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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: Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo
Date: 10/4/2006
In the past from 2005 to this past summer 2006, I took Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo. I had a lot of breakthrough bleeding. There were a couple times of that occurring due to me missing a pill one day. My period came every month, however, it lasted the full 6-7 days. And I also would, at times, bleed a full week before I was to begin my period. I think the increase in the breakthrough bleeding is due to the lower dose of estrogen in the "Lo" form. I did experience a lot of mood swings using Ortho Tri Cyclen. I am a moody person at times naturally, but I have noticed an easier development in stress. And my moods are often less stable than they were before I had my daughter and was not taking any form of birth control pill.
P.S. I don't recommend Levlen as of right now. I am in the process of trying to get to a doctor as I have been having severe leg pain, from my hip to my ankle, either in both legs or one or the other leg. And my mental health has not changed for the better since going off of the Tri-Cyclen LO. Thanks

Subj: Brown discharge
Date: 10/6/2006
I started the pill like 10 days ago and I'm still having a brown discharge. It's making me wonder if this is normal. Sometimes I feel like something's wrong, is there?

AskDocWeb: No, most of the time that brown discharge is your uterus sloughing off its lining. If it lasts for 10 days, is very thick or has clots then talk with your doctor.

Subj: OTC lo for working for cramps but not acne
Date: 10/6/2006
I started taking a sample of OTC lo my gyno gave me 2 months ago and am about to start the third pack in a couple of days. She gave it to me for my period cramps, and I had heard that the pill can help clear up acne. Since I had bad acne, I was hoping the OTC lo she gave me would help. It's helped with the cramps, but it has only made my acne even more horrible than it already was. After looking at countless other posts from people who've had the same problem, I'm wondering if I should just stop taking the pills and see if it will get any better without taking them...or if I should finish my third sample pack and hope it'll calm down by the third cycle. I was told it usually takes about three months for my body to adjust and for the pill to work...but just when I think my skin can't get any worse, it does day after day. I don't want to take it for the third month only to feel even more self-consious about my face, and I wasn't able to get another appointment with my gyno until a month and a half from now. What should I do?

AskDocWeb: This sounds like another case where Ortho Lo has made the acne worse. Sorry, we don't have an answer for you but if you are just using it for acne and not to avoid pregnancy, then you may be wasting your money.

Subj: Moody, decrease in sex drive
Date: 10/6/2006
Hi, I used to take ortho about 6 years ago...around age 21/22. I remember being moody, feeling low, and it definitely caused a decrease in sex drive. Now, at 28, I am considering starting ortho again. Given that I have taken it it likely to affect me in the same way? Or should I try another pill? Thank you,

AskDocWeb: You body has probably changed over the past 6 years so you are likely to respond differently. The difference may or may not be enough to make it worthwhile. Why not let your doctor pick the next one?

Subj: Making up for a missed pill
Date: 10/6/2006
Ortho tricyclen lo I used the product to skip my period by not taking the green placebo pills and going straight to the white ones. I have done this before, like when camping when being on ones' period is inconvenient. I never skip very often though. This time, I did not have my cell phone, which has the alarm on it that tells me it's time to take the pill. So I have taken two of the white ones late, the first about 40 minutes late and then one the following day about 20 minutes late. I have started bleeding, although not very much. Is something bad going to happen? Should I continue to take the white pills, and then the light blue ones next week? Should I stop taking pills this week? Is it safe to have sex? I'm really worried. Please let me know.

AskDocWeb: If you continue taking the pills, nothing bad is likely to happen but to be absolutely safe, avoid intercourse until you start a new pack.

Subj: Acne is worse
Date: 10/7/2006
I have started tri-cyclen about a month and a half ago and my acne is starting to become bad I never got breakouts and had a very good complexion and the pill has made everything become worse!

Subj: Does generic help with acne?
Date: 10/8/2006
I recently went on BCP for acne that came on after childbirth. I was on Trivora (generic for ortho tricyclen-lo) and after 3 months, I have awful cystic acne that's worse than before. After reading, I see that's common. I asked to be put on the regular ortho tri-cyclen and today picked up tri-sprintec, the generic form. People on these boards and others say to demand the original, but when I compared the drug pamphlets, they have the exact same dosages of hormones in each pill. Should I still be concerned about being on the generic (again, my only reason for BC is to help the acne). Thanks!

