Womens Health

Are low dose (20 mcg) pills less effective?

I am taking the birth control pill, Alesse®--it is a 20 mcg low dose pill and I am using it for birth control. However, I have heard people say that these lower dose pills are more "accident prone" in terms of failure than the 35 mcg pills.

Is this true, or do all BC pills have pretty much the same effectiveness? I'm 20 and don't want to get pregnant!!

The 20 mcg dose is as effective as the 35 mcg dose. The lower dose does give you more of a chance of breakthrough bleeding. You are still protected from pregnancy but more likely to spot.

If you try them and don't have any breakthrough spotting, then you should do just fine and would not be more likely to get pregnant.

When you're on the pill (5 full months) and you have a period on time, should you worry if it is scanty and lighter than your others on the pill, or is this normal? I have not missed any pills and take them at the same time each and every day.

Scanty or light periods on the pill are common and shouldn't cause worry. Sometimes you skip periods altogether.

Stopped pills because spotting, now no withdrawal bleeding

I wrote a while ago about being on continuous Ortho Novum ® 1/35 with no break, and having spotting. My doctor took me off the pills for a week for a withdrawal bleed. It's been four days with no pills and NO bleeding. Is this normal? (I have a history of ovarian cancer with one ovary remaining)

Most of the time you have some withdrawal spotting but not always. Since you have been on continuous pill therapy, the lining of the endometrium is probably very atrophic (thin with little tissue).

There was enough thinness to spot but now that you are off the pills, there is not tissue left to slough and the lining is starting to get more stable under your own body's estrogen. You will probably need to be off the pills for a month or so to have a normal cycle.

Table of Contents
1. Pill and bleeding issues
2. Pill withdrawal bleeding
3. Pregnant and bleeding
4. Pregnant and withdrawal bleeding
5. Missed pills and spotting
6. BBT as pill backup?
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