STD Home > What Is Heather Used For?
Heather is prescribed for preventing pregnancy in women of reproductive age. It is a progestin-only oral contraceptive that is most commonly used by breastfeeding women and women who cannot take estrogens for other reasons. Healthcare providers may occasionally recommend off-label Heather uses, such as for treating heavy menstrual bleeding and painful menstrual periods.
An Overview of Heather UsesHeather® (norethindrone) is a progestin-only birth control pill, which means that it only contains a progesterone-like hormone. It does not contain an estrogen hormone (most other birth control pills contain both a progestin and an estrogen). Heather is typically used by women who are breastfeeding or cannot take estrogens for other reasons. Heather is a generic version of Nor-QD®.
Today, women can choose from a large variety of different birth control options. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and no particular birth control method is right for all women. Some of the most commonly used birth control methods include:
- Barrier contraceptives -- condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and various other methods that physically block the sperm from entering the uterus
- Spermicides -- foams, jellies, gels, suppositories, and inserts
- Periodic abstinence, sometimes 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," including Heather), injections, and implants
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs) -- implanted devices that are both very effective and reversible
- Surgical sterilization -- tubal ligation (getting your "tubes tied") or a vasectomy (for men).
As with almost all methods of birth control, Heather must be taken correctly and consistently. In fact, being just a few hours late taking a pill increases your risk of pregnancy. Importantly, Heather does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Heather to prevent the transmission of STDs.