What Is LoSeasonique Used For?
(levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill
, technically known as an oral contraceptive
. Unlike traditional birth control pills, LoSeasonique is an "extended-cycle" contraceptive, allowing for only four menstrual periods per year (one every three months). It is also a low-dose birth control pill, providing protection from pregnancy with a low dose of hormones, compared with older birth control pills.
Although many women choose birth control pills as their primary method of contraception, a variety of different birth control options are available today. Each particular method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and no one method is right for all women. Some of the most commonly used birth control methods include:
- 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) or intrauterine systems (IUSs) -- implanted devices that are both effective and reversible
- Surgical sterilization -- tubal ligation (getting your "tubes tied") or a vasectomy (for men)
- Periodic abstinence (often 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
- Barrier contraceptives -- condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and other methods that physically block sperm from entering the uterus
- Spermicides -- foams, jellies, gels, suppositories, and inserts.
Some methods of birth control fall into more than one category. For instance, the Today® sponge works as both a barrier contraceptive and a spermicide. LoSeasonique falls into the category of combined hormonal contraceptives, as it contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (levonorgestrel). Benefits of combined hormonal contraceptives include:
- Lighter menstrual bleeding
- Regular menstrual cycles
- Less menstrual pain
- A decreased risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus)
- Effective and relatively easy to use.
However, combined hormonal contraceptives may increase the risk of blood clots and other problems, and not all women should take them (see LoSeasonique Warnings and Precautions for more information)
. As with almost all methods of birth control, combined hormonal contraceptives must be used correctly and consistently.
More importantly, LoSeasonique does not protect against HIV
or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, women are advised to use condoms in addition to LoSeasonique to prevent the transmission of STDs.