AskDocWeb: We've heard many complaints that the generics do not help but if Tri-Sprintec does something for your acne, let us know. It would be nice to have some positive input on this.

Subj: Still ovulating?
Date: 10/9/2006
Orth-ru-cyclen lo. I don't know if anyone else has had this question. I have been on he pill for about 6 months now. I still feel like I am ovulating every month. It switches sides every other month too. Is that just a side effect or am I still ovulating?

AskDocWeb: It's possible, the primary way that oral contraceptives work is by suppressing ovulation but that doesn't always happen. To provide protection is such cases, it also makes changes in the cervical mucus, which increases the difficulty of the sperm to enter the uterus and changes the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to reduce the likelihood of implantation.

Subj: No period
Date: 10/9/2006
I had been taking the pill since July of 2005 and I just stopped taking them July 2006. I had my period for August but no period for September could this be from birth control taking or could I be pregnant. I had sex in September. I used protection but still no period, it is now October.

AskDocWeb: You could be pregnant but it's more likely that your period has been disrupted by stopping the pill. Discontinuing will cause your period to be irregular for about three months.

Subj: TriNessa?
Date: 10/9/2006
I have been diagnosed with polycistic ovaries so the doctor gave me a prescription for TriNessa, he said that it will help clear my acne. I am also concerned because I have been losing a lot of hair, which I think may be caused by a hormonal imbalance(due to the polycists). My question is... can TriNessa make my hair grow back, and will it clear up acne?

AskDocWeb: TriNessa is not likely to help your hair grow back. If it helps with your acne be sure to come back and share that with others here.

Subj: Abnormally light period
Date: 10/9/2006
I've been taking Ortho Tri-cyclen lo for over a year. Since being on the pill, I have experienced very light periods. I am now on my last week of the month's prescription and my period came about 3 days early, it was abnormally light, and it ended early. Could I be pregnant or is this normal?

AskDocWeb: If you didn't miss a pill then you probably are not pregnant. It may have been stress or illness, both can cause this.

Subj: Starting pills again
Date: 10/12/2006
I have irregular periods and need to start taking my pills again after 2 months of not being on them, but can I start them with not starting my period? Will the pill be effective if my cycle doesn't start first? Any ideas?

AskDocWeb: No, you have to follow directions. You can't start them without having your period first. And using a backup form of birth control is recommended for the first month.

Subj: Missed a pill
Date: 10/13/2006
This is my second month on ortho Tri-cyclen, the first month I had breakthrough bleeding, but now I'm back on schedule. Well I went to take my last white pill on the second pack and I dropped it and couldn't find it! Well I just continued on with taking one every day for a week I haven't had any breakthrough bleeding, but yesterday I had unprotected sex with my partner. Could I get pregnant or am I just being paranoid? Should I take plan B?

AskDocWeb: We doubt that you conceived since it was your last white pill. But, it's a good idea to use a backup form of birth control anytime you think you might be at risk.

Subj: Shortness of breath
Date: 10/13/2006
I just started taking OTC low about a week and a half go. The first couple days went fine until I noticed parts of my body feeling numb, but would go away after a couple hours. By the 10th day of taking the pill the right side of my body was completely numb and I made two trips to the ER for shortness of breath. Is this normal or what should I do?

AskDocWeb: It is absolutely NOT normal. Consult with your doctor about changing your birth control pills. And it seems to be a good time for a complete physical too.

Subj: Hormones crazy
Date: 10/13/2006
Since I've been off birth control pills my hormones have been crazy and I have had weight gain. I'm starting ortho tricyclen again and was wondering if anyone had weight loss from it.

AskDocWeb: There's typically a 15-20 pound weight gain but some women do loose weight. If you have a serious hormone problem, consult with your GYN and see what birth control would be best to calm them down.

Subj: Still not pregnant
Date: 10/16/2006
I started taking trinessa in December and stopped in March February because I wanted to get pregnant. This was the first time I'd ever been on birth control. It's now October and I'm still not pregnant. Will it take more time for my body to get back to its norm or could something be wrong with me?

AskDocWeb: It's not likely that anything is wrong with you. Only 89% of women become pregnant within the first year after discontinuing the birth control pills. That means that 11% take more than a year to get pregnant.

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