Why is my girlfriend spotting?
August 3, 2007 4:01 PM   Subscribe

Why is my girlfriend spotting?

My girlfriend has been taking birth control for about 6 months. She has been pretty good about it, but about 10 days ago (about two and a half weeks into her cycle) she took her pill about 6-8 hours late (but the same day), and then a day or two later she noticed some light pink spotting. A couple days ago, she noticed some light brown spotting. Her period is scheduled for this coming Wednesday.

She thinks she might be pregnant. What are the chances of this? What else could be going on? We had some pretty rough, hard sex the day before she noticed the initial pink spotting. Could that be it? Should she wait to see if she has her period next week before going to see a doctor?

Thank you for any help.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Missing your pill (even taking it late) is totally one of the main reasons you spot.

If she's been taking it regularly, chances are she's not pregnant, but pregnancy tests (and the ensuing ease of mind) are cheap, so why not buy one to take one, and then you'll be sure.

As a sidenote, her "period" while on the pill isn't actually a "period" at all. I think the chances are pretty slim that she's pregnant, but test to be sure.
posted by mckenney at 4:09 PM on August 3, 2007

You should mention what kind of pills she's on. There are huge, huge differences between them.
posted by uandt at 4:16 PM on August 3, 2007

My money is on "not pregnant."

Mckenny is right, spotting is very common if you miss a pill or take it >4 hrs late. When taken properly most birth control pills have an effectiveness rate of 99%.

I wouldn't spend the time or money on a doctor visit over this.

Most home pregnancy tests aren't accurate until after you've already missed a period. Their accuracy increases the more time has gone by - they're very accurate a few days after a missed period, but only about 60-70% accurate a few days before. You might get a false negative if you test too early, because you wouldn't have enough pregnancy hormones in your system to show up yet. For maximum accuracy, test first thing in the morning when the urine is really concentrated.
posted by selfmedicating at 4:34 PM on August 3, 2007

Pink spotting after rough sex is definitely a possibility, I'm also on the side of "don't worry about it"
posted by jessamyn at 4:59 PM on August 3, 2007

Most likely she is NOT pregnant. Taking one pill late might have just given her a hormonal flux that led to spotting.
posted by misha at 5:43 PM on August 3, 2007

Relax. Happened to me a bazillion times.
posted by Eringatang at 6:27 PM on August 3, 2007

No more than 20 minutes ago I saw some ad on TV for a pregnancy test that tells you 6 days before your period. Here it is, First Response. Sounds like a smoke detector not a pregnancy test.

Somewhere, an advertising exec smiles.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:51 PM on August 3, 2007

I wouldn't even bother dashing out to buy a pregnancy test and unnecessarily scaring yourselves. This is totally par for the course if I take my pill late even by a couple of hours, and it's the same for lots of women.
posted by loiseau at 7:36 PM on August 3, 2007

Unlikley to be pregnant relax. It's simple breakthough bleeding due to the hormone change caused by missing a dose. (I'm guessing she's probably on the mini-pill, 6-8 hours difference here is missing a dose. )

You need to use other BC methods until her next period
posted by Wilder at 12:47 AM on August 4, 2007

Some women even spot occasionally on birth control when they don't miss a dose. I once had a month where I was spotting off and on for three weeks, and pretty much freaked out, but my doctor said not to worry - sometimes that happens for a cycle, and the next month it should go away. It did. Try not to worry about it unless she misses her next period.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:33 AM on August 5, 2007

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