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Ortho-Novum is a combined oral contraceptive that is available by prescription. Although several different types of this drug are available, each type contains two hormones (an estrogen and a progestin). This birth control pill works to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation, as well as by altering the cervical mucus and uterine lining. Potential side effects include nausea, headaches, and breakthrough bleeding.

What Is Ortho-Novum?

Ortho-Novum® is a prescription birth control pill. There are several different types of Ortho-Novum products available, including:
  • Ortho-Novum 1/35 (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol), a "monophasic" birth control pill
  • Ortho-Novum 1/50 (norethindrone and mestranol), a "monophasic" pill with a high dose of estrogen
  • Ortho-Novum 10/11 (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol), a "biphasic" birth control pill
  • Ortho-Novum 7/7/7 (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol), a "triphasic" birth control pill.
(Click Ortho-Novum Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Ortho-Novum?

Ortho-Novum products are made by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc. Generic versions of the drug are made by various manufacturers (see Generic Ortho-Novum for more information).

How Does Ortho-Novum Work?

Ortho-Novum is a combined oral contraceptive, the most common type of birth control pill used today. It is a combined oral contraceptive because it contains a combination of two different types of hormones. It contains both an estrogen (either ethinyl estradiol or mestranol, depending on the product) and a progestin (norethindrone). The hormones in this product prevent pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries).
Ortho-Novum also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, minor ways. It 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.
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Ortho-Novum Birth Control

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