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What Is Ocella Used For?

How Does Ocella Work?

Ocella prevents pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also prevents pregnancy in two other minor ways. Ocella 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. Lastly, Ocella alters the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Ocella is different from traditional birth control pills in an important way. The progesterone that it uses (drospirenone) is closely related to spironolactone, a medication used as a diuretic ("water pill"). Drospirenone has anti-androgenic activity, which means that it works against testosterone and other "male" hormones. All women have a small amount of these "male" hormones that can cause acne and other problems. Also, drospirenone may increase the level of potassium in your blood, which can be a problem for some women.

Ocella Use in Children and Teens

Ocella is approved for use in women of reproductive age. This means that it is not approved for use in girls who have not had their first menstrual periods yet.

Is Ocella Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Ocella for something other than contraception. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, off-label Ocella uses include treatment of the following conditions:
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Acne (see Yasmin and Acne)
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

More Headlines in What Is Ocella Used For?

↶ Ocella Uses: An Overview
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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