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What Is Apri Used For?

How Does Apri Work?

Apri 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 (desogestrel). The hormones in Apri primarily work to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, minor ways. Apri 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. Apri also alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Like most birth control pills, each pack of Apri contains 21 days of active pills (that contain the hormones), followed by 7 days of inactive pills (that do not contain any active ingredients). This gives your body a break from the hormones, causing you to have a period.

Apri Use in Children and Teens

Apri 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.

Off-Label Apri Uses

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

More Headlines in What Is Apri Used For?

↶ What Is Apri Used For? -- An Overview
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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