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What Is Portia Used For?

Portia is used for stopping ovulation to prevent pregnancy. It is a common form of birth control pill that contains both estrogen and progestin. In addition to being a very effective contraceptive, Portia has also been shown to lessen menstrual pain and reduce the risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer. Off-label Portia uses may also include the treatment of PMDD, heavy menstrual bleeding, and acne.

An Overview of Portia Uses

Portia® (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is an oral contraceptive, more commonly known as a birth control pill (or simply "the pill"). It is a generic version of Nordette®. Like most birth control pills, Portia offers the following benefits, in addition to being very effective and easy to use:
  • Lighter and more regular menstrual bleeding
  • Less menstrual pain
  • Decreased risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).
Fortunately, women can choose from several different forms of birth control currently available. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and no particular birth control method is right for all women. Some are more effective than others, and some are easier to use than others. Some of the most commonly used birth control methods include:
  • Barrier contraceptives -- Condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and various other methods that physically block the sperm from entering the uterus
  • Spermicides -- Foams, jellies, gels, suppositories, and inserts
  • Periodic abstinence, sometimes known as natural family planning or the rhythm method -- Avoiding intercourse during the fertile phase of your menstrual cycle
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs) -- Implanted devices that are both very effective and reversible
  • Surgical sterilization -- Tubal ligation (getting your "tubes tied") or vasectomy (for men)
  • Combined hormonal contraceptives (which contain a progestin and an estrogen) -- Most birth control pills, patches, and rings
  • Progestin-only contraceptives -- Some birth control pills ("mini-pills"), injections, and implants
  • Withdrawal -- Removing the penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation.
Like most birth control pills, Portia falls into the category of combined hormonal contraceptives, as it contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (levonorgestrel). Birth control pills are often a great contraceptive choice for many women. However, combined hormonal contraceptives may increase the risk of blood clots and other problems, and not all women should take combined hormonal contraceptives (see Precautions and Warnings With Portia for more information).
As with almost all methods of birth control, combined hormonal contraceptives must be used correctly and consistently. More importantly, Portia does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Portia (to prevent transmission of STDs).
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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