Hi, I have a question about using BC, specifically Ortho Tri Cyclen. I’m 24 years old and I have always had pretty unpredictable periods and I literally have no idea when it is about to show up. Sometimes, I go nearly 3 months without having one. I recently got a 1 year supply of BC from Planned Parenthood so that I could try to take control of my unpredictable menstrual cycle.

I got my last period on February 23rd. I have not started my first pack yet because the woman at PP I spoke with said it would be easier to start on the Sunday of my period. Here’s the thing, I have no idea when my period is set to show up and I specially do not want to be on my period the weekend of April 13-15 because I will going on a camping trip.. So, is it safe to start the pack now and if I do that will that guarantee I won’t be on my period during that time? I’ve never used BC before so any advice would be really appreciated.

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14 Responses to Skipping Periods /Ortho Tri Cyclen Question

  1. NywNo says:

    You can technically start it whenever (I’m on a generic of OTC and right now I’m a Friday start). The only thing that makes it not easy is that you may still encounter some breakthrough bleeding on the first pill pack, because your body was going through a normal cycle partway through until the pills started affecting you. So there’s no way to tell for sure, but if you want, you can start the pills now, just be aware of potential breakthrough bleeding.

  2. Egddarta says:

    Thank you for your response!

  3. Gni007 says:

    The “sunday start” thing is just to make it easier to remember, and the starting it during your period thing is to overlap the starting-the-pill time with the probably-not-fertile-anyway time. You can actually start taking the pills whenever you want; you won’t be protected from pregnancy for 7 days, but after that you’re fine.

    As for bleeding, though, it could depend on where you are in your cycle already. Some people have breakthrough bleeding if they start HBC after they’ve already ovulated that cycle. Others don’t. I had incredibly irregular/absent periods myself (PCOS), so when I started birth control, I just started it. I never had breakthrough bleeding at all.

    You can’t guarantee that you won’t have some bleeding during your camping trip, but if I were you I’d start the pills; that’ll give you the best chance of not bleeding during that time, I think.

  4. Egddarta says:

    Thank you for your response, I think I will start them in the morning so I get in the habit of taking it with my vitamins. I’m not worried about pregnancy since I’m not sexually active rn. I’m just really tired of playing the guessing game with my period.

  5. Anyne says:

    Yeah I never had breakthrough bleeding either! :). In fact, when I stopped for awhile and got back on, I didn’t even wait for my period, I just started the pill right away, and it was all fine. But it does also depend on the strength of the pill, too. The stronger the pill, the less likely the breakthrough bleeding. I must be on extremely strong pills because I just went 6 months without getting my period and when I did stop the pill, I barely bled at all. I’m on marvelon if you’re wondering lol. Yes, you can “stack” your pill and continue taking it and not stop for the week you are suggested to.

  6. Ytune says:

    In order to ensure that you won’t have a period, you can simply skip the placebo’s for that month. If it is a new BC and you’ve switched from something different, there is a good chance that you will skip a period anyway because your hormones will be adjusting to a new birth control.

    I know a lot of women that skip their placebos for like 3 months and then run the placebos through for one month. There isn’t an actual medical need for a period since you are ovulating. You still may have some breakthrough bleeding and unfortunately there is no way to prevent it happening at that time. I would take this pack through, because if I remember OTC starts with placebos.. then when you go to take your next placebos… skip them and head straight into the second week.

    Good luck! 🙂

  7. Hteall says:

    However, skipping the placebos is not so easy on a tri-phasic pill, which Tri Cyclin is. The level of hormones rises from week to week. And when hormones drop, that signals the uterus to bleed. So if you go week1-week2-week3-week1… you will probably start bleeding.

    The way to stack a tri-phasic best is to take week 1 of pack A, then week 1 of pack B. Week 2 of pack A, week 2 of pack B, week 3 of pack A, week 3 of pack B, no more than 7 placebos, and start over.

    If one decides at the last minute to try to skip a withdrawal bleed, the general way to do that is to take the next pack starting with week 3 — so you go 1-2-3-3-2-1. The hope is that the hormone drop from week 3 to week 2 will be mild enough that the uterus won’t notice.

    According to the website: “The 28-pill pack contains 21 “active” pills (7 white, 7 light blue, and 7 dark blue; all with hormones) to take for 3 weeks. This is followed by 1 week of “inactive” pills (7 green; all without hormones).”

  8. Dekdy says:

    Yup. I’ve just started OTC. At least with my (US) packaging and labeling, the Day 1 pill is definitely a lower-hormone (comparatively to the pack) active pill.

  9. Hteall says:

    Just because it is my fanaticism, have you been tested for thyroid issues? Irregular menstruation can be caused by thyroid problems (as well as by PCOS, etc.), and if you are actually hypothyroid to some extent, taking HBC can make the symptoms worse, even though your bleeding is regulated. Since I had undiagnosed hypothyroidism for way too long, I am now a fanatic about people being tested rather than just having pills thrown at them that treat one symptom (while making others worse, potentially…).

    If/when you get tested, get the numbers! Your TSH should be between .4 and 4, and ideally no higher than around 2.

    Good luck!

  10. Egddarta says:

    I asked to be tested for any thyroid problems back in 2010 and my doc said my blood work came back fine. I don’t remember her giving me any numbers though..

  11. Hteall says:

    Get the numbers, if you can. It’s rare, but there are occasional horror stories of doctors who are not up-to-date on the current range-of-normal, who say your numbers are “fine” when in fact they are at best borderline and at worst, rather dire. Heck, even my own doctor once said “fine” when it’d slipped from TSH 1 to TSH 2, and I was feeling effects! Yeah, it’s in the normal range, but I was feeling effects from it, and that’s a pretty big slip!

  12. Egddarta says:

    thanks for this warning, I’ll try to get the results from those tests, I don’t have that doc or insurance anymore but I’m sure I can still request them.

  13. Anyne says:

    Hmmm… I think I’ll ask too next time I am tested… I always have symptoms and my doc always tests me, but it’s always “normal.” What is the range, do you know?

  14. Hteall says:

    What's the range, do I know? Why, yes! O:D

    The range for “normal” for TSH is between .4 and 4, according to thyroid. Hopefully I will recognize your icon and not repeat too much of what I’ve said here. No promises. I’m often bad with names. >_>

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