How Long Does Breakthrough Bleeding Last? What You Need to Know

how long does breakthrough bleeding last

When women experience breakthrough bleeding, they start to get worried about their babies during pregnancy. Fortunately, breakthrough bleeding is not at all a matter of concern and any woman can have it. So is “how long does breakthrough bleeding last” considered a normal and safe symptom?

What is Break Through Bleeding (BTT)?

You should know that breakthrough bleeding means bleeding or spotting that can take place in between two menstrual periods. Normally, this situation may arise among women who are using birth control pills or who have low estrogen level. The bleeding is often light; however, sometimes it can become as heavy as a menstrual period is.

When menstrual bleeding occurs for no compelling reasons, it is called metrorrhagia. Such abnormal bleeding is more severe than the regular spotting and it won’t stop. If this risky situation occurs to you, I think it’s a good idea to consult a physician.

How Long Does Breakthrough Bleeding Last?

In an effort to determine the length of breakthrough bleeding, one problem crops up: not all women experience this. In fact, this type of bleeding can happen to:

  • A pregnant woman
  • A woman who is taking birth-control pills or using other types of contraception.

Reasons for Breakthrough bleeding

In technical terms, when the vagina bleeds, even not during pregnancy, it can be called breakthrough bleeding.

#Birth control

Normally, birth control is the cause of this abnormal type of bleeding. In fact, the culprit here is the pills don’t include enough estrogen to stop user’s bleeding. Most contraceptives help raise the levels of estrogen in a woman’s body to prevent her egg from having the opportunity to drop. As a result, she is unable to become pregnant.

#The way you take the pills

If you are on the birth-control pill, the bleeding will normally be as little as spotting only. Yet, some women will experience an amount of blood that is quite heavy and is much like a menstrual period. Most of the time, this bleeding will by itself come to a halt and is not a thing to be worried about.

However, if the bleeding continues excessively and shows no sign of slowing down, it’s time you should pay attention to. In this case, you’d better be evaluated as soon as possible.

Breakthrough bleeding can last from hours to months, it depends on the cause. If your bleeding lasts for months, it is because your body has got used to the pills, so the blood loss is normally slight and only occurs few and far between.


Another cause of breakthrough bleeding is ovulation. Some women, during the ovulating process, only suffer light bleeding. When the dominant egg is forced to break free from its follicle, it will cause a slight amount of blood loss. This is a normal finding and you don’t have to be worried.

Women who are planning for pregnancy will love it when seeing bleeding because the egg may have been fertilized. For some others, after the egg gets fertilized, they will notice bleeding when implantation takes place. Implantation means the egg after fertilization is then implanted into the lining of the uterine.

#Hormone imbalances

When first starting birth control or when taking new medications, women had better consult their doctor if they suffer breakthrough bleeding. Hormone imbalances can lead to blood loss beyond your normal menstrual cycle. You should have them monitored to make sure that your hormone levels will return to its balanced state.

Treatment Measures

Normally, breakthrough bleeding calls for no specific therapy. About 2 or 4 cycles of taking pills can bring it to a stop.

The “treatment” is to switch to using another type of birth-control pill, or hormonal contraception or some other non-hormonal birth-control method.

Here are some tips on how to respond appropriately when you see this bleeding:

  1. If you’re afraid of having breakthrough bleeding, you should consult your doctor when it shows no sign of stopping after 2 to 3 cycles. Remember that not any slight bleeding between your periods is BBT for women taking birth-control pills. Don’t jump to the conclusion that another abnormality is BBT.
  2. Don’t abruptly come off your hormonal contraceptives to stop breakthrough bleeding since it may make the hormonal imbalances and the bleeding even worse.
  3. Take your pills on a regular basis and at the fixed time. An alarm can come in handy here. You should note that a slight 20-minute delay can cause significant results.
  4. Ask your doctor whether there is any non-hormonal alternative if you can still withstand the discomfort brought on by the pills.


How Long Does Breakthrough Bleeding Last? Breakthrough bleeding can last hours to months depending on the cause. Although there are many possible causes of breakthrough bleeding at work, this phenomenon usually is not worth any serious concern. In some special cases, however, it can signify a health problem that you’d better consult with your doctor.

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