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I didn’t take my placebos to skip my period, but my period showed up anyways. What happened?

Cristin Hackel

Medically reviewed by Cristin Hackel, BS, RNC, MSN, WHNP on January 13, 2020

Breakthrough bleeding (BTB) is much more common when using your pill to skip periods. This typically gets better within a few cycles as your body adjusts to the pill, but continues for some women long after they’ve been using their active pills continuously.

If it’s been more than a month since you’ve had a placebo pill break, you should take a 4- to 7-day break from active pills now, or when you next reach your placebo pills. This will allow your body to have an actual withdrawal bleed that should help prevent breakthrough bleeding when you resume your active pills. As long as you have taken at least 21 active pills in a row, you can take up to a 7-day break from active pills and remain protected from pregnancy.

For now, it may be best to complete your entire pack each month until your body achieves a normal pattern without spotting or breakthrough bleeding. At that point, you could try skipping periods again, but even then we would recommend having a period at the end of every 2-3 packs to minimize the chance of spotting/breakthrough bleeding.

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