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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » EXPERT ADVICE » Pregnancy Scares » Affect of Diarrhea on Birth Control Pills & Early Bleeding

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Author Topic: Affect of Diarrhea on Birth Control Pills & Early Bleeding
stellyobanana
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Hi,

I have been experiencing some spotting that is of a bright red/brown color that stains my panties, and is much noticable when I wipe. I am 3 pills away from my placebo pills. I am a very good pill-taker, where I never take my pills later than an hour or two. I am on Yaz and have been for a year.

On the 5th day of my pill pack, I had sex with my boyfriend. We had protected sex with a condom because we are both never comfortable without a condom on (my boyfriend also checks the condom for leaks everytime after doing the deed). In addition to that, we practice the withdrawal method as well -he holds the base of the condom before withdrawing, and releases on my chest (he does this manually without any help from me). We always wipe of the semen with toilet paper, and I wipe my fingers dry after each time. This time around, after I wiped my fingers, I touched the cheeks of my butt. I know there isn't a possible way that sperm is able to find its way from my bum to my vagina but this is the whole reason why I'm feeling nervous at the moment.

On the 14th day of my pill pack, I had contracted a stomach flu, whereby after taking my 13th pill, I had more than three loose stools in 24 hours, having diarrhea in which after 9 hours of taking the 13th pill, I excreted loose stools 5 times in an hour. I ate my 14th pill as per normal, but had to use the toilet again within 2 hours of consuming it. I had soft stools for the rest of the week but have gradually been getting harder but still soft until now.

On the 18th day of my pill pack (before consuming it), I had noticed a large patch of brownish red blood on my panties... I assumed this was just breakthrough bleeding probably from the diarrhea, and thought nothing of it. Yesterday (21st pill pack), I noticed bright red discharge when I wiped. Today, I am experiencing the same thing. I have three active pills left before my placebo pills. I never had sex since the 5th day of my pills pack, and have never missed or taken a pill late.

I am wondering if this could possibly be implantation bleeding?

I am very scared of getting pregnant as it is not acceptable in my family or my religion. Also, it is my biggest fear as I am graduating with a degree in 4 months time and am dreaming of landing a good job and start my life. No matter how many precautions I take to ensure that I do not fall pregnant, I still get nervous... after much research, being on birth control pills, using condoms and the withdrawal method is almost a foolproof way to not getting pregnant.

My question is, could I be pregnant given my circumstances?

Thank you in advance.. I am so scared.

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Heather
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Sounds like you might nit be feeling so okay about having this kind of sex right now, period? Why not take it off the table until it is all less scary for you?

All of what you are describing sounds most likely related to being ill and to a common side effect of hormonal methods sometimes, which is breakthrough bleeding.

Given you do not use your pill alone, but two other methods as well, I do not see anything here to present a realistic cause of concern about pregnancy ( beyond the fears you have voiced, which are real when it comes to how you are feeling, they just cannot create a pregnancy).

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September
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Welcome to Scarleteen, stellyo. If you are taking the pill as directed, and also always use condoms and have not had a condom failure, there is no reason to worry about pregnancy here.

Some spotting or breakthrough bleeding occasionally happens on the pill, and the stress of illness can also contribute to that.

--------------------
Johanna
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stellyobanana
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Dear Heather and September,

Thank you for your replies, it is comforting to be able to tell my worries to someone (other than my boyfriend -who doesn't seem to be worried either).

Should I continue to take my placebo pills or start a new pack straight a way? I read an article whereby if I've been ill and have breakthrough bleeding, my ovaries have been "woken up", hence I'd need to use the 7 day rule -to continuously take the pills for a full 7 days from the date of the last breakthrough bleeding to suppress them. I don't feel like this is necessary.

I should also mention that on the 15th day of my pill pack, I took one charcoal pill about 7 hours before I was due to take my pill. Could this have been a contribution as well? Also, my boyfriend had fingered me a day before my bleeding started again for the second time, and I've read that that may be a cause for breakthrough bleeding for pill users as well.

As a matter of interest, is there any other way I can protect myself further on top of taking birth control pills, using condoms and the withdrawal method? Besides abstinence of course. I have been having sex for almost two years now with my boyfriend, and for the first year, we solely relied on condoms and I had less fears. For some reason, as I began to use the pill, lately, I've been more nervous as to the pill failure (probably due to weird changes that it does to your body aka breakthrough bleeding).

Speaking of pill effects, can it effect the color of your nipples? They are appearing darker to me. I know that this is an early sign of pregnancy... but since I have not missed a single withdrawal bleed, I couldn't be pregnant right? So does the pill do this as well?

Thank you so much, guys, for being our shoulders to cry on. A great help, a great site.

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Heather
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You should just keep taking your pills as prescribed, as you thought.

Medications that interact with your pill, including supplements, are things pharmacists all know about, so you can always ask them. But the only supplement so far there's real data to show can present problems with the pill is St. John's Wort.

