Medical Q&As

Breakthrough bleeding - what to do?

I have been on the pill for the last 8 years and for the last 3 years I have had breakthrough bleeding each month. My GP has changed my pill numerous times but the same problem keeps occurring. Is there a pill I can take that will not cause mid-cycle bleeding? Or, is there something I can do to prevent it?

I think that perhaps you need to stop using the pill for the time being in order to establish what your cycle is like while off the pill. In that case it would be reasonable to use a non-hormonal method of contraception such as a barrier method. If you re-establish a regular pattern of menstruation without mid-cycle bleeding it would be reasonable to resume taking the pill having completed a few normal cycles. A triphasic pill would probably be the most suitable type of combined pill for you based on your history of breakthrough bleeding. If on the other hand you did not re-establish a regular cycle and continued to have mid-cycle bleeding then you probably need to have a gynaecological assessment. You may have a simple problem such as a polyp, which can be easily removed without great difficulty. I do not suggest that you act on the basis of what I have just outlined but rather discuss this matter further with your GP who knows your history best and has documented your difficulties with various types of contraceptive pills.