New to the pill, should I expect my period @DR_Paula

contraception

#1

Hello, newbie to SH24 here.

I’m really confused and Google wasn’t understanding my questions.

Around 3 weeks ago - just as my previous period had ended - I was prescribed Cerelle (mini-pill). I am not taking it for contraceptive purposes but because, at age 25, my periods are making life very difficult and painful, and I wanted to start exploring ways that I could press pause until they were biologically necessary.

My (lovely) Dr. explained how to take them but didn’t mention when to start taking them, and I forgot to ask. I picked them up the next day and read the leaflet. The leaflet stated that I should begin the course on the 1st day of my cycle. So I waited. However, I wanted to know for sure and - as usual - the internet had conflicting information. So, I rang the doctors surgery. I spoke to a member of staff - not my Dr. - who explained that I should have started taking them as soon as I had the prescription.

By this point, my period was due in between 3-5 days. I explained this to the member of staff I was talking to and asked if, as I had already waited, I should continue to do so. She said no. I started the packet on Wednesday 8th April (day 23 of my cycle), 2-4 days before my period was due.

My question is this, I am still having all my ‘period due symptoms’, should I expect this period to come? Or is it likely that it won’t? Today (11th April) is day 26 of my cycle.

I’m sorry to ramble. My period makes me anxious as normal and I don’t thrive on uncertainty. I just want to know what to be prepared for.

I appreciate that everyone is different and so everyone’s experience with the pill/periods will be unique to but just some guidance would be so very, very appreciated.

Thank you!


#2

Hello @Rachael

Many apologies for my slow reply!

So, you can either start taking the progestagen only pill within the first 5 days of your period starting or at any other time. The main issue is whether you are pregnant. In your case you are not taking it for contraceptive purposes and may not be at risk of pregnancy - so you can start any time.

The key thing about the progestagen only pill is that its impact on your bleeding pattern is highly unpredictable. As a guide, in POPs with desogestrel after 12 months of use:

● 5 in 10 women can expect to have no bleeding or infrequent bleeding
● 4 in 10 women can expect to have 3–5 bleeding spotting/episodes (regular)
● 1 in 10 women can expect; 6 bleeding/spotting episodes (frequent bleeding).
In addition:
● 2 in 10 women will experience bleeding/spotting episodes lasting 14 days (prolonged
bleeding).

If you are able to take it (i.e. have no contraindications) and you are really keen to have very predictable periods or no periods then you may be better off taking the combined pill and using one of the ‘extended use’ regimens.

Apologies again for the slow reply.
Paula


#3

Hello,

Thank you so much responding; and on a bank holiday!

Thank you for clarifying that I was okay to start taking the pill when I did, it was making me quite stressed so it’s really nice to be reassured. Thank you also, for providing those numbers. It’s a little disheartening to hear that there is only a 50% chance of no period on this medication. It was deemed inappropriate for me to take the combined pill as I get migraines. However, 50% is better than no chance and I’ll take what I can.

I appreciate what your saying about the unpredictable nature of bleeding on the POP and that questions are harder to answer when you don’t know the person, however, if I may, if like to ask a couple more:

I am now on day 29 of my cycle (I have taken Cerelle for 6 days now, come 7pm tonight I’ll have taken 7) and my period - expected approx. 3 days ago - still has not arrived. My periods have always arrived between the 25-28 day window. Do you think it could be the Cerelle delaying it? Is this common when starting on the POP?
From experience, do you think it will come? I know this is a lot to ask considering the above … the uncertainty is making me anxious, especially as lock down means I have less pads than I would usually want and I’m having to put one in every night ‘just in case’. Usually procedure but it’s now going on.

Thank you once again,
Rachael


#4

Hello Rachael

Really hard to say. The thing is that the progestagen only pill is likely to stop you ovulating, maybe not always but quite a lot of the time in most people. That is part of the way that it has its contraceptive effect. So the whole idea of regular cycles slightly goes out of the window. I think that is just part of using this method.

If you have migraines with aura then you can’t take the combined pill. If you have migraines without aura then you could consider it.

Hope helpful,

Paula