11:49 am - 01/19/2008

mini-pill, breastfeeding, and ovulation

I am on my second month of the mini-pill after giving birth a couple months ago. I read in the packet and in the vulvapedia that women can still ovulate while taking the mini-pill.
Also, I exclusively breastfeed, and while I am not relying on that for protection, I am hoping to not get a period for a while.
My questions are:
1. When I do begin to ovulate again, am I necessarily going to have my period (barring another pregnancy of course)? I guess I expect that would happen because that is what happens with your cycle.

2. What are periods like on the mini-pill compared to without HBC?

3. Is there no way to skip periods on the mini-pill since every pill is active?

4. Because every pill is active then, do you even get withdrawal periods?

5. What is the idea behind exclusive breastfeeding being a form of birth control? Is it supposedly preventing ovulation?
sprtwrid 19th-Jan-2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
I hated minipill periods. I was bleeding every 2 or 3 weeks for up to 10 days. It turned out i had a cyst that may have been causing problems for me (i had an ovary removed whe my son was 7 months old). I stayed on the mini pill for almost a year, but my cramping and such was so much worse than on regular bc and going without bc.

Breastfeedin if done exclusively helps i think because it surpresses the hormones. I dont know too much about it (the women in breastfeeding could explain it.. or maybe someone here). I went right back to my "normal" periods with my son and with my daughter, i had pp bleeding still at 6 weeks when i got my Mirena. I didnt get periods with that (well any of the ones i had, i kept expelling) and didnt bleed until the first week of NOV when i had switched to depo for a short while. I got an implant a few weeks later, and have yet t have another. One period in nearly a year.. i can work with this :P
queensugar 20th-Jan-2008 12:23 am (UTC)
I'll go for your third and fourth questions!

3. Correct, yes. While many women experience total amenorrhea after an extended period of time on some progestin-only methods, there is no way to make skipped periods happen.

4. No, you don't get a withdrawal bleed. However, breakthrough spotting or bleeding is very common with POP pills, and is the most common reported side-effect. So you don't get a withdrawal bleed, but you may get regular bleeding or spotting as well. Or you may not. :)
archangelbeth 22nd-Jan-2008 12:00 am (UTC)
5) Yes, exclusive breastfeeding is believed to suppress ovulation. Unfortunately, it's not guaranteed (I was hoping for months and MONTHS of no periods, dangit!), and the technique of it tends to say, "This works for about 6 months or till your period starts, whichever comes first!"

http://www.fhi.org/en/RH/Pubs/factsheets/breastfeeding.htm

"breastfeeding can provide up to 98% effective contraception if three criteria are met:
• The mother has not experienced the return of her menstrual periods (bleeding up to the 56th postpartum day is considered part of the postpartum recovery process and is not counted as menstrual bleeding);
• The mother is fully or nearly fully breastfeeding; and
• The baby is less than six months old."

"• Once her periods return, breastfeeding will no longer protect her from a new pregnancy. She should consider any vaginal bleeding (after the 56th postpartum day) to be a warning that her fertility is returning, even if that bleeding does not resemble her regular menses.
• If she starts to give the infant any food or drink on a regular basis or experiences disruptions in her breastfeeding routine, such as returning to work or ceasing to breastfeed at night, she is no longer protected from pregnancy.
• Once the infant is older than six months, the chance of becoming pregnant, even before her periods return, is increased."


The thing that annoys me is along the lines of "If you start menstruating, you're ovulating!" Except that unless your first cycle doesn't have an ovulation before the bleeding, that's one cycle where you don't necessarily know that you're fertile...

Other useful web pages about that include:
http://www.guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?ss=15&doc_id=7098&nbr=4270
http://www.epigee.org/fetal/contraception.html
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/breastfeeding/contraceptionexpert/ ("However, the first time you ovulate after giving birth will be before your first period, and you have a 10 per cent risk of falling pregnant if you rely solely on your period returning as a warning that you are fertile.")


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