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Will menstruation resume after discontinuing Norethisterone which was taken for a year?

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Posted on Wed, 2 Dec 2015
Question: How long after taking Noreisterone should i get my period

Been taking Noreisterone since October 31st 2014 and and thinking of stopping it after Christmas so Boxing Day, I've been on them for 1 year this November 2015, recently my doctor told me to up it to 4 times a day at 5mg as was getting bits of breakthrough bleeding and brown discharge.

Only I've read some stories of people who have been on them for 1 and half year to 2 years and they suggested that their doctor said they might not bleed for up to 7 months because of prolonged use, is this true or not?.

As I have had bits of blood (pink and brown discharge).

Also I've read you can have a period for 3 months after, is this true and what could I expect for example heavy bleeding etc.

Much appreciated
doctor
Answered by Dr. Jacqueline Brown (54 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
It is impossible to predict what your cycles will be like off progesterone

Detailed Answer:
Hello again XXXXXXX

As I discussed with you in a previous question, being on progesterone can cause irregular breakthrough bleeding because it can make your uterine lining, which is normally the part that is shed with menstruation, very thin and unstable.

So people who have been on progesterone only contraceptives, whether it be pills, the implant or an IUD, sometimes take a while for their normal menstrual cycles to come back. There needs to be enough estrogen present for some length of time in order to rebuild your uterine lining, which is the tissue that is normally shed with menstruation. However, if you still ovulate while taking the progesterone, which is still possible because you are not taking the dose that is normally used as a contraceptive, you may experience withdrawal bleed 3 to 7 days after you discontinue the progesterone.

An ultrasound of your uterus that measures the thickness of your uterine lining might be useful in giving you more information. The thickness of your uterine lining is a measurement of the buildup of tissue inside your uterus that normally occurs before menstruation. The growth of your uterine lining is normally stimulated by estrogen. If it is less than 4 mm in size, it may be a few months before you see your next menstrual period, even if you do ovulate.

In addition, because of your age, your ovulation and normal menstrual cycles may have actually improved due to normal reproductive maturity. There is no way to predict what your cycles are going to be like on their own without any other types of hormones.

But I can assure you, that after being on progesterone for so long, most likely scenario is that your first cycle will not be heavy as you've been suppressing it for so long, and that it will be delayed. Women who have missed their period for a number of months on their own, without taking hormones, may have very heavy cycles once they finally ovulate and shed their uterine lining. However in your case, because your uterine lining is likely very thin, as I said before you are unlikely to bleed heavily or for a long period of time.

I know this information about the menstrual cycle is complicated, but I hope I was able to provide you with some useful information, and as before; please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any clarification.

Best wishes, Dr. Brown.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Jacqueline Brown (1 hour later)
Even if my menstral cycle isnt back to normal, will i still bleed every month until it returns to normal.

What does ovulate mean ?
As you said somepeople might still ovulate whilst on progesterone.


Will i still be able to predict the date of my next "menstrual cycle" even if they are not back to normal or have a idea of a timescale of when it might occur.

As i think it would be worse if you didnt have a period for months as you wouldnt know when it was going to happen. Alsocould it take longer than 7 days to start after stopping them and would i only ovulate once a month until they are back to normal or would it be all month or on and off like when on the POP before i was on noreisterone.

And i hope they have improved as wish they were normal as wouldnt of needed any mediction to help, so i hope they have eased to being lighter and less time.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Jacqueline Brown (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Unfortunately, there is no way to predict how your period will behave.

Detailed Answer:
Ok XXXXXXX I'm going to try to teach you about the menstrual cycle. I would recommend you take a look also at womenshealth.org and search for "normal menstrual cycle".

Your menstruation is controlled by hormones contained in your hypothalamus (part of your brain), your pituitary gland and your ovaries.

Your ovaries make estrogen in the follicles (spaces where eggs grow) which is triggered by a signal from your pituitary gland to begin a menstrual cycle. Estrogen builds up and reaches a critical level that sends a signal to your pituitary gland to give the signal to the ovary to ovulate.
Ovulation refers to the time that an egg is released from the ovary. The area that previously nourished your egg that turns into a cyst which produces progesterone, called a corpus luteum.

If you do not become pregnant, your estrogen and progesterone levels begin to fall. When your hormones fall enough, the lining of the uterus (endometrium), starts to die and comes out as menstrual blood. The low estrogen triggers the ovary to start making more, and the cycle starts again.

So when taking progesterone, women miss their period because there is no drop like in a normal cycle. Eventually, however, the tissue in your uterus will die and you will bleed sometimes. This is what causes the spotting on continuous progesterone.

