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Nurse Milli, RN
Nurse Milli, RN, Nurse (RN)
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Experience:  20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
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i got off of my period 8 days ago (last Monday),

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i got off of my period 8 days ago (last Monday), and has sex with my boyfriend on Tuesday (the next day) and he went inside of me. 3 days later (that friday) i accidentally took my birth control 12 hours late. and ever since i have had a dark brown discharge, one drop of bright red blood, and now it is a lighter tan color. what could this be?
Hi there and thank you for the question. I am a Registered Nurse and will be happy to help you today.

Given the circumstances, you could possibly be pregnant or you could be having break through bleeding/spotting as some people do who take BC pills. Taking the pills late will not guarantee pregnancy but it can't be ruled out 100% either - especially since you were around the ovulation time when you had the sexual encounter that you were describing. If there is anyway you can speak with your Gynecologist for a possible exam, that would be ideal. He/She may advise you to stop your pills in case you are pregnant.
Nurse Milli, RN, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4139
Experience: 20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
Nurse Milli, RN and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you! but this bleeding/spotting has never happened to me before. i have taken my birth control a few hours late before but not 12 hours..i usually take it right on time everyday.. iam not sure what it is or what to do /: i have been looking on the internet but there are tons of different answers. it seems to be lightening up and is now tan..

Break through bleeding is the most common cause for this. Basically you had a break in the level of hormones your body was used to getting and it's almost like your body started to have a period (when you start your period, your hormones drop like they would if you stopped taking your pills)..make sense? So, this is the MOST likely cause but the accidental pregnancy can't be ruled out either (less likely but I still have to mention that as a possibility).
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay. so should i just wait and see if i miss my next period? and whatever this is, its normal for it to last around 4 or so days?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
She has not replied in 2 days.

My answers are for educational purposes only. Remember please, that we do not get paid if you do not click 'accept' / give positive ratings!


I agree completely with the above answer but would ad that you should take a home pregnancy test today and again In a few days. If these are negative you can take comfort in this. If positive you should contact your OBGYN and stop the pills immediately. It is highly unlikely that you got pregnant from the most recent encounter but people CAN get pregnant on birth control pills so the possibility of a pregnancy from a prior encounter, even with pills taken correctly, is there, but remote.


If there is no more bleeding and no more pain and the tests are negative you can simply wait for your next period.


Any acute pain in the abdomen, especially if accompanied by bleeding, should be evaluated immediately as this could represent an ectopic pregnancy, HIGHLY UNLIKELY AND NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE WITH NEGATIVE HOME PREGNANCY TESTS, but theoretically possible.


Odds are WAY in your favor that this is simply breakthrough bleeding as described above, but adding a couple of home pregnancy tests will go a long way to making sure this is all that is going on.


I am standing by if you have further questions for me.





Customer: replied 3 years ago.

if i took a test today wouldnt it be too early ? the earliest i thought a test could tell was six days before your missed period? i am not due for a period until around the 26th or so.. and also i am taking my birth control pills right on time again but had unprotected sex yesterday also..could that effect anything?

honestly i understand your concern and you are right, taking the test today would not help IF a pregnancy were to result from the interaction you had with your boyfriend a few days ago. missing one pill for a few hours is not suddenly going to make you fertile.


my point is that even taking the pills correctly there is a failure rate of about 1% so taking the test still makes sense given your slight bleeding episode.


as the first expert explained almost certainly this was harmless breakthrough bleeding.


i am approaching this from the perspective of an ER doctor... we ALWAYS want to rule out the most concerning possible diagnosis, which would be an undetected pregnancy with bleeding.


does this make sense?


as to the recent sexual encounter this does not impact my answer.


standing by if you have further questions.





Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes i is this just all in my head then? should i take a test or no because it is unlikely? and if so when should i take it then?

even if you had not missed your pill by twelve hours i would check a pregnancy test. take one in the morning, the first morning urine is the most accurate.


and it's not 'all in your head'.... obviously you had real bleeding mid cycle.... but it is, almost certainly, nothing to worry about, though i completely understand your anxiety over this issue.


placing a call to your prescribing physician's nurse would also be advisable. you might be more reassured by talking to your own nurse/doctor.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

take the test tomorrow morning or wait until a week before my next period?

I think you should take it tomorrow morning. When negative and without symptoms you can safely wait for your next period.





