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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: Having my period for almost 10 days
Date: 3/12/2009
I had been taking ortho tricyclen lo for over a year and then stopped because my husband and I decided to start trying for another. Before being on the pill I had always always been regular and would have it for the full 7 days. When I started the pill it still stayed regular and I would never have problems with being sick because I would take them at night before bed. Well with about 10 months of trying and nothing I decided to go back on the pill. I had been off the pill for about 15 months before I got put back on the pill. Except this time they put me on tri sprintec which I had an allergic reaction to. So they switched me over the very next month to ortho tricyclen lo again, and my husband just got back from a deployment that month I switched over which was about 2 months ago. Well I was on my period when he came home and I ended up having my period for almost 10 days the last 3 days was like just a lot of discharge. Then last month last month I was exactly one week late but had it for 7 days. Then this month I get it almost a week early. What the heck is going on? My body has never done this before when I was on it for over a year.

AskDocWeb: How your body responds to a particular drug may change over time. That is one reason why many doctors switch birth control pills for you about every five years or so. When switching from one birth control pill to another your body may take up to three months to adjust to the new pill, which may have different hormone levels or even different hormones.

Subj: Green pills?
Date: 3/12/2009
I take ortho tri cyclin. I just dropped one of the green pills on the floor and I had heard the green pills really have no purpose, so is it okay if I do not take the green one?

AskDocWeb: Not taking one of the green pills won't cause any problem but those green pills really do have a purpose. They help you maintain the habit of taking a pill everyday, which makes it easier to remember to take the more important ones on time.

Subj: Possibility I could be pregnant?
Date: 3/12/2009
So I've been on ortho tri cyclen lo for about 6 months now and I had sex the next day after the last green pill. So basically I had sex a couple hours before I took the first white pill of the month. My boyfriend wasn't wearing a condom is there a possibility I could be pregnant. I really don't want to be its way too early for that.

AskDocWeb: As long as you haven't missed any pills then you were protected when you had sex. The use of condoms (or another back-up form of birth control) is recommended when originally first starting the birth control pills, not the first of each month.

Subj: Is it possible
Date: 3/13/2009
I've been taking ortho-cyclen for two months. My second period since beginning the BC ended and I didn't start my new pack for 3 nights. (I take it at night) Last night was my third night of taking it again. My husband and I just had sex this morning. Is it possible I've already ovulated and could be pregnant. Am I going to ovulate within a week and get pregnant?

AskDocWeb: Since you didn't start your new pack for 3 nights, that results in a break in your protection so yes, you could get pregnant. The pills have to be taken every day in order to be effective.

Subj: Trying to get pregnant
Date: 3/13/2009
Hello, I've been on tri-cyclen for about 3 yrs now and my husband and I are trying to get pregnant. I was wondering if I need to wait a couple months after going off the pill to try to get pregnant. Or is it safe to start trying without any back up method. And is it safe to just go off the pill, without finishing the pack.

AskDocWeb: There may be some delay in becoming pregnant once you discontinue the pill, especially if your periods were irregular before you started using oral contraceptives. It may be advisable to delay conception for a few months until you begin to menstruating regularly. You can help this process along by finishing the pack before stopping.

Subj: Pain in my legs
Date: 3/14/2009
I had some pain in my legs that seems to be associated with this pill (went away after stopping it and came back when I tried to start again after an ultrasound revealed no blood clot) so I am quite confused. Could hormones cause this? If so, would switching pills help?

AskDocWeb: Having a change in hormones can cause your joints to become unstable, this can let you sacroiliac joints (back of your hips) move around and sometimes they get caught. When this happens your sciatic nerve gets trapped and sends pain down one or both legs.

While it is true that leg pain can signal the presence of a blood clot there are also other causes of leg pain. It can be secondary to conditions affecting the blood vessels of your legs. Leg pain or aching that occurs after a prolonged period of sitting or standing could be related to a buildup of fluid in the leg veins. When the valves in the leg veins don't function properly, venous congestion can result. One possible cause of a valve problem is phlebitis or inflammation of a vein. In such cases the blood does not return to the heart as efficiently as it should and this causes blood to accumulate or pool in the lower extremities. Typically those who have venous congestion experience leg pain which is more evident after sitting or standing and may also be accompanied by swelling. Aside from phlebitis, varicose veins can also predispose you to venous congestion.

Another possible cause of leg pain is a condition known as peripheral artery disease. This is due to a partial or complete blockage of blood circulation in the arteries of one or both legs. One of its symptoms is an intermittent cramping pain while walking. Peripheral artery disease may be caused by atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the hardening of the arteries.

