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Dr. Pfeiffer
Dr. Pfeiffer, Doctor
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 5987
Experience:  Ob/Gyn Doctor
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I am 37 years old and am on birth control pills. For quite a

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I am 37 years old and am on birth control pills. For quite a long time I've been spotting between menstrul cycles. I talked to my doctor last year and she thought it was because I wasn't always taking my pill regulary. I've been consisently taking the pill at the same time but am still bleeding. It happens like clockwork 11-12 days after my last menstrul cycle and lasts about 3-4 days. It is heavier than spotting but lighter than a regular period. Should I be worried?
Dr. Pfeiffer :

hello

Dr. Pfeiffer :

have you tried different pills over this time frame of spotting?

Customer:

No, I have been on the same pill since my son's birth four years ago.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

which one is it..and you say quite a long time...how long are we talking about?

Customer:

Sprintec... I have noticed it for at least a year and a half but only started tracking exactly when it is happening for the past 6 months or so after talking to my doctor about taking the pill more regulary.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

ok..

Dr. Pfeiffer :

usually..the basic rule is..spotting early in the cycle (on a pill) the estrogen component isn't strong enough and late in the cycle the progesterone component isn't strong enough

Dr. Pfeiffer :

Now, it's unlikely to be a significant problem...

Dr. Pfeiffer :

but normally in this type of case I would start with making sure the timing was good..which it sounds like you have been doing that

Dr. Pfeiffer :

and next, an ultrasound to check for polyps and fibroids.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

possibly a biopsy of the uterine lining just to be sure this isn't anything to be concerned about.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

then...assuming the testing was all normal, try switching to a different pill that will control this bleeding.

Customer:

I am actually planning on going off the pill, my husband is getting a vasectomy. Should I see my doctor about it soon or should I see if it changes while off the pill? Since the bleeding is at a consistent time each month does that lower the probability that it is something more serious?

Dr. Pfeiffer :

yes..I think that's a safe assumption and is probably due to the pill just not working for you..

Dr. Pfeiffer :

because the bleeding can be a bit worse after stopping the pill (at least temporarily) I'd probably bring it up to your doctor and discuss waiting and seeing or proceeding with the testing.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

me personally...I'd probably at least get the ultrasound.

Customer:

Ok, thank you so much! I think I need to stop looking up info on the internet when I have a question, it gets me too paranoid. :) This is much more helpful!

Dr. Pfeiffer :

yes...you're welcome.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

it's normal as humans to think worst case...and when you start reading about it on the internet it can be very scarry.

Dr. Pfeiffer :

thank you

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