Birth Control

Progestin for Birth Control and Emergency Contraception

January 17, 2018

Progestin is the standard name for artificial progesterone. A woman’s body naturally creates this steroid hormone during the menstrual cycle.

Oral contraceptives, some intrauterine devices (IUDs), and other medications include this artificial form.

Progestin treatment isn’t advisable for women who have had a hysterectomy.

Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception

The brand name products Plan B and One-Step, as well as the generic kind, Take Action, are progestin-only morning-after pills you can buy without a prescription at your local, or even online, drug store.

They contain a type of progestin called levonorgestrel.

Over-the-counter emergency contraception pills are approximately 88 percent effective at preventing pregnancy after intercourse. The morning-after pill prevents you from getting pregnant and does not lead to a miscarriage or an abortion.

It’s important to choose the morning-after pill as soon as possible following your favorite method of birth control fails. Emergency contraception works up to 120 hours after you and your partner have sex, though the label says to take it over 72 hours, according to data from Princeton University. Anyone, male or female, can buy the morning-after pill in the pharmacy without showing proof of age, even though the label says it is only meant for women age 17 and older.

Prescription Emergency Contraception

Ella is the prescription form of the morning-after pill and is the most effective emergency contraception available in the USA.

It’s made with a combination of progestin and estrogen.

Progestin-Only Birth Control Pills and Implants

Pharmaceutical companies create some progestin-only contraception, even though a combination of progestin and estrogen is much more commonly prescribed.

The mini-pill is a progestin-only oral contraceptive given as an alternate to progestin-estrogen pills if you can’t tolerate extra estrogen, usually due to questions about an interaction with a pre-existing condition or medication.

Implanon and Nexplano are all progestin-only implants, that can be all about the size of a matchstick and inserted under your skin.

Progestin-only contraceptives prevent pregnancy by:

  • Preventing ovulation
  • thinning the lining, called the endometrium, of your uterus
  • thickening your vaginal mucus

Alternate Uses for Oral Contraceptives

Your healthcare provider can prescribe birth control pills for reasons aside from avoiding pregnancy, such as treating acne and to relieve the physical and emotional symptoms of PMS.

Some IUDs Contain Progestin

An intrauterine device is one of the very best birth control methods. Inserted into your uterus by a medical professional, you can leave it for 3 to 10 years, based upon the brand and your wellbeing. The modern IUD is plastic and T-shaped.

IUDs include the active ingredient progestin or copper, which prevent the sperm from joining with the egg and stop a fertilized egg from attaching to the walls of the uterus. Brand names for IUDs containing progestin include Mirena, Liletta, and Skyla.

Progestin is an Out-Dated Treatment for Menopause

Only 7 to 9% of women have menopause symptoms severe enough to interrupt their quality of life.

Hormone regimes with estrogen-plus-progestin or only estrogen are outdated treatments for hot flashes and night sweats, known as vasomotor symptoms.

Clinical trials supported by the Women’s Health Initiative found these”old school” hormone regimes increase the risk of:

  • Breast cancer
  • blood clots and stroke
  • heart disorder