Honestly, using even just two effective methods properly gets you as close to 100% as it gets. More than that really is not going to add anything: there is just no getting to 100% (in one year, which is how effectiveness rates are figured) is you are going to be having the kind of sex that presents a risk of pregnancy.

Since you felt fine about just using condoms, it might help to remember your pill is more effective than they are: you have added a more effective method, so worrying about failures when using the condom AND the pill isn't sound. You are at less risk now, not more or the same.

But it might be, given all you first said here about the contexts around your sex life that you might feel best taking time away from these kinds of sex, too. I'd at least think about it. It's not like once we start having a given kind of sex with someone, we are in any way obligated to keep doing so, or to always do so, rather than sometimes stepping away for whatever reason.

You know, simply getting older changes a lot about breasts, as does finishing puberty. Nipple discoloration is not something associated with the pill (OR early pregnancy, btw). And given your fears, honestly, this may well not be a real change happening so much as you looking for tiny, tiny details and getting hung up on them. That happens when people are freaking out about pregnancy risks A LOT.

If you are concerned about pregnancy, still, I'd say that a test is your next step. That and perhaps asking for more support from your boyfriend, even if he isn't worried: you are, and this is about something you do together, so.

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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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Sam W
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Hi stellyobanana,

As far as whether or not to skip your placebos, I might give your pharmacist or doctor a call to ask their opinion on that front.

In terms of being more protected, using the buddy system (as you are already doing)is about as protected as you can be without abstaining. In fact, even just using two of the methods you mention would be really, really, effective. You can read more about why here: The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method


The BC pill is going to have different side effects depending on the person, so it's possible that if you're nipples are darker this might be the cause, but we can't say for certain.

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stellyobanana
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Hi Heather and Sam,

Thank you for your replies.

I have been having lesser sex than I have before. I used to have sex every weekend, but nowadays, due to busy work schedule (and probably my paranoia), we usually do it twice a month tops. My boyfriend understands, and he said that he would, too, understand if I decide to take a break from sex. However, as much as I fear being pregnant, I do like having sex, and I do like making my boyfriend happy. It's just an opportunity cost -I can't have my cake and eat it too.

I just want to make sure that I am doing all I can in protecting the future of the both of us. In your experience, do you use birth control pills and condoms? What has it been like for you? Any accidents?

I am still having spotting today... third day of continuous spotting. Would you have an opinion as to why my bleeding is continuous? I have had breakthrough bleeding before, but they haven't been continuous.

Also, would you happen to know how long it takes for an egg to be released from the ovary if a pill is late or ineffective? Would an egg be released immediately?

I have spare pregnancy tests stored in case of paranoia cases such like these. I however would like to save my last one for the day I am expecting my period (Saturday). I would probably take them on Sunday morning if there is still no sign then. Besides easing my feelings, based on your opinion only, is there any other reason why I should be taking a test?

Thank you again [Smile]

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Redskies
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We really couldn't tell you exactly why you're spotting for several days. September gave you some information about spotting and breakthrough bleeding above, and that still applies.

It is unlikely that an egg would be released as soon as someone missed a pill, because there are a number of related hormonal changes that need to happen before the body will ovulate. When someone misses pills, there's no way of predicting if and when they may ovulate. For more information, you can see this: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/how_do_birth_control_pills_really_work_even_during_the_placebo_period and On the Rag: A Guide to Menstruation

You used condoms and withdrawal as well as taking the pill, so your chance of pregnancy is low.

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stellyobanana
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Hi Redskies,

Thank you for your reply.

While September had mentioned that breakthrough bleeding is normal (duly noted) on the pill when combined with illness such like diarrhea, is CONTINUOUS bleeding, however, normal before a withdrawal bleed?

Today I will take my last active pill in around 8 hours. I was also exercising (30 minute intense circuit training) today and the bleeding was more visible afterwards.

Could the bleeding just be my uterine lining build up that is unable to be sustained by the pill hormones?

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stellyobanana
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Hi Redskies,

Thank you for your reply.

While September had mentioned that breakthrough bleeding is normal (duly noted) on the pill when combined with illness such like diarrhea, is CONTINUOUS bleeding, however, normal before a withdrawal bleed?

Today I will take my last active pill in around 8 hours. I was also exercising (30 minute intense circuit training) today and the bleeding was more visible afterwards.

Could the bleeding just be my uterine lining build up that is unable to be sustained by the pill hormones?

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Heather
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These are all questions your prescribing physician can answer for you. Since it sounds like you remain concerned about the pill working, period, why not make some time to see them to get more education about the medication ( your pill) they prescribe you?

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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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stellyobanana
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Hi all!

Since my last post, I had gotten a heavier bleeding as soon as I took my last active pill. I also took a pregnancy test and it came out negative. So, phewh!

Yesterday, after talking to my boyfriend about how sex made me feel, we decided to only have sex when I'm comfortable with it. And yesterday I did, and we had sex as per normal with a condom.

