Ortho Cyclen is prescribed for women that are not ready to start a family or for those who have a medical condition that may be adversely affected by a pregnancy. This is an oral contraceptive that is 99% effective at preventing a pregnancy with perfect use, and typical use it is 91% effective. Perfect use means you take it at the same time every day, without fail! Typical use means you may have forgotten to take it for 1 or more days during a month. Human failure is big factor in an unplanned pregnancy while on the pill, so a second form of birth control is perhaps a good back-up plan.
The active ingredients of Ortho Cyclen are Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol. These are synthetic forms of progesterone and estrogen that are combined to help prevent ovulation or to reduce the symptoms of menopause.
As an oral contraceptive, Ortho Cyclen suppresses the release of a mature eggs each month so there is no ovulation. It also thickens your vaginal fluid, and changes the lining of your womb so it cannot support a fertilized egg-if sperm make it that far. Although Ortho Cyclen can help prevent you from becoming pregnant, it will not protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted diseases.
Whether you have had a hysterectomy, have had only your ovaries removed, or have experienced menopause naturally, your doctor may recommend Ortho Cyclen to help with the hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings that plague many women. If you still have your uterus, then both estrogen and progestin will typically be prescribed because estrogen alone can increase your risk of uterine cancer. You may also take Ortho Cyclen to help prevent and treat osteoporosis, a thinning of your bones that can lead to fractures as you age.
Do not take Ortho Cyclen if you have recently given birth or unless you are certain you are not pregnant. Discuss other medical conditions with your doctor to be certain it is safe for you to take Ortho Cyclen. List all prescription and non-prescription drugs you are taking as well as herbal and vitamin supplements. Some medications can make Ortho Cyclen less effective at preventing a pregnancy, including antibiotics, seizure medications, and drugs to treat HIV or Aids and Hep C.
Taking Ortho-Cyclen can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if you have certain other conditions, or if you are overweight. Smoking can pose other health risks while taking Ortho Cyclen, especially if you are over the age of 35.