Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is an oral contraceptive containing norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol, two synthetic forms of female hormones. The drug information packet and manufacturer do not give instructions on how to use this pill to skip a period, but Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo has a regulating effect on the menstrual cycle and can be used to prevent a period. Follow the guidance of your medical doctor before attempting to change your menstrual cycle.
Consult the doctor who prescribed the Ortho Tri-Cylcen Lo before you attempt to skip a period.
Continue taking your pills as regularly planned. If you are in the middle of a pack continue taking the active pills. If you are starting a new one you will also continue taking the active pills until day 22.
Avoid the reminder pills, or sugar pills used to help you stay on track. On day 22, or the first day of the reminder pills, throw out your current pack.
Begin taking the active pills in a new pill pack. Continue doing this for two weeks or until you have taken 14 active pills of the second pack. Normally your period would occur during the reminder pill week. By taking active hormones instead you will be preventing your period. It is possible to experience breakthrough bleeding normally on this pill but it may occur even more frequently when you attempt to skip a period.
Take the inactive reminder pills during week seven. You will have your period at this time.
Begin taking active pills again for 21 days followed by seven days of inactive pills. If the first attempt at delaying your period was successful the Mayo Clinic points out that active pills can be taken continuously for nine weeks followed by one week of inactive pills. You may lengthen the time between periods again by taking active pills for 12 weeks followed by one week of inactive pills.
Do not attempt to skip a period until you have been using Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo for at least three to four months. Your menstrual cycle needs to be regular and on time with the pill pack before skipping a period is feasible. If menstrual bleeding occurs during this process skip all pills for three days and then resume taking active pills.
Do not skip a period frequently. Cramping and menstrual symptoms may be more uncomfortable once regular pill administration resumes.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is meant for pregnancy prevention and does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.