Thursday, July 29, 2004

Skipping Your Period With a Triphasic Pill, Part II

You can use a triphasic pill brand to skip a period. Before we review the regimens used to skip a period with a triphasic pill brand, let me clarify a few terms.

Triphasic, Skip a Period

Combination birth control pill - each active pill has a combination of estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and progestin (synthetic progesterone). Each placebo ("sugar") pill is inactive; it does not have hormones.

Pill brands came in 21-, 28-, and 91-day packs. The 21-day pack has only active pills. The 28- and 91-day packs have an extra 7 inactive, or placebo pills.

The placebo pills are reminder pills. They're put in the pack to get you into the habit of taking a pill every day. They serve no other purpose.

Monophasic brand - all active pills have the same amount of estrogen and progestin. All active pills are the same color. In 28-day packs, the 7 placebo pills are a different color. That's two different colored groups of pills per 28-day pack.

Triphasic brand - the active pills have either the same, or two different amounts of estrogen, and two or three different progestin amounts. All active pills with the same amount of estrogen and progestin are the same color--usually three groups of colors per 28-day pack. The 7 placebo pills are a different color. That's four different colored groups of pills per 28-day pack.

For more on monophasic vs. triphasic, see Skipping Your Period With a Triphasic Pill, Part I.


Skipping a period - when you use a combination birth control pill--monophasic or triphasic--you don't have a menstrual period for the entire time you take the pill.

The monthly bleeding you experience while on the Pill is withdrawal bleeding, a chemically induced event. This artifice was introduced for political, religious, etc. reasons by the Pill inventors; it serves no known medical function.

The menstrual period and withdrawal bleeding are not one and the same thing.

Bottom line: When you use the Pill and you modify the regular 21/7 (21 days of active pills/7 days of placebo pills during which you experience withdrawal bleeding) to an extended regimen, like the 84/7 one, you are only changing the frequency of withdrawal bleeding; from monthly, to once every three months. The regimen change has no effect on your menstrual period since, while on the Pill, you don't have a menstrual period.

Triphasic, Extended Regimen

If you want to skip your period, using a monophasic Pill brand is best.

Why? Because all monophasic active pills have the same amount of hormones. This means steady hormone levels and less likelihood of nuisance side effects like breakthrough bleeding/spotting (BTB).

BTB is not dangerous to your health (for most women) but it's a significant inconvenience (not to mention a major reason women discontinue Pill use).

Because triphasic pill brands have varying hormone levels which fluctuate--usually, from week to week--you're more likely to experience BTB if you use a triphasic brand to skip your period.

So, what are you to do?

If you're not already on the Pill, start using a monophasic brand to skip your period.

If you're already using a triphasic brand and it suits you, no need to switch to a monophasic. Go ahead and use your existing triphasic brand. If it works, great! If not, you can always change to a monophasic brand later.

Now, if you're already on the Pill, a triphasic one, you're most likely on the regular regimen: 21 days of active pills, followed by 7 days of placebo pills during which time you experience an episode of bleeding.

In order to eliminate that monthly bleeding episode, or shift its frequency (to, say, once every three months) you have to modify the regular 21/7 regimen you've been using. You need to use an extended regimen, and you have several options to chose from.

Before we go on to the actual regimens, note the following:

- no matter which regimen you chose, you're still protected against pregnancy (provided you don't miss any pills, of course)

- the regimen recommendations to follow are based on clinical experience (there are no formal studies on triphasic extended regimens)

- since Ortho Tri-Cyclen* is a commonly used triphasic brand, I'll use it to illustrate the various extended regimens

*There are 28 pills in the pack. Four groups of 7 pills, each group a different color:


White pills (seven)- each pill has 0.035 mg estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and 0.180 mg progestin (norgestimate)

Light blue pills (seven)- each pill has 0.035 mg estrogen and 0.215 mg progestin

Blue pills (seven)- each pill has 0.035 mg estrogen and 0.250 mg progestin

Green pills (seven)- each pill is a placebo pill (no hormones)

Notice how the amount of estrogen is the same throughout the month, while the progestin amount keeps increasing.

And now, without further ado, the triphasic regimens.

Triphasic Regimens

To skip one period or delay it by one week:

A) Take the 21 active pills (first three weeks of pills). When you get to the 7 placebo pills (last week of pills) throw them out and instead take the third week of active pills from a new pack.

(Ortho Tri-Cyclen) Take 7 white pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 blue pills. That's 3 weeks and 21 pills. When you get to the 7 green pills, discard them, and take 7 blue pills from a new pack instead. Once you're done, either wait one week and then start a new pack (delays bleeding by one week), or start a new pack right away (skip bleeding).

7 white pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 blue pills + 7 blue pills (from a new pack)
Wait one week, then start a new pack/Start a new pack right away.

B) Take the 21 active pills and the 7 placebo pills (four weeks). Wait for one week**. Start a new pack and take the 21 active pills, followed by the 7 placebo pills. [This regimen shifts the bleeding episode by one week during the second month.]

**VERY IMPORTANT: You are not protected against pregnancy during the week you delay taking the next pack. You must use an alternate birth control method (condom, diaphragm, sponge, etc.).

7 white pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 blue pills + 7 green pills
Wait one week (no pills). [No Pregnancy Protection!]
Start a new pack.

To delay bleeding for months:

1. Take the 21 active pills (first three weeks of pills). When you get to the 7 placebo pills (last week of pills) throw them out and instead start a new pack.***

7 white pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 blue pills
Start a new pack (take active pills only).

***This is the regimen most likely to trigger BTB.

2. Take the 21 active pills (first three weeks of pills). When you get to the 7 placebo pills (last week of pills) throw them out. Start a new pack backwards, after first discarding the 7 placebo pills from this new pack.

[Pack #1] 7 white pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 blue pills + [Pack #2] 7 blue pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 white pills {+ [Pack #3] 7 white pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 blue pills}

3. Start with three new packs (or two). Take the first 7 active pills from each of the three packs (three weeks total). Then take the next 7 active pills from each of the three packs (three weeks). Finally, take the last set of 7 active pills from the three packs (three weeks). Stop for one week, then restart.

[Pack #1] 7 white pills + [Pack #2] 7 white pills + [Pack #3] 7 white pills + [Pack #1] 7 light blue pills + [Pack #2] 7 light blue pills + [Pack #3] 7 light blue pills + [Pack #1] 7 blue pills + [Pack #2] 7 blue pills + [Pack #3] 7 blue pills
Stop for one week, then restart.

So, there you have it. These are some of the regimen options you have if you want to use a triphasic Pill brand to skip your period.

As you can see, using a triphasic for an extended regimen can be a bit confusing. Also, you're more likely to experience BTB. So, even if you're already using a triphasic on a regular 21/7 regimen, consulting with your physician about switching to an extended regimen is most helpful.

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148 Comments:

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this method works for period control, but when taken backwards (hormone levels decreasing over the month instead of increasing) is the pill still effective for birth control?

 
At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A pharmacist recommended I take two packs of triphasic pills together. 1st week of the 1st pack, then 1st week of the second pack. Then 2nd week of pack 1 and 2nd week of pack 2. Then 3rd week of pack 1 and 3rd week of pack 2. That way, hormone levels are as consistent for 2 weeks at a time, and are altered only as much as if you were only taking one pack. Anyone had luck with this method?

 
At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is skipping 2 periods when on the pill bad for you?

 
At 3:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been on the same pill (levlen) for about 3 years now and in that time i have pretty much skipped my period every time. Is this bad??? I occasionally get a bit of spotting if I take a pill late etc but i'm wondering if i should let myself have a proper period or is it safe to go on forever skipping???????????

 
At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, skipping your period is not bad for you. In fact, having a monthy period is compleaty unnecessary unless you want to get pregnant. If that's the case then you should stop taking your pill regime for at least 6 months before trying to conceive just to get your body back to it's natural rythms.

 
At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to try and "skip" my period for the first time, and it will be in 2 weeks time. I have been on the pill for about 2 and 1/2 yrs now. From those who have experience, is it pretty much guaranteed that there won't be any bleeding during the days that my period would usually come, providing I skip the placebos and start the new pack immediately? I just want to make sure.

 
At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh help help help!! i just started my birth control (jasmine) 3 weeks ago and my honeymoon in in 1 week! i know, worst timing ever! i have been on birth control before, just not for the past year, anyway, is there ANY way that i can skip this period by starting my next months pack instead of taking the placebos? or is it too early in the game to start doing that kind of stuff?

