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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: Menses is off
Date: 7/8/2009
I have been on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo for approximately 7 months. My period is very normal like clockwork every 28-30 days. However, last month it took 37 days to get my period and I was not sick (I took a pregnancy test and it came up negative). I didn't get my period when taking the green pills, it started the week of taking the light blue pills. I continued taking the pills as normal, now this month I am currently on my 4th white pill and still no period. I am sexually active and have unprotected sex about 6 times a week and my question to you is that since my menses were off last month, could that increase my chances of getting pregnant. Should I try to start a new Sunday cycle after I (hopefully) get my period?

AskDocWeb: The timing of menses does vary and for specific advice you should contact your doctor. Remember that this website is for discussing side effects.

Subj: Dark red bleeding
Date: 7/9/2009
I have been on Ortho Lo for 5 years now. For the most party my period comes right time right on the dot. Recently I have been taking strong prescriptions for pain. I have had some really red bleeding a week/2 weeks before my period. I have never seen this red before- very dark. What does this mean? Is it normal? Have you heard of it before? Do you think I am pregnant?

AskDocWeb: It doesn't sound like you are pregnant but to be safe consult with your GYN for a pelvic exam.

Subj: Skipping pills?
Date: 7/9/2009
Hi, I am on Ortho Tri. Mine are only blue and green pills. I am about to start having green pills but I am about to go to the beach. Can I just skip the green pills? I have two blue ones left before I start. Today is Thursday and I leave next Friday. There are 7 green pills. Should I skip my last two blue pills and start on my green, that way I will not have my period during my beach trip? Is this safe to skip two blue pills to start my green early? I am just wondering...because I do not want to become pregnant by skipping two blues to start green early.

AskDocWeb: We highly recommend that you take all pills as instructed and don't skip any. Those placebo pills are there for a good reason. They help you maintain the habit of taking a pill at the same time every day, which makes you more likely to remember to take the other pills on time.

Subj: Avoid getting a period?
Date: 7/12/2009
I take ortho tri cyclen 21 and I was wondering if I could start a new package right away to avoid getting my period this month. I know it's possible with the regular cyclen but the hormone level is too strong for me.

AskDocWeb: We highly recommend that you talk to your doctor before trying to avoid getting a period. Reports from those who have tried that are not encouraging.

Subj: Rash
Date: 7/12/2009
Hi, my name is tiffany I used to be on birth control the shot where I had to get it every three months now I am on orthotricyclen and even before I was on ortho I've been having side affects like a rash on the out side of my vagina also loss of sex, bad acne so I changed and now that I am on the pill I am getting a rash that itches and when I urinate it hurts when the urination touches it. I've been tested for herpes because I thought my husband gave me a sexually disease even hiv aids and when ever I go for my annaualy routine the docter says I'm ok but I've been telling him this has been bothering me for the longest time so he suggested that when I get the rash come in so he could do a culture but every time I try his secretary tells me I need a appointment and he is a gonocologist. I need a primary docter to go to he don't take walk ins so I think maybe I should go to the health department to get a papsmear again to get a culture. Also could you please contact me to help me under stand what this could be? Thank you,

AskDocWeb: It sounds like you will have to get the culture done in order to find out the nature of the rash. Remember that this website is for the discussion of side effects, not medical advice.

Subj: Reclipsen to control acne isn't working
Date: 7/13/2009
I am 33-years-old and was prescribed Reclipsen for birth control (and had hoped) to control my moderate acne. After two months, my acne is not only worse, it has gone from slight break-outs to painful cysts on my chin and neck. Should I switch birth control to something like Ortho Tri-Cyclen, or will that make it worse?

AskDocWeb: Treating acne is one of the off-label uses of Reclipsen but you should know that it doesn't always work. Since you acne is getting worse you may want to let your doctor know that it isn't working.

Subj: Cramping and bloating
Date: 7/14/2009
Hey. So I've been on this birth control for about 3 months. I am on my 3rd day of my green pills on a tri-phasic birth control pack. I'm experiencing the cramping and bloating that usually occurs, but I haven't yet bled. I haven't been sexually active in the past 2 1/2 weeks and always use a condom and take my birth control as I should. I have recently been very stressed out and wondered if the climate change to 110 degrees a day could be affecting it. Is there a possibility that I am pregnant?

AskDocWeb: With the precautions you are taking the chance of being pregnant is very low. It sounds more likely to be stress, which is known to sometimes have that affect.

Subj: Can antibiotics throw off your period?
Date: 7/14/2009
Hello, I am currently taking Lo Ortho Tri-Cyclen....almost at the end of my 2nd pack and I am new to taking birth control. I had a UTI and am currently on antibiotics. I know that this can lessen the effectiveness of the pill, but what I am wondering is can it also throw off your period? I should be starting and I haven't yet, nor have I been involved in sexual activity. Thanks for your time

AskDocWeb: Yes, antibiotics can throw off or change the timing of your period. Fortunately it doesn't last very long.

