Jolessa and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you should not take Jolessa (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol). The FDA has classified this birth control pill as a pregnancy Category X medication, which means that it has the potential to cause birth defects or other serious problems during pregnancy. If you suspect you may be pregnant while taking this product, contact your healthcare provider.

Can I Take Jolessa During Pregnancy?

Jolessa™ (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is an "extended cycle" birth control pill. As with all oral contraceptives, you should not take Jolessa intentionally during pregnancy. You will not be able to rely on a monthly period for reassurance that you are not pregnant because you will have your period only once every three months while taking this form of birth control.

What Is Pregnancy Category X?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medications that should not be used during pregnancy, usually due to serious problems such as birth defects or miscarriages. It is also given to medications for which the risks clearly and significantly outweigh the benefits.
Even though it is a pregnancy Category X medication, Jolessa is unlikely to cause significant problems if accidentally used during early pregnancy. Many studies have shown no increased risk of birth defects when birth control pills were accidentally taken in early pregnancy. However, because there are absolutely no benefits to taking Jolessa during pregnancy, you should not take it if you are pregnant.
In addition, Jolessa will not prevent or cause a miscarriage.
Since you will have your period only four times a year while taking Jolessa, make sure you are not pregnant any time you miss your period (or if you have any other reason to suspect you may be pregnant). Do not wait until you have missed two periods, as is often recommended with traditional birth control pills, as this will be several months away. You can be reassured that if you take Jolessa correctly, without missing any pills, the risk of pregnancy is quite low.

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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
Pregnancy and Pain