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This birth control really did work for me for the first few years. At some point I guess my body got used the the birth control (per my doctor) and I started breaking out horribly again. The side effects were minimal when I was on it, and if it continued to work then this rating would be a 5 rather than a 3. I do encourage other women to give this birth control a try since it did work for me for about 5 years without any crazy mood swings, but I did experience some weight gain. If you are concerned about weight gain, my weight would fluctuate off and on while I was on this by about 10 pounds, for the most part I would stay right in the middle with a 4-6 pound gain, but around my period or times of high stress it would go up to a 10-12 pound gain. Different birth controls affect each woman differently so I can't say that every woman will experience the weight gain that I did, but I figured I would give you all a heads up.
My acne struggles started a few years ago. I had pretty severe acne mostly on my cheeks, but also small bumps all over. I tried a different brand first (Minastrin), but it seemed to be making it worse. Some of the other things I have tried are: most drugstore brands, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, liver supplements, oil cleansing, witch hazel, the list goes on. BC was my last option for the most part.
I have been on OTC Lo for about 8 months now. The first 2-3 months didn't do much, but starting with the 4th month and beyond, it just got better and better. It has cleared my skin about 90%. I still break out around my period though. But my skin tone is clearer, the bumps have gone away, and the spots I do get are generally smaller and go away faster. Overall, I am a LOT happier with my skin than when I started. It truly has made a difference. My skin looks plumper, feels softer, and does not break out as much with different topicals. I currently take this pill, wash in the AM and PM with CeraVe foaming cleanser (with a konjac sponge at night), moisturize with argan oil in the AM, and use Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel on spots at night. I use IT Cosmetics powder foundation (I have gone from heavy foundations and concealers to just a powder foundation!) This simple routine has helped me clear my skin up dramatically.
HOWEVER, this will be my last pack. This pill has caused me bloating and persistent depression/anxiety. I realize now that this is just a cover and a blanket cure for my skin. If you think you have hormonal acne, I highly recommend looking into supplements such as DIM, Vitex, Calcium D-Glucarate, and Saw Palmetto. All can help hormonal acne by balancing hormones. I am planning on stopping this pill, and incorporating those supplements!
Overall, as an acne treatment I give this a 4/4.5, and as a medication a 3/3.5.
If you are struggling and need birth control for contraception as well, give it a shot, but understand the risks and realize it is synthetic hormones (this is making me feel less and less 'natural' every day). However, it can be beneficial. In general, it is not a cure, and only really masks the problem for a short time.
I've had acne since I was 10 years old and now I am 26. It made me very self conscious and embarrassed all throughout school. I've tried everything from topical creams prescribed by dermatologists, proactive (for a few years), proactive knock-offs and Murad but nothing kept the acne away. It was a constant and exhausting battle. I have oily skin and ,by genetics, large pores. So the combo of the two was just a recipe for disaster. The type of acne I had were mainly white heads and sometimes cystic acne.
I decided to try Ortho Tricyclen Lo last year and the first 2-3 months was just awful. My skin dried out, my chin was flaky and my chin and jawline were covered in pimples. My skin was worse than before but I heard about the first few months of the purging stage so I decided to ride it out. By the 3rd or 4th month my skin did start to improve. At that time I had also invested in a clarisonic mia and I think the combination of the two improved my skin dramatically. My skin is back to being oily but I don't break out like crazy anymore aside from the 1 or 2 pimples I get during my period. I am now on my 7th month of the pill and I have clear skin. The last time I had clear skin was 16 years ago. Wow. I don't know how long I will be on the pill for but whenever I decide to go off of it I hope my skin doesn't freak out and resort back to massive breakouts.
I'm 15 and have been struggling with acne for three years, trying anything to get rid of it. I have horrible cysitc acne all along my chin and sides of my face with regular pimples that pop up everywhere else. Along with that I have many deep pimples on my back and neck. I began with drugstore remedies with no results. I took many prescriptions of Doxycycline and Metrocycline before realizing that I was actually terribly allergic to them, breaking out in rashes along my neck and having swollen eyelids. It was a nightmare. I turned to Proactive for quite a few months but it didn't work, it only relieved my acne for the first two or three months before I gave up. With yet another trip to the dermatologist, they prompted me to try accutane. However, I read that large booklet of information they gave me and realized that it's side effects could seriously harm me, more so because I'm female.
