Where's my period?
December 15, 2011 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Last week, I abruptly stopped taking my birth control pill (Aviane) four days before I was supposed to start my placebo pack. When will my period start?

I usually use another HBC, but the pharmacy switched me to Aviane, which made me nauseous and irritable. The side-effects made me procrastinate taking it, and eventually I kept doubling up and/or missing too many pills. Last Saturday, I realized that I had 4 pills in the pack left. So I decided to stop taking them, let my period come, and then start over fresh with a new pack of my old BC.

My period hasn't come yet and, to complicate things even further, I had (protected) sex last week while I was not on BC.

Should I just start another pack of BC (usually I wait until after my period to avoid spotting)? Should I take a pregnancy test? When would it be accurate? How royally fucked over are my hormone levels right now?
posted by calcetina to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Something similar happened to me just this month.

My period was 13 days late.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:05 AM on December 15, 2011

Short answer: ROYALLY fucked.

Long answer: it'll come when it comes. Feel free to take a pregnancy test if it will make you feel more secure; however don't be too surprised if you get a very heavy period, a very light one, a very, very late one, or no period at all. None of these are necessarily cause for concern, they just mean your body is readjusting and figuring out how to regulate its own hormones again. You can go ahead and start the other pack but I would think you'd be at a fairly high risk of breakthrough bleeding-- not dangerous or bad for you, but certainly irritating. As always, remember to use backup when you first start up that new pack! Good luck and godspeed (your period).
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:13 AM on December 15, 2011

When will my period start?

Whenever it wants.

Should you wait for it or start a new pack? I honestly don't know. My body+BC meant that if I did that, the period would start about a week into the new pack and I'd be light-spotting for the next 2 weeks until I went off in week 4, so in your situation I'd be inclined to just wait till the period comes and goes and start the new pack then.

There's no right answer for when to time the new pack, but on the flip side, there's not a super-wrong answer either. Do what seems like a good idea.
posted by aimedwander at 11:21 AM on December 15, 2011

Response by poster: When is the earliest I can take a pregnancy test? Can I get earlier results if I go to the gyno?
posted by calcetina at 12:29 PM on December 15, 2011

(For what it's worth, back when I was taking birth control, I took Alesse, and one time the pharmacy had me take the generic Aviane instead, and that was sucky. Subsequently, my prescriber wrote BRAND NECESSARY on the prescriptions and I could get the Alesse.)
posted by leahwrenn at 1:19 PM on December 15, 2011

You can take a pregnancy test as early as (I believe) five days before the scheduled start of your period. However, they're more reliable once you've actually missed your first few days. So if you were scheduled to start and haven't yet, feel free to grab one from a pharmacy and pee away! However, I will tell you, if you've been on HBC and used protection when you stopped being on HBC, the chances of you being pregnant are very small, and the chances of you feeling pregnant/freaking out about pregnancy because your hormones are so out of whack is much, much higher. For me personally I always know my period's about to come when I'm freaking out about being pregnant-- it's a symptom of PMS! (Crazy Catch-22 there, but what are you going to do?) So I wouldn't sweat it too much.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:26 PM on December 15, 2011

IANAD, IANYD, TINMA. But this has happened to me before.

As WidgetAlley says, yes, you can take a drugstore pregnancy test as early as five days before your scheduled period, but it's going to be more reliable when you've missed it. It doesn't really matter if you go to the gyno or not - while the pregnancy hormones are more easily detectable in a blood test, you're about as likely to get a false negative if enough time hasn't passed between implantation and the test.

The fact is, missing pills, doubling up, and all of that has pretty much screwed your hormones; your body is confused, and if you start a new pack now, you will probably start spotting and have breakthrough bleeding which will suck. You may not get a "proper" period this month. I would give it a full week before either a pregnancy test or starting a new pack. Ideally, you could just wait until you have a period and your body sorta straightens itself out, but if the idea of a few weeks going by without hormonal birth control doesn't appeal to you, I'd just go ahead and start a new pack. You might also want to call your local Planned Parenthood to get their feedback.
posted by sm1tten at 4:07 PM on December 15, 2011

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