Loestrin Fe Uses
Loestrin Fe uses are primarily concerned with preventing pregnancy. The drug is different from many other birth control pills because the last week of tablets contains iron, which may help prevent anemia during your menstrual period. Loestrin Fe works by stopping ovulation, changing the lining of the uterus, and altering the cervical mucus. Possible off-label Loestrin Fe uses include treating acne, PMDD, and irregular menstrual periods.
Loestrin® Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is an oral contraceptive, more commonly known as a birth control pill. Women take Loestrin Fe on a daily basis to prevent pregnancy.
(Loestrin Fe is not the same as plain Loestrin® or Loestrin® 24 Fe. The information in this article does not apply to either of these medications.)
Today, women have a wide variety of choices when it comes to birth control. While each method has its advantages and disadvantages, no particular birth control method is right for all women. Some of the most common 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," for women) or a vasectomy (for men).
Loestrin Fe falls into the category of combined hormonal contraceptives, as it contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (norethindrone). Combined oral contraceptives are the most popular kind of birth control pill. 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 Loestrin Fe Warnings and Precautions for more information).
In addition to being easy to use and effective, Loestrin Fe offers the following benefits:
- Less menstrual pain
- Lighter menstrual bleeding
- Regular, predictable menstrual periods
- A lower risk of ovarian cancer 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. In addition, Loestrin Fe does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, women are advised to use condoms in addition to Loestrin Fe to prevent the transmission of STDs.