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Risks of Ortho Tri-Cyclen are Understated

Posted on 03 April 2009 by admin

It has come as no surprise that few sites clearly list the risks, side-effects, and dangers of the popular hormonal contraceptive Ortho Tri-Cyclen. In any random group of educated people, it would probably be easy to get a consensus regarding the dangers of steroid use or synthetic hormones by men. The daily use of a hormonal contraceptive for years at a time should be considered no different. Some of the effects are more common than others but considering there are healthier alternatives women should be very aware of all the dangers. Here then is a comprehensive list:

  1. Thromboembolic disorders and other vascular problems
    • Myocardial infarction
    • Thromboembolism
    • Cerebrovascular diseases
    • Dose-related risk of vascular disease from oral contraceptives
    • Persistence of risk of vascular disease


  2. Death
  3. Carcinoma of the reproductive organs and breasts
  4. Hepatic Neoplasia
  5. Ocular Lesions
  6. Gallbladder disease
  7. Elevated blood pressure
  8. Headache
  9. Bleeding irregularities
  10. Ectopic pregnancy

20 Comments For This Post

  1. Marie Says:

    I agree! I’ve not only had horrible side effects with ortho-tri-cyclen but also Yasmin. The ortho-tri-cyclen seemed to be good at for the first 2 months or so. Then I noticed hair loss & headache. My doctor put me on Yasmin because she said it had less side effects. Sorry! It was worse. I became extremely irritable, had headaches, and bleeding irregularities! I don’t care what brand or generic birth control you are on. It’s dangerous chemicals that wreak havoc on our bodies! Currently I do not take anything for birth control. My husband and I use condoms. Yes, a married couple uses condoms! It has been working fine for us for the last 3 years too =) I refuse to put my body through anymore trials of birth control pills. They are dangerous and quite frankly, I’d rather go through pregnancy than to go through the side effects!

  2. Leslie Says:

    Two words: NUVA RING

  3. Tara Says:

    ALL hormonal birth control is CRAP! I was on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo for a little over a year and developed a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) that was over a foot long in my leg and pelvis. I was bed ridden for a week and cannot be on birth control anymore, for the fear of me developing another clot and possibly dying.

    PLEASE consider the risks before you think about taking this!!!!!

  4. Jessica Says:


    Ladies, please check out my website and contact me if this applies to you!! This is site is not meant to be a defamation of Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, or the company Ortho-McNeal, but merely…

  5. Marlo Says:

    I have been on birth control for about ten years. I haven’t experienced any side affects. I do worry about long term affects which is something my husband and I have discussed, but as of now, I still take them.

  6. Julia Says:

    Personally, I like othro trio cyclen lo. All birth control depends on the person. I haven’t seen any bad side effects while being on this birth control and i smoke all the time. This birth control has a lesser amount of hormones so it’s one of the best. The good thing about birth control is it lowers your risk of ovarian cancer, so if it runs in your family, you should definately consider it.

  7. Justine Says:

    Just started on ortho tri cyclen im really hoping this is good cause i just got off yas and i hated it…

  8. Rose Says:

    Woman wake up. My 27 year old daughter died of a pulmonary embolism last year.She was put on this drug by her gynecologist who knew that she had a strong family history of blood clots in her family(I almost died in 1980 from a pulmonary embolism and I hadn’t taken birth control pills since 1975 and only for a short period of time and also had at least 10 additional blood clots).
    The gynecologist said she would closely monitor my daughter and felt that the risks of clots were minimal. She said the newer pills were safer then the ones from the 70’s. SHE DIED, Just how safe would you say these pills are?

  9. Gail Says:

    Must agree with Rose. I am so sorry for you loss, Rose. My heart breaks for you. I took Ortho Tricyclene Lo for years, and I did NOT smoke. However, I was diagnosed with multiple PEs in both lungs that moved into my main arteries that began out as an asymmptomatic DVT. The PEs were acting like my asthma symptoms, so before they realized what was going on, it was almost too late for me. I was out of work full-time for almost 2 months and part-time for another 6 weeks. I had NO family history of blood clots. After I was in the hospital, I found out of 3 other people within my circle or friends of friends in my circle who had clotting because of birth control pills. Then almost 2 years after my episode, my best friend was diagnosed. To continue, my doctor had a teenage patient who was diagnosed with clots from birth control pills this year; fortunately, she is fine. Please, don’t be cavalier about this–really think about it and talk to your doctor about it. This is your life.

