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If you are taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo and pregnancy occurs, you should stop using the pills immediately. Although the oral contraceptive is not likely to cause problems if accidentally used during early pregnancy, you should never continue taking a birth control pill if you are pregnant. Talk to your healthcare provider about Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo and pregnancy to further discuss the potential risks.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) is a birth control pill, also known as an oral contraceptive. As with all oral contraceptives, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo should not be used on purpose during pregnancy. Although it is "common knowledge" that taking birth control pills during early pregnancy is dangerous, in reality, doing so is unlikely to cause any serious problems.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medications that should not be used during pregnancy, usually due to serious problems, such as birth defects or miscarriages.
Even though Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is a pregnancy Category X medication, it will probably not cause any problems if accidentally used during early pregnancy. Many studies have shown no increased risk of birth defects when birth control pills were accidentally taken in early pregnancy. Often, women are concerned that the "female" hormones in birth control pills can harm male babies. However, remember that all male fetuses are exposed to very high levels of natural female hormones during pregnancy.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo and Pregnancy: Final ThoughtsIf you miss your period while taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, you may want to make sure you are not pregnant (an over-the-counter pregnancy test should be sufficient), especially if you have missed any pills or taken them incorrectly. If you miss two periods in a row, you should definitely make sure you are not pregnant. Keep in mind that if you take Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo correctly (without missing any pills), the risk of pregnancy while taking the drug is quite low.
If you accidentally used Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo for awhile before realizing you were pregnant, this is not likely to cause any problems, although you should discuss this with your healthcare provider. If you are pregnant, you should stop using Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo right away. If you think you may be pregnant, you should contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.