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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Pill fun,

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Author Topic: Pill fun,
bigbywolf
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Hey guys! I'm obviously super new here, but I thought I'd explain my situation so I can get some answers.
Since around December of 2013, I have been on AVA 20ed. This is the combined pill and an incredibly popular choice in New Zealand. It's a 21 packet with 7 placebos, but you can skip up to two placebo sessions and still be safe and healthy. I was advised by my doctor to skip two at a time, since there was no reason not to. However, all times I have had breakthrough bleeding halfway or towards the end of the second pack, and have gone onto the placebos early (for my body, this is the only way to stop the breakthrough bleed). This time around, I stopped four pills short of the second pack ON PURPOSE so I didn't bleed first week back at school. The only thing is, it is day three and there is no withdrawal bleed in sight. I have had more than 21 days of consistent, active pill taking, and have sex weekly. No condom is used as this is a long term relationship, but my boyfriend does pull out anyway to be extra safe. I'm not particularly worried, but I was wondering if a) someone could explain why my body can't (or couldn't? I don't know!) handle not bleeding through the duration of three packets, and why now I have no withdrawal bleed when my breakthrough bleeds are quite heavy. Thanks. :-)

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Welcome to the boards. [Smile]

Spotting, or having a withdrawal bleed anyway, at any given time, is something common when people use the pill to try and suppress periods. It doesn't happen for everyone, but it will happen at least every now and then for most, and for some, it may always happen.

This isn't about the body not being able to handle something. Rather, it's about the fact that while one of the ways the pill works is to keep the uterine lining thin, it does usually still need to shed itself sometimes, and will find a way to do that. In a word, it's actually more about your body simply and most likely doing what it needs to to keep you healthy.

If what you'd like is to do what will make it most likely you do not have spotting, and have withdrawal bleeds only during or right around the placebo week, then what you really want to do is just take your pill as directed, including taking the placebo week every time.

Just to also be clear, if you want your pill to be effective birth control, you HAVE to always take the active pills as directed and not ever shorten the active pill time and thus, skip active pills or take them out of order.

So, also, since it sounds like the pill is the only method of BC you use and it seems like you may not have taken it correctly AND are very late with your withdrawal bleed, I'd suggest doing a pregnancy test just to be sure that's not what is going on.

--------------------
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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bigbywolf
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But I am fairly sure I have taken it as directed. My doctor stated that so long as I am on the active pill for more than 21 days and for less than 63 days, and as long as I take the placebo pills for less than seven days, my doctor states that this is fine. I take it at 8am every single day, and every time that I went onto my placebo pills it was for only five days, and within the allocated time that my doctor specified.
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bigbywolf
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This specific time I was on the active pill for 39 days uninterrupted. The length that I may take before having bad breakthrough bleeding is always over 21 days, and the length between starting on active pills and getting breakthrough bleeding is getting longer (which I assume is a result of being on bc for extended time). On my prescription for my pills, it states to only take the lactose (sugar) pills a every third packet only as directed, but as stated before I spoke to my doctor about when it is ok to let myself take the placebo to stop the breakthrough bleeding and she stated the 21-63 day bracket. I wouldn't do something to jeopardise my health or safety. With this information, is there still any way pregnancy could be an issue?
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bigbywolf
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This specific time I was on the active pill for 39 days uninterrupted. The length that I may take before having bad breakthrough bleeding is always over 21 days, and the length between starting on active pills and getting breakthrough bleeding is getting longer (which I assume is a result of being on bc for extended time). On my prescription for my pills, it states to only take the lactose (sugar) pills a every third packet only as directed, but as stated before I spoke to my doctor about when it is ok to let myself take the placebo to stop the breakthrough bleeding and she stated the 21-63 day bracket. I wouldn't do something to jeopardise my health or safety. With this information, is there still any way pregnancy could be an issue?
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Karybu
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Pregnancy is always a possibility when you're having the kinds of sex that can result in pregnancy - contraception reduces that risk considerably but it is never zero. So, I'd second Heather's suggestion of taking a pregnancy test, especially with the way you have been taking your pill. Looking at the information for your specific pill brand, I'm not seeing any suggestion that it is all right to take a placebo week any time within the 21-63 day bracket, but if that is what your doctor has suggested, then it would be sound to double check with them.

--------------------
"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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bigbywolf
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I too have done my research on my pill brand - this site, though incredible and heaven sent for a lot of youth, has not been my only source. I have discussed Ava 20 ed with my health care nurse at school, and my own doctor. The double suggestion of a pregnancy test is frankly terrifying. I'm going to my doctor tomorrow for a blood pressure test, and I'll recount all of this to her and see if she can help out. Here's hoping I don't have an anxiety attack and pass out in the next 24 hours. Thank you for your quick replies. Wish me luck.
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Karybu
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I'm sorry you're feeling so scared about this, but it's good you have the opportunity to discuss this with your doctor tomorrow. And by all means, her advice regarding your pill is the best source of information.

While you're waiting for your appointment, you might find some of the strategies listed here to be useful in managing your worry: Self-care a la carte.

--------------------
"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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bigbywolf
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Had the start of the withdrawal bleed an hour or so after your reply haha. Big reliefs. Still went to doctors, my particular nurse wasn't there but she's going to phone me when she has a moment. If anyone is interested, I can post what she says.
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bigbywolf
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Checked in with my doc, she said the "at least 21 active days rule" is a fine, safe one to follow. *RELIEF*. Thanks you guys for talking this stuff out with me. :-)
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Yep, again, you just do not ever want to shorten that active pill period.

If I said that based on misunderstanding you (when you said you stopped four pills short of the second pack I thought you meant active pills) and confused you, my apologies.

--------------------
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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bigbywolf
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It was four ACTIVE pils I wasn't taking. I had just not skipped any active pills before going on that break, if that makes any sense (probably doesn't). I had gone from the first packet of active pills straight onto the second pack without taking the placebo pills between those two, which meant I had more than the necessary 21 days of active pill taking :-)
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Heather
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It does now. Again, sorry for my misunderstanding.

--------------------
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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bigbywolf
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You're more than forgiven heather. :-) you're just trying to create a safe space for people and trying to help us all out as best as you and your team can. Thank you so much for being useful, accesible, and helping out so much and asking for so little in return. I hugely admire you and the work that you do, your leading the type of future I'd love.
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