Lybrel Uses

Pros and Cons of No Periods on Lybrel

Lybrel has unique benefits and downsides and is not right for all women. Some women find having a period every month to be reassuring (a way to make sure they are not pregnant). For these women, a traditional birth control pill is preferred. Also, although you will not have a regular monthly period while taking Lybrel, it is likely that you will have unpredictable bleeding and spotting from time to time. Some women may not like the inconvenience and unpredictability of such bleeding and spotting.
Lybrel may be a good option for women who experience bothersome symptoms during their periods while on the birth control pill, such as migraines, moodiness, or other problems. These problems are often caused by the withdrawal of hormones that occur with every cycle of traditional birth control pills (due to the inactive tablets). Because Lybrel does not have any inactive pills (and no hormone withdrawal), these problems are less likely.

How Does Lybrel Work?

Lybrel is a combined oral contraceptive, which means that it is a birth control pill that contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (levonorgestrel). Lybrel primarily works to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also prevents pregnancy in two other, minor ways. Lybrel alters the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Lybrel also alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
There is no reason women need to have a monthly period while taking birth control pills. In fact, the "period" you experience while taking birth control pills isn't really a period at all. Because ovulation does not occur, the body does not prepare for a possible pregnancy by building up the lining of the uterus, so there is no need to shed the lining (as with a regular period). Instead, the "period" that occurs due to birth control pills is actually caused by a withdrawal of the hormones in the pills, which causes bleeding.
Even though you will not have a regular monthly period while taking Lybrel, you will probably have some bleeding from time to time. This bleeding may resemble a menstrual period, but it does not occur at regular intervals.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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