Other Brand Names Containing the Same Estrogen and Progestin
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, Tri-Previfem, Tri-Sprintec, Trinessa
Other Brands of Birth Control that Contain the Progestin Norgestimate
Monophasic: Mononessa, Ortho Cyclen, Previfem, Sprintec
Multiphasic: Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, Tri-Previfem, Tri-Sprintec, Trinessa
Non-pill Methods: Ortho Evra (the Patch)
What Makes it Different
Ortho Tri-Cyclen is one of only three birth controls to be FDA approved for the treatment of acne.
How it Works
Ortho Tri-Cyclen (ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate) utilizes a combination of the female hormones estrogen and progestin, to prevent pregnancy in three ways. First, Ortho Tri-Cyclen prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from one of the ovaries). The hormones also cause the cervical mucus to thicken, which blocks sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg. Finally, Ortho Tri-Cyclen prevents the uterine lining from thickening, which makes it less hospitable to implantation.
Oral contraceptives are to be utilized only as a form of birth control. They do not protect against the transmission of HIV (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
How to Use
Take your first pill on the first day of your period or the first Sunday after your period has begun. Use Ortho Tri-Cyclen just as your healthcare provider has instructed and not more often or for longer than your healthcare provider mandates.
Missing a dose of Ortho Tri-Cyclen increases the risk of pregnancy. There are ways to make up for missing a pill that will maintain the effectiveness of the birth control. If you have missed one or more pills, contact your healthcare provider for more information.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen has been shown to prevent pregnancy in over 99% of situations when it is the only birth control method utilized and when Ortho Tri-Cyclen is used exactly as directed.
Most birth control pills cost between $15 and $50 per month.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen is an effective method of birth control when used as specified. All birth control pills, Ortho Tri-Cyclen included, have also been shown to have the following possible benefits:
- Menstrual cycle regularity and a lightened blood flow (reduces the chances of anemia)
- Milder and less frequent cramps or other pain during menstruation
- Less frequent occurrence of noncancerous cysts or lumps in the breast
- Less likelihood of ectopic pregnancies
- Less likelihood of acute pelvic inflammatory disease
All birth control pills, including Ortho Tri-Cyclen, can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke and heart attack. Women who smoke and/or are older than 35 are especially susceptible to these risks.
Possible side effects include
- Stomach cramps, mild nausea, vomiting, bloating
- Headache, nervousness, dizziness or tired feeling
- Changes in menstrual period, decreased sex drive
- Freckles or darkening of facial skin
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Breast pain, swelling or tenderness
- Problems with contact lenses
- Changes in weight or appetite
- Increased hair growth or loss of scalp hair
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