Early Period on the Pill

Early Period on the Pill There’s nothing worse than getting your period when you’re not prepared for it. An unexpected period is something that can happen from time to time and for happens to every woman at some point in their life. An early period on the pill can seem like a worrying sign but for the most part, it is normal. We can all say we’ve been there.

There are a number of factors which could lead to an early period on the pill, and the bleeding itself can be categorized into either breakthrough or spotting bleeding, or menstrual bleeding.

Breakthrough / Spotting Bleeding

This is something that can common happen to women who take some form of birth control. The contraceptive pill, for example, injects hormones into the body that would normally be there anyway, just in different amounts. It is the manipulation of your hormones that stops you from getting pregnant. By injecting one or two hormones (progestin or estrogen), the hormone responsible for fertilizing and implanting your baby is reduced.

When you first start to take the pill, spotting or breakthrough bleeding is very common as your body adjust to the new balance. If it continues for a long time, it could be a sign that the contraceptive you’re using isn’t right for you but doctors would normally advice that you give it a shot for three or six months before making a decision, and in some women it can take even longer still.

If you miss your contraceptive dose, you can also experience breakthrough or spotting bleeding. The missed level of hormones causes a chain reaction in the body which can lead to some light bleeding. When you take your pill regularly again, you will usually find the problem goes away.

Menstrual Bleeding 

Birth control pills can have massive effects on your body and as well as preventing you from getting pregnant, they can also stop you from having periods, change the length of your cycle, give you a reduced flow, and some can even help with reducing and alleviating some of the symptoms such as cramps, headaches and even PMS.

Generally, with the contraceptive pill, you’ll take a course of around 21-23 tablets. You’ll then have a seven day break in which your period will come while your body has a break from the hormones.

Again, if you start taking a new pill, you can experience a change in your regular cycle. It could become longer or shorter which could lead to an early period on the pill. If you are sick, have an upset stomach, or haven’t taken your pill regularly, you can also experience changes to your cycle.

Early Period on the Pill

Early Period on Pill – When to Call a Doctor 

If you’re experiencing an early period on the pill, it is wise to give it a couple of days to see if it goes away. Usually it will manifest itself as light bleeding or spotting, but if you experience cramps or other symptoms alongside it, you should seek medical advice.

If you are losing a lot of blood, you should also seek medical attention. If you are going through sanitary towels or tampons much faster than you usually would, it could be an indication of something going wrong. The same can be said for bleeding that goes on for a long time, irrespective of how heavy the flow.

Early Period on the Pill – What Else Could It Be? 

As well as hormonal and natural changes to the contraceptive pill and other factors such as stress, periods of sickness, anxiety and depression, etc. there are a number of other more serious medical reasons why you could have an early period on the pill.

Sexually transmitted infections can often carry symptoms similar to an early period – bleeding, cramping and pain. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are both STI’s which should be tested against if you have prolonged or excessive bleeding in between your period, and for women, the infections can lie dormant in the body without exposing itself in the form of symptoms for a very long time. It can also have an effect on your levels of fertility, dramatically reducing the chances of you getting pregnant if you leave the condition undiagnosed and untreated. This is why it is important to have regular sexual health tests if you are sexually active, and definitely if you do not have protected sex.

There are other causes to an early period on the pill and you cannot rule out conditions such as PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, endometriosis, fibroids, and even a tumor. If you are in any doubt or you have noticed ongoing or definitive changes to your body or your menstrual cycle, it is always a good idea to get it checked out. Sometimes a quick test and a chat could be all it takes to put your mind at ease.

122 COMMENTS

  1. I have been consistantly been getting my period a week early the last 3 months even though i have been on the pill for a year now. Should i be worried?

    • It is possible that your birth control is influencing your period. Your body may have changed its normal cycles. Something else may be causing these symptoms to manifest. Continue to monitor your experiences at this time. You may want to make an appointment with your medical professional, as they will be able to offer tests or adjust your birth control. Best of luck, Amanda!

  2. I had my second child Oct. last year and was on birth control while I breastfed. I was pretty irregular, but that was expected. 3 months ago I switched pills when I was done breastfeeding and I’m still irregular. I will either spot for a day or two or like this month, I’m getting a full period a week and a half before I should.
    I guess from what I read, this is fairly normal and I should give it some time? But would switching pills maybe help the situation (I’m debating calling my dr and seeing if they’d write up a new prescription or just waiting it out)? I’m just so sick of randomly bleeding and spotting. With my first born, my period went back to normal super fast so this is not only annoying but different from what I experienced in the past.

