The Ultimate Guide To Withdrawal Bleeding

Withdrawal Bleeding? No need to worry

Withdrawal bleeding is also known as rebound bleeding, breakthrough bleeding, hormonal bleeding, and fake menstrual bleeding. This bleeding mostly occurs after taking hormonal pills.

Causes of Withdrawal Bleeding

Withdrawal bleeding generally occurs for the following reasons

  1. If you have taken a dose of Medroxyprogesterone such as Deviry or Meprate.
  2. If you have taken emergency contraceptive pills such as I-pill or Unwanted 72
  3. If you have taken any hormonal pill such as Norethisterone or Primolut-N or Aygestin.
  4. If you have taken any anti-malarial drug such as Chloroquine.
  5. If you have taken any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as Aceclofenac or Diclofenac.
  6. If you have taken any antibiotics such as Azithromycin.

Among all the three causes mostly withdrawal bleeding occurs after taking emergency contraceptive pills. 

How withdrawal bleeding occurs?

Suppose if you have taken any contraceptive pills such as I-pill, the active ingredient in I-pill, Levonorgestrel, is a very high dose of progesterone. We all know the most important part of the female reproductive system is the ovaries. The ovaries consist of two hormones – estrogen and progesterone.

So, whenever you are consuming contraceptive pills like I-pill the hormones get disturbed and the estrogen level goes down. When estrogen levels go down the innermost layer of the uterus (the endometrium layer) becomes shed. This causes withdrawal bleeding.

When does withdrawal bleeding occur?

Withdrawal bleeding generally starts within 10 days from the time of intake of any hormonal or contraceptive pills.

How long does withdrawal bleeding last?

Usually, the withdrawal bleeding lasts for about 2-3 days. In special cases, it persists for 5 days. If it persists for more than 5 days then it means that the medicine that you taken has caused side effects. If by any chance the withdrawal bleeding does not stop after 4-5 days immediately take a visit to your local doctor. 

When does my period come after withdrawal bleeding?

Mostly the period cycle comes around 4-6 weeks. If by chance you don’t receive your periods after 6 weeks then you should immediately consult your doctor. If you wait for more than that you may develop an ovarian cyst. The doctor will prescribe you some medicines which will help you to get your periods back.

Suppose your period date was on the 10th and you are expecting your next period on the 10th of next month. This is wrong in cases of withdrawal bleeding. You need to count the days after you experience withdrawal bleeding on the first day. 

Does withdrawal bleeding mean that you are not pregnant?

Yes, if you have experienced withdrawal bleeding then this means that there are no chances of getting pregnant in your case. But you need to confirm that the bleeding is withdrawal bleeding or implantation bleeding. 

How to detect implantation bleeding? – Implantation bleeding vs Withdrawal bleeding

Withdrawal bleeding occurs at the same time when implantation bleeding occurs. Implantation means the fertilized eggs are already implanted in the uterus. So people get confused between implantation bleeding and withdrawal bleeding. It is very easy to determine if the bleeding is due to withdrawal or implantation by following both their signs and symptoms. 

Signs of implantation bleeding

  • Light spots are witnessed in implantation bleeding
  • You don’t require pads during this bleeding
  • The implantation bleeding is slightly pink in color
  • Light cramping is found
  • Implantation bleeding lasts for about a maximum of 1-2 days

Signs of withdrawal bleeding

  • Dark spots are seen mainly black or brown in color
  • Painless bleeding normally, but sometimes the pain is more compared to periods in rare cases
  • You need to use pads
  • The bleeding lasts for at least 2-3 days and to a maximum of 5 days

So, now you can easily determine by this features which bleeding is due to withdrawal bleeding and which one is implantation bleeding.

Withdrawal bleeding vs Periods

How will you know whether the bleeding you are having is because of your periods or withdrawal bleeding?

Well, this is very simple to determine. 

  1. Your period cycle occurs at a fixed time which is known to you. If you experience bleeding before the expected date of your periods and you know you have taken any hormonal pills before the date then it should be withdrawal bleeding. 
  2. Usually, the bleeding in withdrawal bleeding is seen to be less if compared to your periods. Also, the bleeding is found to be in black or brown color. This bleeding is painless and sometimes way much painful than periods in some cases.
  3. Withdrawal bleeding lasts for 2-3 days to a maximum of 5 days. If compared to your periods you already know your exact dates. This will help you to easily determine which is withdrawal bleeding and which are your periods.

Now you know how to determine which bleeding is due to withdrawal bleeding and which one is due to your periods.


Withdrawal bleeding is something that you should not be worried about much. But if the bleeding does not stop within 5-6 days then you should definitely consult your doctor as untreated withdrawal bleeding may lead to ovarian cysts and other reproductive and hormonal problems. Also if you have any other questions related to withdrawal bleeding don’t forget to ask them in the comment section and I will answer all your questions.

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