Saturday, August 11, 2007

7 Birth Control Pill Brands You Need To Know

Seasonale and Seasonique, Jolessa and Quasense, Lybrel, Yaz and Loestrin. Between the squirrely brand names, the different types of regimens and the presence or absence of a placebo (hormone-free) interval, knowing which of these newer birth control pill brands is which can get a bit confusing.

To help you figure out which Pill brand might be the one best suited for your needs here's a brief comparison guide of 7 Pill brands you need to be familiar with.

First, an overview.

Type of pills: All these brands are combination pill brands because they have active pills (the pills containing hormones) in the pack with a combination of two hormones--an estrogen [ethinyl estradiol (EE)] and a progestin [either levonorgestrel (LNG), drospirenone (DRSP), norethindrone acetate (NEA) or desogestrel (D)].

Most of the brands are monophasic--each active pill in the pack has the same amount of hormones. Some brands are biphasic--most active pills contain the same hormone amounts, but a few pills have a different amount of only one hormone, EE.

Regimens: With some brands you take the active pills on a regular monthly regimen, other brands have an extended regimen (84 days), and two brands are continuous-use, meaning you take an active pill every day throughout the year.

Placebo interval: The hormone-free interval ranges from the regular one (7 days), to a shortened one (4 or 2 days), to none.

Second, the brands.

Seasonale, Jolessa, and Quasense
(Extended regimen, regular placebo interval.)

These brands have an 84-day active pill cycle, followed by a regular 7-day placebo interval.

Seasonale (Barr Labs)

One active pill [0.03 mg EE/0.15 mg LNG] for 84 days, followed by 7 days of placebo pills.

Jolessa (Barr Labs)

Same as Seasonale, 84 days of active pills [0.03 mg EE/0.15 mg LNG] followed by 7 days of placebo pills.

Jolessa (via)

Quasense (Watson)

Same as Seasonale, 84 days of active pills [0.03 mg EE/0.15 mg LNG] followed by 7 days of placebo pills.

Quasense pack
Quasense (via)

TIP #1
Both Jolessa and Quasense are the generics for Seasonale.

Seasonique and Lybrel
(Continuous regimen, no placebo interval.)

These brands have a continuous active pill cycle; one active pill each day of the year. There's no placebo interval.

Seasonique (Barr Labs)

One active pill [0.03 mg EE/0.15 mg LNG] for 84 days, followed by another active pill [0.01 mg EE] for 7 days.

TIP #2
Addition of low-dose EE during the placebo interval provides greater egg development suppression in the ovary.


Lybrel (Wyeth)

One active pill [0.02 mg EE/0.09 mg LNG] taken daily with no placebo interval.

Lybrel pack
Lybrel (via)

TIP #3
Seasonique and Seasonale may sound alike, but they're not. Note that only Seasonique and Lybrel do away with the placebo pills. And just so we're clear, despite the media hysteria surrounding Lybrel's recent FDA approval, Seasonique was the first approved Pill brand to completely eliminate the placebo interval, not Lybrel.

Yaz and Loestrin 24 Fe
(Monthly regimen, shortened placebo interval.)

These brands have a 24-day active pill cycle, followed by a shortened 4-day placebo interval.

Yaz (Bayer)

One active pill [0.02 mg EE/3 mg DRSP] for 24 days, followed by 4 days of placebo pills.


Loestrin 24 Fe (Warner Chilcott)

One active pill [0.02 mg EE/1 mg NEA] for 24 days, followed by 4 days of iron-containing placebo pills.

Loestrin 24 Fe

And as a bonus, two more shortened placebo interval brands you should be familiar with:

Kariva (Barr Labs)

One active pill [0.02 mg EE/0.15 mg D] for 21 days, a placebo pill for 2 days, followed by another active pill [0.01 mg EE] for 5 days.


Mircette (Organon/Barr Labs)

Same as Kariva (and Azurette), one active pill [0.02 mg EE/0.15 mg D] for 21 days, then 2 days of placebo, followed by another active pill [0.01 mg EE] for 5 days.


TIP #4
Kariva is the generic for Mircette.

Bottom line: If you're familiar with the characteristic features of these newer brands you can better judge which type of Pill will suit you. Use this guide as a starting point when you discuss Pill option with your Ob/Gyn.

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At 3:05 AM, Blogger dinsquared said...

I'm puzzled by your comparison of Seasonique to Lybrel, and also that you're calling the .01 mg pills in Seasonique, & Kariva/Mircette "active" pills. My understanding is that they're not placebos, but they're not "active" in that they're designed to have a contraceptive effect. The dose is simply there for theraputic effect, i.e. easing menstrual symptoms. Can you clarify?

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my doctor prescribed a generic brand of a regular birth control pill that had no placebo pills, just three rows of 7 pills each. since i wanted an extended regimen, she said to take the pills continuously for 12 weeks (a total of four packs in a row), then break for one week and then restart with a new pack.

this method is actually really easy and my prescriptions are $7 each so its affordable too.

the only problem was that i originally had only 12 refills per year so i had to call in and get some extras towards the end. this time around, my doctor added a note and changed the refill schedule to "refillable until XX/07"

maybe that method will work for others as well!

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Amanda Marcotte said...

It looks like Lybrel has a lower does of hormones than Ortho Tri Cyclen. Am I crazy? That should be a good thing, right? I've got a doctor's appointment next month and I'm liking the idea of being permanently period-free.