    • You are having a variety of symptoms at this time. You feel as though there would be benefits in speaking with a medical professional. You should not alter your medication without speaking with your doctor. Make an appointment at this time. Your doctor will be able to give you the advice that you are seeking. Best of luck, Akf!

  3. I’ve been on birth control for about 2 years now and my period was regulated until this month. I was suppose to get my period today (every tuesday of the month) but instead I got it yesterday on Monday during work which I was totally unprepared for. I don’t understand why I got it a day early, I mean I have been very stressed out lately with work and finishing school and going on a trip in a month with my boyfriend and his family and about them moving to florida as well so could it be possible it was caused by stressed? I really hope it goes back to normal because i’m used to getting it on Tuesdays. I’m sure I shouldn’t be too concerned but I’m just confused on why I got it a day early.

    • You had an extremely regular cycle while on birth control. It is not uncommon for periods to begin within a couple of days. It is possible that the stress in your life have influenced your cycle. You will find great benefit in reducing stress in your life. Have a great day, Am!

  4. I have been on the pill for a couple years and never once have I missed or taken a pill late. I had my period two weeks ago and was not sexually active since that period. I had a very stressful week last week with job interviews and now have my period again about 10 days early. It is a full on period. This happened the last time I was interviewing for a job as well. I’m worried but I am thinking it is stress and not pregnancy related?

    • You have had your period and have not been sexually active since then. You are not pregnant. It is likely that this experience was caused by stressed. Continue to monitor your symptoms. If you determine that you would like to speak with a medical professional, then make an appointment. Best of luck, Mel!

  5. I haven’t been sexually active in years, but I’m on yaz while taking isotretinoin (aka accutane, an acne drug). Everything has been like clockwork for 2 months, except two days ago I missed one pill but took it the next day along with that day’s pill. Today I started spotting like I’m starting my period a week early. Is this simply because I missed one day of a pill? Will continuing to take the pills as normal put me back on track?

    • Missing the pill can cause spotting. Keep taking your birth control like you are supposed to, and your body should get back on track. If you do decide to be sexually active, you should use an alternate form of protection until after your next period.

  6. I’ve been on the pill for about 4 years, never missed one and never had any issues with it, always been signed off okay by the nurse. After I finished my last period I came on again 2 days later, only light and lasted a couple days. I’m not due on for another 10 days but the last 3 days had spotting and now having, what seems like a normal period but without the cramps. The day before this started me and my boyfriend slept together and I don’t know if this triggered it? Is this something I should be worried about? I have booked an appointment with my GP but they can’t see me until next week!

    • It may be possible that you are experiencing pregnancy symptoms. Continue to monitor the experiences that you are having for additional symptoms. You have decided to make an appointment with a medical professional in a week. Take a pregnancy test five days after your normal period date. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Best of luck, Lucia!

  7. Hello, I changed my 21 days pill last month to a 1month pill and now my period has come 15 days early. Should I start on a new pill or wait till the 30 days are over then take a new monthly pill? Thank you

    • You should address your questions with a medical professional. It would be beneficial for you to continue to monitor your experiences at this time. Whatever you decide should be acceptable. You may notice some changes at this time. If you want to visit your doctor, then make an appointment. Have a great day, Angella!

  8. Hi ive started family planning this month .using 2months injection but ive started my period 2weeks early again now is it normal or

    • It would be best to address any of these questions with your medical professional. They know your medical history and know what medication that you are using. Give them a call or make an appointment at this time. Best of luck, Zane!

  9. Hi. I missed my last active pill from last month, had a regular period during my sugar pills, then started my new pack hours late because of different time zone. 2 weeks later I have started spotting and my period is not due for another week. I was sexual active this whole time. Should I be worried?

    • It is certainly possible to become pregnant if you improperly use your birth control medication. Continue to monitor your experiences for additional pregnancy symptoms. Take a pregnancy test five days after your normal period date. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Best of luck, Chloee!

  10. I have been taking the pill for about 2-3 years, first Levlin until my chemist no longer provided it, then Micronelle about 1-2 years ago, I have never had an early period or bleeding/spotting until yesterday. I missed one pill last week, and another this week, (missing pills is usual for me and nothing happens normally) I was working when I felt a cramp and something release down there, so I went to the bathroom and surprise! I have my period.. 5 days early.. I’m not meant to get my period until Monday..

    • Anytime that you improperly use birth control is an opportunity for pregnancy. Continue to monitor your experiences for additional pregnancy symptoms. Take a pregnancy test five days after your normal period date. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Best of luck, Paige!

