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Home/Cycle Matters / Period & Bleeding

Withdrawal bleeding: Overview, causes & symptoms

Written by Karolina Wilde

Karolina Wilde

Karolina Wilde is a sex-positive freelance writer and published author with six years of experience writing about sexual wellness and women's health. She worked with some of the biggest sexual wellness brands in the world and is passionate about the science of how our reproductive system, bodies, and sexuality work and helping people understand these topics better.

Fact checked by Dr. Carlotta Favaro PhD, Scientist at Natural Cycles

Dr. Carlotta Favaro PhD

Dr. Carlotta Favaro is a particle physicist with a PhD from the University of Zurich earned at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). She has several years of experience in fundamental scientific research, and for more than five years, she has been a Data Scientist in the field of women’s reproductive health. She currently lives in Switzerland.

Key takeaways:

  • The bleeding that happens when you're on hormonal contraception is actually not a period but withdrawal bleeding

  • Not all people experience withdrawal bleeding while on hormonal contraception, and the bleeding might be lighter and shorter in duration than a regular period
  • While the chances of getting pregnant during withdrawal bleeding are low, no birth control method is 100% effective

In this article, we're going to take a look at what withdrawal bleeding is, why it happens, types of withdrawal bleeding, and more. Understanding why we bleed while we're on birth control offers one more way to get to know our bodies better, so get ready to embark on an educational journey with us.

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