With that, I had another question for the board (I don't know if I should start this in a new topic -let me know if I have to). What is the white discharge contained in the condom prior to ejaculation? As mentioned in my previous posts, my boyfriend always ejaculates once he has withdrawn out of me, and take a minute to finish off manually. However, everytime we have sex, I notice white discharge in the condom. I was wondering what this discharge is, and if it is possible for it to leak out? And if it does seep out from the base of the condom, is it possible that this discharge is pre-cum, or could it be the condom lube's reaction to friction and air?

We use Durex's Close Fit.

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Heather
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That can be a few things, but is usually a combo of the lubricant on the condom getting frothed up and pre-ejaculate. And it is contained in the condom just like other fluids are: condoms are expressly designed to hold those fluids.

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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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stellyobanana
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Gotcha. Thanks Heather!

Lately I have been reading about how overweight and obese women are at higher risk of an ineffective birth control. Although I exercise regularly, and am comfortable with my weight, I have a BMI of 30.06 -which is obese.

That being said, what is your take on this? Having done some research, there are newer research that have proved that weight does not affect escaped ovulation. They had also mentioned that overweight women should consume higher dose birth control pills of 50 mg estrogen. I take Yaz, containing only 25 mg. Am I at risk?

Previous advice on consulting a pharmacist/doctor is not really available to me since in Malaysia, we do not need a prescription to get birth control pills. The pharmacists I buy my Yaz pills from are from regular pharmacies, from whichever mall/place I happen to be in... so I do not have a regular pharmacist.

Should I take a higher dosage birth control pill?

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Heather
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That issue with weight is expressly about the patch, and what the deal there is is that they did not do clinical trials with women over around 220 pounds, so it is a question mark, not something where anyone can say there are issues with women over that weight. I do not know who the "they" is you are referring to here per what you are suggesting about dosage, so that is not something I can address.

If you are concerned you are not buying the right birth control or dosage, then I would consult with a doctor. Even when a medication is sold over the counter, a healthcare provider can still advise patients about the right way for them to use it.

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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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stellyobanana
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Thanks, Heather! Sorry if I am of an annoyance to you with so many questions.

Well I am definitely not 220 pounds, I am 176 pounds. I will try to ask the pharmacist on duty when I buy my next pack.

So backtrack a bit with the condom... so even if I do see white fluid in the condom before ejaculation, there is no need to change it to a fresh condom?

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Sam W
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Nope, there's no need to change the condom until after ejaculation.
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stellyobanana
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Hello again everyone!

This time I am writing at my worst. This has to be most scared I've been of a pregnancy probability. It is day 3 into my placebo pills, meaning 3 out of 4 inactive pills, and still no sign of blood. All I'm seeing is white discharge.

For the past 3 months, I have been getting my withdrawal bleed on the second day of my pills. Before which, I have experienced bleeding commonly on the third day, and once or twice that I remember it arriving on the 4th day.

The last time we had sex was 3 weeks ago from today, and this morning, I took a pregnancy test with first morning urine, and it was negative. I have done nothing to compromise my protection as:
1) I was very careful in taking my pills - I take the at 11 pm, the latest 11 30 pm, but at most 11 pm.
2) I never missed a pill.
3) I never had vomiting/diarrhea
4) I didn't take any antibiotics
5) My boyfriend used a condom, withdrew way before ejaculation and released on my chest after a minute.

I did however, wipe the cum off my chest, and may have gotten some on my hands, after which I touched my panties with as I grabbed them after the deed. Realizing what I did, I hung my panties to let it "dry" and put it on an hour later.

As the previous post suggest, I was worried about the white substance in the condom prior to ejaculation.

I am also having some pain in my breasts. I notice, too, that I have been urinating more -but I cannot determine whether this is due to the cold weather.

My guess as to my missing period is in January, I got heavy bleeding accompanied by huge clots of which size scared me as it was so big. In February, due to my stomach flu (above), I had started bleeding a week before my placebo pills, and continued to bleed for another week. Perhaps since I have bled so much for the last two months, this month, my uterine lining is too thin.

My question is:
1) Have I tested too early? When should I test again?
2) Can I rule out pregnancy?
3) How "normal" do you think my late withdrawal bleed is?
4) What should I do if I don't get my bleed at all?

Please help.

P/S: I have talked to my boyfriend, and we have agreed to not have sex for a while now as my current emotional state is not suitable for it.

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stellyobanana
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Also, is the white discharge because of an increase in estrogen (when pregnancy occurs)?
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Molias
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Even when folks usually have a withdrawal bleed at the same time, it's not unusual for there to be some variation as to when it arrives. And it sounds like variation is actually normal for you based on what you've said here.

Three weeks is enough time for a pregnancy test to be accurate. If you want to re-test in a week or so if your withdrawal bleed doesn't show up, you could, but as long as you followed the instructions it's unlikely that the result would be inaccurate.

In terms of things like breast soreness, urination, etc. it's really not sound to treat these as signs of pregnancy, especially if you've had a negative test. Many of the things people think of as "pregnancy symptoms" have several other potential causes, and actual physical symptoms of pregnancy don't show up right at the beginning of pregnancy anyway. You may find this article helpful: Chicken Soup for the Pregnancy Symptom Freakout's Soul

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