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Hello! I have done a lot of research online for my specific case but I haven't found exactly the answers I'm looking for so I figured time to just put my questions and concerns out there somewhere and hopefully get an answer, so here is my case.

I started taking the birth control pill almost 3 months ago to the day. I started on Mononessa and it was fine for the first 3 weeks. I am taking the pill continuously in hopes to suppress my period. During the first week of placebo pills I skipped I began having breakthrough bleeding, which I didn't think much of because I knew that was probably going to happen during the first 3 months as my body got used to taking the pill, and that it's especially more common while taking the continuous pill. I was spotting for about 3 weeks straight and then had a week where I had no bleeding at all. Then my pharmacy switched me to Sprintec and the same pattern continued. I started breakthrough bleeding for 3 weeks straight again before having a week of no bleeding, then back to 3 weeks of spotting almost consistently. The last time I went to get a new pack of birth control almost 3 weeks ago they switched me yet again, to Estarylla this time. The breakthrough bleeding has been a consistent basis of non stop bleeding for 3 weeks and then not for a week almost since I started the pill.

Considering all of this, I have a couple questions that I have found hard to find exact answers to online. First of all, is that amount of breakthrough bleeding normal? I know that spotting is to be expected the first 3 months especially but for that long and that consistently? I'd rather just have my period for a couple days and then be good for the month instead of bleeding most of the month and only have a few days of respite, that amount of breakthrough bleeding is just not what I expecting when I was told there would be some spotting in the beginning and I can't seem to find an answer on whether that amount of spotting is normal and I just need to push through or something that I should look into more and may have a different cause. Also, is having my birth control brand switched like that causing my body to have a harder time getting used to/regulating on the pill? I know the pharmacy has said they're the exact same pill just with different packaging and that it shouldn't effect anything but because I have had different side effects on each one and have read that they all have vastly different reviews I have a hard time believing they're the same thing and wonder if maybe switching the brand that much is contributing to the amount of breakthrough bleeding I am having. Lastly, when it comes to the brand switching, I called the pharmacy and they said the only way to keep the same brand is to have my doctor write on my prescription "dispense as given" and then they legally have to give me the same brand. I would like to do this but I worry that if I have my doctor do this it means it will lock in whatever brand I am on now. Estarylla has made my depression and anxiety so much worse and I do not want to stay on this brand, I would like to go back to Mononessa that I seemed to have the least amount of problems on. If I get my doctor to do the "dispense as given" thing, can I have that happen in a way where I can go back to and stay on Mononessa instead of it just making them stay consistent with the Estarylla pill that I am on now?

In short, how much breakthrough bleeding in the first 3 months is normal? Is a cycle of spotting for 3 weeks straight with a week off a normal amount, or cause for concern? Could the switching of pill brands make my body take longer to get used to the birth control and be a cause for so much spotting? Are each brand really the same exact thing with different packaging? How does the "dispense as given" thing work exactly?

I know that a lot of these questions could be answered by just calling my doctor and I was planning on doing that soon. I got the prescription through Planned Parenthood and lately my schedule has just not been lining up with theirs of when I'm available to call and ask. Also, to be perfectly honest, I'm not the best with phone calls and especially talking to medical professionals gives me a lot of anxiety and I also seem to get run around a bit and not really given solid answers most of the time. Especially with my anxiety being heightened since I started the latest pill brand it has seemed really difficult to sit down and make the call to Planned Parenthood lately. I was also trying to wait out the 3 months to see if the constant breakthrough bleeding stopped but my depression is really bad this week and I'm just extremely frustrated at this point since I started the pill to make things easier and make sure I don't have to worry about my period during some trips this summer and it has only made things more difficult thus far. I was just looking to get some sort of answers or respite or more research about my specific case and questions before I call Planned Parenthood to have more of a base to go off of and also hopefully ease my mind a bit more before actually forcing myself to make that call sometime soon.

Thank you for your time <3

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