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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Birth Control (Page 1)

Related Info: Birth Control - Page 2

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Delaying Next Menstrual Cycle with Pill [posted 10/19/98]
Question: I take Triphasil 28, I've heard that you can delay the onset of the menstrual cycle by up to a week by continuing to take the yellow pills from a backup set. Is this true? How safe is it?

Answer: Yes, but, you cannot predict with certainly your protection for the next 2 cycles.

Missing a Birth Control Pill [posted 10/16/98]
Question: I am a 22 year old taking Ortho Novum 777 28 day regimen (sunday starter) for about 1.5 years now and never missed a pill yet. I have missed two peach "active" pills in a row but did not have sexual intercourse those two days I've missed pills. last time of sex was the day before I missed the first pill. What do I do now? Will I get my period these upcoming weeks? And will I get pregnant? I do plan on using condoms for the next two weeks to be sure. Please respond soon. Thank you.

Answer: I would use condoms for 6-8 weeks to be completely safe.

Changing Schedule with Birth Control Pills [posted 10/16/98]
Question: I am currently taking Tri-Levlin 28 and want my period to come a week later this month for personal reasons. My doctor told me to take the 3rd color. When I got home and looked at my pills I noticed there were 10 of that color (dark yellow). Can I take just 7 so my period is just a week later or do I have to take all 10 which would then alter my period all together (different day of the month than it is currently)? Thank you!

Answer: Either will work. You will have less protection for the next 1-2 months. Use an additional form of protection.

Forgetting Birth Control Pills [posted 10/13/98]
Question: I have been taking birth control pills for 2 years now. I have never had any spotting and have had a trouble free experience. I missed some pills and during my third week I started my period. This has never happened before. I always start my period on the same day and time. My question is- do I continue taking the pills until Sunday at which time I toss the remainder (the green pills) and start taking a new 28 day cycle? Thank You.

Answer: If it was a complete period start over fresh. If only a couple of days continue with your current dosage. You will need additional protection for 6 weeks or so.

How Long Is Too Long to Experiment in Finding Right Birth Control Pill [posted 10/13/98]
Question: Ever since the birth of my second child 4 years ago, I've had trouble finding a pill that will keep my cycles regular and will keep me comfortable (no mood swings, hot flashes, etc.). I take a pill for about 4 months without problems and then during the 5th month I start having break-through bleeding during the 3rd week and flu-like symptoms. This pattern continues until I switch pills. My symptoms usually improve after I switch pills, but then I start having the same symptoms again after 4-5 months. My GYN says to keep experimenting until we find the right match, but I'm extremely frustrated after going through this so many times, and I continue to worry about how well I'm protected against pregnancy. My mother and sister both had to have hysterectomies at 40 due to non-cancerous fibroids. No tumors were found at my last exam. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? My latest pill (6th in the past 4 years) is Ortho-tri-cyclen, but I've started having the same symptoms on it.

Answer: Use other means of birth control. Condoms plus a diaphragm used with spermicidal jelly is as effective although not as spontaneous. IUDs are also very effective.

Malaria Treatment & Birth Control Effectiveness [posted 10/9/98]
Question: I am currently taking Lariam, and was wondering if it will diminish the effectiveness of the birth control pill? I am taking Triquilar.

Answer: Shouldn't but, I don't use a lot of antimalarials, I'd check with Roche 800-526-6367 to be certain.

Ortho-Cept & Ortho- Novum 777 [posted 10/9/98]
Question: I was wondering is it was possible to get some information on 2 birth control pills. I was recently on Ortho-Cept and now the medical insurance that I have does not carry the Ortho-Cept. They said they could put me on Ortho- Novum 777. I was just wondering if they are very similar...because I really like the Ortho-Cept. I just found this out and I am on my last few pills of Ortho-Cept. I would appreciate if you could help me.

Answer: Similar.

"The Pill" & Depression [posted 10/9/98]
Question: This page is great, now I know I'm not crazy! But I have a question that is an extension of the one about depression. I've been experiencing some rather nasty mood swings, and particularly depession. The soonest I could get in to see my doctor is March -- is there a way to "test" my theory about my depression? Such as using an alternative method of birth control for a month or two, seeing if it makes a difference, and either continuing with Triphasil until March or stopping until I can see my doctor? I guess I'm just not sure how long it takes for the pill to "get out of my system" and not affect my moods...Thank you, thank you!!

