Talking to Your OB/GYN -


Boxed Warning

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from hormonal contraceptive use. This risk increases with age, with heavy smoking (15 or more cigarettes per day), and in women over 35 years of age. Women who use hormonal contraceptives are strongly advised not to smoke.

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    Talking to Your OB/GYN


    An annual visit to the OB/GYN or healthcare professional is important—not only for checking on your health status, but also to let your healthcare professional know about changes in your life that could have an impact on your reproductive and sexual health. It can be a little intimidating, but you should always feel comfortable asking any questions and discussing topics that are on your mind. The tips below will help you get ready for your next appointment.


    Be Ready to Ask Questions

    Review our list for the questions most relevant to you.


    Reproductive Health


    How do I know what birth control method is best for me?

    What are the benefits of low-dose birth control pills?

    How do I know if I'm doing my breast self-examination correctly?

    How often do I need a Pap smear or gynecological checkup?

    When should I get a mammogram?

    How do I know if my period is normal?

    What changes in my menstrual cycle are important to note?

    Can my diet and exercise habits affect my reproductive health?

    Sexual Health

    How can I practice safe sex?

    How do I know if I have a sexually transmitted disease?

    Should I be tested for HIV or sexually transmitted diseases?

    Should I be vaccinated against HPV?


    Be Prepared With Information

    In addition to having questions ready, here are some things you can do to prepare for your appointment:


    • Know the dates of your last period.
    • Make a list of current or recently taken medications.
    • Be prepared to answer questions about your medical history, including surgeries, immunizations and your menstrual cycle.
    • Make a list of any allergies you have and your family history (eg,conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease).
    • If you have medical records from previous gynecological exams, have them sent to your healthcare professional or bring them with you.
    • If you're sexually active, you'll be asked if you need contraception. Be
      prepared to answer these questions about your sexual activity. Remember,
      being honest helps your healthcare professional properly treat you.
    • If you are using a diaphragm or cervical cap, bring it to your exam so that your healthcare professional can examine it for signs of wear or determine if you need to be refitted.

    Things to discuss during your visit:


    • Let your healthcare professional know about your day-to-day life, including your eating and sleeping patterns, stress management, relationships and overall outlook.
    • If you've read something in a newspaper or magazine that you're interested in or concerned about, bring it in so that you can talk about it.
    • If you're thinking about having a child some time in the next year or so, talk about it with your healthcare professional. He or she can provide advice about appropriate contraception until you are ready to try to conceive.
    • Ask your healthcare professional to recommend books or other information resources for any health and lifestyle changes you're considering.



    What should I tell my healthcare professional before using ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® LO?


    Tell your healthcare professional if you:


    • Smoke
    • Are breastfeeding
    • Are taking any other medications


    Also, tell your healthcare professional if you have or have had:


    • Breast nodules, fibrocystic disease of the breast, an abnormal breast x-ray or mammogram
    • A family history of breast cancer
    • Diabetes
    • Elevated cholesterol or triglycerides
    • High blood pressure
    • Migraine or other headaches or epilepsy
    • Depression
    • Gallbladder disease
    • Liver disease
    • Heart disease
    • Kidney disease
    • History of scanty or irregular menstrual periods


    If you have any of these conditions you should be checked often by your healthcare professional.


    Tell your healthcare professional about all of the medicines you are taking, before starting and while you are using ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® LO including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, herbal and dietary supplements. Especially tell your healthcare professional if you take:


    • barbiturates (for example phenobarbitol)
    • bosentan (Tracleer®)
    • carbamazepine (Tegretol® is one brand of this drug)
    • phenybutazone (Butazolidin®)
    • drugs used to treat HIV or AIDS
    • antibiotics
    • phenytoin (Dilantin® is one brand of this drug)
    • rifampin
    • topiramate (TOPAMAX®)
    • St. John's Wort (a herbal supplement)


    These medicines/herbal supplements may make your contraceptive less effective and you may need to use a barrier contraceptive when you take these drugs or products.


    Also, tell your healthcare professional if you take lamotrigine (LAMICTAL®), an anticonvulsant used for epilepsy. This may increase the risk of seizures so your healthcare professional may need to adjust the dose.


    Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure if any of your medicines are listed above.






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