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Im 45 and I take birth control continuously for several

Hi..im 45 and I take...
Hi..im 45 and I take birth control continuously for several years..a few days ago I started to have severe lower pelvic pain..i thought it was gas or diverticulitis ( which I have been diagnosed with) but tonight I had slight vaginal brown discharge.. just very concerned..i take high blood pills, birth control, allergy pills and I started to take magnesium pills also..
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/8/2017
Dr. J
Dr. J, Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 532
Experience: Gynecologist
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Hi there. Board-certified obgyn here. Preparing a response and will be with you shortly.

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It could have been that the pills are not working quite as well anymore at regulating your periods, and the pain was the cramping of your uterus as the lining shed (ie a period). Brown discharge indicates blood that has been sitting up there for a day or 2 before it makes its way out, so it could have been that. As you noted you have diverticulitis too so that could be a problem as well.

I think the best way to see what's going on is to let your doc take a look at you and check out your abdomen and do a pelvic exam to make sure all is well. There are all kinds of things that could be going on but it's worth taking a look.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
can diverticulitis be causing vaginal bleeding? What other problems could it be?

No, diverticulitis does not cause vaginal bleeding. But it can cause the pain you mentioned.

It could be that the pills are not working to regulate your periods as well as they used to (pretty common, happens as time goes on and our hormones change and the way we respond to the hormones we're taking changes too) and you shed your lining a little bit (ie a period). Birth control pills are protective against endometrial (lining of the uterus) cancer so I'm not concerned that there's anything wrong with your uterus. That being said, I always recommend to everyone that they make sure they're up to date on their pap (which is a screening test for cancer of the cervix) and have an exam to make sure all is well. Irregular periods are VERY common for women in their late 40s. (There is a reason why a hysterectomy is the most commonly performed surgery in the US.) The average age of menopause in this country is 51 and in the 5-10 years preceding, as your hormones start to gradually change and decline, it can make your periods VERY irregular (and they can change in any which way). It can also change your response to the hormones (in your case birth control pills) that you're taking.

It's impossible to know if this was just a one time thing (after all our hormones are affected by our sleep, what we eat, our stress, etc etc) and our hormones can in turn affect our cycles) or if this is something that will continue to be a problem.

Again, I do recommend getting up to date on your exam and making sure all is well. You can also talk to your doc, if you wish, about switching to a birth control method that may control your cycles better than what you're on. Again, impossible to know if this is the last time this happens, or if it will continue. Only time can tell.

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Dr. J
Dr. J, Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 532
Experience: Gynecologist
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