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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: Smoking, drinking and drugs
Date: 11/27/2005
I am 15 years old and I was wondering if I can get side effects from taking the pill and smoking cigarettes. Also, drinking occasionally? What about mixing drugs?

AskDocWeb: Smoking while taking the birth control pill increases the chance of getting cancer. Moderate drinking is okay but mixing drugs is something that is best left up to your doctor.

Subj: Am I Pregnant?
Date: 11/29/2005
I have been taking ortho tri cyclin lo for about a year and a half, and I always have regular periods with it. Well I was supposed to start my period on Sunday, well Saturday I got a weird brownish discharge.. and I thought by today (Monday) I would have my normal period.. but it's just really light, its getting more red then brown, but still its not normal. Can this happen? Does your period change after a while? I feel like I'm going to have my period, sore breast, and cramping, and moody. Should I be worried? I only had unprotected sex twice in the past month. Does this mean I'm pregnant??

AskDocWeb: By the symptoms you have given, it sounds like you could be pregnant. Use a home pregnancy test to find out for sure.

Subj: Stopping ortho tricyclene
Date: 11/29/2005
I just stopped taking ortho tricyclene. I have been on the pill for about 10 years. I have severe heart palpitations. Is this normal? I feel like I am having a panic attack. Please get back to me soon as possible. Thank You

AskDocWeb: Stopping birth control doesn't cause heart palpitations or panic attacks. Make an appointment with your doctor, there is something else going on here. And don't put it off.

Subj: Late period and dryness
Date: 12/3/2005
I had an abortion 9 months ago and started taking ortho tri-cyclen low and I stop taking my pills two months ago and my period was a week late, and I being dry and that's not normal for me.

AskDocWeb: Your periods probably will not be regular for about three months. Vaginal dryness is a common problem with many women.

Subj: Got pregnant on ortho-tricyclen lo
Date: 12/7/2005
I've been taking ortho-tricyclen for the past 5 years, two months ago I switched to ortho-tricyclen lo, and a month later, much to my (and my husbands!) surprise...I turned up pregnant. My ob said that the lower doses of hormones could have caused his "super sperm" to break isn't necessarily a bad thing, we were almost ready for a family...but I know I'm not the first to get pregnant while on the pill....just be warned.

Subj: Ortho Tri-cyclen Lo or Regular?
Date: 12/12/2005
I have been on ortho tri cylen for about 4 years. When I stopped taking it about a year ago, the first month after, my hair starting falling out, my skin broke out and I got a cyst on my leg so I decided to go back on ortho tri cyclen lo because of the lower side effects - blood clots, etc. I have been on it for a month and I guess my hair stopped falling out. They are still not as thick, and my skin got a little better - but I'm not the same as on ortho-tri cyclen regular. Should I continue the lo or go back on the regular?

AskDocWeb: The "Lo" version does not refer to the number or severity of side effects. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you health wise.

Subj: Change in period and sore breasts
Date: 12/13/2005
Hi, I have been on ortho tricylen lo for a month and a half. I started on a Sunday start, which was six days after my first day of my period. During the first month I missed one pill. My period came 33 days after my last period. It lasted 2 days and was barely anything. Also my breasts have been sore almost the entire time I have been on it. Is this normal? I used to have a 2 day period. Now it is 33.

AskDocWeb: Since your period was next to nothing and you have breast soreness, we suggest you have a pregnancy test, although others have also reported breast tenderness with Ortho lo. If the breast discomfort is more than just tenderness, make an appointment with your physician to talk about changing your birth control pills.

Subj: Increased appetite and abdominal pains
Date: 12/15/2005
Hi, I have been taking this pill for about 2 months now. I noticed that within the first 7 days of the pill I have increased appetite and abdominal pains for days later. Has this happened to anyone else? Also I fear I will gain weight, but does weight gain come from the pill itself or just the things you eat while on it?

AskDocWeb: Weight gain can come from a combination of things. Taking the pill is one of them, which is why you should be watching what you are eating more carefully. The abdominal pains are not to be ignored, if they continue see your doctor. And yes, other women have reported the same symptoms.

Subj: Side effect so bad, thinking of quitting
Date: 12/16/2005
I have been on birth-control for approximately 5 years. About 2 years ago I switched to Ortho-Tri-cyclen Lo due to problems with the regular Ortho-Tri-cyclen. I have noticed over the years I have been on the pill, I have developed terrible migraine (1 a week) depression, lack of sex drive, moodiness, pain in calves/legs, acne problem right before I start my period. It seems like these symptoms get worse the closer I get to my period. I have an appointment to see my doctor very soon. do you have any suggestions on a birth-control with less side effects? I am at the point were I am about to get off the pill all together because I can't take the side effects any longer. please help. Thanks!

