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whats the difference from vaginal bleeding and menstrual bleeding? how can i tell which i have?

By July 31, 2010 - 10:43am
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I'm been on birth control for 2 months now. My boyfriend and i had unprotected sex monday this week. I missed my first pill ever on thursday the same week. I'm wondering if I could be at risk for pregnancy because i missed a pill on thursday. I'm on birth control to regulate my period because I'm very irregular. after i finished my first pack of birth control, i got my period, which was early in july. that was the frist time i had it since, about a year or so. anywyas, ever since then, i've been bleeding, and i'm not sure if this is vaginal bleeding, or left over blood because i haven't had a period in a while. my doctor informed me that i do have very low estrogen levels. but now im worried that this may be vaginal bleeding ( a sign of pregnancy). i'm not sure whats wrong. am i at risk of pregnancy right now? how can i tell?

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi Kaira,

Thank you for submitting your question to us. When you have low estrogen levels, your periods will be absent most of the time and getting on the Pill to try and regulate your periods is a great idea. I also had this issue at a pretty young age and now that I am in my 30s, my period started to be more regular most of the time although I still skips months here and there. I was on the Pill for approximately 10 years and removed myself about 5 years ago.

It is very common to have long periods (brownish in color, red in color) when you first have your period after a long period of an absent period. The first time I had a period after it was absent for approximately 8 months, it lasted about a month and a half. This is completely normal (to people like us with low estrogen). It is not always a constant period, rather on again off again with spotting in between (say a couple days between).

The brownish color is usually the shedding of your uterus. The red color, will be your regular period. Is this what you are experiencing?

If you bleed for a long period of time: such as over a month, consult your physician. Otherwise, most of time when you miss a Pill, or don't take them at the same time daily, you may experience pre-menstrual bleeding. Does this help answer your question?

You may take a pregnancy test just to be sure that you are not pregnant. This will also help settle your nerves as anytime you have sex (even on the Pill), you do risk the chance of pregnancy.

August 1, 2010 - 9:54am
(reply to Anonymous)

Actually, yes that did help a bit. It actually comforted me a lot becasue I've been getting so paranoid that I was pregnant. However, I'm still paranoid. Are there any signs that I can detect early on to know if I'm pregnant? Since I'm irregular with my period, I can't keep track of it to see I'm pregnant or not. Also, this bleeding is actually continued for about 3 weeks now, is that normal? Or should I talk to my doctor ASAP? But most importantly, What are the clear cut signs in noticing if I'm pregnant or not?

August 1, 2010 - 6:37pm
(reply to Kaira)

Do you still have the instructions that came with your pill pack? If the instructions for "missing one pill" say to take the pill as soon as you remember, and you do not need back-up protection, then there is not an increased chance of pregnancy IF you did this: took the pill as soon as you remembered (and, have not missed any other pills). Your pill is still 99% effective at preventing pregnancy if you miss one, and take it when you remember (the next day is OK).

There are no "clear-cut" signs of pregnancy, unfortunately. Signs of pregnancy and symptoms of an upcoming period are identical: back ache, stomach bloating, cramps, irritability, sore breasts, etc. Most signs of pregnancy are not realized until WELL after a missed period. The sign of pregnancy that you will want to take note of: if you do not have your period when you expect to (I know it's irregular), then you can take a home pregnancy test just to be sure. When women have menstrual bleeding, it is an indicator that they are not pregnant.

I would not be concerned about pregnancy, but it is concerning that you are bleeding continuously for 3 weeks. Please call your doctor, to ask for his/her advice (you may need to go in for a medical evaluation), but it could also be your birth control pills causing menstrual irregularities. Better to call your doctor so that it is noted in your chart.

Does this help?

August 1, 2010 - 7:08pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

actually, yes that is helpful. calms my nerves down for a bit. but i'm still scared that i may be at risk for pregnancies. i know vaginal bleeding is pink-ish or brown-ish in color. does vaginal bleeding occur often in pregnant women? can it sometimes be a red-ish color like regular menstruation? also, do periods always have to be thick? can they be liquidy, if anything NOT as thick as usual? or is that abnormal?

August 2, 2010 - 12:36pm
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