Alesse

Other Brand Names Containing the Same Estrogen and Progestin

Aviane, Enpresse, Lessina, Levlen, 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: Aviane, Lessina, Levlen, 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

  • All brands containing the progestin levonorgestrel have been FDA approved for use as an Emergency Contraceptive.
  • Before using Alesse as Emergency Contraception, speak to a healthcare professional.
  • To use Alesse as an Emergency Contraceptive, take all pills in dosage no more than 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex. Alesse is most effective when taken within 72 hours (three days) of intercourse.
  • Dosage for emergency contraception: take five pink pills and, exactly 12 hours later, take another five pink pills.

How it Works

Alesse (ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel) utilizes a combination of the female hormones estrogen and progestin, to prevent pregnancy in three ways. First, Alesse prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from one of the ovaries). The hormones also cause the cervical mucus to thicken, which blocks sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg. Finally, Alesse prevents the uterine lining from thickening, which makes it less hospitable to implantation.

Oral contraceptives are to be utilized only 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

Take your first pill on the first day of your period or the first Sunday after your period has begun. Use Alesse just as your healthcare provider has instructed and not more often or for longer than your healthcare provider mandates.

Missing a dose of Alesse increases the risk of pregnancy. There are ways to make up for missing a pill that will maintain the effectiveness of the birth control. If you have missed one or more pills, contact your healthcare provider for more information.

Effectiveness

Alesse has been shown to prevent pregnancy in over 99% of situations when it is the only birth control method utilized and when Alesse is used exactly as directed.

Cost

Most birth control pills cost between $15 and $50 per month.

Benefits

Alesse is an effective method of birth control when used as specified. All birth control pills, Alesse included, have also been shown to have the following possible benefits:

  • Menstrual cycle regularity and a lightened blood flow (reduces the chances of anemia)
  • Milder and less frequent cramps or other pain during menstruation
  • Less frequent occurrence of noncancerous cysts or lumps in the breast
  • Less likelihood of ectopic pregnancies
  • Less likelihood of acute pelvic inflammatory disease

Risks

All birth control pills, including Alesse, can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke and heart attack. Women who smoke and/or are older than 35 are especially susceptible to these risks.

Possible side effects include

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

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Birth Control News

How effective is your birth control?

For sexually active women, he effectiveness of birth control depends on how perfectly they use it. For this reason, there are two kinds of effectiveness rates. One measurement is for perfect use, as the method is tested in the lab or used in real life with no mistakes.

The other is typical use, the average including people who don’t always use the method correctly or every time sexual intercourse takes place.

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