Ortho-Tri-Cyclen Birth Control Reviews And Side EffectsBrand Names: Mononessa, Ortho Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, Previfem, Sprintec, Tri-Previfem, Tri-Sprintec, TriNessa

Generic Name: ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate (ETH in ill ess tra DYE ol and nor JESS tim ayt)

Average Consumer Rating: 2.2 out of 5

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Ortho Tri-Cyclen Birth Control is also known generically as Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Birth Control has 4 colored pills, one color for each week of the pack. The white pills are taken first and have the least amount of hormones, followed by the light blue pills, blue pills and the green reminder pills which have no hormones in them. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Birth Control is available by US or Canadian prescriptions only and is given to prevent pregnancy in women but is not to be used for emergency contraception. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Birth Control is also used to treat severe acne in many cases.

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Ortho Tri-Cyclen works by preventing the release of eggs from the ovaries. This medication is also effective because it creates thicker cervical mucus so it does not allow the sperm to pass through as easily to the uterus. The hormones contained in Ortho Tri-Cyclen are ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate.

When you take the pills home and open your first package you will see that there two different colored pills, the smaller amount should be taken as you are going through your menstrual cycle, after they are finished, whether you have stopped bleeding or not, you can start the opposite color once again, this allows you to know each and every month when our cycle will begin and when it should end.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Side Effects

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Birth Control (Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol) causes an increased risk of certain disorders and problems in some women. This include, but is not limited to, blood clots, embolism, heart attack, hemorrhage, high blood pressure and cholesterol, gallbladder disease, liver disease and cancers and ovarian cysts.

Some side effects are commonly seen with Ortho Tri-Cyclen Birth Control (Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol). These include weight change, nausea, vomiting, cramps and bloating, spotting, cervical secretion and erosion, change in flow, lack of a period, migraines, jaundice, depression, lower tolerance to carbohydrates, yeast infections, and an inability to wear contact lenses.

One of the main side effects of Ortho Tri-Cyclen is weight gain but the good news is that with no matter what kind of pill you take the side effect is going to be the same. Watch what you eat and make sure you are eating well-balanced meals and this should not be a problem for you. This pill will also give you lighter periods and less cramping.

If you’re a woman that has reached the age of 35 it is better to quit smoking while taking this medication because it does put you at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Even if you have not reached the age of 35 it is always a good idea to stop smoking.

There are some adverse reactions that have been reported along with Ortho Tri-Cyclen Birth Control continued use. This includes vaginitis, pre-menstrual syndrome, cataracts, appetite changes, headache, nervousness and dizziness, loss of head hair, hair gain on the body, colitis, acne, and changes in libido or sex drive as well as impaired renal functioning.


Ortho Tri-Cyclen Birth Control does not protect against HIV or sexually transmitted diseases, and condoms should be used.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Birth Control can be transferred through breast milk. Therefore, women that are breastfeeding or had a child less than 6 weeks ago are not recommended to take this medication. This drug can cause birth defects, and should not be used by pregnant women or those trying to become pregnant.

Also, any woman that has had circulation problems or hormone-related cancers should not take this medication as it can cause recurrences due to the increase of hormones in the system. If more than two doses are missed in a row, tell a doctor right away.

Talk to your doctor if you have had a history of blood clots or heart disease because this medication may not be the right choice for you.

As with all contraceptives, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Birth Control (Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol) is affected by other medications and drugs. Therefore, your doctor should be made aware of all over the counter medications, vitamins and prescriptions that a patient is taking in order to keep Ortho Tri-Cyclen Birth Control working at its highest efficiency. Examples of medications that have drug interactions include rifampin, phenytoin, bosentan, oxcarbazepine, St. John’s Wart, felbamate, and phenylbutazone.

Ortho Tricyclen Facts

  • ortho tri-cyclen was first introduced in the United States in 1960.
  • ortho tri-cyclen has been the subject of more than 73,000 publications and scientific reviews during its 40-year history.
  • ortho tri-cyclen is the most popular method of reversible birth control in the U.S., with more than 16 million women currently using it.
  • Eight of 10 women in the United States have used the birth control pill at some point in their lives.
  • Overall, only 59 percent of American women are aware of non-contraceptive health benefits associated with ortho tri-cyclen.
  • Four of 10 American women between the ages of 18 to 24 currently take ortho tri-cyclen.
  • Nearly half of women choosing a birth control method for the first time, opt for ortho tri-cyclen.
  • Ninety-five percent of Pill users say they are satisfied with it; nearly 80 percent of all American women say they have a positive opinion of ortho tri-cyclen.
  • Only twenty percent of women are aware that a healthy, non-smoking woman over 40 can safely take Ortho Tricyclen.