So, in your case, you may have some bleeding a few days to a week after you stop the progesterone, but I doubt it will be heavy.

And then, unfortunately, there is no way to know when you will have a normal period.
I can reassure you though that many young women who had problems with their period when they were teenagers do outgrow them... so you may go to a regular cycle right away.

You will just have to wait and see what happens. Many women do not have predictable menstrual cycles. You may just need to carry protection with you just in case.

I'm sorry that I cannot tell you exactly what will happen, but it really is impossible to predict.

I hope this information was helpful.

Let me know if you need anything else,

Dr. Brown

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Follow up: Dr. Jacqueline Brown (42 minutes later)
Thanks again, its one of them things, before when i had heavy periods they were regular and laster for 7 days or maybe more, so that wasnt the issue it was the fact of the heavy bleeding.

Once i stop these and ovulate, once i have had that cycle and it stopped as you said maybe a week but not heavy , will that be it for that month like a period or could i ovulate or have this more than once a month. Like when i have spotting about 1-3 times a month.

As atleast after i know this and its been 3 months off noreisterone i might be able to predict a time of the month again, until normal.

As i stated earlier some person said they bleed for 3 months afterwards, and it was bad enough when i was on the POP that is the reason i went on noreisterone for that long period of time.

Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Jacqueline Brown (14 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
If your period was regular before, it should be again

Detailed Answer:
When you stop the progesterone, you may have some bleeding from the levels dropping. That bleeding will stop when you ovulate again... meaning your brain starts the signal for a normal cycle.

So your next cycle will likely start about a month after you stop bleeding from stopping the medication. If you ovulate normally... if not it may be a while until you get a period again. You are unlikely to spot during that time, though... it is different than when you were on the POPs because that dose of progesterone was too low to suppress your menstruation completely.

You may find that, when it come back, your period is not as heavy as it used to be... menstrual symptoms tend to be the worst in your teens and in your forties. Some people really outgrow it.

But you really just have to wait and see. No one can know for sure how your body will feel off the medication. Let me know how things go.

Take care, Dr. Brown
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Follow up: Dr. Jacqueline Brown (7 minutes later)
What do you mean "you are unlikely to spot during that time"? Do you mean on the next cycle after i stop noresiterone, do you mean i may bleed or not, only dont understand that bit completely.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Jacqueline Brown (17 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
I mean between the time you have your first bleeding episode until the next

Detailed Answer:
I'm sorry that this is difficult to explain

What I was referring to was the time between any bleeding that happens immediately after stopping the medication and the time you get your first real period. If you did not spot between periods before you started taking progesterone, it is unlikely you will have that issue.

I hope that this clarifies things for you.

Let me know if you have any further questions,

Dr. Brown
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Dr. Jacqueline Brown

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Will menstruation resume after discontinuing Norethisterone which was taken for a year?

Brief Answer: It is impossible to predict what your cycles will be like off progesterone Detailed Answer: Hello again XXXXXXX As I discussed with you in a previous question, being on progesterone can cause irregular breakthrough bleeding because it can make your uterine lining, which is normally the part that is shed with menstruation, very thin and unstable. So people who have been on progesterone only contraceptives, whether it be pills, the implant or an IUD, sometimes take a while for their normal menstrual cycles to come back. There needs to be enough estrogen present for some length of time in order to rebuild your uterine lining, which is the tissue that is normally shed with menstruation. However, if you still ovulate while taking the progesterone, which is still possible because you are not taking the dose that is normally used as a contraceptive, you may experience withdrawal bleed 3 to 7 days after you discontinue the progesterone. An ultrasound of your uterus that measures the thickness of your uterine lining might be useful in giving you more information. The thickness of your uterine lining is a measurement of the buildup of tissue inside your uterus that normally occurs before menstruation. The growth of your uterine lining is normally stimulated by estrogen. If it is less than 4 mm in size, it may be a few months before you see your next menstrual period, even if you do ovulate. In addition, because of your age, your ovulation and normal menstrual cycles may have actually improved due to normal reproductive maturity. There is no way to predict what your cycles are going to be like on their own without any other types of hormones. But I can assure you, that after being on progesterone for so long, most likely scenario is that your first cycle will not be heavy as you've been suppressing it for so long, and that it will be delayed. Women who have missed their period for a number of months on their own, without taking hormones, may have very heavy cycles once they finally ovulate and shed their uterine lining. However in your case, because your uterine lining is likely very thin, as I said before you are unlikely to bleed heavily or for a long period of time. I know this information about the menstrual cycle is complicated, but I hope I was able to provide you with some useful information, and as before; please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any clarification. Best wishes, Dr. Brown.