At 6:48 PM, Blogger ema said...


Both Seasonique and Lybrel eliminate the placebo interval. They're the only brands packaged for continuous-use and thus, distinct from all the other brands available/mentioned.

The 0.01 mg pill is active because, unlike an inert placebo pill, it's able to exert an effect due to its ingredient (the EE). [The fact that it has an effect is what makes it active, not the type of effect it has.]

Also, regarding the type of effect note that:

Addition of low-dose ethinyl estradiol during the HFI [hormone-free interval] provides greater pituitary-ovarian suppression, preventing an increase in follicle-stimulating hormone, follicular development, and endogenous estradiol production.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger ema said...


You are correct. Ortho Tri-Cyclen has 0.035 mg EE and 0.180/0.215/0.250 mg progestin (norgestimate). Lybrel has 0.02 mg EE and 0.09 mg LNG.

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently using Quasense and love it. Now I am wondering if Lybrel will be nicer with no periods.

Lybrel lists spotting to be an issue, but I never spotted with Quasense. Does that mean I will not spot with Lybrel? Anyone out there using Lybrel and do you like it?

At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've done Seasonale/Quasense for about 2 years and it took well over six months for the breakthru to stop. But when it did it was great. My dr just prescribed Seasonique for some reason, and after six weeks I had breakthru. Then after taking a break and restarting it happened again after six weeks. I feel like have to go thru that whole 6-9 month adjustment period again. So in my experience something is obviously different between the two. I'm not happy...

At 2:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if this will be helpful but I have been trying to find other people's experiences so I thought I'd share mine. I switched to Lybrel about 4 months ago and while it was good at first, I then spotted every day for the past 2.5 months. I was trying to stick it out in hopes that it would end and I would finally be period free but I can't take it anymore. I called my doctor today and am switching to Seasonale. Hopefully I will have better luck with that.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger tootles said...

i dont know if anyone is still responding to this post, but i have been taking yaz for a few months now (total i have been on a pill for 6 years) and i really love it. my only problem is that it does not have a generic and it is really expensive. is there any alternative? maybe a generic?

At 2:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat at tootles. I'm about to switch health insurance plans and the brand price is going to go up even more. I just read that the earliest there will be a generic to Yaz is 2014- a good 5 years off. It's looking like I might have to switch. Kariva/Mircette were fine except my period was harsher than Yaz. Loestrin did not work for me at all, became very depressed for the month I was one it and switch immediately. I love the idea of Seasonale/Jolessa, so I might have to give one of those a try. Do most people seem to like them?

At 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started taking Lybrel last month and I really liked the idea of having no period. I ended up "spotting" for the entire week that I should have had my period (it was basically as heavy as my regular period and it lasted a few days longer than my period ever did before). I also had a TERRIBLE problem with my face breaking out. I have never had a problem with acne or with a birth control that made me break out, but a week or two into taking Lybrel, my face was completely covered with acne. It got so bad that I have stopped taking it all together. I am looking for another option that also does not have weight gain side-effects. Just something to think about... Hope this helps!

At 5:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently taking Yaz. I was on Yazmin for years and I had no problems with it. I have been having problems with Yaz. I think those extra active pills are messing up my body. after I take the last 3 active pills I have 4 placebo pills to take. I should get my period after I take the last active pill right? well I dont. I get my period when Its time to start a new pack of Yaz. My body is all messed up so I am looking for a new alternative, but I dont want a pill that makes me stop having my period. To me its un natural and sounds unhealthy.
Is there anyone who is on Yaz and is having the same problem? And is there a better alternative?

At 1:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the above poster,

You shouldn't start your period the day you start your placebo pills. Basically, the placebos just keep you in the habit of taking a pill at the same time everyday instead of doing that for x number of days and then taking a break and trying to get back in the habit for the next pack.

It takes your body a couple days to process that you're not getting those hormones anymore and then shed your lining.

The advantage to only 4 instead of 7 placebos is that you start the hormones back up sooner so you're period is shorter and possibly even lighter.

So, having a couple days between your "last" pill and your "first" pill is totally normal and should be expected.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok well idk about the whole taking Lybrel and not getting your period at all i have pcos which causes me not to get mine and i have to take a med to force me to have it because not having one every 3 months or so from what my doctors say isn't good for your body it heightens your chances of uterine cancer.... well at least that's what my doctor is telling me i don't know for sure because well I'm not a doctor but it might be worth looking into

At 2:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

was wondering if any switched from jolessa to loestrin 24 fe whats the difference...thanks

At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been on Yaz for about 3 months now, and i love it. I was on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, but it made me moody and so emotional I had to stop takin it. With the Yaz, it has taken until this time (3 months) to get my period regulated, but it is VERY light and short, but I'm still having one, so I feel good about it.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I am also on Yaz and was put on it due to migranies. It has really helped me out, however i am now getting major breast tenderness but only in my left breast. My doctor sent me to get a ultrasound and everything came back fine. I still get it, and it comes and goes at diffrent times of the month. My doctor is thinking about switching me to yasmine. I am nervous due to the migraine issue. When i get them it affects my work and life. Does anyone else get the breast tendernous from yaz? Should i get a mamogram? Im only 27. Or should I switch pills?

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous becca said...

Hello, is anyone out there taking Yaz or a birth control pill that wil give you a lighter period and less mood swings, and also not alot of weight gain, because the ill i am on now makes me really moody, gain a lot of weight. If there is anyone out there on a pill that has hardly any weight gain, lighter periods and less time, and less mood swings, please let me know!

