Birth Control Pill Question

Patient

Q: Can the birth control pill give a false period when I am actually pregnant?

Doctor

A:   Unscheduled vaginal bleeding is common in cases or irregular pill use. Pills are hormonal, and they cause a so called "withdrawal bleeding" once stopped. The inner lining of uterus, endometrium, as it is called, is programmed to shed itself once the blood levels of certain hormones plunge at cyclic intervals, and this is the cause of menstrual bleeding. Similarly, stopping hormonal pills also herald shedding of endometrium, as explained.
It is difficult to differentiate physiological menstruation from hormonal pill withdrawal, and this can be done only after a thorough interview regarding the type of pill used and the schedule followed in previous cycles.
Pregnancy is an amenorrheic state. Hormonal pill withdrawal should not cause bleeding in pregnancy. Bleeding in pregnancy is commonly a sign of miscarriage, more so, if associated with cramps. It is a medical emergency.

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