levlen birth control pillOther Brand Names Containing the Same Estrogen and Progestin

Alesse, Aviane, Enpresse, Lessina, Levlite, Levora, Lutera, Lybrel, Nordette, Portia, Sronyx, Tri-Levlen, Triphasil, Trivora

Other Brands of Birth Control that Contain the Progestin Levonorgestrel

Emergency Contraceptives: Plan B, Plan B One Step, Next Choice
Monophasic: Alesse, Aviane, Lessina, Levora, Lutera, Lybrel, Nordette, Portia, Sronyx
Multiphasic: Enpresse, Levlite, Tri-Levlen, Triphasil, Trivora
Extended Cycle Pills: Jolessa, LoSeasonique, Quasense, Seasonale, Seasonique
Non-pill Methods: Mirena (IUD)

What Makes it Different

Levlen contains the progestin levonorgestrel, which has been FDA approved for use as an Emergency Contraceptive.

Before using Levlen as Emergency Contraception, speak to a healthcare professional.

To use Levlen as an Emergency Contraceptive, take all pills no more than 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex. It is most effective when taken within 72 hours (three days).

Dosage for emergency contraception: take four light orange pills and, exactly 12 hours later, take another four light orange pills.

How it Works

Levlen prevents pregnancy by utilizing a combination of the female hormones estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and progestin (levonorgestrel). Levlen works in three ways. First, the hormones prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from one of the ovaries). Levlen also causes the cervical mucus to thicken, which inhibits sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg. Lastly, the hormones prevent the thickening of the uterine lining, making it less hospitable to implantation.

Oral contraceptives are only to be utilized as a form of birth control. They do not protect against the transmission of HIV (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

How to Use

To begin, take the first pill on the first day of your period or the first Sunday after your period has begun.  From then on, take one pill each day at the same time. Use Levlen as your healthcare provider has instructed. Do not take more often or for longer than your healthcare provider mandates.

If you miss a dose of Levlen, your risk of pregnancy will be heightened. There are ways to make up for missing a pill that will maintain the effectiveness of the birth control. For further instruction, contact with your healthcare provider immediately once you realize one or more pills have been missed.


Levlen has been shown to be successful at preventing pregnancy in over 99% of situations when it is the only birth control method utilized and when Levlen is used exactly as directed.


Birth control pills average $15-50 per pack and each pack lasts one month.


When used correctly, Levlen is a highly effective method of birth control. All birth control pills, Levlen included, have also been shown to have the following possible benefits:

  • Menstrual cycle may become more regular, and blood flow may become lighter (reducing the chances of anemia).
  • Cramps or other pain during menstruation may become less intense and/or frequent.
  • Acute pelvic inflammatory disease may occur less often.
  • Ectopic pregnancies may occur with less often.
  • Noncancerous cysts or lumps in the breast may occur less often.


All birth control pills, including Levlen, care a risk of blood clots, stroke or heart attack, especially for women who smoke and/or are older than 35. Women who are taking oral contraceptives should not smoke.

Possible side effects include

  • Vaginal itching or discharge
  • Mild Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloating, stomach cramps
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Changes in menstrual period, decreased sex drive
  • Breast pain, swelling or tenderness
  • Headache, nervousness, dizziness or tired feeling
  • Freckles or darkening of facial skin
  • Increased hair growth or loss of scalp hair
  • Problems with contact lenses
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