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 29 reviews
by Grace on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

Just started two weeks ago and have been unbelievably depressed, angry, and fatigued. I tried loestrine a yr ago and never remembered having intense side effects. I can't wait to start a different pill this one has made me unstable. Good news is my skin is beautiful now!

by Jen on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

This pill made me continuously gain weight. I am a teenager and my acne got worse. I've also seemed to be depressed and self concious because of all of this weight gain. I can't lose weight on this pill. I will definitely be switching.

by Tiff on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

effective clears up my acne no side effects for me love this ones switching back to it after trying lutera for 3 months hated it!

by Dina on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I've been on Ortho TriCyclen Lo for about 7 years now and I haven't had any side effects. No initial weight gain or mood swings. It's not strong enough to skip periods (if you go straight to the next pack without taking the week off. I know it's possible for some stronger dosage pills), but overall it's a great birth control pill There's the usual irritability right before the period, but I wouldn't attribute that to the TriCyclen; always had it.

by Renee on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I was really happy with Ortho-Tri Cyclen Lo. It regulated my horrible mood swings and cleared up a lot of my acne. Before, everyone knew when I was on my cycle because of moodiness and breakouts, but this pill helped fix that. I personally didn't have any issues with weight gain or nausea at all, although I know every woman's body reacts differently to different hormones.

by Cammil on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I was on this pill for about 8 months. It was alright in the aspect of having no weight gain or yeast infection but I was extremely moody and my periods were pretty long (up to 5 days and spotting after that). Although I was told it would help with acne, it didn't. I switched to Norinyl and it's pretty fantastic!

by S on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

ortho tricyclen lo was horrible i would puke every morning for the 6 months i was on this pill, i suffered from bad migranes, completely lost my sex drive, it got so bad that i didnt even want to have sex with my boyfriend at all for the last 2 months that i was on ortho. lost interest in life i didnt feel like doing anything i felt like giving up on everything. i would wake up so depressed and couldnt figure out why. I was always angry i would fight with my boyfriend for no reason at all pretty much every single day. the only good thing ortho did for me was clear up my acne a lot, i had shorter periods and no cramps at all during or before my period and i actually lost weight on this pill because i had no appetite at all, i was never hungry when i was taking ortho. but other than that its horrible!! ive never been so depressed as i was on this pill. I'm trying yaz when my next period comes.

by Tinkerbella on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I've been on Ortho-tri-cyclen Lo for 10 years and have been pretty happy with it. The only noticeable side affect for me is that I get a little irritable and tired for 2 days before my period. I tried the generic version (Lo-esteron?) to save money and had horrible mood swings and felt constantly irritable so I switched back. I've only had one yeast infection in 10 years so I'm shocked by the previous reviewers frequency of those.

by Jenna on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I wouldn't poop for 3 weeks before my period when I was on this. So basically I was only pooping

by Renee on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I was on Ortho Tricylen for years but switched to Tricylen Lo when i figured out it was killing my sex drive. Lo made some difference though it still isn't great. Neither pill cleared up my acne fully, yeast infections and UTI's happen at least every 2-3 months. Unfortunately, side affects seem to be unavoidable regardless of the pill choice.

by Jenn on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

This pill worked fine for me for the first couple of months, but over the course of the next year or so I started to get bad side effects, and didn't think to attribute them to the pill - until the gyno told me so. I was getting recurring yeast infections, at least once a month for several months, which are apparently common side effects of ortho try cyclen. I also suffered a drastic decrease in my sex drive - the point of no interest in sex whatsoever. This occurrence was so gradual and subtle that I also never attributed it to tri-cyclen..until I went off of it last month and my sex drive came back with a vengeance. Furthermore, I bloated terribly and had a lot of mood swings/anxiety issues on this drug. I would not recommend it. I"m switching to Alesse now, so hopefully this one give me better luck!

by J on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I started taking this pill 3 weeks ago and at first I thought it was ok. not much acne, no extra weight gain, but the mood swings got crazy this week before the placebo. felt suicidal for no reason. The doctor said this pill was amazing but I disgree. Got really bad pains from what is believed to be endo... but the pill is supposed to help it... I wouldnt suggest it to anyone.

