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Your Period, on Birth Control: What's Normal? 9 FAQs
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If you"re worried that your duration is out of whack, also though you"re on birth control, for heaven"s sake, you"ve involved the ideal place. The reality is that periods on birth control are anything however "normal." You"re pretty a lot guaranteed to have actually transforms to your menstrual periods when you"re on birth regulate, though they work out dvery own over time.

You are watching: Why is my period longer on birth control

The manipulation of the normal menstrual cycle is why you have the right to usage birth manage to delay or skip your period. But we digress.

Here are 9 of the peak concerns we get on this topic. Watch out: some answers might blow your mind!

*Editor"s note: If you have irregular bleeding or spotting however you"re NOT on birth manage, then you must ask your doctor about it.

Number 1: Is it normal to bleed at all while on birth manage pills?

The answer is yes; scientists designed the pill so you"d bleed throughout the placebo week. This was the one function of combined dental contraceptives (birth control pills) that researchers let remajor unadjusted over the years.

That shelp, you will certainly most likely have unpredictable bleeding patterns throughout the first few months of taking any kind of birth regulate approach. The National Institutes of Health states that irconstant bleeding have the right to take place when you take hormonal birth manage like birth regulate pills or IUDs.

Here are 3 ways to define just how unpredictable durations deserve to be on birth control pills:

You may have actually your duration on birth control during energetic pills (the time when, technically, you shouldn"t be bleeding).

You may have a missed duration on birth manage. But that doesn"t immediately intend your pregnant.

This unpredictability is generally not forever before. As your body adjusts to birth manage pills, you"ll probably just have bleeding during the consistently booked programming (oops, during the placebo week) once you take those "sugar pills" that have actually no hormones in them. But if you"re unsure, it"s always a good idea to inspect via your health treatment provider around it.

But obtain this. It"s not medically necessary for you to have this booked week of bleeding. We"ll explain even more later.

Number 2: Can you acquire your duration on birth regulate during the active pill weeks?

Yup. Many certainly, you deserve to acquire your duration, or what may seem prefer your duration, when you"re not supposed to gain it. Unreserved bleeding that simply mirrors up is among the primary factors woguys speak utilizing a birth regulate technique. But before you decide to provide up, understand that unpredictable bleeding or spotting normally gets much better in a few months, depending on the strategy. Talk to your medical professional around what deserve to assist and also how to deal with the problem if it gets too bothersome.

Number 3: Is your duration on birth control a "real" period?

News flash: Your duration on birth control is not "genuine." Why carry out you have to lug out package of pantiliners or pads at a random time, you may ask? It"s all the pill"s fault, actually, yet no worries - your body will certainly change and also end up being friends shortly. Here"s the scientific research behind exactly how this all happens:

What"s a menstrual period, anyway?

Your period during a herbal menstrual cycle (sans the pill) happens because your uterus is shedding its inner lining.

The body"s natural procedure is to have actually your uterine lining end up being thicker in anticipation of fertilizing the egg (think grandparental fees that are hoping for grandkids). When it finds out no fertilization is happening, it sheds that lining.

No baby is coming to protect and nurture in tbelow, after all! The unfertilized egg, along with blood and tworry, passes via the vagina and also inevitably mirrors up on your tampons and pads. This whole process is controlled by the increase and fall of your body"s hormone levels, specifically estrogen and progesterone

How the pill "interrupts" things

Now when you"re on the pill, things are very different.

The pill delivers man-made hormones estrogen and also progestin to your body. It tells your mechanism don"t even bvarious other releasing an egg this month (a procedure dubbed ovulation). Ovulation is as soon as a mature egg, excellent and prepared to enhance with a perfect sperm, is released from the ovaries.

By avoiding ovulation, the pill helps to proccasion pregnancy prior to you end up via a fertilized egg. It likewise does some various other things to make the opportunity of pregnancy even more unmost likely, like thickening your cervical mucus, making it harder for those peskies sperm to obtain into your uterus.

So then, what"s the true identity of a "period" on birth control?

Get all set for this:

Your duration on birth regulate is sort of fake. It"s dubbed a "withdrawal period," not bereason your body is shedding the uterine lining however because your body is going via hormone withdrawal. Essentially, the lab-acquired hormones that the pill delivers are tbelow to speak to the shots, and also when you take the placebo pills, the active hormones begin to leave the premises. The readjust in hormone levels triggers your body to construct up or burned that lining, which outcomes in bleeding or spotting.

Your duration on birth manage is a withdrawal period supposed to mimic your organic one. It is not biologically vital.

So there you have actually it. That"s why your period on birth control looks and acts so various.

Number 4: Can you miss out on your duration on birth control?

For certain, you have the right to miss out on your duration on birth control. Global wellness experts say that different kinds of menstrual transforms, consisting of the lack of a duration, are expected once you"re on birth control. It is prevalent to miss your duration while making use of a hormonal birth regulate strategy.

Doctors say that once you use hormonal contraception unmuch less you have actually concerning symptoms, you need to not assume that the lack of bleeding by itself is a authorize of pregnancy. But if you"re worried, you have to ask your physician around it.

