Pills and your Period

When you are on the pill, bleeding occurs toward the end of each pack. These are the days you take no pills or take the pills in your pack with no (or few) hormones, also called placebo pills. This bleeding will most likely be like if you weren’t taking the pill and you may have times when you bleed just a little or maybe nothing at all.

Things to know:

• Your period on the pill is called “withdrawal bleeding” and happens when the levels of hormones in your pills drop

• “Withdrawal bleeding” might be lighter or somewhat not quite the same as the period you had before taking the pill

• Some women find spotting or don’t bleed at all during “fake” pills days

• Your bleeding on the pill is probably going to change after some time

Do I Get a “genuine” Period on the Pill?

Probably not. The bleeding you get when you’re on the pill isn’t equivalent to a menstrual period.

When you’re taking the pill, your period is actually called “withdrawal bleeding”, alluding to the withdrawal of hormones in your pill. The drop in hormones levels causes the coating of your uterus (the endometrium) to shed. This bleeding might be somewhat not quite the same as the period you had before taking the pill. It likewise may change after some time while taking the pill.

What’s happening to my body? Am I ovulating on the pill?

No. If you are the kind of person who takes the pill consistently and correctly, you shouldn’t ovulate. This is the essential way the pill counteracts pregnancy. In a usual (no-pill) cycle, the body’s natural reproductive hormones fluctuate up and down, taking your body through a process of preparing an egg for release, discharging that egg, and setting up your uterus to acknowledge a possibly treated egg.

The hormones in the pill stop and keep your ovaries from planning and discharging eggs. They stop the standard hormonal “cycling”, including ovulation, the typical development of the endometrium and the natural period.

What’s normal?

• Unexpected spotting for the initial couple of months while taking a new pill (talk to your doctor if this is still happening after 3 months)

• “Withdrawal bleeding” that is lighter or shorter than your period before the pill

• “Withdrawal bleeding” that changes slightly after some time while on the pill

• Having practically no bleeding during your placebo week after taking your pills correctly

Ready to start tracking your cycle?

Download Period Track from the Google Play Store Download Period Track from the Apple AppStore