Norgestimate is a third-generation progestin with high progestational activity and slight estrogenic effects. The level of progestational selectivity refers to how successful the progestin is at preventing ovulation and lessening menstrual bleeding – the higher the better.
This progestin also tends to be less androgenic. The level of the androgenic effect refers to the chance of unwanted side effects such as weight gain, acne and other side effects, which increase as the androgenic level increases.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen contains norgestimate and is one of only three birth control pills the Food and Drug Administration has approved to help reduce acne.
Birth controls containing this progestin are likely to have fewer unpleasant side effects such as acne and female unwanted hair growth. They also have less effect on the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, which may mean it has less risk of weight gain.
The third-generation progestins tend to be highly selective, which means they are more successful at preventing ovulation and lessening menstrual bleeding.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo contains a mid-level dose of estrogen. This combined with norgestimate may help lower side effects such as nausea and vomiting without increasing the incidence of spotting.
Some research shows third generation birth control pills may have a higher risk of blood clots.