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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Triphasil

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 08/14/1999]
Question: I have taken Triphasil 28 for one complete month. Then I started taking it for a second month. I took it from Sunday through Thursday. Then I stopped taking it for a week. The following Friday I started taking it again. Will skipping that week throw my whole menstrual cycle schedule off? When can I stop using another form of birth control as "backup"?

Answer: Probably, it certainly will decrease the effectiveness of birth control for at least one and probably two months. Most physicians would recommend at least two more months of coverage.

[posted 10/3/1999]
Question: I have been taking Triphasil-28 for 2 1/2 years. I am "scheduled" to get my period the week of my honeymoon. Can I change this by changing my dosage of Triphasil?

Answer: Yes, but you'll need a couple of months to slowly switch it. You'll need to cut off the last day or two of pills. This may result in a thin or no period. Some would recommend doubling up the last 2-3 days. This is ok, but occasionally produces nausea. The protection from pregnancy will theorectically be less and I would use condoms while you are doing this. Check with your doctor about their ideas, but pretty simple.

[posted 08/5/1999]
Question: I have been taking Triphasil-28 since 10/95.
Two questions:
1. Does it make a difference if I take the green inert pills? Are they basically sugar pills provided to help keep you taking the pill every day?
2. Is there any relationship between sex drive and Triphasil-28. When my now-husband and I met in 1995, initially I wanted to have sex with him all the time. Then I started taking the birth control pills. Several years later (now) my husband and I argue all the time because basically I could care less if I had sex or not. This has been going on for quite some time. Looking back, it may have even started as far back as when I started taking the Triphasil. I also have rapid mood swings. Could these be related to the Triphasil? Should I see my gyn about changing pills? Are there any pills less likely to create such effects?
Thanks for any info/help you can give me!

Answer: About 10% of women will experience changes in their sexual drive on birth control pills. It has been debated for years as to whether it has to do with the pill and changes in your sexual steroid levels or whether it has to do with changing the frequency and safety of intercourse. For any individual, the only way to answer the question is to stop/change to another method of birth control and see the effect on your sexual drive. In general, you should consider using a barrier method, diaphragms etc, to avoid any sexual steroids in your body. This is because other pills could have the same problem. Once you have established how much is the pills and how much is not, you can go on to the next level of finding the problems in your marriages sexuality. A specialized counselor is usually necessary.

[posted 09/28/1999]
Question: Does Triphasil affect your sex drive?

Answer: Yes, some decrease, some increase depending on how your body metabolizes it. Testosterone is the hormone necessary for sex drive in both men and women. Consequently if one's testerone rises(metabolized in the fat to this hormone) it increases. If not, it decreases.

Triphasil Side Effects [posted 7/30/98]
Question: Can taking the birth control pill triphasil cause off and on depression? Will this subside after a couple of months or does it mean perhaps another prescription is needed?

Answer: A fairly common side effect of the pill is emotional changes. This is usually depression, but can be other manifestations. This usually lasts for the duration that one takes the particular pill. Emotional side effects vary markedly from pill to pill depending on estrogen/progesterone ratio and make up.

Triphasil-28 [posted 7/17/98]
Question: I have been taking Triphasil for 3 1/2 years. Recently I had to take a couple of weeks worth of Cipro. When is it safe to rely on the pill again?

Answer: It shouldn't be a problem.

Question: I have been taking Triphasil-21 birth control pills for 2 months. Is there a way to change the week I will get my period? i.e., either take less pills for the month so I get my period early, or take an extra weeks worth so I will get my period late, or just start the next pack and not get a period at all that month?

Answer: Usually take an extra week (second week of the pill box).

Question: I started my first cycle of Triphasil 28 in order to backup my menstrual cycle in preparation for my wedding in December. However, I misunderstood the directions of the Sunday start and began taking the medication 9 days after my day 1 flow, which was the Sunday after my flow ended instead of the Sunday after it started. I'm concerned that my flow will not backup appropriately now. Should I stop taking the medication until I can start at the right time, or should I keep taking it? And what effects on my cycle can I expect now?

Answer: I'm not sure what you mean by backing up your flow? Usually once you start birth control pills, the cycles will take care of themselves as you go through the pills for each month. Starting 3 days late will extend your period for 3 days the first month, but not after that point. You may potentially get pregnant until you have been on these pills for a minimum of 2-3 months. I would just keep taking the pills.

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