Answer: Usually about 2 months to be sure.

Depo-Provera Weight Gain [posted 10/8/98]
Question:I have been taking the Depo shot for almost 1 year now. I have maintained my eating patterns and exercise. I have gained 15 pounds in the last 3 months . I have increased my aerobic activity to burn more calories. How can I reverse this weight gain? I am 5'5" and now weigh 130 instead of 115. I am small boned. Also my sexual desire has greatly decreased and is causing a strain on my finace' and my relationship. I love the shot besides these 2 side effects. Is there anything I can do besides get off the shot? I am due for my next one on 9/2/98 and would like to find out before spending the $$ on the shot again

Answer: Most women using sexual steroids for birth control will gain weight. Many experience changes in sexual drive. Other than stopping the shots, there are few other options.

Birth Control & Mytrovalve Prolapse [posted 10/6/98]
Question:I have been diagnosed with mytrovalve prolapse, im considering taking an oral conceptive. not only for my period but from extremly bad pms and acne reasons. i am 45 pounds over weight. i have heard that oral contraceptives make the mytrovalve prolapse worse, is this true and what are the risks if any

Answer: Nothing any worse would be expected due to the BCPs and your mitral valve.

Birth Control 7/7/7 Pills [posted 10/6/98]
Question: My doctor is changing my birth control from Ortho 7/7/7 to another because I requested "a smaller dose of hormones". He said that the Ortho 7/7/7 was developed when it was believed that a high dosage of hormones were required to prevent pregnancy, but that it has since been proven that a much smaller amount of these is sufficient to do the job effectively. What brands would do the same job but tend to decrease the side effects associated with high levels of hormone consumption?

Answer: There are 2 different classes of birth control pills developed after the initial wave to decrease the necessary dosage and decrease the androgen like effects of some pills. There are too many to mention, check with your doctor. He/she is on the right track.

Birth Control Pill (Ortho Tri-Cyclen) [posted 8/14/98]
Question: I am doing a chemistry report on the birth control pill I take, called Ortho Tri-Cyclen. I am having a lot of trouble finding information on it and would like to know the following the history, (when approved, any studies on it if available), how it works, and anything else you can find.

Answer: Have you contacted the company? They are usually very helpful-Ortho McNeil 800-682-6532.

Birth Control and Sex Drive [posted 8/5/98]
Question: I have been taking Loestrin 1-20, and I have no sex drive. Do some pills effect your sex drive more than others? If so, which ones don't cause a decrease in sex drive?

Answer: Birth control pills are notorious for suppressing sex drive in certain women. The pills are really individual and affect some women and not others. As to the particular pills, it depends a lot on the relative amount of estrogen/progesterone and the specific drugs used.

Missed Pill [posted 8/4/98]
Question: I recently missed a birth control pill (I'm on Ortho-Cyclen). I took 2 of the blue-active pills the next day. (I missed it on Monday and on Tuesday I took Monday's and Tuesday's). On Thursday I had sex with my boyfriend (without protection). It states in my instruction pamphlet that if I miss only one blue-active pill, I do not have to use a back up method of birth control. I am curious if there is still any chance I may become pregnant?

Answer: Even if you take the pills correctly, you are never completely risk free. Every year there are occasional women who become pregnant while taking the pill correctly. Omitting pills does increase the risk, depending a lot on the time of the cycle.

Menopause and the Birth Control Pill [posted 8/4/98]
Question: Your FAQ answer to the question concerning this was not very informative. I have taken BCP for 25 years with no problems. I have been taking Triphasil for the past 8 years. As I am now in my mid-forties, I am wondering if I will have any symptoms of perimenapause or menopause as long as I am on this medication? My OB/GYN has suggested that I remain on the BCP until I am approximately 50, and then begin HRT. Do you agree?

Answer: Birth control pills in actuality are a form of hormone replacement therapy. Quite honestly, most of the documentation concerning "accepted" means of HRT is pretty anecdotal. I think as long as one's uterus is still present, it needs to be cycled (have a period) occasionally. Whether this is once a month or twice a year isn't clear. I see no theoretical difference between many HRT methods and traditional birth control pills - other than the type of steroid used. I think this is perfectly ok.