 
At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just started my second pack i wanted to skip my period but it was too early in the game. I used to be on the pill years ago and it worked fine before with no break through bleeding but i tried it to early this time and i am on my period for 9 days now. but on the plus side it very light.

 
At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just realized that i'm going to be getting my period on the day i leave for my honeymoon! (March 28th!) I'm on Alesse (one hormone throuougt) but i've heard this might not work for me if i just keep taking the pill (skip plecebo). Help!

 
At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm on ortho evra and I'm suppose to get my period on my honeymoon which is in a little less then 3 months. Does anyone know how I can avoid having it on my honeymoon?

 
At 2:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

um, i too would like to know if using this method ensures pregnancy protection...

 
At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was supposed to take my birth control starting April 16 but I never did. Now I want to start taking them because I dont want to have my period for finals May 4-16. Is this possible if I start taking it this Sunday?

 
At 7:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an IUD, is there anyway to take a few birth control pills to skip my period? If not is there anyway to?

 
At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi im on ortho tri cyclen ive been on the pills for about seven years and have never tried to skip my period, if i skip the green pills and start a new pack am I protected from pregnancy?

 
At 9:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, okay. I have always gotten my period so irregularly. I have gotten my period maybe 5 times in my life, and I'm not the youngest. So, yeah I was very irregular. I went on the Dialpack, 28 Day Regiman of Ortho-Cept. I started taking my first orange pill on a Sunday, May 7th. I noticed I got my period around midnight, but I popped in the pill anway. Then I started everyday just taking the pill at 4:00 on the dot and succeeded to do so. The problem is my period has been with me since then. It is not the 21st and I still have it. It is definately lighter, and more brown than red, but here and there out of nowhere will be dark red or sometimes pink. I don't know, is it maybe because I was so irregular before. I need help. Is this normal?

 
At 2:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the same thing had happened to me. i started taking the pill, the next day i got my period. It is now 12 days into my pack and i still have it. mostly really light and more brown than red. but some days it is darker. When did yours stop?

 
At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't knwo if anyone one knows about Ortho Evra (the birth control patch) but everything was fine for ovre a year. Just recently I have been getting 2 periods/month. Is there anything I can do to shorten the time that I am on my period? like stop it?

 
At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just started my pills three weeks ago and i'm going on vacation the same time i am supposed to get my period...would it be ok to start the new pack and skip it or do i need to wait until i have been on them for 3 months first?

 
At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

for some of you who are afraid that taking the pill one pack after another might not work...I suggest you simply "reset" your system. What I mean is figure out when you would be on your period aka: in 2 weeks...2 months etc...then just induce it so that when you go back on the pill your period will come normally at a better or more convenient time. For example. I don't want to have my period in 2 weeks like I'm supposed to. So I'm going to stop my pill now....take a week to have my withdrawl period and then start a fresh pack so that my vacation week I have no risk of a period...I will be in the middle of my new pack.

It's really important to use another method of BC for a while when you do this...until you are safely into your next pack/cycle.

 
At 5:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never been on the pill before, and am flying to see my bf in two weeks. I'm supposed to start my period in about 17 days, which will overlap on my visit with him. If I start taking the pill now, what are my chances of skipping it?

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there anyway to make yourself skip a period on the Nuva Ring? My honeymoon is in about 2 months and of course I am supposed to be on my period then!

 
At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DO NOT TAKE THE SECOND PACK BACKWARDS
YOU HAVE NO PREGNANCY PROTECTION
YOU WILL GET YOUR PERIOD ON THE LIGHT BLUE PILLS
I came to this website, trying to find out how to skip my period. Everything went wrong, I started bleeding on the light blue pills, and my doctor now tells me that after speaking to a gynecologist, I may be pregnant because of moving the hormone levels around. I think it's unconscionable that no one has answered the dozens of women here asking if this will protect them. I am here to do that.

NO PROTECTION
RISK OF PREGNANCY

Do NOT use this method.

Go to the white pills and risk spotting or ask for a prescription for Seasonale. Please take care of yourselves.

 
At 1:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My period comes 2 days early every month and this month it came 4 days early with no clotting
?

 
At 7:24 PM, Blogger Niki said...

hi. ok so I am on Triqular (the triphasic type of pill) I was trying to skip my period, and thought i could just do it by starting a new pack after 21 days. so i did, my period was delayed for 3 days but now I have it. I havnt been sexually active for the past 3 weeks, so i am not worried, however my boyfriend is comming down in a couple of days i was wondring am I still safe, or should I use an alternative method.

 
At 4:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi There
My doctor put me on the 28 day birth control pack and I'm a little confused. Do I still take my Birth control pills while I'am on my period. Or do I stop taking them when I'm on my period someone please help me please.
If anyone can help me please feel free to e-mail me at Nikolaslover@hotmail.com

 
At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya im really worried bcause im on the pill and its beeen fine, my period came about 4 days after i finished my last pill every time but now my peiod has come and i havent finished the pack what does this mean please can somebody help me???????

 
At 4:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I just took my first pill today (Alesse) w/two goals in mind. Long term protection against pregnancy, but more immediately, my boyfriend is coming to visit in about 2 weeks (which is also around when i'm supposed to menstruate) and I'm hoping this will delay the period. Does anyone know if I have started the pill too late for this? I know I may get spotting or breakthrough bleeding, but I'm ok with that...as long as it's not the full-on period for the regular several days.
Thanks!

 
At 3:10 AM, Anonymous Tessa said...

Hi, im on a triphasic pill and i didnt take the green pills, i went right to a new pack! I've been on this pill for about 2 and 1/2 years, and have never skipped my period before!! Im going on vacation and want to know if my chances of this working are good!!
I would love it for somone to get back to me asap!! Thank you!!

 
At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going on my honey moon right about the same time i get my period , i'm not in anysort of birthcontrol what can i do to delay my period. please help

 
At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi,

i stopped taking the pill on january and got my period one day early but this month i was due them last saturday and i still haven't received them. could i still get them after a wk or so? is this because my body is adjusting? i know i'm not pregnant.

 
At 5:26 AM, Blogger Alison said...

i think if everyone has questions like these the best thing to do is to talk to someone who has studied the subject... like your physician. You just cannot trust another source. The internet is a great tool for information, but you have to remember that what you're reading on sites like this is what someone else "heard" or what someone else thinks might be true. You can NOT be assured that the advice found here is medically accurate. Please contact your health care providers in addition to reading sites like this. Also I suggest you do some reading on the actual site of your brand of birth control. They make a lot of information available that would answer a lot of the questions listed above. Education is key ladies. Get out there and do it. :o) Here's to your health!

 
At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been on Aviane for 9 months now, and I needed to skip my period because my boyfriend was coming home for his r&r from Afghanistan. Continuing to take the hormone pills worked like a charm for the first 13 days, but I have had continuous light bleeding since the 14th day. I'm going to continue to finish the pack, since my insurance won't let me get a new one until a week before this one runs out. Basically, if you are trying to skip a week or two of your period, then you can do it with Aviane, but beware of the light bleeding that may follow and will probably last a while.

 
At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on Yaz but was experiencing breakthrough bleeding, so my doctor switched me to Sprintec. I have been on this brand for two months. I wanted to skip my period last week because I was going away for the weekend, so I skipped the "fake" pills and I have now been spotting for over a week. Will the spotting ever end? I feel like I am having a regular period. Did I mess up my body?

 
At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im on ortho tri cyclin low (triphasic) and i am doing the method of taking two packs.
week1
week1
week2
week2
week3
week3
period.

so far this has been working out, im on week 2 of the second pack.

this is an effective way to skip your period without altering your hormones too much right?
(and of course without gettin pregnant)

if someone knows more about this please email me,
email me eej9@pitt.edu

 
At 10:26 PM, Blogger elpee said...

i am presently trying the same method using 2 packs of ortho tri-cyclen lo and am on week 2 of the second pack. no bleeding. this is the most logical method based on the increasing levels of progestin from white to light blue to dark blue. that forwards/backwards method of skipping described is horrible. I tried it and so did my roommate. we were both spotting after the first week of the backwards pack. it is all about progestin levels. if you drop them by taking a pill with a lower amount, you get your period.

 
At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm only 16 years old but I started the pill about 3 weeks ago and ever since i started it i have had bleeding. Usually it's pretty light, but it is very inconvenient. Should I keep on taking the pills? or stop, and go to my doctor to switch?

