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Levlen is a pill used for contraception. It’s more than 99% effective when used right and is in the safest class of combined pills.
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The Levlen pill is a combined contraceptive pill. It has two hormones in it: a progestogen and an oestrogen.
So how do these hormones work? Well, pretty much by tricking your body into thinking ovulation has already happened. Without ovulation, there’s no egg to be fertilised. And even if an egg does sneak out, these hormones also make cervical mucus thicker so sperm can’t find a way through to them.
Bonus: these hormones also stop the lining of the womb from getting thick. This means a fertilised egg can’t implant as easily, and that your periods are probably going to be lighter.
Very. It’s one of the most effective ways of protecting against pregnancy and it’s completely reversible. As long as you take it correctly (every day at the same time), your chances of getting pregnant are minimal.
If you make the odd mistake, like missing a pill, the chances of you getting pregnant rise a bit to around 9% over a whole year.
If you miss more than one pill in a pack (two days in a row for example) your protection is lowered and you’ll need to use condoms for a week. So it’s always a good idea to take it as close to perfectly as you can.
Yes. It’s in the safest category of combined pills.
All contraceptive pills go through rigorous testing to make sure they’re safe before they go anywhere near consumers. But there are some pills that carry a slightly higher risk of causing a blood clot than others.
Levlen is among the contraceptive pills with the lowest risks.
Not exactly. There are lower dose alternatives, but they’ll be called something else. Levlen 150/30 (so that’s 150 micrograms levonorgestrel and 30 micrograms ethinyl estradiol) is the only dose of Levlen pill there is at the moment.
You can get a pill called Logynon. It’s almost the same as Levlen but with a lower dose given in phases. There’s another pill called Femme-Tab that is slightly different and has a lower oestrogen dose. So if you take Levlen and you feel like it might be giving you side effects, there are alternatives.
Sex Hormone Effects on Body Fluid Regulation. Exercise and sport science reviews. U.S.A. American College of Sports Medicine.
Oral Contraceptive Pills. Stat Pearls. U.S.A. NCBI.
Take one Levlen tablet each day, for the first 21 days of your cycle (there’s a little set of arrows on the strip to help you keep track of the days). Then, have seven pill-free days, before starting on your next pack, and repeat.
It’s best to take it at the same time each day, so it can be helpful to set yourself a reminder or include taking your Levlen pill in your bedtime or morning routine.
If you’re not already using hormonal birth control, you can start it any time. You’ll be covered against pregnancy straight away if you take it on the first day of your period. If you start on another day, you should use condoms for the first week of taking it while the pill takes effect.
Switching from another pill to Levlen? You can start taking Levlen the day after the last pill in your previous pill pack.
When starting Levlen pills after pregnancy and giving birth, it’s best to check with your GP or midwife first. Levlen isn’t suitable for use during breastfeeding.
It increases the chances of you getting pregnant. You should take the pill at the same time each day. If you’re more than 12 hours late taking Levlen, it’s a missed pill.
Your protection might be reduced if you miss one or more pills, so you should use a barrier contraceptive (like a condom) for a week if this happens, and refer to the leaflet for more info on what to do next. If your missed pill happens when there’s fewer than seven pills in the pack, you should skip the seven day break and start the next strip after finishing your current one.
If you want to try for a baby, you can stop taking Levlen any time. But it’s recommended that you wait until you’ve had at least one normal menstrual cycle after stopping before trying to conceive. Remember that it’s a good idea to start taking folic acid before you start trying to conceive.
You can, but you should check with our clinician before doing this. This is called ‘pill-stacking’ or continuous pill use, and some women prefer it because it means they don’t have a withdrawal bleed. It’s also thought that it offers a slightly higher level of protection than regular or ‘typical’ use.
But it’s an off-label use not licensed by the manufacturer, so it’s better to get advice before doing this.
How we source info.
When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.
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