  10. Kari Says:

    Please stop taking all birth control pills. They are totally unsafe and make many women infertile. I started taking them at 15 to help with acne. What a joke. All my family members now have clear skin and I am 29 and went off birth control 8 months ago to get pregnant and my face exploded with acne. Luckily it is starting to clear but I just read that it increases your risk of liver, breast, and cervical cancer. Great. It took me a year to get pregnant with my first daughter and I think I was really lucky I was able to. Now I think it will take probably at least a year if I am lucky. My family is extremely fertile and clear skinned now and guess what– I am the only one that isn’t. The difference—birth control. It has only been around for 40-50 years. We are all guinea pigs.

  11. Krsten Says:

    Im sorry to hear of your loss..But it says in the precautions that if you have a history of blood clots in the family, then you should not take birth control. There is only a small chance(very unlikely) that someone will obtain a blood clot when taking the pill..especially if it is a low dosage one.

  12. Whitney Says:

    I have been on ortho tri cyclen for 3 years and have no side effects whatsoever. My husband reads these ridiculous stories about women with all of these problems caused by birth control pills. I DO understand that these things HAPPEN, but if you have a CLEAR medical history (and don’t smoke, which can increase the risks) I really don’t think that there is anything to worry about as long as you are not on these pills your whole life. In response to Rose- if you had had pulmonary embolisms in the past, and your whole family is at risk for blood clots, WHY would your daughter agree to take these pills? It says right on everything how dangerous they are for people with that kind of history, so whether her Doctor suggested it or not, she still had the option to say no. I would obviously be complaining to a medical board if a gyno actually SUGGESTED that knowing her history. And as for anyone taking YAZ or any other pill where you don’t get your period on a regular basis…HELLO! It is NORMAL to get your period EVERY MONTH so it is your own stupidity that you think its HEALTHY to be on any pill that only causes you to get it a few times a year.

  13. K. Says:

    I used Tri-Cyclen for a while but then switched to Nuva Ring. I prefer the Nuva Ring because you only have to think about it once every 3 weeks, rather than daily. It has a lower dose of hormone than the pill, and is not affected by other medications taken orally, as the pill is. I have not had any negative side effects, in fact, my “monthly friend” can be predicted almost to the hour, and on both Tri-Cyclen and Nuva Ring my mood-swings have become non-existant.
    I have googled the blood clot risks of both Tri-Cyclen and Nuva Ring, and they both carry that risk, among others.

  14. Rebeca Says:

    Worst birth control EVER besides Desogen – which gave me blood clots. I was SOOOOO moody, I didn’t even want to be around me. Cramping was still present, crying for no reason, beyond cranky, irratable, extremely tires, headaches, bloating, it was HORRIBLE. I really think if you decide on birth control look @ your family history, if blood clots or other serious issues run in your family DON’T TAKE IT!!! You are REALLY setting yourself up to danger. I can NEVER take birth control ever again due to my near death experience w/blood clots @ only 27. I almost lost my life because of these stupid tiny little pills, and I DON’T smoke either and was in a good shape at the time. BEWARE GIRLS!!!

  15. B.onnie Says:

    My fourteen year old daughter came to me and asked if she could go on birth control. Although I believe she way to young she did exactly what I have always stressed that I wanted her to do which is first and formost to always be safe. My concern now is what negative effects the pill could have on her at such a young age. She kept her end of the bargain and came to me and now I would like to keep mine but not at the expense of her health. So any insite on this subject would be appreciated.

  16. Mia Says:

    Is there one drug that is better than another? Or even a form of contraception that is reliable and effective. I believe it isn’t fair to bring a child into my life that I can’t entirely provide for. It wouldn’t be fair to the child. I believe children should be coming into a family that has the means, funds and time to look after the child. What could you suggest for contraception?

  17. Lily (of the Valley) Says:

    Hard and unfair to lump *all* birth control pills in the ‘don’t take at all’ category. What works for one may not work for another. You *have* to be in good health to begin with… I work for an ob/gyn – do you know how many women flat out lie to my face about their health history? They smoke when they tell me they don’t, they don’t exercise at all when they say they go to the gym everyday, they say they have no family history of heart problems, clots, cancers when they have risk factors off the charts. And, hello? Yes, you ARE overweight. We are not mind readers, we have to trust you when you tell us your history, yet you rip us a new one when “…this doesn’t work!” “…i’m cranky!” “..i have headaches all the time!” As soon as patients start taking responsibility for their health, we providers can best prescribe the right treatment. The Pill is safe, when taken as prescribed, when taken by healthy women, when taken for the right reasons.

