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March 28, 2007 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Is heavy spotting an expected side effect in the first several weeks of taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo? if so, how long should I expect this to occur?

Backround info: I have been on it for three and a half weeks. My other experience was with the patch in 2002 (?) and the spotting was not as memorable as this...if it even happened at all.
posted by josher71 to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
I would imagine your prescribing physician would be the best person to answer this questions and would be most familiar with trends in physical response to this drug.
posted by Asherah at 3:27 PM on March 28, 2007

Quick web searching found this statement on pretty much every info site for Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, "Many women have spotting or light bleeding, or may feel sick to their stomach during the first 1-3 packs of pills."
posted by Asherah at 3:31 PM on March 28, 2007

call your doctor about this one. they'll get back to you quickly.
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:46 PM on March 28, 2007

Have your gf call her doctor.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:23 PM on March 28, 2007

Ugh - sorry to hear this. It could be normal, as the literature with the pills suggests, but it could also be a sign that the pill isn't quite strong enough for you. I was on that for a while and switched off - migraines and whatnot were my main issue, but the third phase of the pill always made me spot - not comfortable. I went to a monophasic pill and have been much happier.

Give your doctor a call. And buy some Hanes 3-packs for the next few weeks... sorry!
posted by AthenaPolias at 7:45 PM on March 28, 2007

It seems pretty normal; I had a lot of spotting when I was on Allesse. Also, your body always reacts strongly to the hormones in the first month; I wouldn't take anything seriously unless it keeps after the first two-three months. With me, it recurred every few months so I switched to something stronger -- I wouldn't be too stressed unless it keeps happening regularly.
posted by SoftRain at 9:46 PM on March 28, 2007

I had similar issues at first, and my doctor told me to give it three months before worrying. Things evened out. This is Ortho Tri-Cyclen regular, not "Lo," though.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:51 PM on March 28, 2007

I've found that with low estradiol dose pills like that have a tendency to cause spotting (at least in me!).

On Alesse, if I took my pill even one hour late, "spotting" would start, which really meant having a relatively light period until the end of my cycle.

I doubt you have much to worry about- unless the spotting is heavier than your regular period, you can probably do without the visit to the doc.
posted by sunshinesky at 10:18 PM on March 28, 2007

I think it's normal, but I also think your reaction to birth control will vary depending on which pill you take. I was on Ortho-Evra and spotted like crazy and gained alot of water weight. After 2 months of the same, I switched to Yasmin and had no problems at all. So, if nothing changes, maybe consider asking your doctor if you can try a pill with different hormone levels.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 9:12 AM on March 29, 2007

Agreed that it happens a lot with lower hormone pills -- I had lots of spotting my first month on yasmin, a little bit my second month, and none anymore.
posted by echo0720 at 7:46 AM on March 30, 2007

The same thing happened to me for the first month and a half that I was on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. It went away after my second period, but the depression and crying jags lasted until my doctor switched me over to NuvaRing four months later.
posted by LiliaNic at 9:52 PM on March 30, 2007

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