How to stop spotting on the pill

How to stop spotting on the pill? Yes, you read the title correctly. Read till last to know all about the causes of this spotting, its side effects or risks, how can you cope up with it and, much more. Keep Learning!


Pills used for controlling birth are essentially safe, effective, and inexpensive ways to prevent pregnancy. As is the case with other medicines, you can experience some of the side effects by using birth control pills.

Get to know more about these chances of spotting due to pills and their prominent side effects.

How do birth control pills work?

Birth control pills are primarily of two types. 

The first one is the combination of artificial versions of two hormones progesterone and estrogen. These are known as Ethinyl estradiol and progestin.

The latter one of birth control pills is a pill that only has progestin as the constituent. This pill is also called “the minipill.” You can go to your doctor and consult about which pill is suitable for you.

The first pill,i.e, the combination one suppresses the pituitary glands which in result prevents the ovulation or release of eggs from the ovaries.

It also alters the uterus lining that in fact prevents implantation. This combination pill prevents the partner’s sperms to reach your pre available eggs by thickening the cervical mucus.

Similarly, the minipill also tends to make changes in the uterine lining and cervical mucus. This also somehow suppresses the ovulation but using minipill isn’t a very trustworthy method.

spotting on pill

If you follow all the instructions perfectly, birth control pills can effectively prevent your possible pregnancy by up to 99 percent. You should also make sure that you are taking your pills everyday on a fixed time of the day. You should avoid missing, skipping, or being late with the birth control doses.

To extract the best results out of the pills, you need to strictly take your birth control pill doses consistently at the same time. With some errors, typically, these pills still offer 91 percent protection.

There is one thing that you should keep in mind that these birth control pills don’t offer any protection or safety against sexually transmitted infections(STIs). Try using condoms for the best safety and visit your doctor annually for screenings.

Side effects of Birth Control Pills

Well, the pills come out to be the great birth control option because it doesn’t have much side effects. Also if you face some of them, you don’t need to worry as these are temporary most of the time.

One of its side effects is spotting. In the initial three to four months, it is very common for you to experience some irregular bleeding or spotting after you start your pill medications. Spotting can hit you later also if you by chance missed or skipped any of your doses.

The biggest mistake women do is that they stop taking these medications once their bleeding becomes heavy, which is not recommended. You should continue using your birth control pills as suggested by your doctor.

side effects of birth control pills

Some other possible side effects could be:

  • Headache
  • Tender breasts
  • Nausea
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Spotting

In most cases, it takes a few months for the female’s bodies to adjust to these pills and the symptoms normalize.

Causes of Spotting on the Pill

Spotting varies from women to women. Some experience the spotting in the whole period of time they are on birth control pills. The severity of spotting generally reduces after it’s been four months since you started using the pills. In many other general cases, the actual reason behind spotting remains hidden but is harmless. 

The estrogen present in the combination pills promotes the stabilization of the inner lining of the uterus effectively. This effect on the uterus’s lining helps prevent uneven spotting or bleeding. The ones who take the minipill(progestin-only) can probably experience heavy spotting.

The other causes of spotting include:

  • Due to skipping or missing the doses, resulting in fluctuation of hormones.
  • Taking any other medication or supplement along with the pill
  • Some vomiting or diarrhea can also lead to lowering the drug absorption processes. 

Taking notice of spotting issues become vital if you had unprotected sex and skipped some of the doses of your prescribed medication. And mark my words, if you are facing uneven frequency of bleeding and also have cramps; that is a strong sign of pregnancy or miscarriage, you should go see a doctor then.

Possible Risks of Using Pills

You have a higher risk of attracting spotting on the pill if you are taking progestin-only pills. Plus if you smoke cigarettes, that’s just icing on the cake. Be very clear about your addictions or habits to your doctor, if any, so that you can get proper medical care.

The ones who take birth control pills for longer periods of time are also at a greater risk of getting spotting or bleeding issues. Seasonique, Quartette, and Seasonale are some of the common examples of progestin-only pills.

Generally, your doctor will also advise you for taking some short breaks between the long cycles of pills. This will help and give your hormones the time to heal irregular bleeding.

The pills also come with increasing risks of users getting issues like blood clotting. This clotting can also cause:

  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Deep vein thrombosis

risks from pills

The risk of blood clotting is not very high until you:

  • Smoke
  • Are on bed rest due to some previous issues
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Are obese or overweight

You can consult with your doctor for choosing a low-risk birth control option.

Consulting the Doctor for spotting on the pill

If you feel the need, go contact your doctor but most cases of spotting on the pill are short-lived with temporary effects. But contact your doctor as soon as you feel any of the below traits:

  • Bruising
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the lungs
  • Uneven spotting and bleeding, that also very heavy

You actually need to be concerned if you missed two or more pills before indulging in unprotected sex with someone you feel can have an STI.

Once you share every detail about each cause for uneven bleeding, your doctor can suggest some special pills or different forms of birth control. Ask about the kind of pills which contain estrogen, for this is the hormone keeping the uterus lining intact.

Monophasic pills help in keeping the regularity in estrogen levels over the whole month; whereas this is not the case with multiphasic pills. Be sure to take your doctor’s advice before changing the pills since our body has different reactions to different levels of estrogen.

Well if you stay on your progestin-only pill, your doctor can prescribe you an alternative pill having low doses of estrogen. The pills are normally safe while your doctor will also give you the right instructions for taking them.

Final Takeaway

According to the general trends, spotting normally stops after the initial three to four months of you taking your birth control pills. If you are facing spotting and come in this time frame, then you don’t need to worry much, patiently let go of this in some time.

The best thing you can do for reducing or preventing spotting on the pill is taking your pills every day at the same time of the day. 

This will help in regulating the hormone levels. The panty liners are also a great product which can benefit you in preventing the staining of clothes and unexpected accidents.

Take great notice of your bleeding, spotting issues, and other symptoms if you face any. Heavy bleeding isn’t a very normal response to using these pills. If you get that, you need to have an appointment with a doctor. 

Spotting isn’t a very great issue you should bother about, since birth control pills are extremely safe and an effective form of contraception. But everyone has a different body. If you are not very comfortable with pills, you can always go for other birth control options available in the market.

Consult your doctor for they know what will suit you the best according to your body type and lifestyle.

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