 
At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm currently on levora, which i believe is monophasic. i skipped one period and 2 weeks into the next pack started having a lot of spotting. at the end of week 2, i stopped taking my pills to induce my period. i had my period for 5 days, and had unprotected sex the day after it stopped. i thought since i was on a monophasic birth control and had taken it for 5 weeks in a row that i would be protected and it would be the same as going through week 4 (the placebo pills)only a week later. i'm worried that i'm mistaken and don't know whether or not i should take plan b to make sure i don't get pregnant. my only worry about that is that i've taken plan b 3 times in the last 9 months and i'm worried about what that's going to do to my system.. all those hormones cna't be good for you.. what should i do?

 
At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

couldn't you just start the placebo pills earlier to get your period earlier than you should if you dont want it for a certain time rather then trying to skip it completely? or does that not work?

 
At 1:50 PM, Blogger ema said...

To all,

Thank you for commenting. I've updated/rearranged the post to better answer your questions. Hope this helps.

To anon @1:20 PM,

DO NOT TAKE THE SECOND PACK BACKWARDS
YOU HAVE NO PREGNANCY PROTECTION


That is incorrect. As long as the pills are taken every day, regardless of order, the ovaries are suppressed, and the pregnancy protection is in effect.

Everything went wrong, I started bleeding on the light blue pills, and my doctor now tells me that after speaking to a gynecologist, I may be pregnant because of moving the hormone levels around.

It's regrettable that you experienced BTB on this regimen, unfortunately this is a common, and unpredictable, side effect.

The BTB you experienced (assuming no pills were missed) is not an indicator of diminished pregnancy protection. The bleeding is due to the effect of the fluctuating hormone levels on the lining of the uterus, not on the ovary.

Think of it this way: you have pregnancy protection during the first week of active pills because the amount of hormones in these pills (white, 0.035 mg EE/0.180 mg progestin) is sufficient to inhibit the ovary from releasing an egg.

By "moving the hormone levels around" (changing the order you take the pills in; taking the second pack backwards) all you're doing is keeping the hormone levels constant for a bit longer and, more importantly, you're taking pills with a higher amount of progestin (blue, 0.035 mg EE/0.250 mg progestin).

I think it's unconscionable that no one has answered the dozens of women here asking if this will protect them. I am here to do that.

NO PROTECTION
RISK OF PREGNANCY


Hopefully the updated post will answer most questions. And, while I'd like nothing better than to dedicate my attention to this blog full time and thus respond to all inquiries in a timely manner, unfortunately I'm not able to do that (and I do apologize). I still have to work away from this blog for a living.

Finally, while I do appreciate the reader's input and advice, your statement that regimen #2 (in the post) does not offer pregnancy protection is incorrect.

 
At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Samantha said...

I am a soon to be physician and I back up what the creator of this site has said. Sure BTB on the light blue or the white pills may be annoying, but at least you can avoid bleeding for the one week you're taking the dark blue pills.

If you want to skip your period more frequently or want to be BTB-free for more than one week, then you should switch to a monophasic pill and try that.

Lastly, as long as you do not skip active pills it doesn't matter if you take them backwards or forwards, you have the same protection against pregnancy.

For conformation of this information see the wikipedia article for "combined oral contraceptive pill" and read section 2.2, less frequent placebos.

 
At 12:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I listened to my doctor and started a new pack of triphasic pills as soon as my previous pack ended in order to skip my period. It held off the bleeding for about 3 days, then I started bleeding and it won't stop. I've had my period now for 8 days! Usually I only bleed for 5! What to do? Will it stop??

 
At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I decided that I wanted to skip my period because my boyfriend's coming this weekend from very far away. Instead of researching ahead of time, I didn't take the 7 inactive pills from my triphasic pack, and I started a new pack right after the first pack. However, I didn't start with the blue pill for the third week. I started the white pills. He's coming tomorrow. Is there a way to prevent my period now? Or is it too late?

 
At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an RN....I generally tell patients as directed by the MD I work for that BCP, Depo-Provera, etc...in layman's terms, keep the lining of the uterus from growing lush green grass that is needed to support the attachment of a fertilized egg. If the grass doesn't grow (by using hormone BCP, Depo, etc...), it doesn't need to be mowed. Mowing is like having a period.

Should make it easier to understand.

 
At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take Ortho-Tricylen and am currently on my period. I would like to delay next months period by one week. Of the two methods (beginning my next pack a week later than normal vs. taking my next pack as usual and then taking an additional week of the dark blue pills from a different pack) - which method is less likely to cause break through bleeding. I have been on ortho-tricyclen for 5 years with no problems, but have never attempted to time my period. Any feedback would be helpful.

 
At 4:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as you're still dosing with hormones (as in, you're taking a pill every day at around the same time...just like you're supposed to ^_~), you're protected. You're only not protected when you stop taking pills (you can skip the placebo ones AS LONG AS YOU START TAKING THE "REAL" ONES AFTER 1 WEEK, NO LONGER!) If you wait longer than 7 days after taking your last active pill (ie the non-placebo ones), you are NOT protected. Hope that makes sense.
Also, like it said on the site, the withdrawal bleeding between active pills (your period during the placebo week) doesn't have any medical significance. Someone put it very nicely below: while you're on the pill, your uterine lining doesn't grow as much, which means that you don't need to shed it/have a period. So technically, it's not harmful to skip a couple months...however, you should talk to your doctor if you're planning on skipping more than 3 periods (maybe switch to another pill like Seasonale which was made to skip 3 months at a time?).

 
At 6:28 PM, Blogger ligia said...

i started ovcon pill on dec30,07 and im on the 2nd pill of the 3rd week. i forgot to take my pill yesterday and today i got my period is this normal

 
At 4:03 PM, Blogger don't know squat said...

How do you prevent a period if you're not currently on birth control pills? I have a couple packs at home but I haven't taken them for more than 2 years.

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger don't know squat said...

What if you're not currently on the pill? I have a couple of packs at home and would like to prevent my period next month.

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger Paula said...

I took the pill before, but stopped. Now I want to start again, and I was wondering whether I need to wait till my period comes to start the package, or I can start anytime.

 
At 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone.

I've been taking the pill for 5 years. I'm on Ortho LO. I missed a white pill but I took it the next day, so I took 2 in one day, which is ok to do. A week and a half later I started bleeding when I wasn't supposed to get my period. I was bleeding for 10 days so I decided to go to my gynecologist. She told me It could be that I need to change the pill because I've been on it for so long. Or it could be that I have a cyst. But before I switch she said to finish my pack which ends in 2 days, On the first green pill start a new pack. So i would throw out the pack after the last blue pill and start a new pack that next day. Which means I will skip my period. She said If I still bleed to call her and we will go from there. Hopefully this will be helpful to anyone.

 
At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am on ortho-try-cyclen now and I tried to skip a period doing so did not work well for me. I had the break through bleeding for two weeks, it was more like dark brown spotting because my period never came down. One week later I started my period and it has been stressful. To be bleeding for three weeks is not a good look for anyone. Maybe I did something wrong but I don't want to try that again. I don't know if my having polycystic ovaries has something to do with it. But it is not for me. ;)

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger Teia said...

I am on YAZ and wanted to skip my period this month so I continued on with another pack of pills, skipping the placebos. I was fine for a couple of weeks and then started bleeding varying from light to heavy, I have been bleeding now for 11 days w/no end in sight. I continue to take the pill and should be actually getting my period next week, so hopefully, GOD willing it will end and my body can get back on track. The skipping didn't work for me obiviously so this will be the last time I attempt it, b/c bleeding for this long with no end in sight is not a good thing.

 
At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm on ortho cyclen and I plan to skip my period for the next two months so that it falls where I want it to in the third month. I've tried this once before and still had some bleeding. I was just wondering ahead of time if this happens again should I continue with my active pills no matter what? Or should I stop and then start a new pack? Also, am I still protected during this time if I'm taking my active pills and bleeding at the same time?

 
At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ema, I just wanted to thank you for having this blog. I am a 28-year old woman who has been on birth control for 13 years, and I have skipped periods using manipulation of the pill before, but years ago. This month I found out that for my work I will be swimming and hiking over the next week (I am a travel writer), and my first thought was, "Crap! Of course I'm going to start my period." I literally was struggling to pack tampons and pads into my small travel luggage when I remembered (duh) that years ago I had skipped my period experimentally, before there was a lot of information on the topic.

I pretty much already knew what I needed to do, and I understood how the pill works, but reading the methods you've so easily explained was an absolutely lovely find. I now feel much more confident about my choice, and much, much relief over not having to use 1/4 of my small luggage space on menstrual products. Not to mention that I am terrified of sharks and I am convinced I'd be nothing but a human chum bag when I went swimming.

So anyway: awesome! Thank you.