AskDocWeb: Sounds like you are very sensitive to birth control, finding one that will work for you may be a problem. Ortho Lo is one of the lowest you can get. An alternative you could ask about is the Nuva Ring.

Subj: Decrease in breast size?
Date: 12/21/2005
Can ortho tri-cyclen lo cause a decrease in breast size?

AskDocWeb: We haven't heard of any cases of this happening.

Subj: Risk of pregnancy
Date: 12/23/2005
My girlfriend and I had sex on the eighth day she was on Ortho tri cyclen. Is there a high risk that she is pregnant?

AskDocWeb: Yes, she can be pregnant. The risk is not high but it is a real possibility.

Subj: What happens
Date: 12/26/2005
What will happen if a male ejaculates in a female if she is on the pill.

AskDocWeb: The pill prevents the sperm from joining with an egg so pregnancy is prevented.

Subj: Opposite effects?
Date: 12/29/2005
Hello, I am on my second packet of Ortho lo. In the first two weeks of taking it I was horribly nauseous and called to let my doctor know. She said to take it at night with food. That put an instant end to the nausea. I am bloated, my breasts are a bit bigger (NOT a complaint), and I haven't weighed myself yet because I am afraid to! (It was very difficult for me to lose weight at my age!) As far as the mood swings - so far for me Ortho has done the opposite of what everyone is saying here. I am a normally stressed and nervous person but since taking the Ortho I have felt more relaxed and calm and LESS stressed. I used to blow up at people all the time and had a "tension" that my mother claimed she could "feel" just by being near me. I assumed it was due to hormone imbalance and the pill helped balance my hormone levels. I feel much better now - much less anxious, does anyone else have this opposite effect? But I also noticed I have a bowel problem since taking the pill. I always feel "stuffed" and constipated and have a bowel movement sometimes as many as 5 times a day. I don't know if this is due to the pill or not but I will ask my doctor when I go back in Feb. I started taking Ortho Lo for acne and so far there isn't much of a change there (I am also on antibiotic for acne). I am over 40 years old and was wondering if anyone else out there is my age and still on the pill or just starting it, and what their feelings on it might be.

Subj: Drinking and birth control
Date: 12/29/2005
I am wondering about something and need an answer ASAP. This is my second week on orth lo and I was wondering what would happen if I had a few drinks at a new year's party? Will it affect my chances of getting pregnant or would I die if I had one drink?

AskDocWeb: Nothing will happen if you have a drink or two while taking any birth control pill. And no, you will not die.

Subj: Side effects
Date: 1/1/2006
I switched from ortho to depo and back again. I switched mainly because I wanted to stop taking the pill every day and was hoping that a shot every few months would be easier. It was easier but the side effects were terrible. I was always tired, but could never get to sleep. With in a week or so I had no sex drive at all. On top of that I was also very irritable. Developed a lovely acne problem that extended from my face to my rear. (the nice boil looking ones on top of that). Frequent headaches. And an inability to concentrate.

It all compiled and I refused to have more than the one shot I had. Now, I know a couple of my friends who were on depo and had no problems. And at least one who bled for about six weeks.

I decided to switch back because I was rather miserable. It took another three months for me to feel normal again. But I'm fine now.

I enjoy ortho tri cyclen, I've always had the good side effects and not the bad. I never gained weight, my skin cleared up, the painful cramps I had before I started taking it went away. I was no longer exhausted during that time of the month. And I think it actually cause me to have less mood swings. (no proof though).

It's different with everyone. I'd just like to point out that you can stop taking a pill at anytime. It's a small dose put into your body every day. Where as a shot is a very large amount of a drug put into your body all at once and there is no way to get it out. It has to work its course.

Subj: Lower sexual response
Date: 1/2/2006
Has anyone else experienced a lower sexual response than usual after taking Ortho Tri Cyclen? I have been on this pill for 4 years now, and my doctor and I have traced side effects such as constant headaches, bloating, and weight gain to this pill. I'm considering trying the Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo to see if this helps, but will it really make a difference?

AskDocWeb: That doesn't seem likely. Users of ortho-Lo have reported that they also experience low libido.

Subj: Skipped a period
Date: 1/3/2006
I have been on tri-cyclen for 2 years, and I decided to not have my period this month, but now after the first week of active pills I am experiencing some bleeding, is this a normal side effect of taking 2 pill packs back to back without taking the sugar pills? Am I still safe? And will I get my period when I stop for my sugar pills in this pack?

AskDocWeb: What you are experiencing is what typically happens when you try to skip a period by taking 2 pill packs back to back. When you resume taking them as directed your periods will return to normal.

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