How Effective Are Combination Birth Control Pills?

Is the birth control pill Loestrin a combination pill? Also, is the effectiveness of the pill still as high during ovulation?

Yes, Loestrin is a combination pill, meaning it contains forms of the hormones estrogen and progestin. In the case of Loestrin and several other brands, the estrogen is in the form of ethinyl estradiol and the progestin is norethindrone.

Most women on the pill take the combination form. Progestin-only pills have a tendency to cause irregular bleeding and they are usually only given to women who cannot take estrogen for one reason or another.

The combination pill is more than 97 percent effective when taken as directed. Although oral contraceptives have been used for many years, we still do not quite understand how they work. But we do know that combination pills do several things to prevent pregnancy.

One of those mechanisms is to stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month, thereby preventing ovulation. But it is possible that you could ovulate if you forgot to take your pills for a day or more. If the oversight was brief and you promptly got back on, the pill’s other actions might still prevent pregnancy.

They thicken the cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to unite with egg. They also keep fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. The other problem to watch out for is interference by certain other medications or digestive illnesses, which can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. So if you are taking prescription medication or have been suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, use a back-up method of birth control until your next period.

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