Why Am I Getting My Period on Birth Control?

blue and white plastic pack

When taking hormonal birth control pills, spotting is common. Especially when first starting the pill or changing from a different brand. If spotting persists or is heavy, talk to your doctor.

Spotting outside of the typical seven-day withdrawal bleed is called breakthrough bleeding. It doesn’t mean your pill isn’t working, but it does require close attention to your birth control schedule.

Irregular periods

Every woman’s menstrual cycle is different. Some women’s periods happen like clockwork, while others are hit-or-miss.

Occasionally, birth control pills can cause abnormal bleeding or missed periods. This is especially common right after you start taking them or switch to a new type of pill. However, this is usually nothing to worry about. If you notice any pain or excessive bleeding, contact your doctor right away.

The most common cause of irregular periods is changes in hormone levels. This is why girls going through puberty and women approaching menopause often have irregular periods. Birth control pills contain estrogen and progesterone hormones, which prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation and changing the lining of the uterus so that it’s harder for a fertilized egg to implant.

Birth control pills usually come in 28-day packs and consist of both active and placebo pills. The active pills that are taken first in the pack contain the hormones to prevent pregnancy, while the last seven pills are inactive placebos. Some women skip the placebo pills to save money or to make it easier to remember to take their medicine. However, this can cause a delay in your period and may result in breakthrough bleeding or spotting.

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Breakthrough bleeding while on birth control is normal, but it’s important to use a condom during this time to ensure you are protected from pregnancy. If the bleeding is heavy and continues to occur, talk to your OB GYN doctor, as you might need to change your birth control pill or your dosage.


If you’re taking the combined hormonal contraceptive pill*, you may have what’s called “breakthrough bleeding.” This occurs on the days when you don’t take your hormone-free pills (or “week-free” days). It doesn’t mean that the pill isn’t working or that it’s causing you to get pregnant. In fact, spotting is normal and will stop after 3 to 6 months of taking the pill. *Note: if you’re on a progestin-only minipill, your spotting will be different from the above.

Breakthrough bleeding is lighter than a regular menstrual period and usually happens in the same place as a regular period. It’s also common to have a light spotting when you first start the pill, especially if you were previously on a ring or patch.

A spotting problem doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting pregnant, but it’s worth mentioning to your health care provider. Heavy, prolonged spotting or a spotting pattern that changes over time could be signs of another medical issue like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or other infections. If you have these conditions, your doctor may recommend a different type of birth control or other methods of contraception. It’s important to take your pills at the same time every day to prevent breakthrough bleeding and ensure maximum pregnancy protection from the pill (when used properly). If you are unsure whether your spotting is normal, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Getting pregnant

When a woman gets a period while on birth control, it can be confusing. But it usually isn’t a big deal. The pill is very effective at preventing pregnancy, especially when it’s used correctly. However, it does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Therefore, if you have unprotected sex while on the pill, you should use emergency contraception right away.

If you’re new to birth control pills, it’s normal to have a lot of breakthrough bleeding in your first few months on the pills. This is because the pill makes the lining of your uterus thinner, so you get a period more often. In most cases, this is only a small amount of spotting and won’t last long.

Sometimes the pill can cause a very early period because of a drop in hormone levels. This is not a good thing because it means that your pill may not be protecting you from getting pregnant. If you experience this, speak with your GYN because it could be a sign that you need to change your type of birth control.

If you’ve recently had a baby, it’s a good idea to wait at least 18 months before trying for another pregnancy. This is because it takes time for your body to recover from the pregnancy and will give you a better chance of having a healthy pregnancy.

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Pregnancy test

It is very common to get a period while on birth control pills. This is because birth control pills do not prevent ovulation. Ovulation is when the uterus sheds its lining. This is necessary to prepare for a fertilized egg.

This process happens during the normal menstrual cycle and is controlled by hormones (estrogen and progesterone). Birth control pill only contains estrogen and not ovulation-controlling progestin. It is also not uncommon for women on combination pill to experience early periods because it only stimulates a very thin lining, compared to a monophasic pill, which has different doses of hormones during the cycle.

If you get a period while on birth control, it is important to continue taking the pills and use a back-up method if possible. You may also want to take a pregnancy test. A home pregnancy test can be more accurate if you wait a few days after you miss your period to take it. This is because the sensitivity of some pregnancy tests increases when the body has high levels of hCG, which are only present if the fertilized egg has implanted.

It is very rare to become pregnant from a regular menstrual bleeding, especially from an early one while on birth control pills. However, if you are very concerned about the possibility of becoming pregnant, you should speak to your doctor. They can arrange for a blood test that will measure your levels of hCG and provide more accurate results.

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