After turning accutane down they recommended birth control. I preyed that my acne was a result of imbalanced hormones and gave it a shot with Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Today I am two weeks away from starting my third month but I hardly see results. I have more cysts on my chin and side of my face but I was warned that it may get worse before getting better, like most medicines.
I don't want to give up on BC and truthfully, I don't know if I can handle having acne like this. I am depressed about how I look and how much energy I have to have to appear normal. I wake up an hour or so earlier than anyone I know to cover my acne, and even then it's still noticeable. It affects my interaction with others and focus during school because I'm too hung up on "my acne is horrible people probably thing I'm gross". Summer time is hard too because I can't enjoy going to a public pool and I try not to wear makeup.
I've sadly come to the decision that if this doesn't work then I'll turn to accutane, my last resort. But some of these reviews give me hope. After the three months mark I should see more improvements. It's hard to imagine having a clear face after taking my acne day to day for three years. So please, please, please work Ortho Tri-Cyclen!
I've been on trip cyclen lo for about 2 months now going onto my third month in about 2 weeks, but i do see a difference in my acne scars they have faded a lot recently but the only problem is I've been breaking out a lot on my chin and forehead (more my chin) i just really hope by the end of the third month everything will get better and everything will clear up
This is a low estrogen pill. The benefit of that is that it generally has very few side effects. I had no side effects.
However, I took this pill for two whole years and it resulted in 0 improvement in my acne. I learned after the fact that low estrogen pills do not usually help with acne.
Also, it is extremely costly for a birth control, as there is no generic.
Though I would recommend it as a form of birth control, I would not recommend it in the treatment of acne.
I had been on this pill for most of my adult life, and had gone off of it at age 26. Six months or so after I stopped taking it, I began to get the worst acne of my life. I was getting 3 or more deep painful pimples, as well as many, many clogged pores and many smaller pimples. I had been off the pill at other times, and had never had that much of an issue, all though I did get acne. As a side note, I strongly suspect the reason I was getting acne worse than ever, was a combination of being off birth control AND drinking a lot of caffeine. But that is another story.
I really did not want to go back on BC pills, so I worked hard to clean up my diet. I do want to say that that made a BIG difference, but I was still getting 1 or 2 deeper pimples, not as deep but still not right on the surface. It would happen if I ate ANYthing that I should not have been eating, so I figured that unless I wanted to live like a monk, I should go back on BC pills. So I went to the doc and asked for a prescription. She explained that the acne should be better by 3 months.
At 3 months, it was much better, but I was still getting some. I just want to tell anyone who is on this pill now, that after 3 months, it just gets better and better. It has now been a little over 5 months, and my acne is completely gone. Well, at this time I have 3 tiny ones, but those don't even count because they are not visible to the eye. Just very tiny surface bumps from sweating in the Texas heat.
I am sad to have to be on the pill, but so happy to not have to worry about acne at all anymore. Also, I do have some scaring. Nothing too bad, but I have some enlarged pores and one small pockmark type scar that I am not sure will completely heal. I want to mention this because when they first appeared, the scars were MUCH worse and I really thought I was going to be badly scarred. I am happy to report that they have gotten so much smaller and shallower, and really are barely noticeable now unless you get right up to my face. Plus I think they will get even better. So, if you had a similar case of acne, keep your head up!
I have use Yaz for over five years it did control my acne for a while however last year I started to get horrible cystic acne all over my face. After much suffering I finally decided to switch to a different kind so I began using ortho tri cyclen low. I expected to have the worse brake out of my life but it has been 2 weeks and my skin is so much better than before. I don't have oily skin anymore and finally no new more cystic acne coming out. I have never recommend anything but this pills are truly working for me
I have not finished my first month quite yet, but I do see a difference. I have had acne since the fourth grade and it has been embarrassing. It was always on the lower half of my face. Of course my friends and my boyfriend have always said it isn't that bad, but without the help of makeup it truly was a disaster. My skin on my chin area is completely destroyed, I can barley feel it when I touch it. This pill has truly worked fast and has regulated my periods as well. I have been on many antibiotics prescribed by a dermatologist, and I was a afraid of accutane so I tried this instead. I am glad I did.