Customer: replied 3 years ago.

alright...thank you!

you are most welcome.


if this has been helpful please remember to leave positive feedback.


be well

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I am satisfied with my answers, i would just like a variety of opinions from different people.. i can't stop thinking about it and i don't know why...?


what type of birth control pill were you taking?

how long have you been on it?


Dr. Pfeiffer Ob/Gyn

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

sprintec, and not sure.. a year and a half? maybe two?


and you were 12 hours late taking one pill.

did you miss any pills at all?

when you had intercourse, what week (of the pill) did this happen?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i didnt miss any pills at all but i took one pill 12 hours late and thats what happened. and im pretty sure it was the end of the first week?


Personally I wouldn't worry about it.

Perfect use of the pill is the same time each day, but most women take the pill each day...very few take it the same time.

Extremely unlikely you are pregnant from this.

I would continue your pill as normal and if you miss your period at the end of your next pack, take a pregnancy test.



Dr. Pfeiffer

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

why cant i stop thinking about it then? /:

That's a personal question that I can't answer for you.

Chances are you are not going to stop thinking about it until 1) you have a period or 2) you have a negative pregnancy test.

The soonest you can get a pregnancy test that is reliable is 11 days after sex and it MUST be a blood test.

I don't recommend taking a urine pregnancy test until you miss your period (if you do).


Dr. Pfeiffer

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ugh /:

its like i do but dont.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
same as i said earlier.


Thanks for using Just Answer. I agree with Dr. Pfeiffer. The odds of being pregnant are extremely remote. All you can do is wait until after Christmas and if you don't get your period take a pregnancy test.


Being a little anxious is understandable, but you really don't have a lot to be worried about. Being a few hours late when you take the oral contraceptive faithfully is not that big a deal. Skipping pills altogether is though. Birth control pills have an excellent success record when taken daily as prescribed. Failure rate is under 1%. That leaves very little to worry about.


IMPORTANT INFO: I hope this finds you well. Please use REPLY button to keep talking, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then SUBMIT, because this is how I get credit for my time answering you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces
does not give me credit and reflects negatively on me as an expert even though my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups free after rating.



Best regards,




Customer: replied 3 years ago.

when im hungry and eat i seem to get full really fast and i feel bloated sometimes and i am gassy.. am i thinking too hard and making this happen? ya know what i mean?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
what about the symptoms i just said?
The pain that you indicate is likely GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). This can cause the symptoms of nausea, bloating, etc.

Try to eat smaller meals (6-8 per day) and avoid white flour and complex carbs that take more work to process. The smaller meals should make a noticeable difference.


most likely this is due to hormones or perhaps even illness.

yes, I think you are over thinking this.

Dr. Pfeiffer

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so those are not pregnancy symptoms?

no. not necessarily.

we typically don't see women with pregnancy symptoms like nausea, vomiting, bloating, breast tenderness until 6-10 weeks or so.

Dr. Pfeiffer

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i dont have those symptoms..the symptoms im having are gassiness, having to go #2 a lot more than normal, after i eat i feel fatter (like bloated), and a little bit of cramping/stomach aches?


that could be a simple GI virus....or it can be due to a gall bladder problem as well.

Dr. Pfeiffer

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

and dry mouth also..

usually from dehydration and some cough or nasal decongestant medications.

Dr. Pfeiffer

The stomach issues as well as dry mouth can be caused by stress which you are obviously experiencing as a result of worrying about being possibly pregnant. This stress will cause all of the symptoms you describe as it causes more stomach acid to be produced which can be very irritating to tissues in the body and can result in GERD if the stress is not reduced. When did these symptoms begin? Do you still have your gallbladder or was it removed?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i still have it and i am not sure wednesday, thursday.. which was when i was ovulating i think?

If this pattern continues then it can become a concern but since this has a recent onset it is most likely caused by fluctuating hormone levels and lots of stress as you indicated. I think that once this concern over being pregnant passes the other symptoms will subside without any need for medical treatment. If they do not subside then would be the time to investigate them further. I understand your situation must be very stressful but you need to try your best not to obsess and stress about it as you can cause much more damage to your body. Stress causes all kinds of problems in the body. So as hard as it may be just try to take some deep breaths and relax.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no chance at all of being pregnant?

The chance of you being pregnant based on many years of research of exactly what you describe happening is less and 1/2 of 1%. So in my book that is close enough to say there is no chance you are pregnant.
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