Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Bleeding after morning-after pill

Bleeding after morning-after pill

Patient: I took a morning after pill (Ella) 10 days ago, and I started bleeding after the 4 days that followed even there was more than 20 days for my next period. Now it’s been 6 days and I bleed even heavier and I also have abdominal pain. I know I should see a doctor in person but that is not possible in my case. I would like to know why exactly these pills cause bleeding and what should I do to ease the pain.

 

 

Symptoms: Vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain

 

 

Doctor: The common side effects of a morning-after pill are abdominal (tummy) pain, headache, irregular menstrual bleeding (spot ting or heavy bleeding) before your next period is due, nausea (feeling sick) and tiredness. What you are experiencing is just a side effect of the pill.After taking the emergency contraceptive pill, most women will have a normal period at the expected time. However sometimes, you may even have your period later or earlier than normal.These side effects of the pill are due to the progesterone like hormones they contain. The progesterone hormone is typically secreted by the ovaries after ovulation and periods are the result of a decrease in the blood concentrations of progesterone hormone. By taking a morning after pill, the progesterone levels in the blood rise and then fall leading to a withdrawal bleed.There is no need to worry about these side effects. The bleeding you are having will last as long as your regular period and then stop on its own.

 


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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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