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About Ortho Tri-cyclen®

If you've used Ortho Tri-cyclen®, please help others by adding your feedback. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.

Subj: Vertigo when weaning off Ortho Tricyclen
Date: 1/28/2008
I went off Ortho Tri Cyclen for about 2 months because I felt like I was gaining weight and my husband and I were thinking about trying. During those 2 months of being off BC, I experienced terrible vertigo the day before my period. The dizziness and nausea was so bad that I was bed ridden. I figured the vertigo was due to being off the pill. That was the only thing that had changed in the 2 months that I experienced this. I was also breaking out with really bad acne. I saw my doctor and he put me back on Ortho Tricyclen LO and I'm fine. But I hate Ortho LO...I am getting the really big red pimples on the cheeks and neck that others have complained about. But has anyone else experienced the vertigo when weaning off Ortho Tricyclen?

Subj: Emotionally unstable
Date: 1/28/2008
Ortho lo made me breakout and made me feel like I was emotionally unstable....not a good combination for feeling sexy!!!

Subj: Thank you everyone
Date: 1/29/2008
I have been on Ortho tri-cycle regular and Ortho tri-cycle low. I was on the regular one for 10 years. I didn't have any problems when I first started taking the pill when I was 15. The reason I started it was my periods lasted for 10 days could not get up to get ready for school. After I started it I was regular and had no cramping. But of course being on the pill for 10 years is to long and my body is so used to it that my periods went back to being painful and unbearable. And I started gaining weight like mad. Which over the last 10 years I never had happen because of the pill. So about a week ago I changed to ortho low. I am a little worried about what I am reading about side effects with the low one. So I guess will see what happens in a month or so. If the side effects start popping up. Thank you everyone who has posted to let other women know what is to be expected. I know not all women are a like. But some women are and it is just nice to see others may have the same problems as others.

Subj: Prevent having my period?
Date: 1/30/2008
I am 44 and have not been on the pill since my 20's. I have very erratic periods. If I don't want to have a period can I start taking it anytime to prevent having my period? I was prescribed it so I can get on a regular cycle.

AskDocWeb: No, this pill is not intended to prevent your period. To get a regular cycle you have to follow the directions. Please read the product insert that comes with the pills.

Subj: Yasmin did not work for me
Date: 1/31/2008
I am a 29 year old with pre-menstral dysphoric disorder and I just got off of yasmin as it lowered my estrogen level severely causing all kinds of negative things to go on in my body. My doctor just put me on ortho tri cyclen as to try it because it has a little more estrogen in it. This is my second day and I have had some spotting, severe nausea, cramping, and I have been really tired. I am hoping that my body will adjust in a short amount of time and it will work better for me. Yasmin is for p.m.d.d. but it did not seem to work for me and I was on it for almost a year. Good luck to everyone as I know about hormonal imbalances and have suffered with severe p.m.s. problems all of my life.

Subj: Will I still be protected from pregnancy?
Date: 1/31/2008
I've been on the pill for a like 4 months now and half way through my sugar pills I decided to take my new package of pills and just doubled up the dosage of pills like I had just missed them. Will I still be protected from pregnancy or should I use a back up method?

AskDocWeb: Yes, you are still protected but skipping the sugar pills is not recommended for a number of reasons. The results can be pretty unpleasant with cramps, etc.

Subj: How long to use back up birth control?
Date: 1/31/2008
Hello, I am fixing to get married in about a week. So I decided to get on birth control. I had my period about 2 weeks ago. I went to my doctor and she prescribed me ortho tri cyclen lo. She said I could start it the next day(which was yesterday on a Wednesday). She also told me that she would advise me to use some form of back up for a month. I have read on this site and heard from others that you only need to use back up for 7 days. So can somebody please give me some information so I can finally relax.

AskDocWeb: It sounds like your doctor wants give you an extra margin of safety. Here is a quote from the Physician's Desk Reference under Dosage and Administration for Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo: "For the first cycle of a Sunday Start regimen, another method of contraception should be used until after the first 7 consecutive days of administration."

Subj: Unprotected sex
Date: 1/31/2008
I was only on the pill for four days before having unprotected sex with my boyfriend then a few days later I was also always taking the pill late or missing them. I stopped taking it for good about 2 days ago and now I have very very light bleeding. Is there a chance I could get pregnant?

AskDocWeb: Yes, you might want to get a home pregnancy test and find out for sure.

