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How Does Ogestrel Work?

Ogestrel is a "combined" oral contraceptive, which means that it contains two different types of hormones: an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (norgestrel). Combined oral contraceptives are the most common type of birth control pill used today. Generally, combined oral contraceptives are more effective than progestin-only birth control pills.
 
The hormones in Ogestrel prevent pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, minor ways. Ogestrel 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.
 

Ogestrel Uses in Children and Teens

Ogestrel is approved for use in women of reproductive age. This means that it is not approved for use in girls who have not yet had their first menstrual period.
 

Off-Label Ogestrel Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Ogestrel for something other than contraception. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, some off-label Ogestrel uses include treatment of the following conditions:
 
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Irregular menstrual periods.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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