 
At 3:01 AM, Blogger ema said...

You're welcome, thank you for reading my blog, and stay away from those sharks :-).

 
At 5:49 PM, Blogger ashlee rae said...

okay. well im on tri-sprintec. i did skip my period, when i was sopose to be on my sugar pills for that month, i skipped them, and started taking my 3rd week of a new pack. when i was done with those. i started a new pack, week 1. and after a few days of week 1 , i got my period. (this just happened today) i do want to skip my period again because i am going to be going camping on saturday. i guess i cant anymore huh? is there any way i possibly can? and is this normal? and what should i do? keep going on my pills? or go straight to my sugar pills!? please help!! please email me at dearest_ashlee@hotmail.com

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger ahman416 said...

Interesting blog..

I am on Tricyclin and have been for a year or so (before that was on Diane 35 for 5 years).

I recently wanted to skip my period for the first time while on tricyclin, and did so by continuing the next pack right away (minus taking any sugar pills). This method had always worked for me in the past when on Diane 35. This time however, I got my period anyway, and not only that, but I got it 3 days EARLY and it lasted 4 days LONGER than it normally would had I just continued to take my pills normally and allow my period to come.

Now, less than one month later, I have been taking the pills normally since and am expected to get my period NEXT WEEK - however, I have started bleeding already. I have 4 more dark blue (high hormone) pills left to take, have not skipped or missed any pills, and usually won't begin bleeding until 3-4 days after I take the last pill in my pack.

I am starting to get worried and thinking maybe I should see a doctor.. or wait another month first and see if my body can get itself back on track??

Anyway - it was not worth it in my experience.. and in fact, I had a longer period when I tried to skip it on the triastic pill!

 
At 12:45 AM, Blogger The Nightly News said...

Alright, so I decided to use two packs of Ortho Lo and do two weeks of the first set of pills, two weeks of the second, etc. I wanted delay or skip my period for this month. I am on the second week of white pills (the first set) and today I have some cramping. Is this normal? What should I do? I am leaving to see my boyfriend in five days... Please, PLEASE email me: randisabine@yahoo.com

Thank you so much ahead of time!

 
At 4:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried to just skip the 7 days of the placebo pills and skip to the next pack of Ortho Tri-Cyclen. My mistake, I hadn't read this website. I been spotting or bleeding ligt for 9 days now. I might as well just had my period. Now I know how to try and skip it next time.

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger lex said...

thank you so much for the info! i'm on tri-sprintec and expecting my period for the 2 bar exams i'm about to take. i am going to try two week 1s, two week 2s, and two week 3s per your advice and others' comments. people who have tried this, would you advise still carrying tampons? keep in mind i will be carrying all belongings in a clear plastic bag, and am only allowed to have pencils, pens, earplugs, and tampons... so it's a big question!

if you experienced BTB on that 6 week plan, was it in week 3-4 or not until the last set of pills (week 5-6) i hope?

thanks

 
At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attempted to "skip" my period by skipping my sugar pills and jumping into a fresh pack of Ortho Novum 777. My period started just as it should have, on the day I circled on my calendar...like clockwork. Should I stop taking the pill and let my cycle figure itself out? Because my cycle has only ever been 3-4 days and my cramps are out of control. I'll be seeing my boyfriend in two weeks and want to have time to figure this out, please advise.

 
At 2:31 AM, Blogger ema said...

the nightly news and Anon @ 11:04 PM,

Keep taking the pill.

 
At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HELP!!!!

i have been on my pill (yasmin) for 2 years and i have never forgotten to take my pill...

until now... i forgot to take 2 pills and could not find my pill so i got a new pack and started it. BUT i have had light period for 2 weeks now because of it. Just wondering when my period will stop now.

 
At 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This site is GREAT! Thanks for putting this together, it's nice to know other girls have the same questions about this.

 
At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been on my pills (yasmin) on and off for 2 years, I am going to see my boyfriend in 2 weeks time so I wanted to have my period sooner, i decided not to take the last 7 pills in the hope that I would have my period sooner. I spoke to my GP and she said i'd not be protected, therefore i took the remaining 7 pills one of them a bit late, 8 -9 hours, then surprisingly i have had my period sooner, without having missed any pills, its not a proper bleeding but i get this very often just dark discharge which is normal for me. now i want to know if i have to stop 7 days before i start my new pack or do i carry on taking my pills and am i fully protected??? plzz answer me quickly thanks in advance.

 
At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

help!! i tried to skip my period with ortho tri-cyclen. i was told by a friend to skip my placebo pills and start my new pack... it didnt work and my period came on the day it normally would come but i have been bleeding lighly for 8 days now, which is very irregular for me. i just want it to go away!! should i stop my pills all together and just start my new pack next month when my period comes again or what? please help

 
At 2:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just started Ortho on the 1st day of my period in efforts to delay it but it actually is making it longer. Does anyone know how to stop it at this point? is it a good idea to skip to my week 3 pills? would that stop it?

 
At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SKIPPED THE SUGAR PILLS AND STARTED A NEW PACKET BUT STILL HAVE YOUR PERIOD?

I spoke to my travel doctor about this as I am travelling overseas for 3 months and have had previous failed attempts to skip my period with this method.
If you're taking a 'multiple dose pill' or biphasic/triphasic pill (where there are two or three different coloured active pills) it is often a lot harder to skip your period by simply discarding the sugar pills and taking only the active pills. If you have a naturally heavy or very regular period (from what my doctor said it depends greatly on your natural body clock) you may need to try one of the other delay methods to prevent menstruation.
Other than this, your best bet is to see your GP and have him/her prescribe you a monophasic pill. Far easier to skip periods on as there aren't the hormonal shifts happening, even when you aren't taking the inactive pills.

 
At 12:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the paragard IUD in and want to skip my period for a vacation. Can I take a month of birth control pills to skip it?

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 12:20 AM,

Yes, you can skip but it's better to consult with your Ob/Gyn because you might need a modified hormonal dose/regimen to skip x 1 mo with the IUD in place.

 
At 5:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello i need somebody's help on this..my period is already late for 3 days. (100% not pregnant). in less than 7 days, i am going to honeymoon. pls help..if i get my period now, its fine..i'm worried, it will come on the day i am going to honeymoon. iz it ok taking pills to delay when we are already late? i know i's late most probably i keep thinking why it doesnt come out..stress thing.! pls help. or would inducing is better? but inducing also takes time...i have no time anymore.my period usually last 6 - 7 days.! PLS HELP ME!

 
At 4:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
Ive been taking Tricyclin Lo- for about half a year, and I wanted to skip/ delay my period because Im going away on a trip with the bf the same week that I would normally get my bleeding. I was reading above and someone suggested the 2 weeks white, 2 weeks light blue, and 2 weeks dark blue-- but With the green Sugar/placebo pills do I take them for 2 weeks as well and then start my new pack? I assume that for the 2nd week of the placebo pills that I wont be protected, but will I be ok afterwards starting up again? Am I going to have to do the whole 3 month thing again? I would really appreciate it if someone got back to me ASAP-- THX!!

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 4:19 AM,

First, DO NOT take the placebo pills for 2 weeks! Not only will you be unprotected, but there's no reason to extend a placebo interval to 2 weeks.

Second, it's not clear if you want to try the extended regimen a few cycles in advance of the trip, or just one cycle.

If it's just one cycle--you're just starting a new pack and the trip is during the 4th, placebo, week: you use two packs and take 6 weeks of active pills (first row from one pack + first row from the other pack; second row from pack one + second row from the other pack; etc.]. The trip is during the second row from the second pack (4th week). At the end of the 6 weeks, if you want to resume your monthly regimen, just take 1 week of placebo pills, and start a new pack after that on the regular 3 weeks on/1 week off regimen.

If it's a few cycles in advance--you're just starting a new pack but the trip is in, say, 2 months, during the 4th, placebo week, of the second month: start out as above (first row pack one + first row pack two; etc.]

Once you're done with the third row from the second pack (week 6), do not take any placebo pills. Start two new packs right away and continue taking only the active pills, for 6 more weeks. Once you're done, if you want to revert to your regular regimen, take 1 week of placebo, followed by a regular pack 3 weeks on/1 week off.

One trick is to start the second set of new packs backward: take the third row of active pills from one new pack + third row of active pills from the other new pack (weeks 7 and 8; week 8 is the vacation week). Then take the second row of active pills from one pack + the second row from the other pack, and so on.

