Portia belongs to a group of birth control pills
known as combined oral contraceptives
, the most common type of birth control pill. It is called a combined oral contraceptive because it contains a combination of two different types of hormones. It contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (levonorgestrel).
The hormones in Portia prevent pregnancy mainly by preventing ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). Portia also works in two other, less important ways. It 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. Portia also alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
When and How to Use Portia
General considerations for when and how to use the medication include the following:
- Portia comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth once a day.
- Each pack of Portia contains 28 pills. Be sure to take them in order. Once you finish a pack, start a new pack right away. You will probably start your period during the last seven days of the pack.
- It is very important to take Portia every day, at the same time each day. Try to pick a time that will be 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.
- You can take the medication with food or on an empty stomach. If the drug bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
- 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.