Cyclessa Uses

Cyclessa has many uses -- the chief of which is preventing pregnancy. The drug achieves this by changing the cervical mucus as well as the lining of the uterus. There are also many "off-label" Cyclessa uses, including the treatment of acne, heavy menstrual bleeding, and painful menstrual periods. It is only approved for use in women who have had their first menstrual period.

Cyclessa Uses: An Overview

Cyclessa® (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. Like most birth control pills, it offers the following benefits in addition to effective birth control:
  • Relatively easy to use
  • Lighter and more regular menstrual bleeding
  • Less menstrual pain
  • Decreased risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).
(Cyclessa is equivalent to Caziant™, Cesia™, and Velivet™ birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to each of these medications.)
Women can chose from a variety of different birth control options available today. Each particular method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and no one method will be right for all women. Some are easier to use than others, and some are more effective than others. Some of the most commonly used birth control methods include:
  • Progestin-only contraceptives -- Some birth control pills ("mini-pills"), injections, and implants
  • Combined hormonal contraceptives (which contain a progestin and an estrogen) -- Most birth control pills, patches, and rings
  • Periodic abstinence (known as natural family planning or the rhythm method) -- Avoiding intercourse during the fertile phase of your menstrual cycle
  • Withdrawal -- Removing the penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation
  • Barrier contraceptives -- Condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and other methods that physically block the sperm from entering the uterus
  • Spermicides -- Foams, jellies, gels, suppositories, and inserts
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs) -- Implanted devices that are both effective and reversible
  • Surgical sterilization -- Tubal ligation (getting your "tubes tied") or vasectomy (for men).
Like most birth control pills, Cyclessa falls into the category of combined hormonal contraceptives, as it contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (desogestrel). Birth control pills are often a great contraceptive choice for many women. However, combined hormonal contraceptives may increase the risk of blood clots and other problems, and not all women should take them (see Cyclessa Warnings and Precautions).
As with almost all methods of birth control, combined hormonal contraceptives must be used correctly and consistently; otherwise, they will be much less effective. It's also important to remember that Cyclessa does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). As a result, in many situations, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Cyclessa to prevent transmission of STDs.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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