How Does It Work?

Ovcon is a "combined" oral contraceptive, which means that it contains two different types of hormones. It contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (norethindrone). Combined oral contraceptives are the most common type of birth control pills used today. Generally, combined oral contraceptives are more effective than progestin-only birth control pills.
Most importantly, the hormones in Ovcon prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, minor ways. Ovcon changes 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, Ovcon alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Ovcon 50 (but not Ovcon 35) contains more estrogen than most other birth control pills that are currently available. This may increase the risk of dangerous side effects (such as blood clots and strokes), because estrogen is responsible for these problems. You should only take Ovcon 50 if your healthcare provider thinks that it is the best option for your situation. For instance, high-estrogen birth control pills may be useful for women who experience very heavy menstrual bleeding or heavy bleeding between periods while on regular birth control pills.

When and How to Use Ovcon

Some general considerations for when and how to use the medication include the following:
  • Ovcon comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth once a day, at the same time each day.
  • Each pack of Ovcon contains 28 pills. Make sure to take them in order. Once you have finished a pack, start a new pack right away, even if you are still having your period. You will probably start your period during the last seven days of the pack.
  • You can take it with food or on an empty stomach. If the medicine bothers your stomach, try taking it with food. The high estrogen content in Ovcon 50 (but not Ovcon 35) may increase the risk of stomach upset.
  • It is very important to take Ovcon every day, at the same time each day. Try to pick a time that is easy to remember (such as at bedtime or breakfast). If you have trouble remembering, please talk with your healthcare provider, as missing pills increases your risk of pregnancy.
  • Make sure you know exactly what to do if you miss any pills. In some circumstances, you may need to use a backup method of contraception (such as condoms) for a week.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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