General Rules in Starting Birth Control Pills

Patient

Q: Hi there, I am looking to switch my birth control pills that I am currently on (alesse) to tricyclen. I still have one week left of my alesse but I have noticed that my face is quite sensitive now and breakouts are occuring more than usual. I am not sexually active right now but was wondering if I can stop taking the alesse right now and not continue with the week I have left and begin taking my tricyclen starting sunday...
Chances are if you will stop the Alesse right now, you will have your period soon. May I ask how many pills have you consumed for this cycle? It would have been very helpful to me if you mentioned the Alesse you are using is a 21-day pill or 28-day pill. The 21 day pill is the 3 weeks on one week off regimen while the 28 day pill has 21 active pills and 7 reminder (inactive) pills. If it is the 21-day pill you are currently using then I suggest continue using that then start Tricyclen on the 4th day after the last pill or when you will have your period (whichever comes first). If you were using the 28-day pill (21 active pills and 7 inactive or reminder pills) then consume the 21 active pills then after the 4th inactive pill or when you will have your period (whichever comes first), start the Tricyclen. In general, the pill should be started within Day 1 (of menstrual period) to Day 5. Also, backup contraception is needed within 5 days from starting and ending the pill. If you do engage in sexual intercourse, don’t forget backup contraception (condoms).  I do hope this helps. Take care always.

Doctor

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