Getting Started With a Birth Control Prescription


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.

Click here for related and additional Important Safety Information

    Getting Started With ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® LO


    If you think ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® LO may be right for you, set up an appointment with your gynecologist or healthcare professional to discuss whether you are a good candidate. Be sure to honestly discuss your health and lifestyle, so your healthcare professional can determine what's most appropriate for you.

    Get more tips on how to prepare for an OB/GYN visit >


    Need an ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® LO prescription?

    If you and your healthcare professional decide on ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® LO, he or she will write you a prescription. Don't forget to ask your healthcare professional for instructions on how to start taking it. You can get your prescription filled at a local or online pharmacy. Or check to see if your insurance company has a mail-order prescription program. It is important to remember to refill your prescription on time each month so you have a pack in time for your start date. Be sure you have ready at all times an extra full pill pack of ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® LO and another kind of birth control, such as a condom or spermacide, to use as a back-up method in case you miss pills.

    Get tips on how to remember your birth control pills refills >


    Starting the Pill

    The correct way to take ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® LO is to take one pill each day, at the same time each day. Pick a time that's convenient and easy to remember (get birth control reminder tips > ). Missed pills may not only increase the risk of pregnancy but also may increase your chance of experiencing some side effects, such as bleeding between periods.


    You have 2 choices:

    Starting your pill on the Sunday after your period starts or on the first day of your period. The ORTHO DIALPAK® Tablet Dispenser is preset for a Sunday Start, but you also can select a Day 1 Start by turning the dial to the first day of your period.


    Sunday Start

    Take the first "active"* white pill of the first pack on the Sunday after your period starts —even if you are still bleeding. If your period begins on a Sunday, start your pack on the same day. With a Sunday Start, you MUST use a backup birth control method (such as condoms or spermicide ) if you have sex for the first 7 days.


    Day 1 Start

    Take the first “active” white pill of the first pack within 24 hours of starting your period . If you choose a Day 1 Start, you will not need to use a backup method of birth control because you are starting the Pill at the beginning of your period.

    *The 28-pill pack contains 21 "active" pills (7 white, 7 light blue, and 7 dark blue; all with hormones ) to take for 3 weeks. This is followed by 1 week of placebo pills (7 green; all without hormones).


    Want to Change Your Start Date?

    You should ask your healthcare professional for guidance before you change your start date.

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