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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. You can use the form below to add your comments, feedback or Ortho Tri-cyclen review.

Subj: Boobage
Date: 7/9/2004
I took ortho-tri cyclen lo for 4 months but just recently switched to ortho tri cyclen. I found that besides increased breast size (which might be a benefit to smaller chested women), my face seemed to be breaking out constantly as well as unusally dry. I talked to my OBGYN about it on my last visit and she suggested switching to regular ortho. So just finishing up my white pills on my first pack, I feel gross. I've had dirreha everyday since I switched. I mean I hope having clear skin is worth it, as long as I don't gain anymore "boobage" I'll be happy. Good luck on ortho everyone.

Subj: Ready to try again
Date: 7/10/2004
Before I had my daughter I was on Trilevlen 28 for 5 years with no problems. I am a very petite woman and do not handle large doses of anything well. When I tried to go back on it, it made me terribly ill. I am not sure what all changed hormonally, but body rejected it. I tried Jasmin....made me very sick. I tried the patch for 4 months and it made me bleed. Then I tried ortho lo, and I just could not handle the sickness. I have not been using birth control for almost 3 years. I am to the point in my marriage where birth control is a much needed luxury. I am ready to try them again. After reading all the comparing of ortho and ortho lo, I am not sure which one will make me less sick? I also really want my clear skin back!

Subj: Getting pregnant while on Ortho Tricyclen
Date: 7/9/2004
I was using Ortho Cyclen up until 3 months ago, my gynecologist recommended I try Ortho Tricyclen because I was bleeding mid-cycle. I'm 32 and have a 4-year old. Since I was 18 or so, I've always used Ortho Cyclen. I have now taken Ortho Trycylen for 3 months, and just missed my period this week. I just took a pregnancy test tonight, and I'm pregnant. Now I'm worried. What are the potential effects to the child from getting pregnant while on this birth control pill? I read possible miscarriage due to a thinning uterus? If no miscarriage, will the baby then be completely healthy, or could there be other risks to the baby? Please let me know. I'm worried.

AskDocWeb: Nobody has ever shown that birth control pills cause birth defects or miscarriages. Even though that is the case, it is certainly a good idea to stop exposing the developing fetus to the hormones in the birth control pills.

Subj: Mimicking signs of pregnancy
Date: 7/11/2004
I just started using Ortho Lo and I'm having some side effects that are similar to pregnancy, should I be worried that I am? Or does the birth control mimic signs of pregnancy like nipple sensitivity, breast tenderness, nausea, and frequent urination?

AskDocWeb: Birth control does sometime mimic the signs of pregnancy. This happens most often when using the birth control to skip a period but also sometimes when switching.

Subj: Ortho Lo
Date: 7/13/2004
I just started Ortho Lo two weeks ago and I am not sure whether I like it or not. I have had a very sore stomach for the past few days. Also very sporadic bleeding as well as nausea and vomiting. I also am somewhat "slower than usual". My thought process and concentration level has lowered. Breast soreness has also been a problem. I am not sure if I should or want to continue taking them. My whole body feels like I have been hit by a truck.

Subj: Not recommended
Date: 7/15/2004
I gained almost 40 lbs. from BC in only 6 months. It sucks so much and it's so hard to loose. I was once thin and cut and now I am miserable and the weight won't come off. It has hurt my relationship with my boyfriend because I am ashamed of my body. I would not recommend it if you plan on wearing a bathing suit this summer. :-(
Once Beautiful

Subj: Migraine headaches
Date: 7/17/2004
I've only been on ortho tri-cyclen lo for 2 weeks and am not happy with what's happening to my body. I've been increasingly more moody, my anxiety level is extremely high, and right after I started the second shade of pills - I got a brown discharge that got darker and darker and has now changed to blood. I was put on Lo because I get occasional migraines and my doctor thought these would not be a trigger. They haven't been but what else can I try that wouldn't have these side effects and still not trigger headaches?

Subj: After 2 years
Date: 7/19/2004
I have been taking Ortho Tri-cyclen for 2 years. The first 3 months I had breast tenderness and started gaining weight. Now I have lost about 10 pounds, have gone down from a size 9 to a size 5. It also seems like my breasts are getting smaller. That's a big issue for me. I get moody and depressed from time to time. If I missed a pill my head would start hurting, it almost felt as if I were addicted to the pills. I do get sex drives but it sometimes bothers my boyfriend so I think that's a problem for the both of us. At the beginning I had decreased lubrication now that's not a problem. It has been 5 days that I finished my last pill and I'm thinking of going on the shot.

Subj: Hair in the shower
Date: 7/19/2004
I was on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo for a year. While I was on the pill, my cramps were better. But my sex drive was noticeably decreased, so I went off of it this spring. Since then, I lost a few pounds and have had a little more acne. My sex drive went back to normal, the cramps have been worse and my last period was almost 2 weeks late. Lately I've been noticing a lot more of my hair coming out in the shower/when I comb it. Could this have something to do my hormones trying to regulate themselves?

AskDocWeb: Yes, the most common cause of hair loss in women is from changes in your hormones. Your hair loss should stabilize over the three to four months following discontinuing the pill. If it continues after that, see your doctor to find out what else is going on.

Subj: Placebo pills
Date: 7/20/2004
I'm taking Ortho Tri-cyclen Lo. Am I still protected when taking the placebo pills? The directions say no back-up method is needed. Is that true?

AskDocWeb: Yes, it is true that once you are established on the pill, there is no need for a backup method. The placebo pills (no medication) are "placeholders" to help you maintain your habit of taking them at the same time each day and to make sure that you start your next pack on time.