Subj: I gained weight
Date: 2/3/2008
I've been on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo for almost a year now, prescribed for acne. Very soon after starting it I gained a bunch of weight, about 15 lbs, and have not been able to get it off since. I don't eat much at all ever, so no one can say it's cause of eating more, and I'm the same activity level I've always been...and besides, the last time I was on the pill a few years ago, I gained weight then too and lost it after stopping, so I know it must be the pills. I've had a lot of the other side effects too, with the stomach pains and mood and all that...but the weight bothers me most. I want to stop taking the pill so there's a better chance the weight will go down, but I'm afraid that if I do, the acne will come back and I'll just have that set of problems all over again. What should I do?

AskDocWeb: There are good alternatives for treating acne. You might want to consult with a dermatologist about something like Retin-A.

Subj: I keep skipping my pill
Date: 2/5/2008
Hi I have been taken the pill now not very long and my major problem is I keep skipping my pill and then I have to take 2 in the same day. I took 2 pills at once without anytime between is this okay?

AskDocWeb: Please read the directions very carefully because what you need to do depends on how many pills you miss, how often, and in what week that happens. Missing more than one pill in week one or two means you may become pregnant and need to use a back-up form of birth control for the following seven days. Missing more than one pill in week three means you may have to throw out the rest of the pack and start over. Please read the section entitled "WHAT TO DO IF YOU MISS PILLS" in the patient information that comes with your pills or call your doctor.

Subj: Backup method?
Date: 2/5/2008
Question, just starting the pill. What is your recommendation for a secondary method if I start the pill a week or two after my period? How long do I need to use a backup method?

AskDocWeb: Please talk to your doctor about the best time to start taking the pill, a week or two after your period is not the preferred time. The length of time a back-up form of birth control is needed varies with which pill you take. It ranges from seven days to a full cycle. Condoms are useful but remember that condoms do sometimes break so to be safe, use a spermicide along with the condom.

Subj: Increases breasts size?
Date: 2/6/2008
My friend told me about this type of birth control and I would like to go on it. She also said that it increases the size of your breasts, just wondering if that was true? Thanks.

AskDocWeb: If you read through the comments here you will see that this does happen for some but not all.

Subj: Can't have a good sex life because of the pill
Date: 2/7/2008
I first started taking OTC Lo to regulate my period almost 3 yrs ago. However in the past 1 & 1/2 is when I've been noticing my hair getting thinner. My family doctor & gynocologist both ran blood work for various things including testosterone levels & for my thyroid, but everything checked out fine. I've been taking to various women who have reported hair loss while on OTC LO also, but my gyno is adament of that fact that she doesn't think OTC Lo is causing my hair thinning. I recently started using birth control to prevent pregnancy (before I wasn't sexually active). And I've noticed that I get dry pretty quickly. Also that I (have) a very low sex drive. I just change in the mood. In my head I want to have sex, but my body doesn't. I don't know what to do. I'm not sure if I should stop taking the pill for maybe two months and see if the symptoms go away, and then if they do ill know for sure that is the OTC Lo. However, it is the worst time for me to stop taking birth control since I am now sexually active. But I can't even have a good sex life because of the pill. What do you suggest I do? Should I stop taking the pill for a few months and rely solely on condoms? Or is that a terrible idea?

AskDocWeb: Since it sounds like your symptoms are unacceptable we suggest you talk to your gynecologist about alternatives. Tell them that you want something that doesn't reduce your sex drive or make you dry. If you go with condoms you can increase your protection by using a spermicide with them.

Subj: My breast have been killing me
Date: 2/7/2008
I used the patches for a year and a half. Then, I switched to Ortho low and have been using it for a year and a half. The last three months my breast have been killing me and I am having concurrent headaches when I am on my period. I go to sleep with headaches and I wake up with them.

Subj: Is that normal?
Date: 2/7/2008
I just started ortho lo last month, I am on the 5th day of placebo pills and my period still hasn't came. Is that normal? Also, I took a pregnancy test the other day and it was negative.

AskDocWeb: During the first three months of using a new birth control pill, it is not unusual to experience variations in the timing of your period. It takes that long for your body to become adjusted to the change in hormone levels.

Subj: Severe cramps in my stomach
Date: 2/10/2008
I've been taking Ortho-tri-cyclen lo for about 7 months now and for the past week I've been getting severe cramps in my stomach, the same cramps I get on the first and second day of my period, but I'm not expecting my period until next week, should I stop taking the pill or continue and just go see my doctor.

AskDocWeb: Just go see your doctor.

Subj: All sorts of problems with ortho-lo
Date: 2/10/2008
I've been taking ortho-lo for 7 months now and I'm having all sorts of problems. I always start my period the week before the placebo pills and it will last for over a week. I figured by now my period would be lighter and shorter but it's not. Should I switch to a different birth control or should I wait it out?

AskDocWeb: That "wait it out" period is only for the first three months while your body becomes adjusted to the new hormone levels. Any problems after that are not likely to go away on their own and may be reason enough to talk to your doctor about switching to another birth control.

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