Birth Control/Weight Gain [posted 7/30/98]
Question: How much weight gain can birth control pills cause you to gain? I have been taking Ovcon for 1 1/2 years and Ortho-Cyclen prior to that for 4 years. I had to switch to Ovcon due to spotting. I have recently began working out everyday for 30 minutes on my treadmill and working out on my ab roller for about 20 minutes. I have also been closely monitoring my calorie intake and fat intake. Although I'm doing all this to stay in shape, I'm also trying to lose about 10 lbs. I was very disappointed when I got on the scale after a month of exercising to find out I hadn't lost a pound. I have noticed that I've lost inches, which I guess is more important. But I was wondering if the pills are keeping me from losing pounds?

Answer: Most women who take birth control pills will gain weight. The amount varies from 10-30%, but rarely is less than 5%. Since the pill simulates a "pregnant state" is obviously has some effect on hunger and food intake. Most pregnant women have difficulty with weight also.

Missed Day [posted 7/23/98]
Question: I have missed one Loestrin FE 21 (BCP) during this week, and since I usually take them in order without looking at the day, I'm not sure which one. Since I'm one pill behind, but probably by a few days, should I take two or just let it go?

Answer: Probably won't matter, but I'd recommend two and "catch up" so you won't get out of cycle with your usual times during the month.

Birth Control Pills and Antibiotics [posted 7/21/98]
Question: How can I determine which antibiotics are safe to take with my birth control pills? I know that certain antibiotics will decrease the effectiveness of the pill, but how do I know which ones?

Answer: Theoretically this is correct, but in fact, is not seen with any clinical importance. That is, you won't get pregnant from taking antibiotics.

Birth Control [posted 7/17/98]
Question: I was just prescribed Diane-35 (Schering) as a birth control pill. I have never heard of it. Is it known by any other name so I can research it.

Answer: I’m not familiar with this one and it’s not listed in the PDR. Check with Schering, they would be glad to provide information 800-222-7579.

Birth Control - Depo-Provera [posted 7/16/98]
Question: How soon after the Depo-Provera shot is it effective? Do I still have to use another form of contraceptive for a certain number of days? If so how many?

Answer: Most physicians recommend at least two cycles before you are assured of protection. One may be sufficient, but two is much safer.

Birth Control and Skin Rash [posted 7/16/98]
Question: My daughter and I have not been able to find an answer to this unusual problem. We are both taking Triphasil-28. I am 41 and she is 21. We have both experienced a blotchy, itchy, reddish, raised rash a day or two after sun exposure. This rash is experienced with or without sunscreen. (We originally thought it was the sunscreen) Has there been any history at all of other women experiencing such a reaction to the sun while on oral contraceptives? Is there another oral contraceptive that would eliminate this problem?

Answer: Some women do experience sun sensitivity and it appears to be genetically related. It might vary with the estrogen and progesterone ratio, so changing your pill to high, low ratios may be of help. In general, all the oral BCPs can cause this problem in susceptible patients.

Missing Dosages of the Birth Control Pill and Becoming Pregnant
Question: I have a simple question that I hope you can help me with. What would happen if a woman missed some birth control pills and became pregnant, but did not know she was pregnant, so she kept taking the pill?

Answer: She would stay pregnant and have a normal baby. It happens all the time (1% of women on BCP get pregnant). If she took a large dosage immediately after fertilization, it would probably cause a miscarriage, but this would take a rather large dosage of 4 to 6 pills. If she took her normal dosage this could happen, but is unlikely.

Birth Control Pill and face discoloration
Question: I have been using ortho 7-7-7 for 12 years now and have always noticed that my face has brown patches on it, and they seem to be getting darker over the years. So I discontinued using it. I never had any problems with acne using the pill, but I’ve heard its called "the mask.” Is there actually a technical name for it? I have heard that this will go away with time and I am now using a diaphragm. Having seen the failure rate with this method I am anxious to find a pill that will reduce the brown spots and provide me better protection.

Answer: This has several names: mask of pregnancy, etc. However, it represents the color change you see in your face seen on some women while pregnant. Since the pill tends to recreate this hormonally, some women will experience this facial color change on the pill. It usually fades and goes away after 4-5 months off the pill. A dermatologist can usually tone down the color if it doesn't, but not always. Some pills would have less of this effect, but none can guarantee that you will have not. I'd tend to avoid the pills unless you want the risk of permanent facial color changes.

