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Went on birth control to regulate my period, but now it’s irregular. What’s happening?

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I’ve been on birth control since I was 16 and I’m now 23... part of the reason I got on bc was to regulate my period. Now, my period is seemingly irregular... every few months it comes a week early. It’s disconcerting because I worry that my birth control is not working to prevent pregnancy if it can’t even regulate my period. Is this normal? There doesn’t seem to be much about it online.

It sounds like you are experiencing breakthrough bleeding – basically bleeding before your bleed week you would typically have with your pill pack. Estrogen in your birth control pill is what prevents you from having breakthrough bleeding. Many women experience breakthrough bleeding and it’s not a worrisome symptom – more frustrating and impractical! Breakthrough bleeding doesn’t necessarily mean your birth control is not preventing pregnancy especially if you are making sure to take your pill every day and around the same time of day but I would suggest talking to your primary care provider about switching to a pill that has a slightly higher estrogen content.

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