The advantage: By taking 4 continuous weeks of pills with the same amount of hormones [row 3 + row 3 from the first set of two pack pills, followed by row 3 + row 3 from the second set of pack pills], you reduce the likelihood of bothersome side effects like breakthrough bleeding.

Hope this helps and have a nice time during your vacation!

 
At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm hoping you can offer some insight on this one. I purposely missed my last period by skipping the placebo pills and jumping right into my next pack (I'm on Microgestin Fe1/20.) That went fine; however, my following period is now three days late. (I started the placebo pills on Saturday, 2/7.) If I hadn't skipped the last period, I'd have gotten my period next week. Could my system just be confused? I've never missed a period while on the pill (been on various brands for more than a decade). I have skipped periods in the past, but don't recall this ever happening. Could it be the low-dose formula (I was on regular Ortho previously)?
Thanks for your help.

 
At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you choose option A isn't that just taking week 3 twice and then taking pills as usual. Because if you take week 3 and then week 3 again and then wait a week and then start week 1 that waiting week of no pills is like taking the placebo pills anyway. So take pills as usual just do week 3 twice (w/new pack of course)? Right or wrong?

 
At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, im on the yasmin pill and i have skipped my period for the last two months by ignoring the placebo pills and starting a new pack instead. i told my boyfriend about this and he said it doesnt sound like a natural thing to do, he thinks it could cause problems in the futur.. is this true? also if i want to be skipping my period everymonth is yasmin right for me?

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 8:50 PM,

If you choose option A isn't that just taking week 3 twice and then taking pills as usual.

Yes, you're right.

Option A w/placebo -- 21 pills from one pack + wk 3 from new pack, then 1 wk placebo, then start regular new pack -- is just to shift the timing of the bleeding by one week.

If you want to eliminate the bleeding week entirely, there's no need for the 1 wk of placebo.

Anon @ 6:28 PM,

he said it doesnt sound like a natural thing to do, he thinks it could cause problems in the futur.. is this true?

No, it's not true. When you use the pill on the regular, 3 wks on/1 wk off, schedule what you're doing is manipulating the natural cycle to begin with.

You're using the Pill hormones to suppress your monthly cycle -- no period at all -- and induce a chemical withdrawal bleed once a month, by manipulating the Pill dosage. [3 wks of active pills, 1 wk placebo, or no Pill hormones.]

When you're using an extended regimen, you still don't have a natural period, just like with the regular Pill regimen. All you're doing is manipulating the Pill dosage to eliminate the monthly withdrawal bleed.

Based on all the available data, there's no evidence that using an extended regimen (eliminating the monthly withdrawal bleed) has a negative impact on things like future fertility or risk of cancer.

also if i want to be skipping my period everymonth is yasmin right for me?

If you used this brand without any problems on a regular regimen, most likely yes, it's fine to use it on an extended regimen.

 
At 5:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am wondering if when using the extended regimen, do you take an entire week from pack 1, then pack 2, or do you alternate pills from pack 1 and pack 2? thank you!

 
At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to try Option 1, where I just take the 3rd week twice to delay my period 1 week (on OTC). 2 questions;

1. will I be protected from pregnancy?

2. is there any way to salvage the rest of that pack, or do I have to throw away the other 2 weeks' worth?

 
At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last month I skipped my period by skipping the placebo pills and going right into the next pack (Im on Ortho-Tricyclen Lo). I am now 5 days into my sugar pills of that new pack..and havent really started my period.I have have cramping and swelled breast as usual..and only a lil brown spotting..but no flow. Does anyone know why this is..and I am still protected being that I never skipped an active pill right?(meaning no possibility for pregnancy right!? )

 
At 12:19 AM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 5:05 AM,

Depending on which one of the extended regimens you're using, you could do it either way.

For example, you could take week 1 from pack I, followed by week 1 from pack II; then week 2 from pack I, followed by week 2 from pack II, and so on. The reason: you're trying to avoid wide hormone fluctuations from week to week, thus keeping the BTB/S to a minimum.

Or you could take week 1, 2, and 3 from pack I, followed by week 3, 2, and 1 from pack II.

Anon @ 6:50 PM,

1. yes, you'll be protected during the 4 weeks on active pills and for 1 wk afterward, if you decide to take the placebo pills. Then you start again with the active pills.

2. no need to throw away the other two weeks. You can still use them.

Anon @ 7:53 PM,

You're just having a lighter withdrawal bleed because you skipped the previous one. Yes, you're still protected from pregnancy.

 
At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was Anon @ 6:50 above. Thanks so much for answering my questions. Just wanted to get clarification on one thing for question #2: you say that I can still use the rest of the new pack - but how? Do I tack on the extra weeks to new packs just like I did with the third week when trying Option 1?

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger Courtney said...

I believe I am going to have my period on my wedding day which is June 6th. I just got it today, April 9th, and it's been working it's way up the calendar month for a few months. It used to be strictly the 18th, hence why I chose my wedding date June 6th. Ugh! So much for that! I am NOT on the pill. I have maybe 8 weeks. Is there a one time thing I can take to skip my period that day? Or start a pack of pills, then mess up the date entirely by ending them? I hate hormones, I don't do well on them, but I'd also rather not have cramps/bloating/fatigue/and bathroom breaks galore on my wedding day. Someone help!

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger ema said...

Courtney,

Is there a one time thing I can take to skip my period that day?

No, unfortunately, there isn't.

If you want to avid the usual extended Pill regimens, you have two options:

1) High-dose progestin regimen (e.g., 5 mg norethindrone acetate, 1-3 times daily). Needs to be started a few weeks in advance (anywhere from 3 weeks, preferably, to 1 week before the event).

2) NuvaRing. Start using now, and use a continous regimen -- no weeks off. Once the wedding is off, just remove it.

 
At 2:32 PM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 10:27 PM,

How you use the remaining pills depends on what regimen you elect to go with.

For example, if you still just want to shift the bleeding episode, tack the extra pills from the old pack to the new one (wk one of pills from new pack + from old pack, then wk two of pills from new pack + from old pack, then wk 3 from new pack; total 5 wks, then 1 wk of placebo).

If you just want to go back to a regular regimen, you have an extra wk one and wk two of pills (14 pills). So, for example, you take these 14 pills from the old pack, followed by wk three from a new pack, then 1 wk placebo.

 
At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just did that delaying your period thing as described on this site and I have been bleeding for a whole week like 3 days longer than i usually go and i havent seen an end in sight.. when will it end its a nuicance. do i keep taking my pills regularly? i regret doing this now :(

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 8:25 PM,

Which Pill brand and regimen did you use?

And, yes, keep taking the active pills.

 
At 3:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, i am into my second month of taking levlen ED. I decided to see if i could skip my period this time because i was going to see my family. It seemed to be working fine for the first few days except for a small amount of spotting. I had the flu at the same time and was given a course of anti biotics from my doctor, once i started taking the antibiotics i noticed the spotting became heavier until it turned into what seems like regular period bleeding, except i have now been bleeding for about 10 days and it has been extremely heavy. I have sharp pain in my pelvic area that only started today and i think i am feeling nauseous and light headed from all the blood loss. Did this happen because the antibiotics stopped my pill from working? my boyfriend said that could have been the case and perhaps my body thinks i have miscarried? Any advice or words of wisdom would be great, i am going to see my doctor within the next week if it continues.

 
At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

would it still work skipping your period if u have already taken the first 2 sugar pills???

 
At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok so im kinda confused

i am on ortho tricyclen

i am also trying to skip a period next month due to a long road trip. i have never skipped a period before, never had a reason to.

i have read up on skipping periods and alot of what i have seen is, that people skip the green sugar pills and directly start a new pack...although i have seen many people have major problems with this method and have long periods that dont seem to stop ect.

however i have came across a method where people are taking

week 1, week 1, week 2, week 2, week 3 week 3, in that order of two packs

i am curious has anyone tried this method? does it work?

and another question after taking these sets of pills does your body regulate back to normal if you just start a new 3rd pack as normal?

please comment back or shoot me an email

or just anyone with any advice i would really appreciate...

or maybe any other methods that work????

it would be super nice to have a good trip with no period...at least a delayed one would be nice

 
At 3:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi,

i used one of your methods to delay my period by one week. i took three weeks of triphasic pills followed by the third row of pills in a new pack. i went pill-free and bled like normal, but i was wondering if it is likely i will bleed if i take just the first two weeks of that pack (since i already used the third week). your thoughts?

 
At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Lou said...

Hi !

First of all, thanks for that complete and clear article !
I use a triphasic pill as well.