At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently on Lybrel and am thinking of switching due to migraines. I love Lybrel for the fact that I never get my period. It did take about 6 months to finally work correctly. The only thing is that I get a migraine once a week. My doctor thinks it's because of the Lybrel. Does anyone else suffer from migraines and have any suggestions to what brand I should switch to? I was thinking about Loestrin.

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not switch to LoEstrin 24 Fe because i was on that for only one month and after i got it off it i expierenced not having a period for 2 months and it got a lot of horrible reviews from people that got blood clots after they were off it to never having their period again and being very ill. So i would not reccomend switching to that pill does not seem that great with all the bad reviews.

At 1:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said....... I have been using Jolessa or the generic of Seasonale for over a year now and have had great results. However, my employer has since switched to an HSA and even thought it is a generic, it is still very expensive for a three month supply. I was prescribed it originally to help prevent endometriosis. I just need it for the hormones part of it, not to prevent pregnancy. Any suggestions on less expensive ones that work for my condition?

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am taking Yaz (have been for about 9 months now). I love that it has stopped my migraines altogether, cleared my acne (given to me by the last pill I tried - Loestrin 24 - which also gave me depression and weight gain too. A horrible pill!) Yaz also for the first 6 months had me losing about a pound a month, which was nice but has leveled off now (and I'm far from being overweight too). The only problem I have with Yaz is that my periods are quite heavy which doesn't seem to be the norm here. But, after my last experience with Loestrin 24 I'm really scared to try anything new. I want a 24 day pill that wont depress me, give me acne, or weight gain. Does such a pill exist? Also, before (planned) kids, I was on Levlin and would have a headache on the placebo week Monday and it would stay with me until it turned into a full blown migraine by Friday with me desperately waiting to start the next pack on Sunday. The one thing that would hold off that pattern... still the headache but no migraine until Saturday (down to 1 day of migraine was better) was increasing my caffeine intake. Specifically coke. Tea didnt work as well for me. But, I would drink 2-3 times more coke per day and it did help. Hope my experiences can help someone else out there. ;-)

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

i been taking jolessa birth control for a month and then before that i took it for 3months but i stop. i start takin it again and i been on BC for a month now but i been on my period for 7days now when i normally stay on for about 5days and the same thing happen when i first start taking jolessa. im confuse my doctor says that it suppose to shorting my period but it made it longer...can any one give me any invice before i go crazy b/c having a period for this long gets on my nerves.

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering... I have been taking Jolessa for about 7 months now and my pharmacy just switched me to Quasense. Is that going to cause and different side effects, or should it be the same as taking Jolessa?? I just don't want to screw up my body with something my I am already used to. Thanks

At 10:55 PM, Blogger ema said...


Once you start taking the Pill, it takes your body a bit to get used to the shift in hormones. Since you stopped and then started again, this is like a new start and your body is in the process of re-adjusting. [Try to avoid these stops/starts because they only make the problem -- irregular/prolonged bleeding -- worst.]

Yes, the brand you're using is supposed to shorten the bleeding interval and it will do just that. If you're patient.

The key is steady hormone levels, which happens if you take the Pill in a regular, consistent way; no interruptions.

Of course, bleeding for longer than you expected (or bleeding at irregular intervals), in the beginning, is annoying, an inconvenience. But, and this is key, this is an expected and *temporary* problem. It will go away. The bleeding will be less and less.

It's not possible to predict exactly how long it will take for the less bleeding to kick in. Each person is different. For some it's one cycle, for others more like three. [Here are some suggestions of what to do to lessen breakthrough bleeding.]

Bottom line: Patience and consistency are key. Keep taking the pill as directed and you will achieve the desired result.

Anon @ 8:41 PM,

Most likely, no, you shouldn't notice a difference. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell for sure until you try it.

At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi girls! I was wondering if anyone could help me. I use to take Ortho Tricyclin, but it made be gain crazy weight and i have always naturally been a small girl. I switched to Yasmin and in the last year of use it has made me extremely emotional and crazy. What would be a better birth control for me that wouldnt make me gain weight or go insane? Thanks and good luck to you ladies.

At 3:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am about to start taking yaz and have never been on birth control before. I have read about yaz from many blogs ans barely anyone had something positive to say. People mentioned how they had blood clots and almost died and how alt of them were young. I am honestly very afraid to start using yaz. Are there more women using yaz for months and are not running into problems?

At 3:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been taking Yaz for about a year and a half now. Initially it helped tremendously- (No more mood swings or uncontrollable emotions, and the best... NO MORE CRAMPS!). However throughout these last few months I have noticed that I am getting cramps and back pain again as well as having longer/heavier periods again.

I am thinking about switiching to a pill that only gives you 3 periods a year but am not sure which one to consider... and am also concerned with how natural it would be to only have 3 a year... will it effect my abilities to have children down the road?

any suggestions or directions to where i can find good information on this??

