Re: Ortho Tri Cyclen Skipping Period
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.