Alesse is an oral contraceptive drug that contains Ethinyl Estradiol, an estrogen, and Levonorgestrel, a progestin. This combination of medications can help prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Some women prefer to wait until they are capable of carrying and nurturing a baby due to health reasons, their financial status is stable, career goals have been met, or simply because they are not ready for a family. Whatever your reason may be, Alesse, or generic Ethinyl Estradiol/Levonorgestrel can help you postpone pregnancy until you’re ready. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
When taken as directed, Alesse suppresses ovulation by fooling your pituitary gland into producing less follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormones (LH). These are important hormones that stimulate your ovaries to produce an egg and without them, your egg won’t mature so you won’t ovulate. Alesse also thickens your cervical mucus so, if you do ovulate, it is more difficult for the sperm to get through to your cervix as well as making the lining of your uterus thinner so it has a decreased blood supply and less likely to be suitable for implantation.
Estrogen is a woman’s main sex hormone and is crucial for the reproductive process. This hormone helps prepare your uterus for a fertilized egg by making your uterine lining or endometrium thicker and enriched with a healthy blood supply. Progesterone is important for maintaining a pregnancy by causing the endometrium to secrete proteins during the last half of your menstrual cycle in order to provide a nourishing fertilized egg. When a pregnancy does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease and the endometrium breaks down and is expelled as menstruation. Taking Alesse can also help regulate your period so you aren’t “guessing” when to expect it.
Your doctor may recommend taking a pregnancy test before starting Alesse as assurance you are not pregnant. Tell your doctor if you are a smoker because this could increase your risk of serious adverse effects when taking Alesse. Consult your doctor about starting any oral contraception if you have recently given birth and ask about taking Alesse while breast feeding. Discuss other medical conditions or allergies you have and provide a list of any OTC or Rx drugs you take, including herbal remedies and vitamin or dietary supplements so your doctor can determine if Alesse is safe for you to take.
Alesse will not protect you from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), or other sexually transmitted diseases so you should use a condom during intercourse. If you forget to take your daily dose of Alesse, follow the instructions on the package insert or speak with a pharmacist. If you think you may be pregnant, stop taking Alesse and see your doctor or OB/GYN right away. Remember, even with perfect use of any oral contraceptive, there is about 1 in every woman that can become pregnant.