Until you are ready to start a family, you can talk to your doctor about a prescription for Ortho Tri-Cyclen LO. This is a triphasic oral contraceptive that has both Norgestimate (progesterone) and Ethinyl Estradiol (estrogen) hormones. In the 4 week supply of Ortho Tri-Cyclen LO, from the 1st to 3rd week there is a gradual increase in Norgestimate and the 4th week the pills are placebos with no hormones at all. The rise of Norgestimate in Ortho Tri-Cyclen is similar to the natural path progesterone takes during your monthly cycle.
When taken as directed, Ortho Tri-Cyclen LO will work to suppress ovulation so there is no ova or egg released. Then the cervical mucus may undergo a change that can make it difficult for sperm to reach and fertilize the egg. The level of the hormone combination in all birth control pills change the womb lining (endometrium) so a fertilized egg is unable to attach. The environment of your fallopian tubes is also affected so fertilization and implantation cannot take place. When all of these activities take place as planned, you should not conceive and implantation should not occur.
However, the 99% success rate is with perfect use so the onus is on your ability to remember to take Ortho Tri-Cyclen LO, or other oral contraceptives, every day and at the same time in order to keep a steady level of these hormones in your body at all times. Failure to do so could result in an unplanned pregnancy.
Besides the obvious reason for taking birth control, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo can help decrease symptoms of heavy bleeding during menstruation due to your uterine lining not building up as much so there is less for your body to expel and cramping is reduced or non-existent altogether. You may also alleviate the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) by keeping hormone levels balanced.
You should have a pregnancy test done to be certain you are not pregnant before starting Ortho Tri-Cyclen LO. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions or allergies you have and list OTC and Rx drugs you currently take, including herbal remedies and vitamin or dietary supplements, so your doctor can determine if Ortho Tri-Cyclen LO is safe for you to take.
When you first start taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen LO, or you are changing from a different contraceptive method, use another form of contraception for the first week or so until your body adapts to the hormones. If you become ill and have vomiting or you have forgotten to take your daily pill, use back-up contraception for several days in case you ovulate during that time. Do not start any new meds without talking to your doctor as some drugs can lower the effectiveness of birth control pills.