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Women who are interested in combined oral contraceptives may want to learn about Cyclafem. This prescription birth control pill contains two different types of hormones and works to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation and otherwise making it more difficult for pregnancy to occur. Most women have no problems with it; however, side effects are possible, such as breast tenderness and headache.

What Is Cyclafem?

Cyclafem™ (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. Two different types of Cyclafem birth control pills are available, including:
  • Cyclafem 1/35, a monophasic birth control pill (generic for Ortho-Novum® 1/35)
  • Cyclafem 7/7/7, a triphasic birth control pill (generic for Ortho-Novum 7/7/7).
(Click What Is Cyclafem Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Cyclafem?

Cyclafem products are made by Patheon, Inc., for Qualitest Pharmaceuticals USA. Although they sound like brand-name drugs, Cyclafem birth control pills are actually generic medications (see Generic Ortho-Novum for more information).

How Does It Work?

Cyclafem is a combined oral contraceptive, the most common type of birth control pill used today. It contains a combination of two different types of hormones: an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (norethindrone). The hormones in Cyclafem prevent pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries).
Cyclafem also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, minor ways. It changes the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. It also alters the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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