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The greatest experiment on human beings ever was the introduction of synthetic hormones in the 1960's by the male dominated medical regime. No I am not some wacko conspiracy theorist, just a woman with experience, and very well read researcher. In the 80's I got severe migraines and other massive side effects from BCP's so stopped them altogether in 1986 and was the best thing I ever did. Now at age 52, I am experiencing no nasty pre-menopausal symptoms as many women my age or younger are. My daughter aged 20, against my advice (they never listen to Mom) started taking Yaz for mild acne in August 08 and by March 09 was severely depressed with no will to plan anything for her future and became suicidal, writing her will, and crying constantly. Finally she stopped taking it in late June and within 10 days, I started to see my real daughter again with color in her face and a smile and laughter, more than I had seen in three months previous. Now I believe she is either back on it again or on another hormone disruptor because I see her backsliding into self-pity. This girl is extremely intelligent, talented in many creative areas, and lovely to look at (and only she thinks her acne is bad - in reality it is actually quite mild.) How can synthethic hormones be helpful for women's bodies? Look at the increasing incidents of "female problems" ... infertility, miscarriages, ovarian polyps, ectopic pregnancies, endometriosis and on and on and ask yourself why we women would subject ourselves to such an experiment.

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi :) ive been taking Yaz for 4 mnths now and i dont think its working for only 17 and started on the pill due to my extremely heavy (cause of my iron deficiency) and painful periods, my period still lasts for 9 nine days (heavy) and pain is still really bad for most of the period :( i have noticed my weight has settled and face has cleared up so is there any other pill that will do this aswel as helping my period ???

At 9:32 PM, Blogger MJoy said...

I need help! First, What is the difference between seasonale and seasonique? Those links take you to the same place.

Second, I've never taken birth control, and am I little nervous about it, but my boyfriend really wants me to be on it. I get severe migraines already, aura, sickness and all that, and vertigo while on my period. Im also iron deficient. Any tips? Thanks! =)

At 10:34 PM, Blogger ema said...


Seasonale: One active pill [0.03 mg EE/0.15 mg LNG] for 84 days, followed by 7 days of placebo pills.

Seasonique: One active pill [0.03 mg EE/0.15 mg LNG] for 84 days, followed by another active pill [0.01 mg EE] for 7 days.

Best tip: Consult your Ob/Gyn. Because your migraines with aura, estrogen, and thus the combination Pill, might be contraindicated. Also, because of the iron deficiency anemia, progestin-only Pill brands are not ideal.

Best bet would be Mirena, an IUD with progestin.

At 1:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been on Yaz for over a year, and love it. But the cost is killing me. The pharmcist suggested I switch to yasmin, which has a generic equivilent and is about 10% the cost of the Yaz. They don't look like the same thing to me, from my research. Anyone have experience with both? mbh

At 1:58 AM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 1:01AM,

Yaz is 24 active pills [0.02 mg EE/3 mg DRSP], followed by 4 days of placebo pills.

Yasmin is 21 active pills [0.03 mg EE/3 mg DRSP], followed by 7 days of placebo pills.

So Yasmin has a bit more estrogen (0.03 mg vs. 0.02 mg) but as far as the regimen goes, if the 24/4 regimen is good for you, there's nothing stopping you from using it with Yasmin as well. Instead of 7 placebo pills just take 4, discard the rest and start a new pack.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I need some advice. I am currently on my second month of taking Yaz and am spotting. More so this month then last. It is annoying and interfering with my life. Do I stick with it longer and see if my body adjusts or try a different pill?

I have taken Yasmin for about 6 months no side effects but the price got to much and wasn't needing to be on them at the time. This was about 5 years ago. I have tried Ortho=low and d-something that I spotted with and stopped taking about two months in.

This spotting it ridiculous and something I don't want to deal with. Do I hand in for another month or so? Or do I try a diffeerent brand/dose?

At 8:25 AM, Anonymous randi said...

can someone tell me what type, if any of these, made you gain weight? im just looking to start on birth control and dont even know where to begin, i just know i dont want to gain anymore weight.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 19 and have been on Othro tri-cyclen since I was 14 because of heavy bleeding and having them every 2 weeks or 3 weeks causing many accidents at school.It works good but I still have heavy bleeding i just know when its coming. After talking with my dr. she's switching me to Seasonale (she said the research has shown that women do not need to have a monthly period and I hate having them so if its possible to get rid of some of them im hopeful.)

Has anyone have any comments about seasonale and because of the cost what is the difference of seasonale and jolessa?


At 2:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 25 and was on Yaz for roughly 6 months. It was my first time on birth-control. I know hormones-based pills affect every woman differently so I just continued to observe any side effects. I did gain some water weight with Yaz, but it leveled off after 3 months (I also started exercising, so I'm not really sure what caused the slight weight loss). I would get horrible crippling cramps and nausea every other month and Yaz did alleviate that completely. However, I HAD to get off Yaz because I had no sex drive and Yaz made me slightly depressed. I am MUCH happier now since I've been off Yaz. My mother-in-law uses Quasense, the generic of Seasonale, and she claims she does not have any side effects. I am going to try it next week!

At 6:18 AM, Blogger Kaitlin said...

I have been taking Yaz for about two and a half years now and have not had any problems with it. I am almost 21 years old, and all throughout high school i had terrible cramps the first day of my period each month. When I started taking Yaz, the cramps disappeared. I also noticed I had less acne. I am a petite person, so I have not lost or gained any weight from taking Yaz. I have lighter shorter periods 3-4 days compared to 5-7 days without the pill. I have had no problems taking Yaz, but have recently heard bad things about Yaz: causing bloodclots, strokes, and heart attacks. I am unsure if I should change my birthcontrol or not. If I do, I would want to take something similar to Yaz. Please help.

