Alesse and Pregnancy

Since Alesse (Aviane, Falmina, Lutera, Orsythia) is a birth control pill, it should not be used during pregnancy. The FDA classifies Alesse as a pregnancy Category X drug, meaning that it could lead to serious problems when taken during pregnancy. However, large studies on birth control pills (such as Alesse) and pregnancy have shown that accidentally taking the pills during early pregnancy didn't increase the risk of problems.

Alesse and Pregnancy: An Overview

Alesse® (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a birth control pill, known medically as an oral contraceptive. You should not intentionally take Alesse (or any other birth control pills) during pregnancy.
(Alesse is equivalent to Aviane®, Falmina™, Lutera™, and Orsythia™ birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to these medications.)

Alesse and Pregnancy Category X

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medications that should not be used during pregnancy, usually due to serious problems, such as birth defects or miscarriages.
Although it is "common knowledge" that taking birth control pills during early pregnancy is dangerous, in reality, doing so is not likely to cause any serious problems, even though Alesse is a pregnancy Category X medication. Large studies have shown no increased risk of birth defects when birth control pills were accidentally taken in early pregnancy.

Alesse and Pregnancy: Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that if you take Alesse correctly (without missing any pills), the risk of pregnancy while taking it is quite low. If you miss your period while taking the drug, however, you may want to consider making sure you are not pregnant (an over-the-counter pregnancy test should be sufficient), especially if you have missed any of the pills. If you miss two periods in a row, you should definitely make sure you are not pregnant.
If you accidentally used Alesse for a while before you realized you were pregnant, this will not likely cause any problems, although you should discuss this with your healthcare provider. If you are pregnant, you should stop using Alesse right away. If you think you may be pregnant, you should contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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