Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Staining with progesterone

18 July, 2013


I'm currently two months after giving birth, and breastfeeding. I started to take "errin" birth control pills as per my doctor's advice, but about four days after I started to take the pill I began to see stains. This has continued for a week now. Are the birth control pills are causing the spotting? Is there any other brand that would be less likely to cause spotting, or should I try a different form of birth control altogether – the patch, the ring etc.?

Thank you so much, the site is very helpful.


Mazal tov on the recent birth of your baby!

Unfortunately, it is common to experience spotting while taking progesterone-only pills (the "minipill") like Errin. However, all types of hormonal contraception (including combined pills, the ring, the patch, etc.) can cause spotting or irregular bleeding during the first three months as your body adjusts to the hormones.

First of all, we also recommend that you review the laws of staining. Not all stains will render you niddah or invalidate the clean days, so it is important to review these laws and take the necessary precautions to avoid becoming niddah from stains.

We also recommend that you give this type of pill some more time to see how your body adjusts to it. If after two months you are still experiencing frequent spotting, you can speak to your doctor about switching to a different pill – either another minipill, or some type of combined pill – or the ring or patch. The main concern with combined hormonal methods for breastfeeding mothers is that they can cause a decrease in the milk supply. This is less of a problem if the baby is over four months old, and can start to take some solids if necessary.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.


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