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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content

What could be causing early period on birth control?

I have been on Tarina Fe birth control for almost a year and take it at the same time every day. This month, I've been experiencing vaginal bleeding even though my period isn't due for another 2 weeks. It has been going on for 6 days which is much longer than my usual period. I've also been unusually fatigued, nauseous, had headaches, and had to use the bathroom (#2) much more than usual. Is there anything that could be wrong?
  • Female | 20 years old
  • Complaint duration: 6 days
  • Medications: Tarina Fe

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Featured Answer

5 UpVoted this answer
This happens frequently and may be just from having a very thin endometrial lining from being on the pill for a year. It may also be due to not absorbing the pill due to some GI problem. I would recommend stopping the pill for a week, and then restarting it. Please make sure you use condoms until you get your next period. If the problem persists I would see a GYN to rule out less common causes. Good luck
5 UpVoted this answer
This happens sometimes and

can be easily corrected.
3 UpVoted this answer
This is not uncommon to have break-through-bleeding (BTB) with any of the newer birth control pills (BCP). In my experience many of the generic BCP's tend to have BTB more so than the pharmaceutical brands. Reason is that pharmaceutical brands can only have a 10% variance in the components while generic ones can have up to 20% variance...still effective for contraception but may tend to have more BTB. Also if you have been on antibiotics this also tends to decrease the absorption of the BCP's components through the liver and in some cases have been known to cause BTB and excape ovulation which may result in pregnancy even while taking the BCP correctly! So I always advice my patients to use condoms if on antibiotics ...especially the penicillin variety.
Joseph A. Pineda
3 UpVoted this answer
Hi there. Yes. There may be reasons for this kind of bleeding related to the medication itself, but first it is important that you get a pregnancy test to be sure that pregnancy is not involved. If the test is negative ( most over the counter tests are pretty sensitive but not always 100% correct), then the next thing to determine is if you have any signs of infection...weird discharge, odor, irritation, pain, etc... If you are not pregnant and there is no infection, then most likely this kind of bleeding comes about because the long term effect of taking any birth control pill. The uterine lining (endometrium) becomes so thin that there is spontaneous bleeding. Typically this kind of bleeding will just continue off and on. Some doctors will try to give you a stronger pill, but this often backfires. The best way to stop the bleeding is to stop the birth control pill and use a back-up barrier contraceptive. The bleeding should stop within a few days of stopping the pill. Once that happens, you should wait until you get another period (being super careful about contraception), then restart the pill.
Douglas J. Krell
2 UpVoted this answer
This is a very common side effect of birth control pills called 'Breakthrough Bleeding'. Doing a urine pregnancy test just to be sure would be smart, and if this continues to happen you should go see your OBGYN or midwife or PA and change the pill perhaps to the next stronger dose.
Kyle A Baker