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Ortho-Cyclen and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you should immediately stop using Ortho-Cyclen. Pregnancy problems could occur if you knowingly take birth control pills during pregnancy. However, studies show that taking Ortho-Cyclen during early pregnancy is unlikely to cause any serious complications. Although problems will probably not occur if you accidentally take Ortho-Cyclen before realizing you are pregnant, you should ask your healthcare provider about the potential risks.

An Overview of Ortho-Cyclen and Pregnancy

Ortho-Cyclen® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. You should not knowingly take Ortho-Cyclen (or any other birth control pill) during pregnancy. Keep in mind that although it is very unlikely for a woman to become pregnant while taking Ortho-Cyclen correctly, the risk of pregnancy increases significantly if Ortho-Cyclen is not taken properly.
(Ortho-Cyclen is equivalent to Estarylla™, Mono-Linyah™, MonoNessa®, Previfem®, and Sprintec® birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to each of these medications.)

Ortho-Cyclen and Pregnancy Category X

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy 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.
Although you may have heard that taking birth control pills during early pregnancy is very dangerous, in reality, doing so is not likely to cause any serious problems, even though Ortho-Cyclen is a pregnancy Category X medication. Large studies have shown no increased risk of birth defects when birth control pills were accidentally taken in early pregnancy. However, Ortho-Cyclen should never be taken intentionally during pregnancy. It should not be used in an attempt to prevent a miscarriage. Similarly, Ortho-Cyclen should not be taken in an attempt to cause a miscarriage, as it is not effective for this purpose. There is no good reason to take Ortho-Cyclen during pregnancy.
If you miss your period while taking Ortho-Cyclen, 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 of the pills. 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-Cyclen correctly (without missing any pills), the risk of pregnancy while taking Ortho-Cyclen is quite low.
If you accidentally used Ortho-Cyclen for a while before you realized you were pregnant, this probably will not cause any problems (although you should discuss this with your healthcare provider). If you are pregnant, you should stop using Ortho-Cyclen right away. If you think you may be pregnant, you should contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.
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Information on Ortho-Cyclen

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