What Is Cyclafem Used For?
Women can use Cyclafem to prevent pregnancy as well as to treat acne, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and a few other conditions. Two different versions of Cyclafem are available; however, they both work in the same ways to prevent pregnancy. The primary difference between the two products has to do with the amount of hormones in each pack.
Cyclafem™ (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol) is a generic oral contraceptive, more commonly known as a birth control pill. There are actually two different types of Cyclafem available, including:
- Cyclafem 7/7/7, a triphasic birth control pill (generic for Ortho-Novum® 7/7/7)
- Cyclafem 1/35, a monophasic birth control pill (generic for Ortho-Novum 1/35).
"Monophasic" means that there is only one dose of hormones throughout the pack. "Triphasic" means that there are three different phases, with three different hormone doses, in each pack.
Like most birth control pills, Cyclafem is easy to use, effective, and offers the following benefits:
- Regular, predictable menstrual periods
- Lighter menstrual bleeding
- Less menstrual pain
- A decreased risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).
As with almost all methods of birth control, Cyclafem must be used correctly and consistently in order to prevent pregnancy. In addition, the drug does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, women are advised to use condoms in addition to Cyclafem to prevent the transmission of STDs.
Today, women can choose from a large variety of different birth control options. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and no particular type of birth control is right for all women. Some of the most commonly used methods include:
- Barrier contraceptives: Condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and other methods that physically block sperm from entering the uterus
- Spermicides: Foams, jellies, gels, suppositories, and inserts
- Periodic abstinence (known as natural family planning or the rhythm method): Avoiding intercourse during the fertile phase of your menstrual cycle
- Withdrawal: Removing the penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation
- Combined hormonal contraceptives (which contain a progestin and an estrogen): Most birth control pills, patches, and rings
- Progestin-only contraceptives: Some birth control pills ("mini pills"), injections, and implants
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs): Implanted devices that are both effective and reversible
- Surgical sterilization: Tubal ligation (getting your "tubes tied") or a vasectomy (for men).
Like most birth control pills, Cyclafem falls into the category of combined hormonal contraceptives, as it contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (norethindrone).
Birth control pills are often a great contraceptive choice for many women. However, combined hormonal contraceptives may increase the risk of blood clots and other problems, and not all women should take them (see Precautions and Warnings With Cyclafem for more information).