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I got my period twice this month and I'm on the Nexplanon. What is going on?

A very common side effect of the Nexplanon is irregular bleeding. Some people stop getting their period completely, some have irregular spotting, and some people bleed more for the adjustment period. It can take anywhere from 3-6 months for the body to adjust to the new hormone, or some people have unpredictable bleeding the entire time.  The reason this happens is because Nexplanon contains the hormone progesterone, which gradually stops the uterine lining from building up. Sometimes it will still build up and then shed. This is why someone may not have a period, or may have irregular bleeding. This is completely normal.

What does it mean if a female bleeds after sex?

Sometimes having sex can trigger your period. If the blood seems like period blood, that might be what you're experiencing. Otherwise, a bit of bleeding after the first time you have sex is pretty common. Often it's because of stress to the vaginal canal that creates small tears, especially if you weren't lubricated enough. Next time you have sex, try using a lubricant (only water-based if you're using condoms!) and see if that helps. If the bleeding you're currently experiencing gets heavier or continues for the next few days (and you've confirmed it's not your period), we recommend making an appointment to see one of our providers.

What does it mean if a female bleeds during sex?

Bleeding during sex can be due to several factors. If you weren't lubricated enough, the penetration and friction can cause small tears in the vaginal canal that may bleed a bit. Using lubricant (only water-based if you're using condoms!) can really help with that.

If bleeding happened the first time you had vaginal sex, it could be related to the hymen tearing. The hymen is a thin membrane that partially surrounds the opening to the vagina. It is a different size in every female, and for some people it’s barely present at all. It's possible for the hymen to break or tear a bit when a person has penetrative sex for the first time, and this can cause some bleeding. But for many people, their hymen may have already been stretched or torn before they had sex for the first time (it can happen from a variety of physical activities at any point in a female's life) so the bleeding has nothing to do with their hymen.

Finally, bleeding during intercourse can also be a sign of infection. Some STIs and other infections like yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis can cause irregular bleeding.

What does it mean if I'm spotting before my period?

Spotting before your period can be related to several things. If you're on a form of birth control such as an IUD, the arm implant, or Depo-Provera, spotting is a very common side effect. 

The menstrual cycle can also fluctuate based on factors such as stress, weight gain/loss, changes in sleep, and changes in diet. Changing hormones, which is what naturally happens as a teenager, cause changes in your period as well.

Is it normal to have something like a period after taking Plan B?

Yes. Plan B is a form of emergency contraception that works by delaying ovulation (when the ovaries release an egg). It does not harm or end a pregnancy; rather, it prevents sperm from being able to reach an egg and fertilize it. One of the most common side effects of taking emergency contraception is some sort of bleeding. A pill like Plan B contains a very large dose of hormones, so a certain amount of bleeding is expected. People might have a full period, light spotting, or anything in between.

Here's a handy chart about bleeding from helloclue

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