  11. So I just started birth control about a week and a half ago. I’m due for my period in 12 days but it came yesterday and I don’t know if I should go to the doctor, or just wait it out. Could it just be spotting, even tho I am getting very light cramps? my Flo seems like it’s a normal period Flo. What should I do?

    • It is possible that you are experiencing an early period. You may be experiencing implantation bleeding. You may be spotting because you have stopped using birth control. Continue to monitor your experiences at this time. If there is a possibility of pregnancy, then take a pregnancy test five days after your normal period date. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Best of luck, Cheyenne!

  12. 2 months ago I forgot to take my pill but took 2 pills the following day.I did however start my period a week early and then had my period as normal, therefore was on my period for about 10 days. The following month I took my pills as normal but started my period a week early again and had my period for 10 days again. Thinking that my body is still confused about skipping the pill that one day, I continued to take my pills as usual as I was hoping everything would go back to normal. But this month I have started my period a week early again and am starting to get worried. Do I fast forward and take my sugar pills now as I am on my period even though its a week early?

    • Improperly using birth control is a potential action that may support pregnancy. If it is possible that you are pregnant, then continue to monitor your experiences for additional symptoms of pregnancy. Take a pregnancy test five days after your normal period date. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Have a great day, Sylvie!

  13. I have been on Junel for nearly 8 months now. Usually I never have anything happened – one time I missed a pill and started bleeding, but after two more days the bleeding stopped and I didn’t start until under I was on my week off the pill. I had some intense cramping pains that I brought up with my doctor and he wasn’t concerned about it in the slightest, so I put it behind me. But this month has been strange – 4 days ago I started spotting (bright red in the morning, dark/almost brown at night) and it’s progressed to about half of my regular bleeding since then, still using the same coloring morning vs. night. I have absolutely no cramping though I experience painful cramping every month. Despite the two problems I’ve had nothing else has ever happened on this pill and my doctor is still feeling strongly enough that he’s writing 6 month prescriptions for me. Should I be concerned over this or just wait until my next appointment with him and talk to him about it then?

    • Continue to monitor your experiences. You may choose to make an appointment with your doctor at this time. You may want to wait for your next appointment. If your symptoms change or cause you to feel concerned, then make an appointment. Reduce stress in your life at this time. Best of luck, TLL!

  14. I have been on BC pills for a year and a half, and have always gotten my period on the 4th day of sugar pills. Never earlier or later. This month, I began to spot on my last 2 days of active pills, and got my period on the first day of sugar pills. Is this cause for concern or just paranoia?

    • It is possible that you are experiencing an unusual period, and it is also possible that you are experiencing implantation bleeding. Continue to monitor your experiences at this time for additional pregnancy symptoms. It is likely that you are experiencing an unusual period. However, if you find that you want to speak with a medical professional, then make an appointment. Best of luck, Sierra!

  15. I got my period exactly two weeks after I had already gotten it. I never missed one birth control pill. It looks and feels like my normal period. Do I just continue u on with the pack?

    • You are correct. Your best option is to continue your normal use of your birth control medication. It would be best to monitor your experiences at this time for pregnancy symptoms. It is not likely that you are pregnant, though it may be possible. If you have another unusual period, then make an appointment with a medical professional. Best of luck, Harmony!

  16. hi, I have been on the pill about 7 months. i got my period early and still have it, it will be 12 days now. Should I be worried?

    • If you have been experiencing a period for more than ten days, then you should speak with a medical professional. They will be able to diagnose and treat any medical concerns that you may have. Continue to monitor your experiences at this time for unusual symptoms. Doing so will allow you to better address any questions that your doctor may have. Best of luck, Nicole!

  17. I have been taking my pill regularly as usual. I have 5 pills left but have come on. Do I continue to take pills or not?

    • Take them as you are supposed to and in the order they are in the pack. If you change the order and take them differently than supposed to, they will not be effective at preventing pregnancy. Follow your doctor’s prescription exactly.

  18. I was sexually active in January and got my period both Jan and February. I just got my period a week early this month and am experiencing very very heavy brown discharge instead of blood now, and it’s day 13. My period regulated iteself about a year ago (7 days long) and I’m on birth control. I do live a pretty stressful life also.

    • If you had normal periods after being sexually active two months ago, then it is unlikely that you are pregnant. Stress and other lifestyle factors may be the reason why your period is off this month. If you continue to have these symptoms for several months or develop new symptoms, then you may want to go to your doctor. Otherwise, your period may just be slightly off this month.

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