  18. Katie Says:

    I was on ortho tri cyclen lo for just 11 days when I noticed pain in my left calf. I chalked it up to a pulled muscle. When it didn’t resolve three days later–and under the advisement of my college’s health clinic–I went to the ER. An ultrasound of my leg revealed a blood clot (DVT). It’s shocking; I don’t have a family history of clotting, don’t smoke, am a healthy weight, etc. None of the risk factors applied to me. And I had not even finished my first full cycle of the pills.

    Hormonal birth control is no longer an option for me. I’ll be on blood thinners for 3-6 months. I’m terrified of having another clot.

    I’m just lucky that they caught it in time.

    The birth control pill may be the perfect option for some people, but it’s just scary that you don’t really know ahead of time how it will affect you individually.

  19. Emily Says:


    I was taking Yasmin for awhile and had breakthrough bleeding..I was switched on to Tricyclen Ortho. I was still bleeding for about 3-4 months since the breakthrough bleeding on Yasmin..I tried to book appointment with my gynecologist but the only appointment I could get was at the end of September..I was a bit nervous because I was going on a trip to Spain for 10 days at the end of July. (I was told I just had an irregular period) For the entire duration of my trip I had my period..I noticed by the end of my trip the blood was more of a vibrant red and less of a period and more of actual blood..I got really worried but seeing as doctors didn’t seem to care that much I decided to just let my body adjust to it…When I arrived home in Montreal a day later I broke out in a fever of 102.5, I had EXTREME lower abdominal pain and back pain. I couldn’t even walk! and it was even more painful to lie down than it was to sit.. I also had constant diahrea..the day I finally got the appointment to see a doctor at a private clinic my period had stopped but the lower abdominal pain was still there…the doctor did a vaginal exam and I couldn’t tolerate the pain I started to cry uncontrollably… (prior to all of this ~ I had already had a pap smear and std test which I tested NEGATIVE for all STDS)..after the exam the doctor had no idea what this could be and had to treat me for a “pelvic inflammatory disease” which is caused by an STD (clamdia or gonera which I didn’t have!) or a bacterical infection… So they gave me antibiotics… the pain was still persistant and I was SO FED UP!! ultrasounds, blood tests, you name it I did it…they told me it could be an eptopic pregnancy, could be a cyst, could be an std and maybe my previous std test was a faulty one… finally they discovered I had a 3 centimeter cyst in my right ovary..but it ruptured…

    A week later…
    I am a pyschotic pain in the butt… I am mean to everyone, I am irratable, Im exhausted, Im depressed, I have no desire to do anything at all I am usually a very outgoing socialable person..) when I finally go out with my friends or family I dont even want to talk to them at all… I look at the people I love the most differently…Im jealous and pick fights for NO REASON with my poor boyfriend, my mood will cahnge with the drop of a pin. Honestly total change in personality…Im dizzy, weird vision, crying spells, a weird rash on my wrists, breasts, stomach and back. I also feel bloated constantly and I definitely gained weight where my work out routine (3-4x a week) and eating habits have not changed at all…At first my skin had cystic pimples when I was in spain but they went away and my skin is clear I never had super bad acne regardless…

    Every pill is different…I have had a history of depression but I was doing fine before all this but this was hell for me and Im glad after searching reviews I could that I wasn’t the only one that was experiencing this so I know now that Im not crazy, just this pill is not for me… I hope this helps…

  20. Sara Says:

    I was prescribed ortho tri cyclen lo and diagnosed with a DVT behind my knee not even 2 weeks after I started taking the pill. I started having pain in my calf about 7 days after I began taking the pill. I attributed the pain to muscle pain or a charlie horse. The pain became increasing worse within 5 days til I could barely walk. I saw my doctor and she did a quick physical check and sent me home saying that everything appeared fine. Despite the extreme pain, my leg was not swollen or warm.
    The following day I went to the hospital, ignoring my doctor’s lousy examination, and had an ultrasound done on my leg. They found a large clot behind my knee. Needless to say, they were shocked. I am a very active and healthy 25 year old female with an entirely clean medical history.
    The doctors I have seen all attribute the clot to the birth control pills since there were no other causation factors present.
    Fortunately I caught it before it traveled to my lungs. Emphasis on the fact that I caught it, not my doctor.

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