Number 5: When perform you obtain your period on birth control?

So the pill was designed so you"d gain your duration throughout the moment you take the placebo or "sugar" pills, additionally referred to as inenergetic pills. This generally happens for a week at the end of a conventional pill pack.

Though you may be meant to acquire a duration in the time of the placebo week, it does not always happen. You can be late or beforehand, or never watch it come at all. The UK National Health Service states that ircontinuous bleeding, choose bleeding in between periods, is common once you"re first founding to take birth manage.

That shelp, there are closely designed times you"re supposed to gain your duration while on birth manage. Note this varies depending on the type of birth manage that you take. The unified oral contraceptive pill (birth regulate pills that supply a mix of the hormones progesterone and also estrogen) are the many common.

Standard schedules for various kinds of birth regulate pills and also methods

Here is as soon as you"re intended to get your period, based upon method:

Combination birth manage pills:

Tbelow are various regimens of combicountry birth control pills, each with its own schedule. The regimen wright here you have 21 days of active pills and also then 7 days of inactive pills is most common. Here they are:

Traditional 7-day schedule (most-common): You would certainly have your duration during the fourth week of the month, for 7 days.

Classic 4-day schedule: You would have 24 energetic pills and then have your duration during the last 4 days of the fill.

Continuous or extended-cycle: You would take energetic pills for longer than 28 days.

Many have 84 days of energetic hormones complied with by 7 days of placebo, or 7 days of a low-dose hormone. You"d theoretically have a duration during the final week of a 3-month duration on such a schedule.

Birth control patch:

The birth control patch is designed to be used as soon as a week for 3 weeks and then removed for 7 days. It"s in that fourth week that you"d mean a menstrual period. You"d then continue the pattern of 3 weeks on the patch, 1 week off.

Birth regulate vaginal ring

The vaginal ring, like Annovera™, was likewise designed to be in place for 3 weeks and also then rerelocated for 1 week. It"s during the week without the ring once you"d expect to gain your duration. The complying with month, you"d go ago to the same schedule of 3 weeks via the ring and also 1 week without. Aget, the devices of the ring designed it so you can have a menstrual bleed.

Birth manage arm implant or IUD

With a long-acting birth control choice prefer the arm implant (like Nexplanon™) or an intrauterine gadget (IUD like Mirena™), your menstrual bleeding will certainly readjust. Tbelow is no reserved withdrawal bleeding, but.

With an arm implant, your menstrual bleeding may be longer or shorter, or you may not also have actually a duration. With an IUD, a lot of women have reduced menstrual bleeding and also might not gain their duration at all after some time.

Can you get pregnant on birth control

Your durations change when on birth manage. Generally, this is normal, and you may not also gain your period on birth regulate. If you"re worried or have actually other symptoms of pregnancy, you should ask your doctor.

Theoretically, eincredibly contraceptive technique has actually a faientice rate. If you take your unified birth manage pill continuously and also properly, which is called perfect use, your possibilities of obtaining pregnant in the initially year are 0.3%. With typical usage, definition you might miss out on multiple pills below and also tbelow, your chances of gaining pregnant go approximately 9%.

Here are what the Mayo Clinic claims are the many common indicators of beforehand pregnancy:

Missed period

Tender, swollen breasts


More frequent urination


Tright here are other, much less noticeable indicators of pregnancy:



Light spotting


Food aversions

Nasal congestion

Practically, yet, doctors say that it is widespread to not obtain a period when on birth regulate and also shouldn"t be cause for problem if there are no various other symptoms.

Number 6: How lengthy have to you have actually your period on birth control?

When you have a period on birth control, it have the right to be unpredictable. Strictly speaking, you have to obtain your period throughout the moment you"re taking placebo pills. But unscheduled bleeding, whether light spotting or hefty, happens once you"re on birth manage. Typically, the bothersome unpredictable bleeding will certainly solve itself after a couple of months.

But what if you have bleeding for a lengthy time external of the placebo window? In general, periods should last between 4 and also 8 days.

Let"s begin via specifying and also quantifying what we expect as soon as we describe bleeding or spotting. That"ll aid you identify it for yourself, and it"ll assist you if you decide to talk to your medical professional around it.

Definitions: So how carry out you define "bleeding"

It"s nice that researchers choose to specify points. Here"s what they suppose by spotting, bleeding, bleeding that"s also long, etc.

Bleeding: When we describe menstrual "bleeding," it means blood loss that needs you to wear sanitary protection choose a tampon, pad, or pantiliner. The period blood might look red in shade, as it"s most likely fresh blood.

Spotting: When we say "spotting," it means that the blood loss is so small that you wouldn"t need to wear any kind of form of sanitary defense - not also pantyliners. The spotting might look favor a brown discharge, the type that shows up towards the end of your duration as soon as the blood is "older" considering that it"s been tright here longer.

