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Loestrin

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Loestrin (ethinylestradiol, norethisteron) is a combined oral birth control for women. The medication includes both an estrogen and a progestin, and works to prevent pregnancy in three ways:

  • Inhibits ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries);
  • Thickens cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus;
  • Changes the lining of the uterus, making it difficult for a fertilized egg to attach.

Used correctly, Loestrin will prevent 99 percent of pregnancies. Unfortunately not everyone uses the medication correctly, which means the practical number of prevented pregnancies is closer to 97 percent.

Loestrin should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding. It may cause birth defects; it is very unlikely to cause abortion or miscarriage, even at high doses. Individuals unable or unwilling to seek professional help with terminating a pregnancy may be interested in the medication misoprostol.

Taking Loestrin

Loestrin comes in tablets. Each package contains 28 pills, 21 of which are active and 7 of which are not; the 7 inactive tablets exist simply to keep the patient in the habit of taking one pill per day. The 7 inactive tablets are a different color than the 21 active tablets.

Like most combined oral birth control a Loestrin tablet should be taken once per day, ideally at the same time each day. This is where many people struggle; it can be difficult to always remember to take a tablet, especially at the same time each day, depending on how chaotic one's life may be. In these cases a different form of birth control may be desirable, such as Depo-Provera injections, which are administered just once every three months.

It takes at least seven days from starting treatment to be protected from pregnancy. Other methods of birth control should be utilized for the first week of Loestrin use.

To get started on Loestrin:

  • Begin taking one Loestrin tablet either on the first day of menstruation or on the first Sunday following the start of menstruation.
  • Take the remainder of the 21 active pills, once per day.
  • After 21 days, take the 7 inactive pills, once per day.
  • Start a new package of Loestrin and repeat.

Even the most conscientious patients will occasionally miss a pill. Missed pills can be rectified to some extent:

  • If one active tablet is missed, take two tablets on the following day.
  • If two active tablets are missed, take two on the following day and two on the day after that.
  • If three or more active tablets are missed, pregnancy is possible. Discard the open pack and start over, using contraceptives for the next 7 days.

Tablets can be taken with or without food as desired. If experiencing severe vomiting or diarrhea, the effectiveness of Loestrin may be impacted; utilize other methods of birth control for 7 days after the illness passes.

Taken as directed, women are protected from unwanted pregnancies and the difficult choice to have a child or terminate a pregnancy.

Side Effects from Loestrin

Loestrin can cause side effects, most of which aren't very severe and many of which will stop occurring after the first few months of treatment. Most commonly reported are:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Appetite changes
  • Lowered libido
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • Acne increase or decrease
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Vaginal itching or discharge

Much more rare side effects which warrant immediate medical attention include:

  • Heart problems - pain in jaw or shoulder, chest pains
  • Changes in vision
  • Excessive sweating
  • Breast lump or breast cancer
  • Increase in frequency or severity of migraines
  • Severe mood changes, including depression

Note that Loestrin will not prevent sexually transmitted diseases. If concerned about STDs, a condom should be used.

Women with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, history of hormone-positive cancer, and those who smoke---especially if over age 35---should discuss risks with a doctor before using Loestrin. Other birth control methods may be safer to use.

Loestrin

20/1 ethinylestradiol/norethisterone  Buy Loestrin 63 - $27.20
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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