- Can make periods shorter and lighter
- Extremely low oestrogen content
- Effective form of birth control
Loestrin is a combination hormone medication used to prevent pregnancy. Loestrin has two active ingredients: norethindrone, a progestin, and ethinyl estradiol, an estrogen.
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What is Loestrin?
Loestrin (Norethisterone and ethinylestradiol) is a combined oral contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy and is up to 99% effective.
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How do I use Loestrin?
Loestrin comes in strips of 21 pills, each marked with a day of the week.
- Swallow each pill whole, with water if necessary. Do not chew the pill.
- Start by taking a pill marked with the correct day of the week.
- Take your pill at the same time every day.
- Follow the direction of the arrows on the strip. Take one pill each day, until you have finished all 21 pills.
- Then have seven pill-free days
After you have taken all 21 pills in the strip, you have seven days when you take no pills.
Within a few days of taking the last pill from the strip, you should have a withdrawal bleed like a period. This bleed may not have finished when it is time to start your next strip of pills.
You don’t need to use extra contraception during these seven pill-free days – as long as you have taken your pills correctly and start the next strip of pills on time.
Are All Daily Oral Contraceptives The Same?
No, not all oral contaceptives are the same. There are many different types of oral contraception and each one differs slightly. Your oral contraception should be taken as directed by your prescriber. If you miss doses and do not take your pill as it has been prescribed it will not be as effective and may not work.
What Types of 'The Pill' Are Available?
There are two main types of oral contraception: The combined pill (CoC), which containes two hormones, progestin and oestrogen and the progesterone only pill (PoP), often referred to as the mini pill, contains only one hormone, progesterone. Both types of oral contraception the CoC and PoP are 99% effective if taken as prescribed meaning your chances of becoming pregnant if you have unprotected sex are very low. Although you are unlikley to become pregnant, you are still likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection if you are regularly having unprotected sex with different partners.
What is "The Pill"?
Contraceptive pills are often referred to as "The Pill". Contraceptive pills consist of synthetic hormones (hormones that mimic the ones made in your body). They are composed of a synthetic type of oestrogen and progesterone. The Combined Oral Contraceptive (CoC) containes both of these hormones and the Progeterone Only Pill (PoP) (The Mini-Pill) only contains one of these hormones (progestin).
If I Vomit or Have Diarrhoea After Taking The Pill, What Do I Do?
If you have severe diarrhoea or vomit 3-4 hours after taking your pill, the chances of you being protected from getting pregnant are less likely. If this does happen to you, you should take another pill within 12 hours of your episode. If you are taking the inactive pill when this happens then you do not have to take another pill to compensate.
How Reliable is Oral Contraception?
If your dose is taken as prescribed and then the pill is one of the most reliable forms of contraception when it comes to protecting you against pregnancy. The pill is 99% effective at preventing pregnancies if taken appropriately, however it does not protect against STI's meaning if you are having sex with different partners, barrier contraception should still be used.
How Hard is it to Remember to Take Oral Contraception?
If you manage to adopt a regular routine of taking your pill as soon as you get up, you are less likely to forget. If you do find that you are more likely to forget then it is best to set reminders on your phone. Alternatively there are many apps avaialbe for android and iOS such as myPill that can help you to remember to take your pill.
Do I Have to Take My Pill at The Same Time Everyday?
Routine is imperative when you start taking oral contraception. The time of day you take the pill does not matter, however if you should pick to take it in the morning, afternoon or night time- whatever time you decide to choose you must be consistent with it and continue to take it during this period of time every day.
Can I Still Have Sex During The 4 or 7-Day Break?
It is safe to have sex during the the break if you have been taking your pill properly as prescribed. If you are having regular unprotected sex during this time you should be vigilant to start your next pack or strip on time and to make sure you are taking your pill properly.
I Have Not Had My Period And I Have Been Taking My Pill as Prescribed, am I Pregnant?
It is important to understand that if you have been taking your pill on time everyday as directed by your prescriber then the chances of you being pregnant are extremely low. If you are not getting your period whilst taking the pill then there is a chance that the lining of the womb has not formed enough for it to be released, if you continue to not see any bleeding or have a period for 2 months or more than you should contact your prescriber for investigation.
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Stop taking Loestrin and see a doctor straight away if you notice any of the following
serious side effects. You may have a serious blood clot (thrombosis) and may need urgent medical treatment:
- if you develop a yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
- Swelling of the veins (phlebitis) or limbs.
- Feeling dizzy or faint
- Painful breathing, feeling breathless or unexplained cough
- Pain, tingling or feeling numb in any part of the body
- Any bad headaches which are worse than normal or more often than normal
- The very first attack of migraine that you have ever had (usually sight problems followed
- by a throbbing headache and feeling sick)
- Migraines you already have which get worse
- Chest or stomach pain
- Speech problems
- Sudden sight problems
- Your doctor may stop you taking Loestrin:
- if your blood pressure goes up
if you get a condition listed in the section ‘Warnings and precautions’ or you have one of these listed conditions and it gets worse.
The following side effects have also been reported:
- Changes to the shape of your cornea (a part of the eye). This can cause irritation or
- Temporary infertility after stopping the tablet
- Breakthrough bleeding or spotting, heavier or lighter bleeding
- Reduced breast milk after birth
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Stomach upset, bloating or cramps, feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
- Low mood (depression)
- Infection of the vagina (thrush)
- Allergy-type rash
- Being less able to tolerate sugar and starches (carbohydrates)
- Rise in blood pressure
- Water retention or changes in body weight
- Brown patches on the face or body
- Painful breasts or increase in breast size or leaking from breasts
- Missed periods during and after treatment
- Changes in the cervix (neck of the uterus or womb)
- Loss of interest in sex
- discomfort when wearing contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses and this happens, see an optician.