HomeAnswersInternal Medicinevaginal dischargeI have spotting while on Tri-Sprintec. Please help.

While on birth control pill, what can cause vaginal spotting?


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Published At June 10, 2016
Reviewed AtJanuary 18, 2024

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I have been taking the birth control pill, Tri-Sprintec for almost five years now. I started my new pack of pills on 19 of last month. I had intercourse twice on 20th and once on the 21st of last month. I used to take my pill between 7 and 8 AM. One day I had pill at 6:30 AM as I woke up early and I hope that did not cause a problem. I started to notice a little pain on my right side in the pelvic area. I had intercourse again on 26th. I started my second week of the pack that day. During intercourse I felt pain, which never happened before. On 30th, when I was showering, I saw a rusty brown color discharge from my vagina and panicked immediately. When I continued to wipe my vagina a light brown, tan tinge appeared on the paper. Again on 31st, I saw a brown tinge on the toilet paper. Today, my urine color was brown initially and then became lighter. My period is not due now. I do not want to get pregnant. Can I get a prescription for birth control online? Please help.


Welcome to iCliniq.com. The brown rusty vaginal discharge you are experiencing could be one of the side effects of Tri-Sprintec, which is a combination of Norgestimate and Ethinyl estradiol. It is common to have irregular periods, unscheduled bleeding, and vaginal spotting during the first few months of starting Tri-Sprintec.

Another possible explanation for the unscheduled spotting could be related to your ovulation and the timing of intercourse. If you had intercourse close to your ovulation date on the 26th of last month, it is possible that the spotting on the 30th could be due to implantation of the embryo. However, this theory is highly unlikely since you have been on oral contraceptive pills for a long time, which typically cause anovulatory cycles where no egg is formed or released. For now, it would be best to wait for your expected period and stay optimistic. If you do not get your periods, then you can consider getting a urine pregnancy test (UPT) done to rule out pregnancy. I hope this clarifies your concerns. Please feel free to ask if you have any further questions or concerns.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Geetha Priyadarsini Kamminana
Dr. Geetha Priyadarsini Kamminana

Internal Medicine

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