™ (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill
. It is taken by women for the prevention of pregnancy. This medication is a generic version of Yasmin®
Birth control pills are a common form of contraception, but they are not the only birth control method available. A variety of different options are available to women today. Each particular method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and no single birth control method is right for all women. Some 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, some of which are combined with barrier contraceptives
- Periodic abstinence -- Sometimes known as natural family planning or the rhythm method, this refers to avoiding intercourse during the fertile phase of your menstrual cycle
- Withdrawal -- Removing the penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation
- Combined hormonal contraceptives -- These contain a progestin and an estrogen, and include 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).
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. Ocella falls into the category of combined hormonal contraceptives, as it contains an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (drospirenone). Benefits of combined hormonal contraceptives include:
- Regular menstrual cycles
- Less menstrual pain
- Effective and relatively easy to use
- Lighter menstrual bleeding
- Decreased risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).
However, combined hormonal contraceptives may increase the risk of blood clots and other problems, and not all women should take them (see Precautions and Warnings With Ocella for more information)
. As with almost all methods of birth control, combined hormonal contraceptives must be used correctly and consistently.
More importantly, Ocella does not protect against HIV
or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, women should use condoms in addition to Ocella to prevent transmission of STDs.