Are You Experiencing Withdrawal Bleeding? ASK AN OB/GYN


Dear Ob/Gyn,

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


Dear Precious,

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’s contraception section on withdrawal bleeding for more detailed information.

SuzyKnew Ob/Gyn


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.