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Loestrin is a combined oral contraceptive pill – one of a number of medications collectively know as ‘the Pill’. It contains versions of the two female sex hormones, progesterone and oestrogen. Loestrin has a less than 1% risk of pregnancy for those taking it or even lower if you stick to a proper pill routine.
If you're already taking Loestrin and would like to request a repeat prescription from one of our doctors then please follow the link below to start your consultation.
About Loestrin Contraceptive Pill
How do I take Loestrin?
You should only take one Loestrin tablet per day. You should swallow it with water as required. Do not chew or crush the tablet.
Try to take your pill at around the same time every day, eg before bed. You should take the pill marked on the strip by the correct day of the week. So the marking ‘MON’ means the pills is meant to be taken on a Monday.
Take one pill per day for 21 days, until the strip is finished. After 21 days, you have a 7-day break period when you don’t take any tablets. You are still protected against pregnancy during this break period.
The reason for this break is so your body has a chance to reset after 21 days. It is similar to the normal period cycle. During the break, you will probably experience a ‘withdrawal bleed’, which is similar to your monthly period. After the 7 days, start a new strip of tablets, and begin the cycle all over again.
Common side effects
Common side effects of the contraceptive pill:
- Mood swings, depression, or anxiety
- Weight change
- Sore breasts
- Low libido (lack of desire for sex)
Loestrin is a type of combined oral contraceptive pill, known simply as ‘the Pill’. It comes in strips of 21 pills. They are marked by the days of the week so you can keep track of when to take them.
Loestrin contains artificial versions of the female sex hormones progesterone and oestrogen (chemicals responsible for controlling your periods). They are also known as norethisterone acetate and ethinylestradiol.
Taking a combination of these hormones can prevent you from getting pregnant. When you are pregnant, your body uses these hormones to stop any more pregnancies occurring. Loestrin works the same way without you needing to be pregnant.
Loestrin stops pregnancy in three ways, by:
- Preventing ovulation (an egg being released for pregnancy).
- Thickening the fluid in your cervix (entrance to the womb), making it difficult for sperm to swim through and enter the womb.
- Thinning the lining of your womb, so that a fertilised egg cannot grow there.
Loestrin 20 and Loestrin 30 have different amounts of oestrogen in. The numbers refer to the amount of oestrogen in micrograms (µg). Both contain the same amount of progesterone – 1mg.
The reason these 2 doses exist is not because one has a stronger hormonal effect than the other. However, they both have the same success rate for preventing pregnancy. The difference in oestrogen levels is because some people react differently to different doses.
A lower dose might help reduce some of the unwanted side effects. In the same way, a higher dose might help increase some of the other health advantages besides the contraceptive effect.
You can only take Loestrin if a nurse or doctor has prescribed it to you. You will only be prescribed Loestrin if your nurse or doctor thinks it is a suitable choice for you, based on your personal circumstances.
It is most commonly taken by women who are sexually active, but do not wish to become pregnant. However, pills like Loestrin can have a number of other health benefits. They can:
- Spots (acne).
- Cramps and period pain (dysmenorrhea).
- The effects of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Symptoms of womb lining appearing in the wrong place in the body (endometriosis).
- Heavy period bleeding (menorrhagia).
- Non-cancer growths that appear in the womb (uterine leiomyomas).
- Reduce the risk cancer in the following areas:
- Ovaries (ovarian cancer).
- Womb (endometrial cancer).
- Rectum or colon (bowel, colon, or colorectal cancer).
Not everyone can take Loestrin. Sometimes Loestrin is contraindicated – meaning you may not be prescribed it if you:
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Are hypersensitive (allergic) to its ingredients.
- Have a personal or family history of breast or cervical cancer.
- Have or have had blood clots, or have a family member who has had them.
- Have high blood pressure or are severely overweight.
- Have unexplained vaginal bleeding.
- Have a history of migraines, strokes, or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).
- Have a history of liver problems and/or jaundice.
A doctor, nurse, or online doctor service will be able to tell you if is safe for you to take Loestrin.
You can start taking Loestrin at any time throughout your cycle, as long as you’re not pregnant.
If you are taking Loestrin for the first time, it’s a good idea to take your first pill on the first day of your period. This will protect you from pregnancy immediately. If you take it at any other time in your cycle, use condoms for the first 7 days to protect yourself from pregnancy.
You can take your Loestrin pill at any time of the day, but it’s recommended that you take it at about the same time every day. Set an alarm to remind you if you have trouble remembering to take your pill. There are also pill reminder apps available for your smartphone.
Remember that a good routine can reduce your risk of pregnancy even more.
You can only get oral contraceptive pills with a prescription from a licensed nurse, doctor, or pharmacist. To get a prescription, you can either visit your local GP surgery or sexual clinic, or order them online using a registered website like the Zava Online Doctor Service.
If you’re up to 24 hours late in taking your daily pill, don’t panic. You will still be protected from pregnancy if you take the pill as soon as you remember, and then carry on from the next day as usual. If you are regularly late it might help to consider setting an alarm or using a pill reminder app. It's important to remember regularly taking your pill on time reduces your risk of pregnancy.
