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Period Lasting Than Normal on Birth Control?
mari2gonz9 posted:
I have been on the Loestrin 23 Fe for about 4 years now. I have never had any trouble with my periods. About 3 months ago my periods became lighter lasting 2-3 days so i panicked and took a pregnancy coming out negative. This time i got my period on the regular day i was supposed to get it and it has been a whole week and i still have some bleeding. it varies from being dark in color to kind of redish no enough to stain a pad it is only present when i wipe. I was just wondering if this was normal while taking birth control. i have never had any problems like this since i started taking the pill so i started worrying it was something dangerous. i am really nervous in taking a pregnancy test because i really dont want to be pregnant that is why i am taking the birth control pill.. So should i worry about this or is it something normal to experience while on the pill?
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear mari2gonz9: Your question is an excellent one. Yes, It is very common for women using birth control pills (BCPs) to have a "period" which looks more like dark motor oil sludge than bright red menstrual bleeding. The synthetic progesterone in BCPs creates a thinner lining inside the uterus. This creates a decreased amount of flow--hence the shorter and lighter aspect. This more scant flow will appear as a dark brown color (due to increased contact with oxygen in the air), and thick consistency.

So why did this just suddenly happen? Generally, the longer a women uses a BCP the more likely it is that she will develop a thin lining inside the uterus. Actually this is good as a thin lining is a healthy lining. With your specific BCP, the manufacturer actually advertised it as a way to get lighter and lighter flows which might even disappear.

You did the right thing in checking a pregnancy test first. If you continue to have almost absent flows (and it bothers you) your GYN can switch you to a different brand and/or formula of BCP.