Subj: I had sex on my period
Date: 3/17/2009
I was wondering if I can get pregnant if I had sex on my period but I was still taking the last pill of my cycle. It was the inactive ones the greens one?

AskDocWeb: No, you are not fertile during the time that the green pills are taken so there is no chance of getting pregnant.

Subj: Spotting
Date: 3/18/2009
OK here goes.. I started ortho tri cyclen lo on 12/16/08 and my period came on the first green pill and stopped on the first white pill. The last week of Feb 09 I started to spot from the first light blue pill all the way to the first green pill then a get a real period. I have an irregular period I was told I also may not be ovulating I'm 24... I'm like really lost. I'm tired of going to the Dr. to be told I'm fine.. I aware that I may have a hormonal imbalance... I just want to know why after a month I'm spotting... what could that mean?

AskDocWeb: Occasional spotting (bleeding between periods) can be very normal in women of all ages. Some common causes that can be harmless or serious include changes in hormone levels, low thyroid levels, early pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives, stress, infection, or even just a weak muscle. Typically when you experiences spotting between cycles it is recommended that you see a gynecologist or nurse practitioner to make sure that the breakthrough bleeding is normal and not a symptom of another problem such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, cervical cancer, or ovarian cysts. Most of the time it turns out to be harmless but it is safer to check and make sure.

Subj: Bleeding for two weeks straight
Date: 3/20/2009
I'm about to be on my third month I have 6 more green pills left but I have had my period for 3 weeks. Is there a way to stop it? Please help me. Also before that I was bleeding for two weeks straight.

AskDocWeb: That sounds like it is time to check with your doctor, please do so.

Subj: Down right crazy
Date: 3/22/2009
I have been on Ortho Lo for 16 months. As far as preventing pregnancy goes, it is an excellent pill. I take it on time and only bled in between periods for the first three months. However, it has reaked havoc on my emotional life! Since beginning taking it, there are side effects that have never gone away. I can predict down to the pill when I will begin feeling nauseated, crampy, and down right crazy. It makes me feel like my mind is racing. I have anxiety, sadness over nothing, and hate everyone a lot of the time. This is not me...I never experienced ANY of these things before using the pill. It also makes me super hungry (I know which pill this begins on)and my acne is ridiculous. I never had either of these problems before. I know when I am going to feel like crying all the time based on which pill I am on, and my menstrual cramps are SO bad.

Before the pill I rarely had cramps or PMS symptoms. I also have extreme headaches the two weeks before my period. So...all in all I give it many thumbs down. It protects you from pregnancy but at what cost? Not to mention all the research coming out on the pill increasing your risk of breast cancer! They only tell you it decreases the risk of certain kinds of cancer, not that it doubles your risk for breast cancer after a few years! Oh yeah...and I have experienced hair loss at my hair line. That was the first thing I noticed when I started (about two months in.) I bought the book "Taking Charge of your Fertility" by Toni Weschler and it changed my life. Today was my last pill ever, at the end of my pack. I am going with the fertility awareness method and using condoms. Oral contraceptives are not worth the care free sex they offer.

Subj: Harder time getting pregnant?
Date: 3/22/2009
I have been taking ortho for a little over 2 years and stopped taking them due to the fact that I was on antibiotics. How long does it take for the pill it self to wear off? I know that some people have a harder time getting pregnant after being on the pill for years?

AskDocWeb: The birth control pill wears off fairly quickly. The protection is gone in just a couple of days but it takes awhile, sometimes a few months for your body to get on a regular cycle again after quitting the pill and a regular period is a sign of a healthy, normal ovulation cycle. If your periods aren't regular the changes of not getting pregnant are much higher. Studies show that women whose body mass index (BMI) is below 20 or above 30 have a harder time getting pregnant. If you smoke or are stressed out about your job or relationship, you will have a harder time getting pregnant. It is also true that women have a harder time getting pregnant as they get older, especially after 35. Most doctors recommend waiting one to three months before you start trying to get pregnant.

Subj: Delay my period?
Date: 3/25/2009
I am wanting to either delay my period or make it a week earlier next month because I'll be on vacation when I'll be having my period. Today, I'm on day 4 of the inactive pills and got my period this morning. If I start the next cycle of active pills today, will that work?

AskDocWeb: Reports from those who have tried that have not been encouraging. Although they did delay or skip their period they also reported spotting, breakthrough bleeding, terrible cramping, and even accidental pregnancy. They also said that they would not repeat the experience.

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