I'm on Ortho TriCyclen and I've read in a lot of places where girls just skipped the placebos and they were spotting for about ten days. I would rather not do that. Now, this is all from what I gather, that the spotting is because the hormone level in the pill fluctuates and you're going from a high level to a low level of one of the hormones.
I have two ideas in how to skip the period without spotting due to hormone fluctuation:
one was going between two packs taking the all, say, the white pills from both packs, then moving to the light blue pills from both packs, then to the blue pills in each pack, which, I think, would just like stretch out the whole cycle.
The other was taking the white, then the light blue, then the blue, then taking the next pack and taking the blue then the light blue then the white, so you aren't going from blue to white (high to low) but staying on the same hormone level.
Has anyone tried any of these? Does anyone know how well they'll work?
in my opinion, i wouldnt mess around with it enough to try it. it is an interesting idea though, you should talk to a professional about it and see what they think.
some food for thought, though: theres a reason why regular bc pills have a decreased risk of endomitrial cancers - because the lining is light and shed regularly and often, every 4 weeks... with a seasonale method, this isnt the case, and many of the people here experienced problems with that method... so i was wondering if seasonale even has that protective benefit... to me it just doesnt feel *right* to go without a period every month. and i think our bodies realize that too, since many people have a lot of BTB with it.
Taking a pill coninuously is still just as effective as taking it for three weeks and then seven days off. There is no reason to bleed every month when taking the pill. The bleeding experienced on the birth control pill is not a "real" period. It is withdrawl bleeding. It happens because when a woman reaches the placebo "fake" pills, her body is no longer getting any hormones, and without hormones, the uterine lining starts to break down, and bleeding begins. The reason people spot on the lower dose pills is because the hormone isnt enough to keep the lining strong in some women. That isn't to say that the hormones aren't enough to prevent pregnancy -- they are. In MOST women. The only exceptions being larger women. Larger women need larger doses of hormone.
Anyhow, NOT having a period will not hurt you and in the opinion of many doctors, is beneficial. In years past, women spent far more years of their life pregnant, and thus had far fewer periods. As a result, they had less cancers of the ovaries and uterus. The ONLY reason the pill was designed with a placebo week is because the makers felt that women would feel more comfortable taking it if they still bled once a month.
To the original poster, I've heard of people doing both methods you suggested, but when skipping a period on a triphasic pill there is an increased risk of spotting. It doesnt mean you won't be protected from pregnancy, but merely that the fluctuating hormones may cause you to spot.
If you think skipping periods is something you may want to do from time to time, it's probably a good idea to switch to a monophasic pill.
Also, you don't have to take two full months of pills back to back -- if you just want to delay your period by a week, you can take a full pack of pills and then when you reach the end of that pack, simply take the LAST week of pills from a second pack. The reason women don't tend to do this is because then the other two weeks of pills have gone to waste. But what you describe is fine to do. I'm not a doctor, but I have done extensive research regarding hormonal birth control and have asked a lot of questions of doctors and nurses.