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How to Stop Ortho Tricyclen Lo

By Elizabeth Wolfenden ; Updated August 14, 2017

Although Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is an effective oral contraception, it's not for everyone. Some women experience bothersome side effects, others decide another form of birth control is more convenient for their lifestyle, and some women decide they'd like to become pregnant after all. Whatever the reason for the discontinuation, women should consider several factors before stopping the medication.

  1. Discuss possible withdrawal side effects with a doctor. Physical changes may occur as the woman's body adjusts to not having the medication in its system, notes the Health Services at Columbia University. Headaches, fatigue, weight changes, mood swings and breast tenderness may occur in some women. A doctor might be able to provide recommendations of how to prevent or reduce the intensity of these changes.

  2. Find another family planning option. Unless the woman wants to get pregnant, she will need to use another method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Since this new birth control often needs to be used as soon as Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is stopped, it is best to have it available before stopping the medication.

  3. Pick a quit date. Although the date can be any day the woman prefers, finishing the current package of Ortho Tri-Cylen Lo can make it easier for those who track menstrual cycles closely.

  4. Stop taking the medication on the quit date. Women should remember that unless they use a backup method of birth control immediately, pregnancy is possible.

  5. Tip

    The parenting website recommends waiting a few cycles after going off birth control pills before attempting to conceive a child. Although there is no medical reason for doing so, it may make it easier to pinpoint fetal age and due date when conception does occur.

    Women that are considering stopping Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo because it is too expensive may like to hear that the Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo's website offers coupons for $15 off out-of-pocket costs.


    If a woman does not use another hormonal birth control option immediately after discontinuing Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo and a menstrual period does not occur for several months, there may be a chance the woman is pregnant or has a medical condition called post-pill amenorrhea. Any woman that does not have a period within six months and is not pregnant should seek medical attention, advises the Mayo Clinic. Hormonal birth control options, like Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, are generally more effective than non-hormonal options, explains Planned Parenthood. Those making the switch to a new birth control method should consider this fact and talk to a doctor to explore which birth control option may be best for them.

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