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Birth Control/Birth Control change and Periods

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Question
I was on Lessina for three months, but my periods were always the week BEFORE my placebo pills. I couldn't find any answer on if this meant the birth control was working. This month, the pharmacist was out of my birth control and gave me Orsythia and said it was the same thing and should work the same, but now it's the week before my placebo pills and I'm not having my period. I had cramps and was experiencing PMS symptoms like usual, but no bleeding.

Is this normal? Should i be concerned about pregnancy? I last had sex while on the regular pills, not placebo pills. Should i wait and see what happens when i get on the placebos?  Should i switch to another method of B. C. if it's not regulating my periods to be with the placebo pills?

Thank you for your help

Answer
Hi Amanda,

Thanks for your message. You seem to be concerned that your period is not coming at the right time while on the pill.

Normally your period will come early if the hormones aren't enough and cause some spotting to happen. Currently you say you are on the hormone pills and you are not having your period. Well that is the way it is supposed to work, as normally your period will come with the 1 week placebo pills, which means what is happening now is what it is supposed to be.

If your period comes while on the placebo pills that means it is working the way it is supposed to. So I would recommend waiting to see what happens next week. As well, it takes a few months for your body to adjust, so because you have just changed pills your body may still take some time to regulate. This may also be what is causing the cramping and PMS symptoms.

See what happens next week and next month. If you are still worried after that you can go back to your doctor.

Hope this helps,
Allison

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Allison Macbeth

Expertise

I can answer questions about how to choose which method of contraception is right for you, how to deal with mistakes, effectiveness, and emergency contraception. I also have training in HIV, STIs, and sexual health education. I cannot tell you what is the right choice, but I can tell you the pros and cons of each method to help you make an informed decision for your circumstances. If you have had a condom break or had unprotected sex and need emergency contraception please call you local Planned Parenthood or check out not-2-late.com.

Experience

I have been working in the field of sexual health for a decade with specific training in contraception, STIs, HIV, and sexual problems. I have worked in several Planned Parenthood-affiliated charities, telephone helplines, research, education, and currently work for a local health authority evaluating HIV programs in the city.

Publications
Macbeth, A., Weerakoon, P., Sitharthan, G. (2009). Australian Parentsí Opinions about School-based Sexual Health Education. Sexual Health. 6, 328-333. I write a weekly advice column for Morning Quickie website which can be found here: http://morningquickie.com/category/madame-x/

Education/Credentials
I have a Masters in Applied Science (Sexual Health) where I did research on sex education in schools and at home with parents and young people, as well as many counselling skills courses.

Past/Present Clients
I have worked extensively with young people under 25, people living with or affected by HIV, and parents.

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