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Loestrin Fe is a combined hormonal birth control pill with an iron supplement in the inactive pills. It comes in multiple strengths.
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Combined Pills: Here are some other options.
Pill with a "regular" estrogen dose. Very similar to Isibloom and Viorele.
Combined pill that's similar to Sprintec and Prevfiem.
The inactive pills contain an iron supplement. Similar to Loestrin Fe and Blisovi Fe.
Triphasic version of Sprintec, also available in a low-dose as Tri-Lo-Sprintec. Helps with acne.
The same active ingredients as Yaz but with a little more estrogen.
Loestrin Fe is a combined birth control pill. It’s called that because it contains two hormones, progestin and estrogen. The inactive pills also contain iron, which is where the “Fe” bit comes from. (“Fe” is the symbol for iron in the periodic table — whenever you see it in a birth control name, you’ll know the inactive pills are iron supplements.) The amount of iron isn’t enough to treat an iron deficiency, but having a little extra can be helpful during your period.
There are several types of Loestrin Fe available, so you can find a hormone strength that’s right for you. We offer Loestrin Fe 1/20, Loestrin Fe 1.5/30 and Lo Loestrin Fe.
Loestrin Fe 1/20 and Loestrin Fe 1.5/30 are both combined birth control pills with 21 active pills and a week of inactive pills that contain an iron supplement. The numbers in their name represent how much of each hormone they have — Loestrin Fe 1/20 has 1mg norethindrone acetate and 20mcg (that’s micrograms) ethinyl estradiol.
There is also a low-dose version called Lo Loestrin Fe, which contains the lowest daily dose of estrogen available in hormonal birth control.
The hormones in Loestrin Fe keep your body from going forward with its monthly plans. Normally you’d experience ovulation, which is when the ovary releases an egg. Loestrin Fe keeps this from happening — no egg means definitely no fertilized egg means no pregnancy.
Taking Loestrin Fe also changes the mucus in your cervix, making it thicker so that sperm would have a harder time getting through. Your uterine lining plays a part as well. This lining normally builds over the course of the month in anticipation of possible pregnancy (like fluffing up the pillows when you’ve got guests coming) and is dispelled during your period. When you’re taking hormonal birth control, the lining doesn’t build in the same way, so your period will probably be shorter and lighter.
A comparison of multiphasic oral contraceptives containing norgestimate or desogestrel in acne treatment: a randomized trial. National Library of Medicine. USA.
The long-term influence of combined oral contraceptives on body weight. Human Reproduction. U.K. Oxford Academic.
Loestrin Fe birth control pills are more effective when they are taken at the same time every day. And this is birth control we’re talking about, so effectiveness is super important. Before you start taking your pills, pick a time that’ll be easy to stick to every day of the week. So if you get up at the crack of dawn on weekdays but sleep in on weekends, first thing in the morning might not be the best choice. (We like noon, personally, but it’s up to you.) If it’s hard for you to remember your pill every day, try setting a reminder on your phone — there are even apps to help you.
When you start taking Loestrin Fe, it’s a good idea to use a back-up method like condoms for the first 7 days. This gives your body time to adjust to the pill and for its effectiveness to kick in, ensuring you’re as protected as possible.
You don’t have to take your birth control pill with food, but you might have an upset stomach when you start using it. Nausea is a common side effect of using Loestrin Fe. If you experience nausea around the time you take your pill, try having it with a small meal or snack to help settle your stomach.
Loestrin Fe 1/20 and Loestrin Fe 1.5/30 have 21 active pills you’ll take for the first three weeks followed by a week of inactive pills with an iron supplement — that’s when you’ll have your period.
There isn’t a 100% effective birth control method, but Loestrin Fe comes pretty close. When taken correctly, it’s around 99% effective. This means that if 100 women took Loestrin Fe daily for a year, less than 1 woman would become pregnant.
By taking birth control correctly, we mean at the same time every day and as directed on the accompanying package insert. Correct use of birth control is how it’s done in clinical trials. But in day-to-day life, you’re more likely to take your pill “typically.”
Typical use considers things like taking your pill late or occasionally missing a pill. This lowers the effectiveness and your chances of being pregnant increase, so it’s important to stick to the routine as well as possible. If you’re finding yourself regularly forgetting pills, a non-daily method like the patch or ring might be better for you.
Missed pills can happen from time to time. Don’t panic — just get back on track as soon as possible.
If you miss one Loestrin Fe pill, take it as soon as you remember. This could mean taking two in one day. After that, take one pill a day like normal.
If you miss two active pills in Week 1 or Week 2, take two pills a day for the next two days. After that, take one pill a day like normal. We recommend using a back-up birth control like condoms for a week to make sure you’re adequately protected.
If you miss two consecutive active pills in Week 3 (or if you miss three active pills in a row during any week), throw your pack away and start a new one that day. (If you’re a Sunday Starter, keep taking a pill each day until you reach Sunday and then start a new pack.)
When you miss a pill, the hormone levels in your body change and you might not get your period that month. If you don’t get your period the following month, though, you should take a pregnancy test.
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