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Lo/Ovral Uses

Lo/Ovral is used for preventing unintentional pregnancy in women of reproductive age. It is one of the most common types of oral contraceptives, consisting of both an estrogen and a progestin. Healthcare providers sometimes prescribe the drug for other purposes as well. Common off-label Lo/Ovral uses may include the treatment of painful or irregular menstrual periods, acne, and PMDD.

Lo/Ovral Uses: An Overview

Lo/Ovral® (norgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is an oral contraceptive, more commonly known as a birth control pill. Like most birth control pills, it is an effective method of birth control and offers the following additional benefits:
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Less menstrual pain
  • Lighter and regular menstrual bleeding
  • Decreased risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).
As with almost all methods of birth control, combined hormonal contraceptives must be used correctly and consistently. However, Lo/Ovral does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, women are advised to use condoms in addition to Lo/Ovral to prevent transmission of STDs.
(Lo/Ovral is equivalent to Cryselle®, Elinest™, and Low-Ogestrel® birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to each of these medications.)
Today, women can choose from a large variety of different birth control options. Each method has its own 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 vasectomy (for men).
Like most birth control pills, Lo/Ovral falls into the category of combined hormonal contraceptives, as it contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (norgestrel). 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 Lo/Ovral Warnings and Precautions for more information).
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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