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What Is Jencycla Used For?

Jencycla is a progestin-only contraceptive prescribed to help prevent pregnancy in women who cannot use a combined oral contraceptive (a birth control pill that contains both a progestin and an estrogen). This drug works by stopping ovulation, altering the uterine lining, and changing the cervical mucus. Jencycla is not approved for use in girls who have not yet started their menstrual periods.

An Overview of Jencycla Uses

Jencycla™ (norethindrone) is a progestin-only birth control pill, which means that it contains only a progesterone-like hormone. It does not contain an estrogen hormone (most other birth control pills contain both a progestin and an estrogen). Jencycla is typically used by women who are breastfeeding or cannot take estrogens for other reasons. It is a generic version of Ortho Micronor®.
Progestin-only birth control pills, such as Jencycla, have several advantages and disadvantages. They are the preferred type of birth control pill for breastfeeding women, as they usually do not interfere with the quantity and quality of breast milk (see Ortho Micronor and Breastfeeding).
Also, they may be preferred for women who are at high risk for blood clots or other problems that can be caused or worsened by estrogen, such as:
  • Smokers
  • Women over 35 years old
  • Women with a history of blood clots, heart disease, and various other problems.
The primary disadvantage to Jencycla and other progestin-only pills is that they are less effective than combined oral contraceptives. Other downsides include irregular and often unpredictable periods, compared to combined oral contraceptives that cause regular and predictable periods.
Also, compared to combined oral contraceptives, there is less room for error with progestin-only pills. For instance, taking Jencycla just a few hours late can increase the risk of pregnancy. Another disadvantage is that Jencycla and other progestin-only pills may increase the risk for ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus, sometimes called a "tubal pregnancy").
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Jencycla Birth Control Information

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