Birth Control Pills
Question: I have a 13 year old daughter who has been taking birth control pills (Ortho Novum 777) for approximately 1 year. She was having very irregular periods and extreme pain caused by the formation of cysts that kept popping. The birth control pills have stopped this pain and she does not appear to have any of the normal side effects associated with birth control pills. She does however, have some arrhythmia’s that seem to have started at about the same time she started her birth control pills. These arrhythmia’s are causing shortness of breath and chest pain when she exerts herself, such as running or playing sports. I have consulted with her OB/GYN and a Pediatric Cardiologist who both assure me that her arrhythmia’s arein s related to taking the birth control pills, but they also cannot pinpoint the cause of her shortness of breath and chest pain. She is very athletic and this is causing her much distress. I'm not convinced that this problem is not somehow associated with the Ortho Novum 777. Are you aware of any correlation between the pills and this type of problem?

Answer: Occasional patients will have the diaphragm affected by progesterone or estrogen. These pills were at one time used in patients with severe emphysema. Although it is not used much clinically, it does have an affect on muscle contractility. Whether this could be the problem is problematical. The other possibility is occult clots in her legs breaking off and going to her lungs. This is a risk on estrogen, but one would expect to see something in her legs - worth inquiring.

Birth Control
Question: At what point in a cycle do you begin taking the birth control pill if it is your first time?

Answer: Usually one week after the start of menstrual flow.

Birth control - bleeding
Question: My wife took one injection of Depo-Provera. She has not had a second injection. It has been approximately 3 1/2 months since the injection. She has continual bleeding. She has been told to take Potassium in an attempt to stem the bleeding. Is this the best solution? Is this the only solution? She does not have any other complications or physical conditions.

Answer: I assume that she is taking Depo-Provera to stop the bleeding? In that case, there usually is repeat dosing or use of higher doses. Potassium would have no effect on her bleeding. If repeated dosing does not work then a D&C is usually the next step.

Birth Control Pills and Acne
Question: Has ortho tri-cyclen been proven to treat acne?

Answer: All the birth control pills will reduce acne by reducing the systemic level of testerone. Response will vary from pill to pill and individual to individual.

Water retention
Question: In the last few weeks I have begun taking birth control pills (ON 7/7/7) and Zoloft (100mg). About the same time, I also noticed I began retaining water, mainly in my face and hands. I wake up in the morning with huge puffy eyes. Could either of these drugs be responsible, and should I return to my physician?

Answer: It is probably the birth control pills, but you won't know for sure until you stop one of the two(under controlled conditions so you don't get pregnant).

Oral Contraceptives
Question: Is there any information about taking Ovcon as an oral contraceptive when the patient has fibroids. I was reading something about this, and I've forgotten where the info came from. I would appreciate knowing if there is any danger in taking this drug when you have fibroids(shown on sonogram).

Answer: Shouldn't be a problem.

Birth Control Pills
Question: Are birth control pills safe? What are the long term effects of using them?

Answer: Birth control pills (BCP's) come in a variety of strengths and have a variety of dosing schedules and medication (hormone) content. Essentially, birth control pills contain the hormones your body produces normally. These hormones, as supplied in BCP's, inhibit ovulation (release of the egg from the ovary), by preventing a part of the brain from producing another hormone required for the ovulation process to take place. They also cause changes in the cervix and uterus that make passage of sperm and successful implantation of the egg less likely. There are risks involved in taking any medication, and BCP's are no exception. Among the possible problems is a relatively uncommon condition where clots ("thrombus") may form in vessels in the body, possibly leading to organ injury. A lower dose of estrogen in the medication lowers this risk. The risk is increased in patients taking BCP's who also smoke. High blood pressure, or hypertension, gallstones, as well as benign liver growths, are also uncommon but potential conditions that can occur in patients taking BCP's. Higher estrothatdose-containing BCP's can also effect blood lipids (fats) and the body's metabolism of sugar (glucose). Long term BCP use increases the rates of developing a condition as a result of their use, particularly liver growths. Other rare side effects include mild hair loss, nausea, short term fatigue, weight gain, and spotting between cycles. BCP's also have several positive effects including a lower risk of cancer of the ovary or uterus when used long term, lowering the rates of benign breast growths, and reducing the volume and duration of menstrual bleeding. There is no evidence that prior BCP use has any effect on development of birth defects after the medication has been stopped. A discussion with your healthcare provider regarding the benefits and risks of BCP use as they pertain to you should precede starting these medications, along with regular follow up to monitor for any potential side effects. Always keep in mind that BCP's do not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases and that no contraception is 100% effective.

