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Estrostep Fe is primarily used for preventing pregnancy in women of reproductive age. However, it is also prescribed to treat acne in women who also desire to take an oral contraceptive. This prescription medication stops ovulation, alters the cervical mucus, and changes the lining of the uterus. There are also several off-label Estrostep Fe uses, such as treating heavy menstrual bleeding and PMDD.
Estrostep Fe Uses: An IntroductionEstrostep® Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill, also known as an oral contraceptive, or simply "the pill." It is also approved to treat acne in women.
(Estrostep Fe is equivalent to Tri-Legest® Fe and Tilia™ Fe birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to Tri-Legest Fe and Tilia Fe.)
Estrostep Fe Uses for Birth ControlBirth control pills are a popular form of contraception, for some very good reasons. Like most birth control pills, Estrostep Fe offers the following benefits:
- An effective birth control method (when taken correctly)
- Lighter and more regular menstrual bleeding
- Less menstrual pain and cramping
- Relatively easy to use (not messy or awkward)
- A decreased risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).
A variety of different birth control options are available today. Each particular method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and no one birth control method is right for all women. Some of the most commonly used methods include:
- 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
- Periodic abstinence (known as natural family planning or the rhythm method) -- Avoiding intercourse during the fertile phase of your menstrual cycle
- Barrier contraceptives -- Condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and other methods that physically block the sperm from entering the uterus
- Spermicides -- Foams, jellies, gels, suppositories, and inserts
- Withdrawal -- Removing the penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs) -- Implanted devices that are both effective and reversible
- Surgical sterilization -- Tubal ligation (getting your "tubes tied") or a vasectomy (for men).
Estrostep Fe 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 Estrostep Fe Warnings and Precautions for more information).
As with almost all methods of birth control, combined hormonal contraceptives must be used correctly and consistently; otherwise, they are much less effective. In addition, Estrostep Fe does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). As a result, in many situations, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Estrostep Fe to prevent the transmission of STDs.