Lo Loestrin Fe Uses
Most women use Lo Loestrin Fe to prevent pregnancy. However, healthcare providers may also recommend off-label (unapproved) uses, such as treating heavy, irregular, or painful menstrual periods. This birth control pill is approved only for females who have started their menstrual periods. It works by stopping ovulation, altering the cervical mucus, and changing the lining of the uterus.
Lo Loestrin™ Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription medication used to prevent pregnancy. It is one of the newer, "ultra low-dose" oral contraceptives, which contains a much lower dosage of hormones, compared to older birth control pills.
Many different birth control options are available today. Each method has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and no particular birth control method is right for all women. Some of the most commonly used methods include:
- 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
- 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
- Combined hormonal contraceptives (which contain a progestin and an estrogen): Most birth control pills, patches, and rings
- Progestin-only contraceptives: Some birth control pills ("mini-pills"), injections, and implants
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs): Implanted devices that are both effective and reversible
- Surgical sterilization: Tubal ligation (getting your "tubes tied") or a vasectomy (for men).
Some methods of contraception fall into more than one category. For instance, the Today® sponge works as both a spermicide and a barrier contraceptive. Lo Loestrin Fe falls into the category of combined hormonal contraceptives, as it contains both an estrogen and a progestin.
Benefits of combined hormonal contraceptives include the following:
- An effective form of birth control (when taken correctly)
- A contraceptive that is relatively easy to use (not messy or awkward)
- Lighter and more regular menstrual bleeding
- Less menstrual pain and cramping
- A decreased risk for ovarian or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).
However, combined hormonal contraceptives may increase the risk of blood clots and other problems, and not all women should take them (see Lo Loestrin Fe Warnings and Precautions for more information). As with almost all methods of birth control, combined hormonal contraceptives must be used correctly and consistently.
It is important to know that Lo Loestrin Fe does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Lo Loestrin Fe to prevent the transmission of STDs.
There is some concern that ultra low-dose contraceptives might not be as effective in heavier women, compared to women who weigh less. It is important to note that Lo Loestrin Fe has not been studied in women with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 35 kg/m2.