At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Kaitlin,
I would say stay with Yaz. It offers you no ill effects and has worked for you over 2 and a half years. I was on other pills and had break through bleeding with all of them but Yaz. I say why mess with what works and no sure what pills are comprable to Yaz or its generic option.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi...I am very new to all this...PLEASE can some one tell me if I can start birth control pills on my own...OR is it necessary to consult a doctor first??????

If NO, how do I no which would be best for me ?????

And If YES, what is the important things I need to say or ask a doctor????

Thank you and your help is appreciated :)

At 4:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definately talk to you doctor before doing anything. They know your body and the best birth control for it and what side effects may come with it.
I have been on Yaz for three months now and I want off. I have had a discharge, headaches, abdominal cramps, breast tenderness, an abscess, and mood swings. NONE of this had ever occurred before starting Yaz. My boyfriend has even noticed how I am not the same person anymore. If anyone has an idea of another birth control that won't do any of this to me please let me know, Yaz is driving me crazy.

At 5:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, a couple years back, my doctor gave me some samples of a birth control that came in a black pouch. Does anyone know what that could be?!? They don't keep a record of samples at the office, and the black pouch is all I remember about it!
I've been on about 10 different kinds; struggling to find one that agrees with me. I have terrible acne, mood swings, and zero sex drive; can anyone recommend one that doesn't do that? I'm on Yaz now, and HATE it!


At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Katie said...

Hi all,

I was on Yaz for the last 3 years, then Nuvaring, Ortho-Evra, Depo-provera and finally, Ortho-tri-cyclen before that. I liked yaz for the most part, I was really mean when I was PMS'ing and it took me about 4-5 days to start my period after finishing the active pills. I just switched to Seasonique about 2.5months ago to avoid my migraine headaches that are linked to my periods. (fewer periods, fewer migraines) I will have to switch to Jolessa or Quasense at the beginning of the year due to insurance, has anyone had any issues adjusting from Seasonique to seasonale/jolessa/quasense? thanks!

At 3:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loestrin 24 Fe came in black pouch when i took it about 2 maybe 3 years ago i hope that helps

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pills in the black pouch would be loestrin

At 11:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi girls,

I started taking Yaz this month...and was wondering.. is it possible to get pregnant if i'm not using any protection during the "hormone-free" interval?

At 3:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been on Loestrin 24 for 2 years. I absolutely love it. It cleared my skin, I have 2 days of a super light period, and it doesn't make me nauseous. However it's expensive even with insurance and would like to go down to the 10-20 dollar range. I would recommend Loestrin 24 to anyone. But after reading comments, it makes sense that people wouldn't like it.

At 3:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any comments on Loestrin-24??

I was on Yaz for PMDD and it helped with that but with everything else it was a mess. Period came when i started a new pack instead of when i had the white pills. I wouldn't reccomend it since it's been pulled from the shelves by the FDA.

Thinking about Loestrin-24 now.

At 4:24 AM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 11:54 PM,

No, you're still protected during the placebo interval. Just make sure to remember to start the new pack on time (no more than 7 days of placebo).

Anon @ 3:52 AM,

I appreciate you sharing your experience with OCPs but let's please keep the misinformation to a minimum.

Yaz, a Rx-only drug, hasn't been pulled from anywhere by the FDA.

At 3:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello ladies,
I've just started nuvaring after being on depo [which was great] and was hoping someone might have some headsup or tips. I haven't heard anyone speak on behalf of nuvaring much. I'm a little worried about having intercourse with nuvaring.. sounds a bit uncomfortable for myself and him.
Thanks much!!

At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, a couple years back, my doctor gave me some samples of a birth control that came in a black pouch. Does anyone know what that could be?!? They don't keep a record of samples at the office, and the black pouch is all I remember about it!
I've been on about 10 different kinds; struggling to find one that agrees with me. I have terrible acne, mood swings, and zero sex drive; can anyone recommend one that doesn't do that? I'm on Yaz now, and HATE it!

I am taking Loestrin, it comes in a black pouch. I'm thinking about switching due to price increases with Loestrin - now paying about $65 a month!

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 3:21 AM,

I took Nuva-ring for about 6 months several years back. While the hormones helped me like any pill I'd ever taken, the dang thing kept falling out during intercourse. If this happens, it's okay, just be sure to put it back in immediately after. My sister in law is taking it now, and she has the same problem. She puts up with it, but I just couldn't. As for being uncomfortable, you can't feel it-- there are no nerve endings that far up. He might be able to though. Hope this helps.

At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started out taking FemconFE (the chewable birth control.) That made me very nauseous for months and did not provide relief of my heavy periods. It did however, give my skin a nice glow and clear up my skin. No weight gain.
Then I took YAZ when it first came out, and my gyno was convinced it would help my acne. Instead, my acne got rash like, red and painful. I was taken off of it quickly, never really finding out how it would affect my period.
Then 4 months ago, I was put on Loestrin 24. My skin looks amazing, I put on no weight, but it did absolutely nothing for my periods. They last 4 days, but they are just as heavy.
My next step is either Lybrel or Seasonique.

At 6:48 PM, Blogger ema said...


If you're doing good on the Loestrin 24, rather than switch to a new brand, why not try to see if eliminating the 4 placebo pills (you can take supplemental iron, if needed) won't do the trick as far as your withdrawal bleeding is concerned? maybe discuss this with your Ob/Gyn and see what you both think about it.

