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Loestrin is used to prevent pregnancy. It does this by altering the cervical mucus and making the uterus less receptive to an embryo. The drug is approved only for women of reproductive age; it is not approved for girls who have not yet had their first menstrual period. Loestrin uses also include the treatment of heavy menstrual periods, PMDD, and acne.
Loestrin Uses: An OverviewLoestrin® (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is an oral contraceptive, more commonly known as a birth control pill. Like most birth control pills, Loestrin is easy to use, effective, and also offers the following benefits:
- Regular, predictable menstrual periods
- Lighter menstrual bleeding
- Less menstrual pain
- Decreased risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).
(Loestrin is not the same as Loestrin® Fe or Loestrin® 24 Fe. The information in this article does not apply to either of these medications.)
As with almost all methods of birth control, Loestrin must be used correctly and consistently in order to prevent pregnancy. Keep in mind that Loestrin does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Loestrin to prevent 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 birth control method 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 the 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 vasectomy (for men).
Like most birth control pills, Loestrin 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 Loestrin Warnings and Precautions for more information).