Unusual Bleeding Pattern


Oral contraception for 9 years (dianette). Current age 27. Trying to become pregnant for 15 months. Regular unprotected sex.  Husband (36) who has 2 children from previous relationship. Menses is regular (27/28 days) however bleeding only occurs for 2/3 days and is predominantly dark brown in colour and thick in consistency. This “bleeding” is broken in that flow, often stops then returns during the 2/3 days of menses. I’m becoming increasingly concerned that this is obviously not normal and frustrated that things haven’t happened yet.  I’m a nurse and as you know we always think the worst!  Please, can you advise?


After failing to conceive for greater than 12 months, it is a good idea to make sure the basics are covered. Some would say to get to work after 6 months. A good NFP course is excellent for covering basics. Referrals to local teachers and classes can be found at this website. One of the most valuable things NFP helps with is making sure that intercourse actually occurs during the 3 most fertile days each month. Sometimes, “regular” unbarriered sex can actually work against the couple. Once they started charting, they could discover that they had been having sex on almost every day except the most fertile days! Sometimes it is as simple as that. However, a history of short, choppy, thick, dark brown bleeding is indeed not normal, and could signify any number of correctable problems, such as thyroid or estrogen/progesterone disorders, cervical stenosis, or clotting disorders to name a few. A basic gynecologic exam and blood test can usually reveal the problem. It is important to emphasize that, whatever the problem turns out to be, doing good NFP basics in tandem with the treatment will give the greatest chance of success with the least expense and intervention.

Dr. Peter Sultana

Answered By:

Peter Sultana, MD
Peter Sultana, MD, Professional Member of CANFP, is a family practice physician with training in NaProTechnology,in the Santa Rosa region.

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