At 1:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already started taking Lybrel a couple weeks ago. I had some bad nausea at first but it went away. I feel great so far. Now just to see what it does to my periods. I was going to ask about staying on Loestrin Ema but just last month I started getting horrible hot flashes with diarrhea and vomiting so I had to get off of it anyway =( My blood pressure was all over the place too.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger Sparklestar said...

I started Yasmin when 4 years ago. I had no side effects at first and it helped clear my acne which was great. I briefly switched to Tri-cyclen and my acne came back so i went back on yasmin. About a year ago i started getting really depressed and tired. My doctor didn't try to change my birth control, instead she prescribed me anti-depressants which I didn't want or need. I didn't take them. I also tried depo provera for 6 months and I had the worst side effects. 20 Pound weight gain, extreme hair loss and my acne came back in full swing. I went off it and back on yasmin and im depressed again and i have no sex drive. Does anyone have have any suggestions for pills that won't make me gain weight, give me acne or hair loss and won't kill my sex drive or make me depressed? Thanks!!

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Birth Control said...

great information..

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been on Kariva for about 4 years and take it continuously - I skip the 4th row of pills entirely and move to a new pack. In the beginning I had spotting here and there for about 6 months. Otherwise it's been incredible. no acne, no moodiness, my iron deficient anemia went away... I do get a little bloating towards the end of the pack and have those fat days, but you just stay away from salt and drink more water. I've lost and gain weight - but I don't think it has anything to do with the pill, since it's such a low dose. The few times I've been given mircette instead of the Kariva brand I've experienced severe migraines and my skin got oily within days, so I stick with what works.

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had pretty bad mood swings on Othro-Tri-Cyclen so this past year I tried Quasense and loved it. There was a little spotting for the first two months, but per my doctor's direction when that happened I let myself have a period (stopped taking the pills) then restarted and it resolved pretty quickly. Only problem? I stopped taking the pill three months ago and have not had a period. I've read up on it and it turns out it can lead to amenorrhea after you quit, which is great if you want that but pretty sucky if you want to get pregnant. So frustrating!

At 4:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right now, Im on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen Lo. I was using them for 6 years, stopped for a year, and then went back to using them. When i went back to using them, ive ended up with weight gain (and retaining water), horrible dizzy spells and headaches, and mood swings. What would be the best pill for me to switch to, do you think? I was thinking about trying Yaz, but any suggestions are fully welcomed. I just dont want to be gaining more weight when Ive been struggling with this already throughout my life already.

At 4:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I switched from depo provera (injection) about a month ago to Quasense. I am about a year away from trying to get pregnant and wanted to make sure depo is out of my system since it can take up to 18 months to get pregnant after stopping.

No bleeding at all...but that could be because the depo is still in my system as I have had no period for 9 years because of that.

I had no weight gain from depo. I did get acne but went to a dermatologist and that was taken care of. No breast tenderness, no headaches.

Quasense has majorly messed my body up. I have gained 6 pounds in the last 2.5 weeks which is a lot when you are only 5'3. I started running 60 min. a day instead of 30 when I started to notice and I am still gaining weight. My breasts are so sore, just getting bumped by my boyfriend while we are sleeping makes me want to cry. At night when I take my bra off, I cannot even walk around because my breasts have grown at least a cup size and bounce more which causes even more pain. Only 4 weeks and I called my doctor today to get off this horrible stuff.

Weird that I had no side effects with something as strong as depo and some little pill is causing me this much of a problem.

At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was YAZ and had my period for a month straight... It made me too tired. MNy woman cannot take it and I was 16 my doctor switch me to the shot... It's easy and 4 periods a year which saves me money on tamponsss!

At 6:26 AM, Anonymous nina said...

hello ladies,
ok so i currently have implanon( small match-like stick that goes in your arm and last 3 years) as my birth control and i absolutely hate it with a passion, i've gained 20 pounds that even with all my diet and exercise refuses to go away, have gotten bad ache (something i never had a problem with, always had a clear face), had my period/spotting nonstop since i got it put in which was over 4 months ago, horrible cramps, back pain, headaches, basically every single side effect, not to mention i have no sex drive which is clearly a problem cause i don't want to have sex so no pregnancy obviously and no point to the birth control, after trying to stick it out for a couple of months with hopes that the side effects would stop i can't take it anymore, im thinking about going on yaz when i have this horrible thing taken out but it seems to give alot of problems to many women, any ideas? maybe some that don't normally give weight, ache, prolong bleeding problems?
Thank You

At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried the depo provera too. I absolutly hated it. I was really moody, and what got me the most was that it completly ruined my sex drive!I got the shot just before my wedding, so it totally ruined my wedding night!!!
Also, after the shot wore off I didn't get my period for 3 1/2 months! I was so worried!
That's just how it affected me though. All hormones have completly different effects on everyone, so it's up to each individual to see what works best for them.
Also I was told that depo provera is seen as a last resort form of birth control. It's got a huge warning for causing a loss in bone density. So I was told to be sure to take Calcium while I was on it.
I'm trying out Yasmine now. It's fine, but I'm worried about all the new studies on pills with the DRSP hormone having an increase risk in causing blood clots!
I'm trying to see if there is something better out one with levonorgestrel (LNG) instead. But with those pills you only get your period like 3 times a year, or not at all. I don't know if that's so good for your body?

At 5:10 AM, Anonymous Nora said...

