I’m experiencing bleeding sometimes that’s not like a period or menstrual cycle, and I think it may be linked to my contraceptive method. I just switched to using a patch. The bleeding I had happened during the week I wasn’t wearing the patch. I won’t get a chance to see my ob/gyn until next month, and I wanted to get your thoughts before my appointment.
Brooklyn by way of Lagos
Thank you for your email. I’m glad that you have an appointment with your provider. But, I know how long getting an appointment can take.
Based on what you’re saying, it’s quite possible that you’re experiencing withdrawal bleeding. This is also called a fake period or homonal period, and it happens during the fourth week of your cycle when you’re using a hormonal contraceptive method. For contraceptive pill users this would be during the week you’re taking a placebo. For patch wearers, this bleeding episode would take place the week you leave the patch off, and for NuvaRing Users, this would be the week the ring is taken out.
I like to refer readers to About.com’s contraception section on withdrawal bleeding for more detailed information.
Information provided in Ask An Ob/Gyn is not meant to replace seeing your provider. Contact your doctor or a health clinic with women’s health services, if you’re having problems with your contraceptive method or have any gynecological concerns.