Cyclessa and Breastfeeding

Combined oral contraceptives -- including Cyclessa (Cesia, Velivet) -- have been known to decrease the quality and production of breast milk. Therefore, they are usually not recommended for breastfeeding women. If you are taking Cyclessa and breastfeeding, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.

Is Cyclessa Safe During Breastfeeding?

Cyclessa® (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. Some birth control pills are okay to take while breastfeeding, but many are not recommended. In particular, "combined" oral contraceptives (such as Cyclessa) should usually be avoided. Combined oral contraceptives, which contain two different kinds of hormones (a progestin and an estrogen), are the most commonly used type of birth control pill.
(Cyclessa is equivalent to Caziant™, Cesia™, and Velivet™ birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to each of these medications.)

Birth Control Pills and Breastfeeding

Studies have shown that the hormones in birth control pill pass through breast milk in low amounts. However, these small amounts are probably too low to cause significant or long-lasting problems in nursing infants. There have been cases of problems (such as jaundice and breast enlargement) in babies whose mothers took other combined oral contraceptives while breastfeeding.
Although combined oral contraceptives such as Cyclessa are effective at preventing pregnancy, they are usually not recommended for breastfeeding women. Combined contraceptives may decrease the production and quality of breast milk. For this reason, progestin-only oral contraceptives (also known as "mini-pills") are almost always recommended instead of combined contraceptives in breastfeeding women who desire to take a birth control pill. However, progestin-only contraceptive pills are usually not as effective as combined oral contraceptives. As soon as you stop breastfeeding, it may be a good idea to ask your healthcare provider about switching to a combined contraceptive product such as Cyclessa.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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