by Marie on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I have been using Orth-tri-cyclen for 14 years. I started taken it after I had my last baby. It has worked great for me. I use to have irregular periods every month. And every month I would worry when i was late,because I though I was pregnant. But now my periods come when they are supposed to every month. The only side effects I had throughout the years were getting a little emotional before you start, gaining weight and your sex drive does go down a bit. Otherwise it has worked great for me. I highly recommend it to any who would like to try it.

by Susan on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

Went on ortho-tri lo after (unfortunately) stopping loestrin 24 (it got too expensive) and after 6 months I will be switching to another. I am very moody and am annoyed at almost nothing so much I can't take it anymore even though it's cheap. I am also extremely tired during the week b4 my period, almost to the point where I can't go half the day without a nap. My boobs also hurt more often than on any other pill. Pros: I barely ever break out (might be good for acne sufferers) and no headaches. Goodbye ortho!!!

by Lily on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I started this because I was having problems with my period suddenly starting to act funny - over a few months it was like every time it came, it was twice as painful as the last. I couldn't get out of bed. I got on this and it helped a little bit, but the side effects were horrible. I cried/got angry over EVERYTHING, and when I wasn't upset I was extremely numb, so I wouldn't get out of bed even though I could. On top of that I was constantly nauseous to the point I'd lie on the cold kitchen tile because it was the only thing that did anything to help, which wasn't much. I could never sleep and I always had to pee. Wouldn't recommend this pill to someone I hate.

by Erin on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I only took this pill for a month and a half... i had horrible mood swings (i'm talking, ruined my entire social life), every morning nausea, and finally my fingers turned purple... i would not recomend this pill, ladies.

by lindsay on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

liked this pill. on it for about 3yrs, i don't notice it ever helped with pimples i still get them around my mouth. i was reading some other reviews about moodiness and i wonder now if it was from this pill because i got crazy emotional around my period...and with it being "tri" it has more hormones so i wouldnt be surprised. am trying seasonale now....i am too moody right now right before my period and can't handle it.

by Julia on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

These pills made me feel so miserable.Almost every afternoon I had diarrhea,every night I felt so nausiated,I could not sleep.Bleeding is so horrible looked like real period.Every morning I felt like I had a hangover,headache,dry mouth,etc..I hate these pills,cannot wait until finish them!

by Rebehah on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I've been on tr-cyclen lo for about a year but I am now switching over to an even lower dose of estrogen. I found my moodiness to be crazy, I hated it! I couldn't control how I'd respond to situations that was very frustrating. Other than that it was decent and if it wasn't for the awful moods, I'd stay on it.

by Maggie on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

My doctor switched me to Ortho-Tri-Cyclen Lo because I had stopped having periods while using Yaz. I now have the exact opposite problem: My periods start a week before the placebo pills and last for nearly 2 weeks! Also, my acne that had been clearing up while I was on Yaz has all come back with a vengeance. It's been a year of "waiting it out," but I'm ready to switch to something new.

by R on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I've been on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo for 5 years. Overall, it works well with some minor side affects. I get yeast infections at least 4-6 times a year and UTI's as well.

by lara on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I had breakthrough bleeding, itching and developed a yeast infection in the first month. After that, everything went back to normal but I did gain a couple of pounds.

by Sara on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

The first month on it I had backaches, bloating, cramps, spotting, heavier periods than before, panic attacks, mood swings, and horrible acne!I am starting my sixth week because the doctor suggested giving it a couple of months but this stuff stinks!

by R on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

i had my period for a whole week! with cramps and still heavy bleeding, and its not my first month of this! it really does suck.

by Shelby on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

Amanda: I've been taking YAZ for almost a year now and I get menstrual migranes on the same exact day every month, it never fails. It happens on the day I begin to take my placebo pills. I was considering switching to Ortho TriCyclen to see if the migranes stop..

by amanda on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I have used this medication for six years and it works fabulous as far as keeping my skin clear and providing predictable, light periods with no cramps. However, I suffer from terribly menstrual migraines and my gyn gave me a few samples of Yaz to try because it doesn't cause the hormone dip of Othro TriCyclen at the end of your cycle. I'm nervous to switch because I've done so well but I'm also excited to think I may be free of migraines.

by Katie on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I am finding this is causing mood swings and some severe anxiety which I've never experienced before. Usually the worst the last week before the placebo. Do want to switch but am unsure of what to switch to. Any ideas?

by Amber on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

Had a HORRID time on this. Made me hormonal, moody, bled constantly, and became incredibly anxiety-ridden. Constant panic attacks and spotting.

by B on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen

I love this birth control, and I have yet to have any problems