What is Alyacen?
Alyacen is a combined birth control pill. It’s a generic version of Ortho-Novum, which is a pill that’s been discontinued. Because it’s a generic, it’s got a cheaper price but all the rigorous testing of a brand-name medication.
Combined birth control is contraception that combines two hormones, progestin and estrogen. All hormonal birth control will have progestin but some kinds, like the mini pill, don’t have any estrogen.
You’ll take Alyacen every day, at the same time. It’s very effective at preventing pregnancy.
Alyacen 1/35 and Alyacen 7/7/7: what’s the difference?
“1/35” and “7/7/7” refer to the amount of hormones and the way you’ll get them.
Alyacen 1/35 has 1mg of norethindrone acetate (a progestin) and .035mg of ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen).
Alyacen 7/7/7 is a triphasic pill, which means the amount of hormones in the active weeks goes through three phases. For Alyacen 7/7/7, the amount of estrogen stays the same (.035mg) but the amount of progestin changes. In the first week you get .5mg, then .75mg in the second week and finally 1mg in your last week before the seven inactive pills.
So: Alyacen 1/35 has the same amount of hormones every week of active pills, and Alyacen 7/7/7 switches up the amount of progestin. Talk to the doctor during your consultation about your options and they’ll help you find a pill that works for you.
How does Alyacen work?
The synthetic hormones in Alyacen change how your body prepares for pregnancy every month. How? In three ways.
The primary one is by blocking ovulation, which is when your body releases an egg that can then be fertilized. The second is by stopping the lining of your uterus from growing thicker. Normally, it would do this so that it’s more comfortable for the egg to embed there and grow. A thinner monthly lining is what gives you the lighter, shorter period you’ll experience with hormonal birth control. And the third way is by physically blocking sperm from swimming to the egg by making the mucus in your cervix thicker. Combined, these three methods make it very, very unlikely you’ll become pregnant.