Birth control
Question: Can birth control pills be safely prescribed to a healthy patient until menopause begins? If a woman is taking the Pill, how can she tell when menopause begins?

Answer: Hotly debated. It seems to increase cardiovascular events over 35-- especially in smokers. Non-smokers are probably OK if there is no effect on blood pressure.

Birth control pills
Question: My wife has taken Ortho-Cept 28 day birth control pills for about 2.5 years now. For about that same amount of time, she has complained of generally feeling "tired" all the time. Our sex life has also changed from once a week when using condoms to sometimes every three months since she went on the pill. I would describe her has generally having little energy and little sexual interest. Could this be related to the type of pill she is taking? Are there other versions which she might discuss with her doctor? Could this be something altogether different and not related to the pill at all?

Answer: Some women experience depression and change in sex drive on BCPs. The only way to see if it affects your wife is to stop the BCPs. Changes in mix can help this, but check her off the BCPs first. This will take about three months.

Birth control pills
Question: I'd like to change birth control pills to Ortho Tri-cyclen because I heard it's helps clear acne. I’m taking Ortho cyclen now (no TRI in the middle), and I’m wondering if they work the same?

Answer: Most birth control pills will help to decrease female acne. Although there are theoretical differences, I haven't been impressed clinically with any major difference. However, it doesn't do any harm to try different estrogen/progesterone mixes and see if you have a major difference.

Birth control pills
Question: The only birth control pill I can take contains Norethindrone and Mestranol (Ortho-Novum 1/50 - have also taken the 1/80 successfully). Norethindrone alone causes severe hemorrhaging. Using Ortho-novum 1/35 and others of this strength or lower, I have severe headaches, no periods, rashes, pelvic pain, etc....... Could you possibly tell me the difference between Mestranol and Ethinyl Estradiol?

Answer: Mestranol is a semi-synthetic estrogen and is the 3-methyl ether of ethinyl estradiol. After absorption, it undergoes metabolism in the liver to ethinyl estradiol. This is the active steroid that achieves birth control. In essence, there is little practical difference depending on your liver metabolic pathways. I suspect the headaches are migraine equivalents, very common in women on birth control pills.

Birth Control and Pregnancy
Question: Is it true that using the pill for a long term(for more than 6 months) effects pregnancy? That is, one might not bear a child at all after a long term use?

Answer: It doesn't seem to be the case.

Depo shot
Question: My wife has recently been given the depo shot for birth control. Does this particular injection have a history of causing mood swings or any other kind of emotional side effects?

Answer: Any sexual hormone may produce mood swings. The depo shot is no different than BCPs in this regard. They tend to be less severe, but are common.

Birth Control - Triphasil-28
Question: My friend has been taking Triphasil-28 as an oral contraceptive. She became pregnant, and then had a miscarriage. She wanted to know how long Triphasil-28 takes to work.

Answer: Birth control pills usually take at least two cycles to be completely effective. That is, women should use additional birth control methods until they have cycled through two months of pills. Many women experience protection after the first month, but it is not a sure thing until at least 8 weeks of pills have been taken. Even after this interval about 1% of women experience pregnancy while taking birth control pills.

Birth Control Pill Symptoms
Question: I am 34 years old, exercise daily, have 14.7 % bodyfat, have always been healthy and I don't get sick often. My husband and I would like to starta family so I went off the birth control pill (Orthonovum 135) in January 1997 which Ihad been on for 14 years. I had no trouble while on the pill. However, about three weeks after stopping it, I had the following adverse side effects which are still plaguing me, but aren't quite as severe as their onset. These include dizziness, nausea, vertigo, claustrophobia, sweaty palms, night sweats, hot flashes, extreme adrenaline rushes, nervousness, sleeplessness, shaky legs at night, and bouts of trouble breathing. My chest feels heavy and I'm not able to catch my breath or breath deeply, seeing spots in my vision, dishydrosis (a skin irritation with an unknown cause that gets worse with stress) on my inner hand, racing heart, etc. During this time I've been sick with a cold for two weeks out of each month. The gynecologist could not find anything wrong with me after a series of tests. My physician tried many blood tests and all were normal. The one test that did come back abnormal was the Adrenal Stress Test which showed my cortisol levels to be abnormally high in the afternoon and at night. For this, I am taking magnesium, phosphotidylserine (an amino acid), and trace amounts of DHEA. I am eating a lot of protein and have cut back on complex carbohydrates (starches), sugar, caffeine, and alcohol (all of which I was suddenly intolerant of with the onset of these symptoms). I have not started to menstruate since my last pill in January, even with a 15 day progesterone supplement recommended by my physician. This means I'm not producing enough estrogen. Because of the timing of my symptoms and going off the pill I attribute the symptoms to lack of progesterone and estrogen which is, in a sense, menopause or perimenopause. I have been taking flaxseed oil, dong quoi, and soy products to help alleviate my symptoms as well as build up my estrogen. I'm feeling better but am not totally well yet. I'm waiting for results from a FSH and LH test. It appears that not many doctors know the effects of going off the pill. Is what I'm experiencing normal? Have other women had the same problems? How long does it usually take for the system to work correctly, and to be able to get a normal period? Could I have damaged my reproductive organs or system by staying on the pill for so long? Why am I feeling so bad? Is this what menopause feels like? Any suggestions on what more I can do besides wait? Going back on the pill is not an option.

