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Dr. C.
Dr. C., Board Certified
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 3064
Experience:  30 yrs experience, awarding winning educator
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I am taking a PoP and also have the coil in place. The pill

Customer Question

I am taking a PoP and also have the coil in place. The pill has been causing irregular bleeding outside of my cycle and I am aware that this is a side effect of the pill but I have been using it for eight weeks and have had some degree of bleeding for six weeks during this time. The bleeding is more of a brownish colour and isn't a proper flow but it is incredibly inconvenient and embarrassing for me. Could I stop the pill and just rely on the coil? If I did this how long would it take for the bleeding to stop? Any advice or help would be really appreciated
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, It's Dr. C. Board certified Ob-gyne. I can help you today. I'm sorry you're having this annoying bleeding. In order to best answer your question, it's important to know what type of coil you have in. Is it the Mirena, Skyla or Liletta which all have progesterone embedded in the coil? Or one of the non-hormonal coils such as a Paragard? They may have different brand names depending on where you live. But the management of annoying bleeding depends on whether you have one with progesterone or not. Also it would be helpful to know why you were taking both POP and have a coil in place. Most women would not be doing both at the same time. Also is there any particular reason why you can't use a regular combination pill (not a POP)?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure what type of coil it is, there only seemed to be a 5 year option or a 10 year option. The coil was only put in place as a temporary measure, I am taking the POP and have the coil because I needed to get emergency contraception around 10 weeks ago. The doctors I dealt with prescribed the POP (cerazette) and recommended the coil to eliminate any risk of unwanted pregnancy. My GP prescribed the POP instead of a combination pill because I had a migraine while taking the combination pill. However, I haven't had a migraine since and would be quite keen to try a different combination pill to regulate my periods again. Do you think that would be possible? If I stopped taking the POP and just depended on the coil for a short while how long would it take for the bleeding to stop?
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for those details. It sounds as though the coil you have is the 10 year non-hormonal one. That is the one recommended for emergency contraception. It's an excellent option for longer term pregnancy prevention and usually we'd recommend it stay in place until a woman is ready for a pregnancy or is otherwise not doing well with it in place. It would be helpful to know what your ideal bleeding pattern is for the long run? Is it just the daily spotting that's a bother? Are your regular periods heavy or painful, or not too bad? If not too bad, I'd have a woman go off the POP. POP pills are not good at cycle regulation and some women will have constant spotting while on them. This usually goes away over time and many woman have no bleeding at all while on POP. But if it's been 10 weeks and the spotting isn't letting up, it's not clear how much longer you want to try. I'd say the bleeding should be improving by 3-4 months on it. If you want to go off the POP and rely just on the IUD now, the bleeding pattern would likely get back to your normal within 4-6 weeks. The spotting could stop as soon as 3-7 days but the actual cycle needs to reset with an ovulation so to get the normal pattern back takes longer. I agree that I would not prescribe a combination BCP for a woman who got migraines while on them in the past. This is a potential sign of increased risk of stroke. Not something to take chances with. I hope this was helpful. Please reply if I can add more details.

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