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What Is Amethia Used For?

How Does This Contraceptive Work?

Amethia is a combined oral contraceptive, which means that it is a birth control pill that contains two different types of hormones. It contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (levonorgestrel). The hormones in Amethia work to prevent pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries).
Amethia also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, minor ways. It changes the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. It also alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
There is no reason women need to have a monthly period while taking birth control pills -- in fact, the "period" you experience while taking birth control pills isn't really a period at all. Because ovulation does not occur while taking a birth control pill, the body does not prepare for a possible pregnancy by building up the lining of the uterus. Therefore, there is no need to shed the lining (as with a regular period). Instead, the "period" that occurs due to birth control pills is actually caused by a withdrawal of the hormones in the pills, which causes bleeding.

Amethia Uses in Children and Teens

Amethia is approved for use in women of reproductive age. This means that it is not approved for use in girls who have not yet had their first menstrual period.

Are There Off-Label Reasons to Use Amethia?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Amethia for something other than contraception. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, off-label uses of this product include the treatment of the following conditions:
  • Acne
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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