I've read all the comments, and I think that I'll choose this method :


[Pack #1] 7 white pills + [Pack #2] 7 white pills + [Pack #3] 7 white pills + [Pack #1] 7 light blue pills + [Pack #2] 7 light blue pills + [Pack #3] 7 light blue pills + [Pack #1] 7 blue pills + [Pack #2] 7 blue pills + [Pack #3] 7 blue pills


But using two packs instead of three.

If I do that, it will last six weeks, then I'll get my periods again during the break week ? (I'll stop for one week on week 7).

And after having done that, can I start taking my pill using the normal method without any risk of pregnancy ?

I'm from France, many women using triphasic pills advised on Internet to do that :

[Pack #1] 7 white pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 blue pills + [Pack #2] 7 blue pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 white pills {+ [Pack #3] 7 white pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 blue pills}

But I wanted some more information to be sure not to be pregnant, and looked for information in English language.

The equivalent of the triphasic pill you're talking about is Tricilest (sometimes calledTriafemi), the dosages are exactly the same. In case you need to know. ;)

Thanks again.

 
At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have literally read through every single comment on this page (not even kidding-- I'm naturally a pretty paranoid person so I like to get as much info as I can about stuff haha) and I am a little bit confused as to what exactly to do. I understand the patterns to take them in to skip your period (on Ortho TriCyclen Lo) and all of that, but I am approaching the time to be skipping my period so I don't have enough advance timing to do the "Week 1, Week 1, Week 2, Week 2, Week 3, Week 3" thing-- I've already taken Weeks 1 and 2 and have about 4 pills left in Week 3 so clearly that pattern cant happen. So my question would be, would you suggest to go from Week 3, skip the placebos, and start Week 3 of the new pack (then 2 then 1)? I am going on vacation in a few days so as I said, the 1,1,2,2,3,3 thing isn't an option at this point.

I was told by a friend who has been on BC for about 3 years now that all I would have to do is skip the placebos and start a new pack-- I guess she didn't do extensive research pertaining to whether or not it works for specific types of BC. She use to take Ortho TriCyclen Lo too though, and she actually suggested that kind to me because I am kind of small and cannot afford to gain as much weight as I've seen my other friends gain so she suggested OTCL. I understand everyone's body is different, and spotting doesn't really bother me, I just have nearly disabling pains upon having my period so that is why I finally gave in to birth control pills because it was getting really annoying having to miss class because I couldn't even walk, sit or lay down with the pains I would experience on the first day of my period.
If I go onto week 3 from the new pack (skipping the placebos) will it at least have a significant change in the amount of bleeding that occurs so I don't have to lug tampons around a cruise ship with me and worry about changing it every 4 hours?

 
At 10:24 PM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 8:16 PM,

Yes, finish Week 3, skip the placebo pills, then start Week 3 of the new pack (then 2 then 1).

Most likely there will be no bleeding or minimal spotting. I'd still bring along a few tampons/day pads just to be on the safe side.

 
At 1:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! I have had luck with that method. That is, taking week 1 of the first pack, then taking week 1 of the second pack, then take week 2 of the first pack, etc.

It worked out fine!

 
At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I delayed my period for a vacation, while taking Linessa. To do this I took a second pack with me and once I finished my first pack I took the 3rd row of pills from the second pack. This meant that I kept the hormone level the same for an extra couple of days. I checked with my pharmacist before doing so and she said it was fine.

If I had taken the first row from the second pack it wouldn't have worked because there still would have been a drop in the levels. Linessa works by gradually increasing the levels, so you have to keep the levels either going up or staying the same. If the level drops (like when you take the green placebo pills) you get your period.

 
At 5:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about taking Ortho Tri Cyclen where each color is taken every 3rd day so it would go like this:1 pill from week 1,1 pill from week 2,1 pill from week 3,THEN start over again.

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 5:18 AM,

That would not be a good idea at all; that regimen would fluctuate the hormone levels every day (pills from different week have different hormone levels), destabilizing the uterine lining and leading to increased breakthrough bleeding/spotting.

 
At 5:23 AM, Blogger Amanda said...

My boyfriend is coming next next Thursday (in 9 days) and I'm supposed to start my period this Sunday. I'm worried it will last longer than 4 or 5 days and I don't want to be on it still when my boyfriend comes that Thursday. (My period was usually 6 or 7 days long before taking Ortho Tri-cyclen Lo, which I have been taking for a pack and a half).

If I'm supposed to take the last blue pill this Saturday to start my period Sunday, can I just stop taking the blue pills a day or two before (i.e. skip Friday's or Saturday's blue pill) and get my period a little bit early? Will it work?

After reading all these comments I'd really rather not try to skip my period entirely and experience extensive bleeding/spotting, and I only wanna cheat a day or two. But I don't wanna throw everything off, either.

Please let me know what you think.

 
At 5:51 AM, Blogger Amanda said...

Hey it's Amanda again I just posted a question about stopping taking the blue pills a day or two early to start my period early.. Could I also/instead start a new pack a few days earlier than scheduled? If I don't want to still have my period on Thursday, could I start a new pack that Wednesday (or Thursday) and cut my period short by a day or two?

Please let me know which method would be best, if any.

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger ema said...

Amanda,

You are taking about shortening the placebo week, and yes, you can do that by starting a new pack a few days early.

However, it might not necessarily work exactly as planned. You are taking about fine tuning the bleeding within 1 to 2 days, not an easy task; it may take a few cycles to reset.

 
At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been taking BC for over 10 years - the most of which has been on a triphasic pill. I've been skipping my period on and off for most of that time for whatever reason, but until recently, I've always just started the new pack. This works for me if I want to skip just one period, but if I try to skip two or more, I bleed about a week and a half early (and for much much longer than normal).

However, this time around I did the extended regime outlined by taking a whole pack, then starting in reverse right away - its worked! However, its my last day of the second pack (last white pill) and I'm very lightly spotting. Can't complain as by this point I'm generally in a full blown period. I'll see how it plays out today, but I'll likely continue with this extended regime by taking the first white pill from the next pack tomorrow.

It works!

 
At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so confussed by all these comments.. Someone please help me. I am going on vacation on tueday May 25th and I just finished the last of my pills today. Sunday May 23rd. I dont want to have my period for the next week. Seems like i have tried the method in the past where you just keep taking your pills (oh i'm on Tri-Cyclen) the 21 day pack, each week is a different colour. So i guess I'm wondering if i just continue taking the third week of another pack do you think that would delay my period?? Or what else could I do?
Thanks so much!
Jenny

 
At 2:36 AM, Blogger ema said...

Jenny,

Yes, continue taking the third week of active pills from a new pack, then the second, and then the first. While it's better to start the regimen a few cycles before the date you need to skip the withdrawal bleeding, hopefully this will work this time and you'll have a period-free vacation.

 
At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Erica B. said...

Question...I'm trying to alter the week my period comes for a trip in august. so im taking trisprintec (generic for ortho tri cyclen) and I skipped the placebo pills and started a new pack last night. I'm OK with breakthrough bleeding this month, but does that mean when I take my week of placebo pills and the end of this pack, I would have successfully made my period come a week early?

 
At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am on tri-sprintec(ortho tri cyclen) i attemped skipping my period once doing week1,week2,week3, week3,placebo and this worked perfectly.

i know need to skip it again bc i'm going to the beach for vacation. my pill pack was a little thrown off bc of skipping before...so the last week of pills i had left in my last pack was week 2. if i proceeded with week3 and then the placebo i would have my period while on vacation. so what i did is week 1, week 2, week 2, week 3. i believe this will work for stopping my period...but will i still be protected against pregnancy? thanks

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 1:38 PM,

Yes, you'll still be protected against pregnancy. Enjoy your beach vacation!

 
At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi All,
Could someone please advise:
I am on 28 tri-phasic Ortho Trycyclen and have been on it for years. In order to skip a period by 1 week i skipped the placebo row and started taking the 3rd row (blue pills) of the next pack right away. Once the row is done and I reach placebos, I am goin to have my period. Then I am on vacation and was considering doing the same thing for the upcoming month(skipping placebos and taking the blue row of the next pack again, would this be ok or is it not advisable?
Thanks very much in advance!

Sandy

 
At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering if someone would have some advice on how to delay your period by 2 weeks (trying to avoid period mid-vacation). I am taking Ortho-tricyclen and according to this blog, I would take one full pill pack, but at the end, skip the placebo and then start with the last week (green) for one week. Could I also continue past the green and take the darker blue to delay my period for 2 weeks instead of one? Would I then take the placebo after the darker blue pills to get a period?

 
At 2:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So i skiped my green pill and went straight to the next new pack but started on the white pill, now i been bleeding for 2 weeks now and i dont know what to do?

