pill doesn't mean that your bleeds won't ever vary a bit; the pill creates an artificial cycle but it doesn't make your body immune to the influences of all those things I listed above.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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dorey56
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Oh okay. So I shouldn't assume it's somehow I'm some crazy way decidual bleeding? And I really want to know, would bleeding in pregnancy even heavy enough to use up multiple pads an tampons?
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Robin Lee
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If bleeding that heavy happened during pregnancy, it would be cause for alarm.

Our bodies are variable, and as Karybu said there are lots of nonconcerning reasons for a lighter than usual withdrawal bleed.

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Robin

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Karybu
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As a general rule, if it shows up when you expect a withdrawal bleed, feels like a withdrawal bleed, and looks pretty much like a withdrawal bleed (and some variation in all of the above is normal, remember) then a withdrawal bleed is what it is.

We've said before many times that pregnancy is not possible for you. Bleeding during pregnancy does happen and it can range from spotting to heavier bleeding, but you are not pregnant, and there's no reason to think that what you're experiencing now is anything other than your withdrawal bleed.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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dorey56
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Okay thanks so much for the info! And I do usually go by that general rule about if it looks and feels like it and comes at the same time, but can you explain what a variation of that is? Like can it be a big variation and still be normal?
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Karybu
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The kind of variation you need to be concerned about would be something like expecting your period but having only very light spotting for a day, for example. If the flow is just a bit lighter or heavier than usual, or it lasts a day longer or is a day or two shorter, that kind of thing? That's not cause for concern. Ultimately though, you know your own body best, so there is a certain amount of going with your gut feeling with this sort of thing.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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dorey56
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Okay do since I'm on my third day and it's usually only 5 that's normal? I guess I don't really know how to recognize my gut feelings here since I have to ask what's normal [Frown]
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dorey56
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Also today it seems I'm bleeding a little more than yesterday, and I just passed what looked like a blood clot that was dark red..maybe those happen typically and I dont notice, but what does that mean? Also can you differentiate between bleeding and spotting for me?
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Robin Lee
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Having clots of blood and even tissue is pretty common with menstural bleeding; less so when someone is on birth control because the lining is generally thinner, but it can still happen.

It's also not abnormal for the amount of flow to change from day to day.

Spotting is generally a little bit of blood that may come out off and on but isn't continuous bleeding.

The withdrawal bleed you're describing sounds typical enough, even if it is different from what you usually experience. Remember: even with hormonal birth control our bodies aren't machines; they won't do things the exactly the same way every single time.

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Robin

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dorey56
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So you're saying spotting wouldn't be enough to fill more than one or two tampons or pads? I'm sorry I'm still having trouble differentiating.
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Robin Lee
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That's what I'm saying. Spotting would be seeing spots of blood on your underwear.

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Robin

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