Seasonale is an oral contraceptive prescribed to women that are not ready to start a family yet or have possibly postponed pregnancy for medical reasons. The active ingredients in Seasonale are Levonorgestrel, a progestin, and Ethinyl Estradiol, an estrogen.
The main difference between Seasonale and other oral contraceptives is that you will be on a twelve week cycle with only four periods per year. If this is your first time taking Seasonale, you should use another form of birth control for the first week to give it time to start working. Each package contains 84 active pills and 7 inactive. Your doctor can explain the best time to start taking Seasonale and when you can expect a period.
Together, these hormones will help prevent an unplanned pregnancy in three ways. First, Seasonale will suppress ovulation so there are no mature eggs to fertilize. It also thickens your cervical fluids so sperm will have a difficult time making it through your cervix, and lastly, your uterine lining will become thinner so it is unable to provide a suitable place for a fertilized egg to implant and develop.
Nowadays, more women are postponing starting a family until they are in a better economic situation, have launched their career, or until they feel they are ready for the responsibility. Seasonale and other birth control pills are only as good as your compliance in taking them as directed. With perfect use, there is a 1% chance that you can become pregnant, with a 9% risk of a pregnancy with typical use. This means you are forgetting to take the pill for a day or more, or waiting longer than 24 hours in between pills as this causes the hormone levels to drop in your body and ovulation can occur.
Some women may also have medical problems that need to be resolved before becoming pregnant, either for the safety of the unborn baby or their own health. Having asthma can affect a baby’s weight or increase the odds of having a cesarean birth. Diabetes should be under control at least 3-6 months before trying to conceive and medications for some conditions can pose a health risk to the baby’s development and well-being. Seasonale can provide you with the peace of mind by not having to worry about an unplanned pregnancy.
Discuss your medical history with your doctor to determine if Seasonale is the right contraceptive for you. List all current OTC and Rx drugs you are taking, including homeopathic remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements as any of these could affect the efficacy of Seasonale or cause unintended side effects. Be certain that you are not pregnant before starting Seasonale.
Smoking can greatly increase your chance of cardiovascular side effects such as a heart attack or stroke when you take oral contraceptives. Seasonale will not protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, so extra caution and protection should be taken.