Subj: Long lasting headache
Date: 7/15/2009
I just started ortho tri-cyclen yesterday. almost an hour later, I got a headache and has not gone away. I still have it a day later. I dont even remember the last time I had a headache, it was that long ago. Will they go away, or should I switch pills?

AskDocWeb: A Severe headache is listed as one of the things for which you should seek medical attention. Please consult with your doctor.

Subj: Want to change my cycle
Date: 7/16/2009
Hello! Being a lesbian, I wanted to be on the same cycle as my girlfriend to make our lives a bit easier (wink wink). I started taking ortho tricyclen lo. My periods had been very irregular beforehand and I know it says to do the Sunday or first day start. It hadn't been but a couple days since ending my last period so I decided to go ahead and start my pack when my girlfriend started hers so we'd be on the same cycle. How could this affect my body? Only about two weeks in I started bleeding heavily. Very heavily. And then I take the pill, and no blood for about 12 hours, and then its back to heavy. What could be causing this? Should I continue taking it as I have been or do I need to start from scratch?

AskDocWeb: That depends on how big a change in your cycle you are trying to force on your body. Please talk this over with your doctor before continuing.

Subj: Mood swings and increase in breast size
Date: 7/17/2009
I've been on ortho for about 5-6 months, I have no negative side effects other than mood swings. I don't know if this is due to the pill or not. I am fine during the day, but at night I turn into a different person. First, I'm mad, then sad. Then I usually cry. I realized that when I'm on the sugar pills it doesn't happen. It could just be from other stress, but my poor boyfriend has to constantly deal with my major shifts of moods, he understands, but I hate putting him through that. At least he's not complaining about the increase in breast size. lol. He has to be extra loving to me once night falls because we try to prevent my mood from shifting. It's difficult sometimes but I guess it's worth it overall.

Subj: I stop taking the pills
Date: 7/21/2009
I started to take Trinessa to regulate my period but after taking the 8th pill, I started feeling depress, getting head aches and discharge. I stop taking the pills and now I am bleeding for about a week now. Is this normal?

AskDocWeb: Typically when the pills are discontinued that stimulates a period to begin but check with your doctor to make sure everything is okay.

Subj: The pull-out method
Date: 7/22/2009
I'm on Trinessa (Ortho-tri cyclin) and this past month I've missed a couple dosages and end up taking two pills in one day. If I use the pull-out method with my boyfriend could I have a chance of becoming pregnant?

AskDocWeb: According to the 2008 Physician's Desk Reference if you miss 1 pill and take 2 pills the next day to make up for it, you do not need to use a back-up form of birth control. If you miss 2 pills in a row then you do need to use a back-up form of birth control (condoms and/or spermicide) for the following 7 days. The pull-out method does not protect you from pregnancy because some sperm leaks from the penis even before ejaculation.

Subj: Mood swings
Date: 7/23/2009
I have been on ortho-tri cyclen for about 9 mnths now. Everything was good for me in the begining but has kinda went a little down hill. I enjoy having a light 3 day period every month and not getting pregnant. However I am very emotional, cry over little things, me and my boyfriend have a few more arguments here and there, and I also have mood swings. I do like being on ortho and dont really wanna change to another pill. I am setting up an appointment in the next few days to go talk to my doctor. After I do that I will try and add the info to this and hopefully it will help someone :)

Subj: Dry eyes, cramping, stomachaches, breast tenderness, and acne
Date: 7/25/2009
I was on ortho tri-cyclen for about 6 years, but about 5 months ago my dr. suggested I switch to Lo since it's considerably cheaper. The first month I had the most incredibly dry eyes and an inability to wear contact lenses. This problem went away, but now I'm finding that I'm having period like cramping after my periods are done, stomachaches, breast tenderness and bad back acne. It seems logical that lower dose bc would causer fewer side effects, so is it possible it's the lo that is causing these issues?

AskDocWeb: Fewer side effects may seem logical but that does not mean no side effects. All of these issues have been reported as side effects of Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo.

Subj: Dark brown discharge
Date: 7/27/2009
I have been on OrthoTriCyclen Lo for almost 2 months now, & my boyfriend and I always use a condom, plus he Always pulls out right before he cums...well on my last "period" I noticed it was more brown than red, and for the past week (or longer) I've been having a dark brown discharge; which is really freaking me out. I should have my period this week, yesterday was day 1 on the inactive pill, and I had a few red spotting, and same this morning.... but am I pregnant??? Or what's going on?? I know discharge isn't supposed to be dark brutally honest!

AskDocWeb: Typically when you experiences spotting between cycles it is recommended that you see a gynecologist or nurse practitioner to make sure that the 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.

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