An episode of bleeding/spotting: You might have irregular spotting or bleeding in the time of the month on birth manage. Here"s exactly how you have the right to specify an "episode" of the spotting or bleeding: The episode is predelivered by 2 continual days without any spotting/bleeding and also adhered to up by 2 days straight without any spotting/bleeding.

Infrequent bleeding: Fewer than 3 bleeding or spotting episodes in 3 months

Prolonged bleeding: Here"s somepoint to note. If you"re reasoning your period on birth manage is going on as well lengthy, "prolonged" bleeding is characterized as any bleeding/spotting episode lasting even more than 2 weeks in 3 months.

Frequent bleeding: More than 5 bleeding or spotting episodes in 5 months.

Amenorrhea: This the medical term for as soon as you don"t have actually your period in 3 months.

Is your duration on birth manage, either bleeding or spotting, lasting too long? The Mayo Clinic has some excellent advice:

You need to continue taking the pill as directed to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

You have the right to track the breakthrough bleeding in a calendar.

If the breakthrough bleeding lasts more than 7 days in a row, or over a period of 3 months or more, ask your physician around it.

Number 7: What"s "normal" for a duration on birth control?

The UK National Health Service claims that irconsistent bleeding, like bleeding in between durations, is widespread once you first start to take hormonal contraception prefer birth manage pills, the patch, or the swarm (Depo-Provera™.

Here are some facts about bleeding irregularities as soon as you take birth regulate pills:

Overall, birth control pills need to decrease how much you bleed.

The good news is that ircontinual bleeding will certainly lessen or go ameans via time, generally after 3 months, when only 10-30% of woguys endure unscheduled bleeding.

It may be advantageous to explain what bothersome bleeding deserve to look prefer as soon as you"re on birth control:

Spotting (minimal blood loss that doesn"t call for sanitary protection)

Unreserved bleeding (also dubbed breakwith bleeding) once you"re bleeding between durations or while taking active pills

Brief periods

Number 8: What"s an "abnormal" period on birth control?

When the National Institutes of Health talks around vaginal bleeding, they say that women that take birth manage pills might suffer abnormal vaginal bleeding or breakwith bleeding. So are they saying that "abnormal" bleeding is "normal" as soon as you"re on the pill? Well, to a degree. They follow by saying that breakwith bleeding need to go ameans on its very own, however you should talk to your medical professional if you have actually pertains to.

Here are some symptoms of abnormal vaginal bleeding to watch for:

Bleeding or spotting in between periods (though this is widespread once taking birth regulate pills)

Bleeding after sex

Heavy periods, which can mean passing large clots, needing to adjust your pad/tampon in the night, soaking with your pad/tampon eincredibly hour for 2 to 3 hrs in a row

Bleeding for more days than usual or more than 7 days

It"s a good idea to store a record of these symptoms if you have them. You have to note the days when these symptoms begin and also finish and how many pads/tampons you"re soaking through if the bleeding is hefty. Jotting down these notes will certainly be a godsfinish once you look for clinical advice.

Number 9: Do you also require a menstrual period at all?

Here"s a fun fact: Monthly menstruation isn"t really important. In hunter-gatherer times, womales were having actually babies one after the other, and they breastfed for lengthy intervals, which suppresses ovulation and menstruation. Prehistorical woguys had around 50 menstruations, while modern-day womales have actually about 450 periods!

With a 28-day cycle (21 days of active pills, 7 days of placebo pills to enable for a withdrawal period), the standard birth manage pill has actually no basis in biology. The equipments of the pill made a decision to go this course to mimic the natural menstruation cycle to be even more acceptable to culture.

We understand what you"re thinking: Can I just take birth control pills and not have my duration at all? The answer is yes; you"re allowed to skip your durations using birth regulate pills. You need to ask your physician if you"re interested. We got all the indevelopment in our previous write-up on how to delay your period.

Recap: Your duration, on birth control

We get it: We"ve been taught that obtaining your period is a natural sign of femininity and also implies that everything is functioning typically for having babies. But the reality is that having your period on birth manage is not the same thing as organic menstruation. Instead, it"s a different beastern altogether.

*Editor"s Note: If you"re having actually irconsistent durations or spotting and you"re NOT taking birth regulate, then you have to follow up with your doctor.

You have to understand that:

Changes to your durations are typical when you"re taking birth control pills. Make sure you"re taking your pills as directed.

Unless you have actually other concerning symptoms, not having actually your duration while taking the placebo birth control pills does not instantly mean you"re pregnant. However, you have the right to inspect through your medical professional if you"re uncertain.

See more: When Does Moana Come Out On Blu Ray, Moana (Video)

Once you stop making use of birth control, then your periods have to go ago to normal, and also your possibilities of acquiring pregnant will return to normal.

As always, if you have bothersome ircontinual bleeding, don"t hesitate to ask your physician. Tright here might be a method to readjust your approach, or they deserve to let you recognize if it"s something that will go away anytime soon. It"s super beneficial to track what"s going so you deserve to current that to your doctor. Believe us, they prefer data, so record the days it"s happening and what it looks/feels favor. You"ve gained this!