12. Your period is likely to be heavier
The period you have when you’re on the pill isn’t the same as menstruation. When you menstruate, your body is expelling the broken-down egg that has not been fertilized. It comes out in the form of a slow bleeding process that lasts around five days. On birth control, the bleeding you have is not menstruation. After all, how can it be? The pill prevents your body from making an egg. So, if there’s no egg to expel, it’s not the same as regular menstruation.
On the pill, the bleeding you experience monthly is called withdrawal bleeding. When you look at your birth control pills, there is a difference between those you take prior to and during the bleeding. Prior to the bleeding, the pills you take contain hormones. When you move to the next part of the pack, you are taking placebo pills. They contain no hormones.
Your body responds to the withdrawal of the hormones by bleeding. The bleeding is far lighter than a normal period. Women report that the blood passed during hormone withdrawal is different in color and consistency from menstrual blood. Some women bleed for less than a day when they’re on the pill. Some don’t bleed at all. It could be because of the pill but bear in mind it’s also a sign of pregnancy.
Once you stop taking the pill, your body will begin with proper menstruation again. You can expect a heavier flow than you’ve become used to. Your period will also be longer than the withdrawal bleeding. Keep extra feminine hygiene products on hand since the first few periods may be abnormally heavy.