I am currently on Ortho Evra and am only somewhat happy with it. I am on bc to control my periods. I have tried several different pills over the 11 years I've been on them. Otho-tri-cyclen and ortho cyclen didn't work. Yasmine was awful too. I have tried several other brands as well. None have seemed to treat my syptoms as well as ortho evra has. I have nothing against the previous pills I tried, they just were not right for my body and hormones. Each person is individual and what works for me may not work for them. My period was a 14+ day nightmare of cramps that prescription painkillers couldn't knock out, bloating, fatigue, backaches, migranes, severe pmdd where I get suicidal, and very heavy flow that caused me to change every hour to hour and a half. Now it lasts for 5 days, is only moderate in flow and the cramps resond to Annaprox. The pmdd is now more pms like although I still ocasionally get suicidal before my period. My doctor has suggested Lybrel. I would like to try it, but am scared that it will be worse than what I'm on now. I like the idea of no period, but worry about the spotting they mention.

At 1:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello everyone, i come from another country phillipines i am married my age is 27, yr old me and my husband trying to make a family i mean trying ro have a baby its been a yr now since my last miscarage that i had befere , cos last 2010 feb, i am pregnant and then sunddenly happen that accidentaly i had a multiple miscarge. and then till now almost 1 yr, for trying nothing happen .. im wondering if i go visit my obyg. i will ask her to give me prescription to take pills if would help me to make a baby if i stop it .after 3or 4months... is someone here happen thise kind of problem or my question is if i take pills and stop in about 4months or 3 do u think there's possible for me to get pregnant.. thank u .im just curious and concern we realy want to have a baby so soon....thank u

Frm. mrs. bj

At 2:00 AM, Blogger maxine said...

anyone who are in their 40th still takes BC pills?

At 7:40 AM, Anonymous Seagram said...

hello all, i have been on the implanon (small rod inserted into your arm) for over two years now. i have had a continous period just about everyday since i started. in two years i have been off of my period for maybe a total of 1 month!!!! i couldnt switch to anything else because of no insurance, but this thing is the DEVIL!!!! ive never really had acne but that changed when i started this. My periods were never just spotting. i could have lived with that. but no these were severly heavy periods changing an ultra tampon around every hour!!! one upside is that i never had cramps, weight gain or headaches. the period that i just got off started on feb. 12th and finally ended april 5th but the period that i was on before this started on dec. 9th and ended on feb. 9th.
i am wanting to switch to a pill but i am wanting something that has none or very few periods. and the few good things that this one gave me. i was also very moody with my implanon. that is not a very good combination when raising a child. if anyone has anything to help me that would be greatly appricated. thanks Seagram.

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yaz does have a generic, it is called Gianvi. I get it from Happy Harrys/Walgreens.

At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who were asking, there IS a generic for Yaz on the market now. It's called Giannvi. I don't take generic birth control because it just scares me too much (the FDA is allowed a greater error margin with generics) but I did take it one month and it was WAY cheaper.

At 5:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been using Yaz for almost 9 months now but i have been observing that every month about 2-3 weeks before my period i would get a red itchy bump on my skin which goes away after my period comes then comes back again just before my next cycle.anyone has that experience before?

At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Sar said...

I've been taking jolessa for a couple weeks, and I just had a scare with my boyfriend.. would it be okay to take plan B with my birthcontrol or do I not even need to get it?

At 5:19 PM, Anonymous tova said...

I take BCP's to control Endometreosis and have been on many brands (tri-cyclen, tri-cyclen lo, the ring, the patch, mircette, lo-estrin fe, and seasonale). After every surgery my doctors changed the brand/hormones in an effort to suppress growth of Endometrosis.

Frankly, all of these pills have the same side effects for me and so I dealt with them - some had more bloating (patch, seasonale, tri-cyclen) others made me a little more moody (lo-estrin) and no sex drive to all of the above. The ring caused my pelvis to inflame and I felt the need to eat constantly (very strange for me).

So, after my last surgery, my new doctor suggested LoSeasonique.

I've had surgeries since age 18 and assumed she gave it to me because I have already been on everything else; but I find that I do like this pill. It really does seem different. After 6 weeks - no bloating, spotting, excess hunger or acne. Those things I had learned to live with weren't there anymore. So far, I am doing well and hope it will help prevent new Endo.
It is new(ish) and is not always covered by insurance but it does have a savings program.

When I switched to it from Mircette I did have some dreary moodiness which was already anticipated. But I've come out of that now.

My hope is someday women won't have to go through all of this, with Lupron treatments or a hyst

At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Happy daze said...

Hello there. I am finding everyone's comments very helpful & informative.

Like every other woman out there I am trying to find the right birth control. I was on Yasmin for several years and loved it. I had problems with cysts at first and it was incredibly painful but after being on it the first few weeks felt completely normal. My problem is that I had to switch (due to insurance) and my Dr put me on 'Lutera' because it was a similar to Yasmin. I hate lutera, I've been on it for three months, have my period every two weeks, bloating, fatigue, Water weight-gain and acne. Oh yeah, & extreme moodiness!

Has anyone had these similar issues, or switched from Yasmin to something similar that they like? I'm not expecting a miracle but I have switched so many times since I was 17 (am 30 now) and really don't want to continue tramatising my body.

I appreciate any comments!!

