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Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN, Nurse Practitioner
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Experience:  Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
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pill form..spotting..I started bleeding and it still hasnt stopped

Resolved Question:

I'm 37 years old and have been on the pill form 6 years now. There have been times when I would get some very light, rust colored spotting for a couple of days during the regular pill week, but this is really odd. It's been 1 1/2 weeks since I started bleeding and it still hasn't stopped. It started at the end of my 2nd week of active pills with very rusty colored blood and very spotty. After two days it went into a full on bright red heavy period and went on being heavy through my 3rd week of active pills and it is still fairly heavy and bright red now after just starting my placebos yesterday. Even when I'm on the placebo week, the bleeding doesn't usually start until 2 days after I start the placebos and then it's bright red and heavy for 2-3 days and the the last day or two it's really light and rusty again. It's been 12 days now I've been bleeding whereas I usually bleed for 5-6 days. I always take my pills within the same hour every day and never miss any. No other meds either.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN replied 7 years ago.



Thank you for writing in today. Almost every woman sometime in her life will have some irregular bleeding. Breakthrough bleeding can also occur when a woman is on the pill, even if she's been on the pill for a number of years. Breakthrough bleeding is usually related to hormonal imbalance. Hormones can be easily influenced by stress, illness, or even travel. There are any number of things that can cause a woman to become irregular. At this point, you should see your Ob Gyn provider. He/she will want to do an exam to rule out other possible problems. After your exam, may want you to take some additional hormone for a few days to stop this breakthrough/irregular bleeding. Once it stops, you may be able to restart your pills again and have your cycles return to normal. If continues beyond this and you continue to have irregular bleeding, in addition to additional workup, your provider may want to consider changing your brand of birth control; however, for now, this may just be some isolated irregular bleeding. I hope this helps. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please let me know. Lisa

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Even with all this irregular bleeding, are my pills still working? If I'm taking them as usual, do I need to worry about the possibility of getting pregnant? I did just join a gym about a month ago and have been working out about 5 days a week whereas before I wasn't really doing much of anything at all. Could this be what is behind the irregularity?
Expert:  Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN replied 7 years ago.
Yes, the change in your lifestyle, particularly working out frequently, can cause some irregularity. You are not likely to get pregnant. Keep taking your pills. As I mentioned, you should see your provider, you may need a shot or a few days of hormones to get the bleeding to stop. Hopefully, you won't have any more problems, as your body adjusts to the lifestyle change (exercise). Take care. Lisa
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