Desperately Seeking the Pill: Her Use of Friends’ Birth Control Prescriptions has Caused Her Unsightly Brown Discharge

Jean Dohm's picture
By Jean Dohm Conditions: Women's Vaginal Discharge Causes: birth control pills Symptoms: abnormal vaginal discharge Age: 18 - 35

As a recent college graduate, she no longer has health insurance and is struggling to find work. But this doesn’t mean she’s without need for a doctor, because she is. Specifically she must continue her birth control prescription. To fulfill that need, she’s been taking oral contraceptives from her friends. Now she has a brown vaginal discharge that won’t stop.

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I recently graduated from college and have struggled to find work. As a result, I don’t have health insurance and can no longer get birth control. I now depend on my friends to give me some pills. I went a whole month without any because I couldn’t get my hands on them. When I finally did, I discovered they were estrogen-based. That didn’t stop me because I really needed them. Ever since I used those, I have experienced dark vaginal discharge on a daily basis. I did some research and found the discharge could be from the birth control pills. Should I switch back to what I was using before? I want to know if there is something I can take to stop the discharge.


You probably don’t need to be told this, but it’s a really bad idea to take another woman’s birth control prescription. It might seem like every pill is made the same, but as you discovered, they’re not. Some contain only estrogen, while others are made of both estrogen and progesterone.
Your doctor determines which is better for you after taking down your entire medical history, considering any complications you may have with one or the other and then determining your needs. For instance, some women take birth control strictly to prevent pregnancy, while others use it to manage PMS symptoms. Still others take it to reduce their risk of developing certain cancers. Until you are eligible for health insurance or can make an appointment with a family planning clinic, stop taking birth control.
Explaining Birth Control
The pill has been available for use in the United States for over 50 years. It is the most popular form of contraception and has acquired a reputation for being equal parts safe and effective. But the pill also comes with a long list of side effects. Foremost for many women is spotting or breakthrough bleeding.
A number of women maintain a consistent menstrual cycle throughout their childbearing years – that is, the time between menstrual cycles as well as the duration and volume of blood flow follow a predictable pattern. Without question, birth control disrupts this pattern even for women whose periods come like clockwork. Why? Because oral contraceptives contain artificial blends of real hormones. When ingested, the body treats these chemicals like regular hormones. This means they are metabolized and moved through the body just like natural progesterone and estrogen.
Why Breakthrough Bleeding Occurs
The treatment of synthetic hormones as real ones means birth control pills are highly effective at preventing pregnancy. On the flip side, however, they cause hormonal imbalances that are responsible for breakthrough bleeding, or brown vaginal discharge. In particular, the discharge can be the result of three different scenarios.
The first is estrogen dominance, in which excessive levels cause the uterine lining to grow each month in an abnormal manner. The uterine lining is nothing more than a rich growth of tissues and blood cells spurred to production by estrogen. It is intended to nourish a developing embryo if pregnancy occurs. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, the lining is expelled with menstruation.
Estrogen dominance causes the lining to grow too thick, and a little must be shed before menstruation because of volume. Estrogen withdrawal, on the other hand, is the result of rapid drops in this hormone - as happens just before ovulation in a normal menstrual cycle. This decline can prompt the uterine lining to shed too early.
Progesterone dominance means this hormone is disproportionate to that of estrogen. A lack of estrogen causes the uterine lining to grow too thin. Its watery consistency renders it unable to remain in place until menstruation. It is instead shed lightly with spotting, which explains the brown vaginal discharge you have. This last scenario is that which most commonly occurs because of birth control pills.
Your Solution
If you take oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, explore other methods that won’t disrupt your hormonal balance. Female condoms, the diaphragm and male condoms are all smart and effective choices. But don’t think just in terms of contraceptives – what you need right now is to detox your body. This will eliminate excessive hormones and immediately stop unwanted discharge. The best way to accomplish this task is with an herbal formula that includes such beneficial ingredients as Fenugreek and Mexican Wild Yam. (SEE: Natural Herbal Formula for Vaginal Detox & Infection Relief)

What to do

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