At 3:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been taking yaz for almost 4 years now ( I am 21) and recently I've noticed I'm getting more headaches during my period, been nauseous all 4 years on it onn and off, and recently, which scared me most, was severe growing pains in both my breasts for about 24 hrs. Yaz boosted my cup size two fold (which I've loved) but I'm concerned about the safety of this pill and my recent side effects. I don't want to gain weight or break out. My sex drive is okay, could be better. Periods are definitely shorter and lighter. I've gained a little weight (5lbs at 5'0) from yaz, but I can handle that.

I've been considering loestrin 24 fe. I love the 24 day regimen that yaz has and wondered if anyones switched from yaz to loestrin fe 24 or a similar pill and their thoughts.

At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Kristin said...

I was on Depo-Provera for two years and loved it. No side effects, and i had really light periods every 3 months. Now I've recently switched to yaz, because of moving to college and not wanting another dr, and so far, i hate it. I know it takes time to regulate your period. But being on it for a month and longer is getting really annoying. Hopefully it regulates or i'm definitely switching soon!

At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Alisha said...

I take Lutera .. I know it's not on here but oh well ..
I lost my insurance because my father was in jail, so I had to stop taking my birth control for a month. During that month, I noticed a big change in my moood - a GOOD change. I was SOO much nicer, happy, smiling, etc. I'm back on it .. & i'm back to being a bitch. I'm obviously going to talk to a doctor, but theres no doctor that I can call right now lol. This is what's in it --- levonorgestrel - .1mg & EE - .2mg. Now, my question is, what is your guys' opinion on what has to be changed? Idk if those doses should be higher or lower & how higher or lower would effect my mood.. I just need to be nicer lmao & I do try.. but it's getting to be damn near impossible. So, to make my mood better, what has to be changed?

At 3:11 AM, Anonymous said...

Thanx for awesome informations.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger angel92 said...

That's what I'm looking for. A pill that still lets me have periods but helps make them more regula but I also want the other effects of a good birth control.

At 10:26 PM, Blogger angel92 said...

This is exactly what I'm looking for. I already have irregular periods which isn't good but I also want the protection from birth control and I still want a some form of period. There is so many commercials to watch for yaz and its this and its that. Has anyone had any scary issues with yaz?

At 2:38 AM, Anonymous Lauren42 said...

Hi all,

I'm currently taking Loestrin 24, and have been for a good 2 years. Overall, I've had a good experience with it. Minimal weight gain, helped me get my acne under control, and few side effects in general. However, I'm starting to like the sound of Seasonale or Seasonique. I'm only 26 and already tired of having my period every month. :P Besides breakthrough bleeding/spotting, has anyone had any horrible reactions/effects switching from Loestrin 24 (or similar pill) to Seasonale/Seasonique? I'm leaning towards Seasonique, as not getting my period all year seems unhealthy.



At 3:40 PM, Blogger AKTundraBaby said...

I have been on ortho tri cyclen for about 3 months now. It has helped a lot with my harsh cramps, but my mood swings are horrible! I want to cry, scream, hurt
Something all at the same time! I have not had any issues with acne or weight gain, but really want something to help with my moods. Would switching to ortho tri cyclen lo help? Has anyone done this or found a better bc? I Dnt mind having my periods, it really just the mood swings I worry about

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As of august 2012, Seasonale and Seasonique are no longer on the fomulary and therefore no longer covered by my health insurance. What would you suggest I substitute?

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on the depo shot & switched last month due to a lot of weight gain, I'm now on seasonique & am hoping for better results, has anyone had weight gain with seasonique?

At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I about starting birth control due to heavy and really painful periods. I am not sexually active but I'm not sure which brand would work well for me. I am currently leaning towards Loestrin 24. but I noticed on the link posted on the page it said something about vaginal and upper respitory infections. Has anyone taking it had these issues? any comments or complaints about it at all? thank you it would be super helpful

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been on Seasonique for quite sometime, and it took sometime to get use to it. I really liked it until it got recalled or changed, since then I have had bad morning sickness type symptoms. Bad enough to have to take ant-vomting medicine, I know everyone is different. I am now on low Seasonique, and I really love it. No weight gain at least for me, very little break through bleeding, and it has helped me so much with cramps. I started my period at 13, and got them bad enough, I would cry and scream, and miss days of school.

At 3:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there any extended cycle contraceptives available in Australia?

At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am taking Loestrin24Fe and it came in a black pouch maybe thats the one you were looking for

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so I need some help. I've been on Ortho tri cyclen lo going on 10 years. The past two months I've been having ovulation bleeding. I'm trying to pick a new birth control and have no idea what to choose. I've heard that the pills that cause a period every three months are bad for you. Any help?

At 10:03 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Gosh. Well said. Thank you for this.

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Ann said...

Yaz gave me vaginal atrophy(super dry itchy vag), dizziness (especially when any other diuretic is used, even just caffeine), and now I get a bacterial infection every time I have sex. Also, I get a blood clot after having an i.v.
Yaz will initially make you feel amazing, but it's not worth it.

At 5:48 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

You body needs to get use to it again.. I was bleeding my whole first three months.. everyone is different, but after that it should be five. I've been on my 2nd pack for almost 2mo and just now had dpitting... it literally lasted less than a minute. You might feel like Ur suffering but don't just so the pill. Talk to ya doc first, but it's not good to just stop outta nowhere.

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Lo Loestrin Fe came in a black pouch when I was prescribed it. There are no generics for it and it is the only 10 mcg out there.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gianvi is another brand of yaz and there is a generic brand from glenmark pharms. So far I love gianvi and soon I will be taking the other generic since the mail order from my insurance sent that one to me.


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