Womens Health

Shorter, lighter flow on the Pill (cont'd)

Pregnancy can occur while taking birth control pills but it is usually in the range of less than 1% of women who don't miss any pills. Missing pills raises the rate.

Checking a home pregnancy test will reassure you that the "no flow" represents little tissue formation rather than unintended pregnancy. Even though "no flow" on the pills is not thought to be harmful, women and physicians alike sometimes get "nervous" about that.

In that case, switching to a pill with slightly higher estrogen dose or lower progesterone dose/potency may help restore at least light flow.

Late with menses after coming off the pill

I started on Tri-Levlen® on April 1. (I had been having breakthrough bleeding for three months in a row.) I was unable to continue the pill because of side-effects. I discontinued it, with doctor's consent, ten days later on April 10. I had a three-day-long period beginning on the 11th. My normal cycle length is about 31 days.

I am now (May 18) about a week late. For the past four days I had been bloated(never a problem before) and I had lower abdominal and lower back cramping CONSTANTLY. Today the bloating is gone and I haven't had any cramping.

My question is: Should I get a home pregnancy test because I'm late, or is this common when a person stops the pill ten days into it, as I did?

It is common to have a withdrawal bleed (menses) any time you discontinue the pills after taking more than 2 or 3 pills.You have now been off the pills for 38 days and you may be pregnant if you have had unprotected intercourse.

The best way to check is the home pregnancy test. On the other hand, delayed ovulation (and thus delayed menses) coming off the pill is not uncommon for up to about 8 weeks.

All you can do if the home pregnancy test is negative is wait for awhile. Be sure to use other protection because you have no idea when you might ovulate.

Are expired pills still effective?

I was wondering how soon after the expiration date my birth control pills will lose their effectiveness? Would there be any unusual side effects to taking expired pills and does it matter the brand?

Only the pharmaceutical manufacturer knows for sure. They usually set expiration dates on all meds with quite a margin of safety so I expect they would at least have a margin of 6 months after expiration date but I honestly don't know and the manufacturers don't publish that info that I know of.

While no one could officially recommend taking pills that are expired, if they were less than 6 months old I don't think I'd throw them away.

Would there be any unusual side effects to taking expired bills and does it matter the brand?

I would guess the only side effect would be ineffectiveness and if anything, the lower dose pills would loose their effectiveness sooner.

Table of Contents
1. Break through bleeding
2. When to start the pill
3. Shorter cycle?
4. Expired pills ok?
5. Light period on Pill. Am I pregnant?
6. Postpone a period
7. Switching pills
8. Switching brands
9. Pill and individual variability
10. Is it necessary to switch?
11. Severity of symptoms
12. Big decisions
13. And switching back
14. Which pill? Undecided?
15. Heavy flow
16. Pill problem finale
17. Why cramps?
18. Exercise help cramps?
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