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Ogestrel is used for preventing pregnancy in adult and adolescent females who have started their menstrual periods. It is a combined oral contraceptive, as it contains both an estrogen and a progestin. However, Ogestrel contains more estrogen than newer birth control pills, which may prevent bleeding between periods and provide lighter periods. Off-label Ogestrel uses include the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding and painful menstrual periods.

Ogestrel Uses: An Overview

Ogestrel® (norgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill, also known as an oral contraceptive (or simply, "the pill"). Ogestrel has a high dose of estrogen, compared to newer birth control pills.

High-Dose Estrogen Contraceptives

Ogestrel contains a high dose of estrogen (ethinyl estradiol), compared to most other birth control pills that are currently available. Any birth control pill with 50 mcg or more of ethinyl estradiol is considered a high-dose estrogen contraceptive (Ogestrel contains 50 mcg of ethinyl estradiol per tablet). When birth control pills first came out, they had much higher estrogen doses, compared to today's birth control pills. Over the years, new birth control pills have gradually reduced the estrogen dose, because estrogen is responsible for many of the dangerous problems associated with birth control pills, like heart problems, blood clots, and strokes.
Because the higher dose of estrogen in Ogestrel increases the risk of many serious side effects, you should only take the drug if your healthcare provider thinks that it is the best option for your situation. If you do not have any problems with regular or low-dose birth control pills, you should not take Ogestrel.
Although the new, low-dose birth control pills are effective, they tend to provide less cycle control. This means that there is often more bleeding between periods (breakthrough bleeding) and, sometimes, heavier periods with low-dose pills. The high-dose birth control pills (like Ogestrel) seem to control the growth of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus that is shed with bleeding) more than the low-dose pills, providing for better cycle control.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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