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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Birth control pills & messing up the cycle

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Author Topic: Birth control pills & messing up the cycle
taxxy28
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Hello, I've got a few questions regarding my birth control!

First, I begin my placebo week tomorrow (4/24 Wednesday). I always always always start my period the upcoming Saturday, so my period is going to start 4/27.

I have an event on Saturday in which my outfit will not do on a period. So I would like to prolong my cycle, knowingly mess it up, and continue taking pills until this Saturday.

I am on Trinessa right now. It has three different colors of pills. It is the generic form of Ortho Tri-Cyclen.

I have an old emergency pack of Ortho Tri-Cyclen I use for missed pills. I plan to take four of the dark blue to "continue" until Saturday.

However, I did notice the pack has expired October of 2011. Will the pills still be effective? I don't plan to have sex, but will it be effective in stopping my period at least?

My last question is: I know my cycle will be messed up. Should I just start a new pack the following Wednesday like normal? Or should I allow 7 days after this Saturday for a full "placebo" week? How long until I am fully protected and back in normal cycle again?

Thank you so much.

[ 04-23-2013, 07:36 PM: Message edited by: taxxy28 ]

Posts: 90 | From: Texas | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You don't ever want to take expired medications of any kind. on top of those meds being potentially ineffective, they also may not be safe. So, you'll want to throw out that expired pack, not take those pills.

It's really not advised to only take some active pills. Certainly, the biggest issue is that your pills may lose effectiveness for you as a reliable birth control method, but that's also just not taking that medication as directed, which is important. And which we can't ethically advise as an organization in support of sexual and general health.

If people want to suppress periods using hormonal methods, they need to skip the placebo week, move on to the next pack, patch or ring, then use them for the whole active cycle again before another placebo period. If you take less than all of your active pills in any given cycle, then per protection from pregnancy, you should figure it's like starting the pill over again. If you took these the way you're suggesting, I'd suggest using a backup for a month, not just seven days, since it'd be like starting over again mid-cycle, effectively.

But how about calling your prescribing physician about this? Or your pharmacist? These are the right folks to talk to about your medications and using them differently.

Ultimately, though, this is also really out of our scope, since it's truly not about sexuality or sexual health -- IOW, wanting to wear a given outfit just isn't part of a sex education service in this way -- save advising you to use your medication as directed.

[ 04-23-2013, 07:55 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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taxxy28
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Thank you. So really, I should just start a new pack tomorrow than take a few more blue pills? Will I still be protected?
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Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

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Yes, if you want to skip your placebo week, starting a new pack of pills tomorrow and continuing to take one pill every day is the only way to do that. Skipping the placebo week doesn't change the effectiveness of the pill as long as you continue to take your pills properly, but it's no guarantee that you won't have some bleeding or spotting anyway - everyone's body reacts differently. As Heather said, though, the best person to talk to about changing the way you take any medication is your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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taxxy28
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Excellent! Thank you very much.
Posts: 90 | From: Texas | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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