If you forget to take the pill, or you’re more than 24 hours late in taking a pill, you will still have contraceptive cover. Just make sure that you you take your missed pill as soon as possible, even if this means taking two pills in one day. After that, continue your pill routine as normal.
If you miss two or more pills then Loestrin may be less effective and you could be at risk of pregnancy. Take your most recently missed pill as soon as possible, even if it means taking two in one day. Continue as usual, but use condoms for the next 7 days if you are having sex.
If you’ve missed two or more pills during days 1-7 of your strip, and you had sex during that time, then you could be pregnant. Contact your doctor for advice and emergency contraception.
Studies have shown that missing pills increases the risk of pregnancy:
- 1-5 missed pills in a cycle increases the risk to 5%
- 9-19 missed pills in a cycle increases the risk to 11%
It can be a problem if you’re sick with vomiting or diarrhoea within 4 hours of taking your Loestrin pill. In this case, the ingredients might not have been properly absorbed into your body and you could be at risk of pregnancy.
Take another pill from a spare strip as soon as you can, and continue taking it as usual. Use condoms if you are having sex during this time, and for 7 days after you recover from your illness.
Loestrin contains active (medical effect) and inactive (no medical effect) ingredients. The active ingredients are norethisterone acetate and ethinylestradiol.
The inactive ingredients are: sucrose, lactose, talc, maize starch, magnesium stearate, carnuba wax, spray-dried acacia, hydroxypropylcellulose, hypromellose 15, quinolone yellow (E104), indigo carmine (E132), erythrosine FD&C Red (E127), and titanium dioxide (E171).
No, Loestrin won’t work as a morning-after pill. For emergency contraception, you should contact your doctor, pharmacist, sexual health clinic, or online doctor service.
Rare side effects:
- Allergic reaction
- Blood clots
- Liver problems
- Heart attack
- Stroke or mini-stroke
There’s no definite answer to this. Some users will notice their acne improves while they take Loestrin, but other people report acne as a side effect.
No, the oral contraceptive pill will not protect you against STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Condoms are the most reliable method for preventing STDs when you have sex.
Yes, you can delay your monthly period with Loestrin. This is completely safe to do, and is a useful option for many women.
To delay your period, simply start your next strip of pills straight after finishing your current strip. Do not take a 7-day break period in-between. You can do this for up to three months at a time. This break is required so there is an opportunity for your womb lining to be removed.
There have been no health or contraceptive differences found in studies of breaking or not breaking the contraceptive cycle.
No, Loestrin does not cause blood clots. Taking Loestrin has been associated with a small increase in your chance of getting a blood clot. However, this increase is very small, going from 0.01% to 0.035%.
Your overall risk if affected by various factors, such as age, weight, smoking and history and past medical history, so the doctor or nurse prescribing it for you will ask questions to check these factors.
To put it in perspective, low-dose contraceptives like Loestrin (20/30 micrograms of oestrogen) have a reduced risk of blood clots compared to higher dose ones (50 micrograms of oestrogen).
If you ever notice any of the following signs or symptoms of a blood clot, stop taking Loestrin right away, and seek urgent medical attention:
- A painful swelling in one leg, sometimes accompanied by a change in the skin-colour of that leg (deep vein thrombosis).
- Sudden breathlessness, coughing, and/or chest pain (pulmonary embolism).
- Total loss of vision, or blurred vision in one eye (retinal vein thrombosis).
No it won’t. Loestrin will prevent pregnancy while you are taking it, but it has a completely reversible effect on your fertility (chance to conceive a baby). This means that, within 7 days of having stopped taking Loestrin, your body will return to its normal fertility level.
It might do as mood swings, anxiety or depression are common side effect of oral contraceptive pills. If you have a history of any of these conditions, you should discuss this with a doctor. You may still take Loestrin but you need to consider the additional effect it may have on your mental health.
No, it’s not recommended that you take Loestrin when breastfeeding. Consult your family-planning nurse or doctor who can advise you on this. You can also consider alternative contraception methods
Yes it probably will. Taking Loestrin will probably have some effect on your periods. Many women report that their periods get lighter and less painful when using it, but this won’t apply to everyone.
You can start taking combined oral contraceptive pills Loestrin from 21 days after you give birth, as long as your doctor agrees that it is safe to do so, and if you are not breastfeeding.
It can do. Taking Loestrin alongside other medicines can make them less effective and other medicines can also make Loestrin less effective. In particular antibiotics for treating tuberculosis or epilepsy medications may interfere with your pill.
If you are taking any medication, you should check with the nurse or doctor that prescribes your pill to ensure there are no drug interactions. Check with them if you’re not sure whether it is safe for you to take Loestrin. They may recommend that you use another type of contraception.
Taking Loestrin may not be advisable if you are having an operation or blood test. You should make sure you tell your doctor in plenty of time that you are taking it and they can advise whether you need to stop it before the procedure/operation.
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a contraceptive pill. A nurse, doctor, or online doctor service can help you make this choice and they can also prescribe you Loestrin if appropriate.
Contraceptive pills are a reliable way of reducing your risk of getting pregnant from sex. Zava offers most common brands of pill, so you can order your preferred brand by visiting our contraceptive pill service page.
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