Answer: Assuming that you had regular periods before the pill, these are decidedly abnormal problems. The pill itself does not cause ovarian suppression nor change periods. These type of symptoms need to be addressed by an Endocrinologist. The period is usually the first marker for abnormal body processes. That is, irregular or missing periods are often the hallmark of thyroid disease or pituitary dysfunction. None of the additives that you are taking will address these problems. I really doubt that the pill caused the problem. However, it may have been covering up a problem by allowing the steroids to be externally administered.

Birth control
Question: I am 40 years old, a smoker, and see my partner for a week about every 8 weeks. What form of birth control would be best for me to use?

Answer: Barrier methods like a diaphragm, condom, or condom with spermicidal jelly would be optimum. However, birth control is a very individual thing. Some can't use a diaphragm or refuse a condom. Others have allergic reactions to spermicidal jelly. But, in the absence of any of these problems use barrier methods.

Depo-Provera and Weight Gain
Question: I had been taking the birth control shot, depo-provera, for 3 years. When I first started receiving these shots, I put myself on a low-fat diet and also began an exercise program. I lost 57 pounds in 4 months. I maintained this weight through the past 3 years, keeping my weight at 135 pounds. A problem began unexpectedly 3 months ago when my husand and I tried to start a family. I stopped receiving the birth control shots, and I started gaining weight. In the last 3 months, I've gained 22 pounds, while my eating and exercise patterns have not changed. As I have learned, women tend to gain weight while on the birth control shot, and this has been the reverse in my case. Could weight gain be related to the cessation of the depo-provera injections? Have there been any other documented cases like mine?

Answer: You are right about your thoughts. I have not seen women who lose weight on depo-provera and gain it while off of the medicine. However, it does suggest that you might have a relative deficiency in progesterone, which is the active ingredient in depo-provera. Discuss this with your gynecologist and get levels done at different points of your cycle.

Birth Control Pill
Question:what is the procedure for getting off the pill and what are the side effects? (ortho-cyclen)

Answer: Stopping birth control pills is quite simple just stop. It is best accomplished at the end of a birth control cycle-usually 21 or 28 days so that your normal cycle will respond. However, you can stop at any time. There is no rebound or need to taper-your body will begin to produce its own hormones when the supplemental hormones are no longer present. Side effects appear minimal although constantly debated. If your periods were irregular prior to the BCPs they will usually be irregular after and vice versa.

"The Pill"
Question: I couldn't find any info on birth control, so here I am. I hope you don't mind. Any how, I was wondering how long it took for "the pill" to take affect, and what was the effective percentage of birth control? I hope that you can help me, or refer me elsewhere.

Answer: It takes at least one full cycle on birth control pills to achieve effectiveness and most physicians recommend two full cycles. The effectiveness is between 97-99% effective depending on the study. The lack of effectiveness generally centers on patients missing a pill although occasional pregnancy will result with 100% compliance.

Question: I have a student that asked about a new "shot/pill" that is rather expensive and is only given/taken once a month. Could you give me information about this. I have not heard of this before. Include: most likely Pt. type to have this prescribed (student mentioned the girl had a cyst on ovary), side effects etc.

Answer: There are several depo products that could be used to suppress ovulation etc. Hard to know if this is depoprovera(progesterone like drug) Lupron(sexual hormone blocker) etc. I'll need some more information.

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