Desogen is a birth control pill that contains an estrogen and a progestin. This combined oral contraceptive works by stopping ovulation, altering the cervical mucus, and changing the lining of the uterus. Although most people do not experience any problems while taking Desogen, side effects are possible and may include nausea, breast tenderness, and headaches.

What Is Desogen?

Desogen® (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription oral contraceptive (commonly known as a birth control pill). There are several other birth control pills that are equivalent to Desogen, including:
  • Apri® (made by Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
  • Emoquette™ (made by Patheon, Inc., for Qualitest Pharmaceuticals)
  • Enskyce™ (made by Lupin Pharmaceuticals) 
  • Ortho-Cept® (made by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.)
  • Reclipsen™ (made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
  • Solia™ (made by Prasco Laboratories).
(Click Desogen Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Desogen is made by Organon USA, Inc. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers (see Generic Desogen for more information).

How Does Desogen Work?

Desogen is a combined oral contraceptive, which means that it is a birth control pill that contains two different types of hormones. It contains an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (desogestrel). The hormones in Desogen primarily work to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, the medication also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, minor ways. Desogen 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.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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