Dear Martha

Dear Martha, I have a birth control pill question. I had been taking Triphasil for years and my pharmacy just switched me to Enpresse. I just realized that I screwed up the order of the pills. I took Friday and Saturday instead of Sunday and Monday of the 2nd week. Oops! I’m not sure what to do now. Do I go back and take the rest of the 2nd week out of order or buy a new pack and take the correct 2nd week? I’m definitely using back-up protection this week. Do I need back-up the whole rest of the cycle? Please advise. Thanks, I appreciate the help. Signed, Out of Order Dear Out of Order, We all make mistakes like this. It is confusing when the pharmacy gives a different medication than the one you are accustomed to. Triphasil, Tri-levlen and Enpresse are all equivalent, just different colors and manufacturers. Regarding your switcheroo….I’m not totally clear where you are in your pack of pills but, I think I can help. You do not need to buy a new pack. Within the first three weeks of pills, each color is a slightly different strength but all have sufficient progestin and estrogen to effectively prevent pregnancy. So continue taking your pills in the order that seems most logical to you. Mixing up the sequence of these pills can cause irregular bleeding which is bothersome but not an indication of a medical problem. The fourth week (if there is one) are inactive or reminder pills. You do not want to exchange these with the others or you will have a problem! Using a condom as back up is always a good idea when you are not totally sure about your Pill usage. If you have further questions please call the Women’s Clinic at656-0603. Later, Martha and Loretta Loretta Marriott is a Nurse Practitioner in the UVM Women’s Clinic.