Lo/Ovral and Pregnancy

In studies on Lo/Ovral and pregnancy, the birth control pill did not cause any birth defects when it was accidentally taken in early pregnancy. Although serious complications are not likely to occur, you should never intentionally take Lo/Ovral if you are pregnant. If you are using Lo/Ovral and pregnancy occurs, stop taking the pill right away.

Is Lo/Ovral Safe During Pregnancy?

Lo/Ovral® (norgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a birth control pill, technically known as an oral contraceptive. Women should not knowingly take Lo/Ovral (or any other birth control pill) during pregnancy. While doing so is probably unlikely to be dangerous, it does not provide any benefit whatsoever.
(Lo/Ovral is equivalent to Cryselle®, Elinest™, and Low-Ogestrel® birth control pills. The information in this article applies to each of these medications as well.)

Lo/Ovral and 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.
Although it is "common knowledge" that taking birth control pills during early pregnancy is dangerous, in reality, doing so is not likely to cause any serious problems, even though Lo/Ovral is a pregnancy Category X medication. Large studies have shown no increased risk of birth defects when birth control pills were accidentally taken in early pregnancy.

Lo-Ovral and Pregnancy: Final Thoughts

If you accidentally used Lo/Ovral for awhile before you realized you were pregnant, this likely will not cause any problems, although you should discuss this with your healthcare provider. If you are pregnant, you should stop using the drug right away. If you think you may be pregnant, you should contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.
Keep in mind that if you take Lo/Ovral correctly (without missing any pills), the risk of pregnancy while taking it is quite low. If you miss your period while taking Lo/Ovral, you may want to consider making sure you are not pregnant (an over-the-counter pregnancy test should be sufficient), especially if you have missed any of the pills. If you miss two periods in a row, you should definitely make sure you are not pregnant.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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