 
At 10:36 PM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 2:31 AM,

Stop taking the pill for three days ONLY and then continue taking the pill where you left off.

 
At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ema,

I'm on triphasil and wanted to skip my period, so I left out the inactive pills and started on a new pack. However, I then missed a pill, and even though I took two the next day I'm now bleeding. Is there any way to stop my period and still be protected?

 
At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am on a triphasic birth control pill. I went on my honeymoon for 9 days, and of course I scheduled it for my period week. I was able to successfully skip my period with no breakthrough bleeding following the B-2 plan. I took 3 weeks of pills, skipping the placebos. Then the 2nd pack backwards for 3 weeks, skipping placebos. Now, I am on my third pack to take normally.

B-2 Plan:
2. Take the 21 active pills (first three weeks of pills). When you get to the 7 placebo pills (last week of pills) throw them out. Start a new pack backwards, after first discarding the 7 placebo pills from this new pack.

[Pack #1] 7 white pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 blue pills + [Pack #2] 7 blue pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 white pills {+ [Pack #3] 7 white pills + 7 light blue pills + 7 blue pills}

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Ozonebaby24 said...

I've been using two packs to skip my period...I took week 3 and week 2 from each pack. But now, I'd really like my period to come this week and get it over with before my boyfriend comes home. Is it ok to just stop taking the pills for a week (ie. Dont take week 1 from both packs like I was planning) and let my period come.. then start over with week one from a new pack? Will this work? Will I be protected from pregnancy?

-Sherri

 
At 11:48 PM, Blogger Cindy said...

Hi,
I wanted to skip my period because I was suppose to have it on the week that I got to see my boyfriend again for the first time in 2 months. So, to do this I skipped the placebo pills and just started on a new pack. I'm taking tri-cyclen lo and I was wondering if by doing this I was still protected from getting pregnant? I am experiencing some break through bleeding, but I did delay it for a week, so that's okay. I was also wondering that if I take this new pack just as I normally would (3 weeks on and 1 week off) if I will be protected? I know my period will be messed up, but if I continue like normal I will get back on a regimen, right?

 
At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried to skip but I am on the tri-phasic and did it the wrong way, I took the white ones first. Now I have been bleeding for almost two weeks, I am two pills away from the blue, but would like to stop bleeding before that. Is there any way I can skip the last two light blue and skip right to the blue? Would that lower the effectiveness, or work at all?

 
At 2:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi! im on tri sprintec and was wondering if using two packs ( week 1, week1, week 2, week 2 ect ) caused and in between bleeding for anyone... very nervous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i tried skipping by jumping over the sugar pills and it didnt work AT ALL... any information is helpful- please and thanks :)

 
At 4:34 AM, Blogger Stacey said...

Hi Ema, I've been on tri-cyclen lo for only 2 months after switching birth control pills a lot over the last year. So far it's going well, but I am still getting my period a couple of days early (last month it was a week early). I am going on vacation on April 13 and if I stay on regular regime I start my period that day. I have tried skipping periods before with triphasic pills going Wk1-Wk2-Wk3-Wk1-Wk2-Wk3 and it does not work for me, I start bleeding only a couple of days into the new pack. I am wondering what the best schedule would be to minimize the chance of BTB and time things right for my 8 day vacation (return Apr 21). I don't mind having my period between now and then, just not while I'm away. Today was my last pill in a pack and am supposed to start placebos tomorrow. PLEASE HELP!

 
At 4:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went on an impromptu vacay recently, this method worked for me: WHITE, LT BLUE, DK BLUE, DK BLUE. I had no spotting/ BTB. And I go my periods back on track by waiting one week to begin my white pills.

 
At 3:28 AM, Anonymous z said...

I've been doing the second method for a while and it's been awesome.

this sunday i was beginning my second pack by not taking the placebos, but have been taking the dark blue pills. however i started bleeding anyway and it's been HEAVY. what did i do wrong?

 
At 1:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any way I can just induce my period to come a week earlier (like skip a week of hormone pills completely) one month before my trip? My trip is the last week of may which is when my period is scheduled.

Im on ortho tri cyclen lo

 
At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to delay my period and I am finishing my 2nd week (light blue) and was wondering if I could start the second week of a new pack, then take week 3 times 2 and still avoid BTB? (I take Ortho tri cyclen)

 
At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am using triquilar ED ( a triphasic pill) and have been for about a year and a half and to delay my period for one week i did the "take the first three weeks, skip the placebo and take the last week of a new pack" idea. it worked perfectly with no spotting or anything unusual.

 
At 12:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I accidentally forgot to take my pill a couple days in a row and started my period. I've been on my period for a few days now. Will stopping the pill now prolong my period or will it stop when it normally does?

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm happy to report that I skipped my period on a triphasic pill! I just ignored the 7 days of inert pills and started with week one of the next pack and voila... no period. This was REALLY handy as I had accidentally booked a vacation to see my husband on the same weekend of The Flood. :P
So no worries, ladies, it worked for me. (My pill brand is TriNessa which is norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol)

 
At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,

I am going to go on vacation thefor two days sometime around the last two weeks of July (exact date not yet determined). I plan to skip my period for the time that I am there, and I just finished the last of my 3rd week pills on Ortho Lo today. I was wondering which would minimize BTB: starting the second method (skipping the placebos and going to the week 3 of a new pack, then week 2, then week 1, then week 1, week 2, week three) NOW, or to take the placebos tomorrow and then try the skipping method during the week I actually need to skip? If I started the backwards method tomorrow, then I would be in the 3rd pack of the white pills when I am away.

Basically, what I am asking is should I switch to the method of taking pills backward NOW, or should I wait until I actually have to skip my period? Is starting earlier more likely to allow my body to adjust, or will it make me more likely to spot? Are you more likely to bleed after you finish the backward pack and start taking the 3rd pack normally?

Thank you for your help.

 
At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Ellie said...

alright, I think this question was asked before but I can't find the answer to it. I am on ortho and wanted to skip my period this month so started a new pack BUT from the white pills (should have done my research first), so far I have taken 4 of them and well I am bleeding. Going on a boating trip this friday in a very cramped boat mind you and just can not be bleading...should I start taking the 3rd week pills now and hope for the best or is this a lost cause at this point?

regards and thank you for all this information.

 
At 6:09 AM, Blogger JG's Necessities said...

Hello! I am currently on OTCLo. I was wondering what the proper way to skip my period was (since reading the comments seems different to me than reading your option 1). Should I take week 1, week 2, week 3, week 3 (from second pack), week 2 (from second pack), week 1 (from second pack)? Or should I instead do week 1, week 2, week 3, week 3 (from second pack), OPEN A NEW PACK and start week 1-2-3-placebo?
Which one is less likely to cause BTB? Thanks!

 
At 5:17 AM, Anonymous tress said...

I'm 17 n I've read this blog awhile ago when I was thinking about skipping my period. Recently the chance to do it arrived. I used the foward/backwards method and it worked fine for me. No bleeding or unusual spotting. Not confusing in any way and I feel fine. Thanxx for the info ema :)
Tress

 
At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello- I have been on OTC-lo for 6 years and I take my pills on time. I right now just took pill 18 (week 3, pill 4 aka dark blue). I normally get my period on day 24 or 25 (week 4, day 3/4 aka green). However, due to my boyfriend coming to visit Friday-Sunday, I wanted to have my period finish Saturday aka start a new pack on that day instead of Sunday. (I'd say Friday, but I'll settle just for one day before). I'd think that if I just took 2 dark blue pills together, that would make my period come a day early and thus end a day early since I would be starting a new pack. Does that sound reasonable? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!! Thank you! -J

 
At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ortho-Tri-Cyclen®

Estrogen level
(ethinyl estradiol)
(micrograms)35/35/35 mcgm

norgestimate 0.15/0.215/0.25 (mg)

Em- Great Site! Very Informative and has helped allot! But I just wanted to point out- as I am using info from your site to research my situation- the Ortho-TC hormone levels you have posted are inncorect.

The Estrogen levels are in micrograms, not millagrams. ;)

Cheers.

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger mk said...

Love the time and effort you put into this site!

I'm a Long time pill taker, on Tri-Cyclen-Lo.
I tend to skip my period every chance I get. '
Usually just by throwing out the placebo pack and starting anew.

But! Bad planning lead to bad pill keeping, I would forget to take a pill or two in week 1- and end up starting a new pack immediately.

This lead to a collection of packs with just light and dark blue pills. I have no week 1 white pills. But dozens of blue pills.