Subj: Nuva Ring
Date: 7/21/2004
Dear Pst, (See post "Ortho-tri cyclen alternative?" dated 9/5/2003) I was on Nuva Ring for about 1 year. I like the fact that I didn't have to remember to take the pill but I totally lost my sex drive. My hubbie said that must be how the ring worked-by causing you to lose interest in sex! It also caused me to have heavier discharge thru out the month witch had a "plastic" smell to it. If you can handle those side effects then more power to you.

Subj: Unhappy with happy pounds
Date: 7/21/2004
I have been on Ortho-tryclen-lo for about 1 1/2 years now. I started a month before my marriage, since I knew I'd no longer be staying a virgin and I'm still not ready for children. The first two months were not pleasant at all. I was very sick to my stomach, headaches and everything. I was about ready to quit when everything stabilized. I am still scared of taking antibiotics with it because I'd thought that maybe because I took an anti-biotic while on it the second month (and that was the worst of the two months) that perhaps it was an interaction. I am also concerned about interactions. I have always taken herbal remedies and prefer them to more modern means (unless it is something like an infection, or that I know needs to be treated by traditional medicine). However I am trying to find out what would interact with my B/C and I am having a hard time. I don't want to find out by getting so sick again. It wasn't pleasant.

I gained about 30 pounds however in the last 2 years. Some people have told me this is normal to happen when you get married. My friends and family call it "happy pounds". I think some of the weight gain began before the B/C but I am having a very hard time losing it now that I am dieting and exercising regularly. I have never had trouble losing weight before. I was one of those people other people hate because I rarely gained weight no matter what I ate, and when I did gain weight I just stated exercising like every other day swim, and I'd lose it in a month. I am very discouraged, and want to try an herbal supplement to help but again I'm concerned about interactions. I have considered a different B/C but I have been reading side effect upon side effect on other sites, and have decided since I am not feeling bad (other than the weight loss and mild depression I'd had before the pill anyway) I don't want to mess with what is working.

I am going to keep trying the diet for another week, but if I have another week like last week where I gained rather than lossed, I'm going to try a naturopathic md, but I'd rather go in a little better prepared than I am now. I still don't know if I want to try anything different or if I am safer as I am. Especially since four years ago when I being treated for major depression I changed drugs before giving the others enough time and the only result I had out of the experience was to develop a reaction to two anti-depressants. I don't want to try something different and find that I can't even go back to ortho-tryclen-lo.

Subj: Any suggestions?
Date: 7/21/2004
I have been on Ortho-tricyclen for over 2 years now, but recently spotting and late periods have happened every once and awhile. I know that it can be due to not taking the pill exactly on time everyday, but I never miss a pill. Of course that makes each week even more stressful when it's late. Any suggestions?

Subj: Severe PMS symptoms
Date: 7/22/2004
Many of these comments have confirmed my recent suspicions about Ortho Tri-cyclen. I have suffered with what I thought was increasingly severe PMS symptoms for the last several years. My family physician has even had me on anti-anxiety/depressants just to combat these symptoms. One week out of each month I felt "normal" and able to function.

I have just completed my first month of Ortho LO after having our first child last December and breastfeeding for 6 months. I have been under the assumption that the pregnancy had changed my chemistry for the better; I have not experienced ANY extreme mood swings, fatigue, irritability, cramping since the short-lived postpartum period. Upon the completion of this pack of Ortho LO, I am a different person on this pill. Every disabling symptom I had experienced for so long has returned, and after reading so many entries about extreme irritability, depression, lack of sex drive etc., I KNOW Ortho is to blame. Thank you for this helpful site. I would rather remain pregnant and/or breastfeeding until menopause than continue on these pills!

Subj: Switched back
Date: 7/24/2004
I have been on the pill for about 5 years and this year my dr. switched me to Ortho-tri-low and I HATE IT. I have just had her switch me back to ortho-tri-cyclin. I have gained weight, my face broke out bad and have been moody. But the regular ortho-tri is great!

Subj: Extremely sensitive and emotional
Date: 7/24/2004
I've been on ortho tri-cyclen lo for 3 weeks now. My boyfriend has noticed that I've been extremely sensitive and emotional lately, and I'm sure this is due to the pill and its hormones. My question is if this will pass with time, or should I start using another form of birth control?
AskDocWeb: We can say for certain that it is likely to change with time, but, not if it will get better. Most women report their body (and emotions) stabilize by the end of the third month after switching birth control pills. Some won't put up with the side effects for that long.

Subj: Difficulty breathing
Date: 7/25/2004
I've had difficulty breathing off and on since I began taking Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo (especially during the placebo week). I feel like I can not get a deep, full breath of air in me. Also, I've begun to have numbness in my fingers. I'm wondering if anyone else has had this side effect. I've been on this brand for about 6 months now and feel irritable and horrible. I was on Modicon for 6 years before Ortho and had no such problems.

Subj: Protection on placebo pills?
Date: 7/26/2004
Hi, I've been on ortho tri-cyclen lo for a month now, and I am not experiencing much of the side effects, only a little moody and depressed sometimes. I had sex on the last day of the green pill, I've been told that I am still protected during the entire 7 days of green placebo pills, is this true? I don't wish to get pregnant at this time, and have been faithfully taking the pills everyday at the same time. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

AskDocWeb: There is a period of time (several days) in each cycle when you can not get pregnant no matter what you do, even if you use no birth control while having as much sex as possible. You simply can not conceive during that time period. That is when you are taking the green placebo pills. It is not a matter of being protected during that time, instead, it is a time when no protection is needed. In fact, there is a birth control method called "the rhythm method" where you try to determine when your infertile period is and then have sex only during that time each month. We do not recommend that method of birth control.

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