1. What are birth control pills?

There are multiple formulations of birth control pills:

  • Combination: contains both estrogen and progestin.
  • Monophasic which contains equal amounts of estrogen and progestin such as: norgestrel 0.3 mg + ethinyl estradiol 0.03 mg OR levonorgestrel 0.15 mg + ethinyl estradiol 0.03 mg, 0.01 mg.
  • Biphasic which has varying amounts of estrogen and progestin such as: desogestrel 0.15 mg/ethinyl estradiol 0.02 mg and ethinyl estradiol 0.01 mg.
  • Triphasic such as: norgestimate 0.25 mg + ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg OR norgestimate 0.180 mg and ethinyl estradiol 0.215 mg + 0.250 mg.
  • Conventional packs include 21 active pills and seven inactive pills. We offer: norgestrel 0.3 mg + ethinyl estradiol 0.03 mg OR desogestrel 0.15 mg/ethinyl estradiol 0.02 mg and ethinyl estradiol 0.01 mg OR norgestimate 0.25 mg + ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg OR norgestimate 0.180 mg and ethinyl estradiol 0.215 mg + 0.250 mg.
  • Continuous dosing packs include 84 active pills and seven inactive pills. We offer: levonorgestrel 0.15 mg + ethinyl estradiol 0.03 mg, 0.01 mg
  • Minipill: contains only progestin. We do not offer this.

2. What are birth control pills used for other than family planning?

Birth control pills can be used as relief from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, cramps, shorter, lighter or more predictable periods, reduce heavy periods, reduce unwanted hair growth, acne, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and lower your risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers.

3. Are your birth control pills FDA approved?

Yes.

4. Are birth control pills safe to use?

Generally yes, but caution is needed.

If you suspect you are pregnant then immediately take a home pregnancy test and if positive, stop taking your birth control pill.

Do not use birth control pills if you:

  • Recently gave birth
  • Older than 35 years old
  • Smoker
  • History of blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism
  • Breast cancer
  • Stroke or heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Unexplained uterine bleeding
  • Immobilized for a prolonged time (i.e. post surgery or frequent long travels by car or airplane)
  • Seizures
  • Obesity

Side effects may include (2% of patients):

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
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