Before digging deep about spotting while on birth control pills and as well about the pregnancy, let’s understand about each individually. So, to begin with, what are birth control pills? Birth control pills or ‘The Pill’ is the medicine or a pill used to prevent or control pregnancy. Now, what is spotting? Spotting is a concern of irregular bleeding happening after using the birth control pills for 1 or 2 months. Now with that basic understanding, let’s move on to a detailed understanding about everything now.
Can Birth Control Pills Cause Spotting
Usually, regular periods are what is expected for everyone, but unlike the expectations, in reality many women face irregular menstrual cycles and also irregular bleeding. However, doctors at times prescribe birth control pills for women in different cases like to regularize periods, for controlling birth, etc.
There are many causes for spotting that include but may not be limited to;
- Hormone imbalance
- Hormone and menopause replacement therapy
- Thyroid problem
- Birth control pills, etc.
Now, to be more specific, birth control pills not only prevent pregnancy but also have a lot more to do. Breakthrough bleeding while on birth control pills is more commonly noticed with mini-pill, the progestin-only.
What Causes Spotting While On Birth Control Pills?
Spotting or breakthrough bleeding can happen in between periods for many women and can be due to various reasons. However, if spotting is occurring occasionally then there is no need to worry about but it is equally important to make a note of how frequently spotting is observed and how heavy is that happening.
The causes that are associated with sporadic spotting include but not limited to;
- Use of birth control pills
- Missing to take the pill
- vomiting or diarrhea
- Pregnancy cases, as the pill is not completely effective in stopping pregnancy.
- Hormonal imbalances
- Infection or some other illness conditions
- Cervical cancer
- Smoking is also noticed as one of the causes of spotting. Smokers are more often observed with spotting problems compared to the non-smokers.
Types Of Birth Controls That Cause Spotting or Bleeding
There are a lot of types of birth controls available to meet the bodily and lifestyle needs of every individual. There are around 19 to numbers varying from hormonal to non-hormonal and one time use to long-lasting use. They are birth control implant, IUD, Birth control shot, Birth control vaginal ring, birth control patch, birth control pill, condom, internal condom, diaphragm, birth control sponge, cervical cap, spermicide, fertility awareness, withdrawal(pull out method), breastfeeding as birth control, outercourse and abstinence, sterilization, vasectomy, etc.
Birth control methods with hormones cause breakthrough bleeding or spotting. Some of those types of birth control that cause spotting are;
- Birth Control pills
- Birth Control Patches
- Vaginal rings.
However, this spotting may not be seen in everyone using the above methods.
When Is Spotting A Cause Of Concern?
If spotting is noted and is observed as happening over several months, then it is of concern. With that said, if you notice spotting happening at the consistent frequency for quite some several months or for any given reason if you’re really worried about it then you better make a note of it to track the bleeding or your menstrual cycle.
Cramps and bleeding while on birth control pills is seen in many to most cases. Spotting between your periods usually happens because of various reasons. At times, spotting can be treated or dealt with easily. However, you should be concerned about it especially when spotting is happening frequently, spotting is accompanied by pain, spotting is overly happening, etc.
[Also Read: Causes of stomach cramps at night]
How To Prevent Spotting While On Birth Control Pills?
Breakthrough bleeding or Spotting is a common issue in many who are running on the pills, mainly in the initial days of using the pill. However, there are few ways to prevent or at least control spotting while on birth control pills like,
- Make it a habit of taking the pill at the very same time daily.
- Be regular in using the pills and don’t stop taking pills even when you observe spotting.
- Keep an eye on other medications in case you’re using any.
When To See A Doctor
There are many cases where some women have been using the control pills for many decades and experience no concerns in any way while some other women face annoying side effects. This itself explains that not every woman has the same bodily condition and response to medications and thus at times turns out to be hard to understand when is spotting abnormal. So, here are a few suggestions or points to keep in mind about when it is needed to consult a doctor.
Take appointment with your doctor, if;
- The bleeding lasts for around 7 days or more in a row
- You’re severely bleeding
- You sense any pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis
- You’re pregnant
- You feel feverish
- You have severe headache
- You experience chest, leg, groin or calf pain
- Your arms or legs are paining or feeling weak or numb
- There is shortness of breath suddenly
- Your words are slurred
Your doctor can prescribe for a treatment or suggest a change in the birth control method that you’re following.
Bleeding while on birth control pills between periods is pre-informed by many doctors and need not be worried if in limits and goes off in a short span. Take an immediate consultation if you notice the severe health conditions like breathing difficulty, chest pain etc. Spotting while on birth control pills can be prevented by following the suggestions and maintaining a healthy and hygiene lifestyle.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.