It is not uncommon for women to experience a heavy period on birth control in the first month. This birth control includes birth control pills, implants, rings, and injections. Getting a period in the middle of a pill pack is quite common with the use of birth control: And while you may experience some mild symptoms when this occurs, if the symptoms get worse, it can be a sign of something more serious.
Can you get your period if you take the pill?
If you bleed while taking the pill, it is not due to your monthly period. It is due to a kind of bleeding that happens when you take a combination of contraceptives that contain progesterone and estrogen. This bleeding is known as breakthrough bleeding. So, the period on birth control during active pills is normal.
What is breakthrough bleeding?
Breakthrough bleeding while taking birth control is quite normal. It is a type of vaginal bleeding which is confused sometimes with menstruation. However, breakthrough bleeding is bleeding which occurs when a woman has her monthly period or when she is pregnant.
It can also occur in the first 3 months after you start taking birth control pills. You may also notice continuous bleeding after starting birth control pills or slight bleeding when you miss a dose.
What is breakthrough bleeding like?
Breakthrough bleeding also refers to abnormal or mid-cycle bleeding in women using contraceptives. This bleeding, which is commonly called spotting, is usually mild.
What are the reasons for bleeding while on birth control?
There are several reasons for bleeding while on birth control. Some of them include:
Hormonal contraceptives are one of the most common causes of breakthrough bleeding. This occurs when a different contraceptive method is used than the one used before.
But certain hormonal contraceptives can cause breakthrough bleeding. Hormonal contraceptives containing levonorgestrel and Ethinyl estradiol lengthen the time between menstrual periods. In other words, when you take these contraceptives, you can have your period every twelve weeks.
Other hormonal birth control methods can cause your periods to stop completely while the drug takes effect. And this can cause breakthrough bleeding.
In summary, you can suffer breakthrough bleeding if:
- You forget or stop taking the pill;
- You take medication while on the pill;
- You suffer from persistent symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting that make it difficult for your body to absorb hormones.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are quite popular because they are highly effective. This type of contraceptive uses a device that helps prevent pregnancy and can remain effective for years.
There are two types of IUDs: hormonal and copper. Hormonal IUDs, release a hormone that is called progestin to prevent pregnancy.
Although both prevent pregnancy, they can affect your regular menstrual cycle and this alteration can cause breakthrough bleeding. This bleeding can occur in the first twelve weeks after the insertion of the intrauterine device.
Breakthrough bleeding can be a symptom of certain conditions or infections, including pelvic inflammatory disease and sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.
And since infections are accompanied by other symptoms, it is wise to see your doctor immediately if you suffer from other symptoms along with breakthrough bleeding.
During pregnancy, the cervix becomes tender. This sensitivity means that the cervix is prone to irritation especially during sexual intercourse or undergoing internal examinations and this can cause breakthrough bleeding.
Got my period a week early on the pill – What to do?
If your period bleeding is heavy enough to fill 1 pad or tampon every hour for 2 to 3 hours in a row, or if you are feeling lightheaded and dizzy, it is recommended to see your doctor or visit urgent care to make sure there is not any serious issue is going on.
How long does breakthrough bleeding last?
Typically, breakthrough bleeding can last about 8 to 12 weeks. But by week 12, it has completely stopped. During this time, it is recommended that you continue to take birth control pills. The only time you may need to stop taking pills or you may need to take different pills is when breakthrough bleeding persists after 12 weeks.
But don’t change your birth control method without consulting your doctor first.