So here is my question. Can I use Week 3- Dark Blue Pills, for 3 weeks in a row?

Ortho-Cyclen has the same amount of estrogen- and same amount of norgestimate (0.25) in their monophasic pill.

SO could I just trick my body into being mono-phasic for a month?

Then go back to being Triphasic?

Thanks!

 
At 5:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am currently on my period but want to stop it by tonight, i took one of my active pills this morning to try and stop it but it only made it lighter, if i take another will will it stop it? PLEASE can someone give me any sort of advice? i dont wanna eat them like lollies if it wont help. thankyouus!!

 
At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this helps anyone... I've been taking the same birth control for 5yrs (levora) I never take the sugar pills (placebo 7 day different color pills) and I havent had a period for the last 5yrs. There is no medical need to have a period. You can take your active pills every day if you want so you dont ever have a period or control when you have one. The only down sides to this are #1 when you're ready to get pregnant it takes a long time to get the pills out of your system. #2 when you stop taking the pills you will have side effects from stopping (headache nausea dizzyness ect) but then again taking the pills every day can also increase your risk for side effects like headache dizzyness ect. But not having to carry a tampon around every where you go or excuse yourself b/c you've got your period is pretty much worth it.

 
At 12:52 AM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 2:19 PM,

White pills (seven)- each pill has 0.035 mg estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and 0.180 mg progestin (norgestimate)

35 mcgm = 0.035 mg

mk,

Yes, OK for 1 mo.

Anon @ 5:29AM,

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that fast so stop taking extra pills.

 
At 12:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I'm on a triphasic pill and just need to move my period up 3 days over the next two months (and also want to try to prevent spotting). I'm thinking about only taking 5 of the inactive pills the first month (after taking all three weeks of active pills), beginning the next pack when I would usually take the 6th inactive pill (then taking all active pills), and then taking 6 of the inactive pills and starting a new pack again. Do you guys think this would work? Has anyone tried anything like it?

 
At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talked to my gyno. She said there is no medical reason to have your period other than to get pregnant. She also said you can start a new pack right after your old pack and there should be no problems with pregnancy coverage (no period=no baby).

 
At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In on aviane. I wanted to skip my period so when I took the last pill on Saturday December 24 instead of starting the sugar pills I opened a new pack and started the new pack on sunday december 25. I started getting light spitting 8 days later (Monday January 2) and have been spotting now for 9 days. It's to the point where I have to wear a tampon. I'm still taking the pill and I have 4 days left until this pack is finished. Normally i would get my period the wednesday after the pack is done and it would be done by the sunday . Does this mean I'm going to pretty much have my period for another 10 days? HELP MEEEEE PLEASE!!!

 
At 9:41 AM, Anonymous click here said...

good info

 
At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has been by far the most helpful site I've found when it comes to thinking about what to do with regard to skipping periods on triphasic pills.

If you could, though, please advise me on what to do.

The period in question that I need to most critically skip is next month's. I asked my gyno about BTB, so she advised me to skip this month's as well. I asked her about the week 1-week 1--week 2--week 2, etc. method, and she said it didn't matter. I skipped the placebos starting this week, and on what would have been the "period" week, have been experiencing extreme cramping as well as pesky spotting. Needless to say, I started with the white pills. I should have consulted this site first.

Here's my question, though. I could finish these three weeks in order--1, 2, 3--and then do the suggested method of taking the next pack backwards from 3 (the new week 3 would be during the crucial wedding week, and I also want to not bleed the following honeymoon week). Or, I am in a position, as of tomorrow, to now do another week 1, meaning that wedding and honeymoon weeks would fall on a second week 2 and a first week 3. What do you recommend? I'm going crazy with the cramps now, but just need to make sure that NOTHING happens with this next cycle. Go for that second week 1 starting tomorrow, or finish this pack, skip placebos, and start with week 3 on the most important week in question? Many, many thanks for your response.

 
At 4:32 PM, Anonymous jessie said...

thank you emma for the info! however i am still a dumbdumb and confused LOL! quick ques:

going on trip next month august 31-sept 2. want to avoid period. my period usually comes around this time. (go figure!! lol!)

should i do this method! Finish week 3, skip placebos, go to week 3 on new pack & work my way backwards? I just want to do it for only that time period. no more.

Would I have btb? thank you so much ahead of time for reading and answering!!!

 
At 3:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just realize that I will get my period during my week of vacation in Maui in one month. I am currently taking Tri Sprintec and would like to delay my period so I don't get it during my vacation (worried my bleeding might attract sharks, lol). I will be on my third week of actives starting tomorrow. I know that it's difficult to skip periods on triphasic birth control pills, but these are my options:
1. After finishing third week of actives, start taking third week of actives in new pack for one week. Then I will have a pill-free week and get my period, then I'll start a new pack and I'll be in Hawaii during the third week of actives. Essentially, I'll be delaying my period by a week. My concern is that I'll end up spotting during that week.
2. Finish my current pack, get my period, start new pack and keep taking until I go to Hawaii during which time instead of taking the placebo, I'll start taking third week actives of a new pack. Again, I am concerned about breakthrough bleeding.
3. Ask my doctor to give me a prescription for a monophasic prescription, start taking it continuously next week when I get done with the third week of actives for this cycle and keep taking it through my Hawaii trip (going on 9/23). My concern with this option is I have been very stable on the Triphasic pill and am worried about starting a new product with different hormone levels. My sister reported bleeding for a month after switching to Sprintec so I am worried about how my body might react.

Which of the above option will successfully allow me to go on my vacation period-free and minimize the risk of spotting?

Thank you!

 
At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Morgan C said...

Quick question, I'm hoping I didn't overlook someone asking the same thing. A few months ago I tried skipping my period by jumping directly to a new pack. Didn't work. When I stopped spotting about a week later, I successfully managed to skip it the next time around by using two packs and doubling up weeks (Pack 1/Week 1, Pack 2/Week 1, Pack 1/Week 2, etc). Period is now here. Essentially, somewhere in there, I accidentally took 2 pills from in one day, which caused me to spot a few days later. I started my placebo pills on Wednesday (instead of Monday) seeing as my period was halfway here and I wanted to be able to just start a fresh pack on Sunday. Will I stop bleeding a day or two into my first week like I have in the past? Or should I expect a longer than normal period because of the skipped month and the late placebo start?

Someone shoot me an email at mcrusnak@gmail.com. I'd really appreciate a few minutes of your time!

Morgan

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you just go ask your pharmacist?

 
At 3:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I have read your post including all of the comments, and I was just wondering giving my particular situation which one would you recommend.
-Im on my third week (blue pills) and Im supposed to start taking my placebo pills this saturday (december 1st) and have my period Tuesday december 4th .
The thing is, my boyfriend comes into town January 1st and stays until the 8th also we leave for a beach vacation on the 2nd. of course I get my period january 1st.
I am currently on Trinessa. If you could recommend one of the methods so I dont get my period that first week of january! at least till the 8th! Also, does any of these method prevent bloating because i tend to gain like 5 pounds when im on my period. thanks so much for any help you can give me, and for your blog since I was about to start skipping placebos which I see dont really work on this kind of pill .

 
At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi ladies!

i just wanted to let you know that i tried the delay by taking 2 weeks of blue pills followed by placebo and not only did my delay work like a charm, i had sex with no other means of protection during the week of my delay without problems. i had my withdrawal bleed on my third placebo pill as usual, which lasted 5 days as usual. i took an at home pregnancy test last night which turned up negative (and i trust it since i had my bleed).

i am now on my second week of active pills since my delay + placebo and i plan to take this pack as normal with no delays. i know all of us were questioning if we would still be protected during our week of delay with the 2nd week of blue pills. i'm just confirming that it worked for me! thank goodness for this blog!

-sgm

 
At 7:40 PM, Blogger Andi Nicole said...

I am on TriNessa, which is triphasic. I skipped the placebo and started a new pack right away, the white pills to delay my period. I just started my third week of pills but since last Thursday I appear to be having my period, because I am bleeding and having cramping. But the bleeding is very different from my normal bleeding. I was just wondering if I am at greater risk for getting pregnant now and should consider taking PlanB, if the bleeding I am experiencing is my period, and what I would need to do to get back on schedule fast. Should I start a new pack on Sunday or continue these third week of pills take the placebo week and then start a new pack like normal.

 
At 12:11 AM, Blogger mstokes said...

I read this question earlier but not the answer--I have not taken the pill in years & would like to know if I have to wait to start my 1st pack w/my next period (2wks) or if I can start now?

 

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