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Brevinor is a type of combined contraceptive pill, which can be used to prevent pregnancy or to alleviate symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle i.e. mood swings, hormonal acne, period pain etc.
Brevinor works by releasing hormones into the womb to prevent ovulation. In a natural monthly cycle, the level of oestrogen and progesterone fluctuates, heightening to release an egg from the ovaries and line the womb in preparation for fertilisation. If a pregnancy doesn’t occur, the lining breaks down to create your period. The pill works by creating an artificial cycle, preventing ovulation and thickening the entrance to the womb to make it difficult for sperm to enter through the vagina.
Brevinor is 99% effective provided that it’s taken correctly. It’s important to read the accompanying leaflet before you start taking it so that you can be aware of factors which have an effect on the pill. These include antibiotics, forgetting to take it, or not starting the pack on time. Sickness and diarrhoea may also have an impact on the effectiveness of Brevinor. During these situations, it’s recommended to use an additional method of contraception.
The pill regulates your periods and reduces PMS so Brevinor can also be used for women who experience irregular or particularly painful periods. It can also be used to reduce acne.
The active ingredients contained in Brevinor are norethisterone and ethinylestradiol.
The inactive ingredients are maize starch, polyvidone, magnesium stearate, lactose and E132.
The dose of Brevinor is always the same and you should take only one tablet a day. They contain 500 micrograms of norethisterone (progesterone) and 35 micrograms of ethinylestradiol (oestrogen).
If you are currently taking another contraceptive pill, you can start taking Brevinor as soon as you finish your last pack of pills. Otherwise, ideally you should take the first pill on the first day of your period. You can start taking Brevinor on a different day, but you should use another contraceptive method for approximately a week, until the Brevinor becomes effective.
You would normally start taking Brevinor on the first day of your period. Your doctor may check to ensure that there’s no chance you could be pregnant before starting you on the pill. If you were to start the pill after the fifth day of your period then you are still at risk of becoming pregnant. In this case you would need to use condoms, or an additional method of contraception, for the next seven days.
You should take Brevinor at the same time each day to ensure that it’s effective. Otherwise, if you forget to take a pill then it’s impossible to calculate when you should have taken it and the level of hormones in your bloodstream may fluctuate.
Brevinor should be taken at the same time each day. It doesn’t matter what time of day you take it, so set a time that’s convenient for you so that you will remember. Many women set an alarm on their phone to remind them. The pill can be taken with or without food and won’t be affected by any food or drink.
Brevinor comes in a blister pack with the days of the week marked on each one. Once you start taking Brevinor, you should take it every day until you reach the end of the pack and then wait seven days until you begin the next one. This means that you take the pill for 21 days out of the month and then have your period in the seven day break.
If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember, even if that means taking two at the same time. If it’s just one then there’s no need to worry, you are still protected against pregnancy and can continue with the rest of your pack as normal until your seven day break. If you miss more than one pill then your protection may be affected. You should take the most recent missed pill as soon as you remember and continue with the rest of the pack, using an additional method of contraception for the next seven days. If you miss a pill and there are less than seven days left in your pack, you should start the next one straight away and miss the seven day break.
If you are sick less than two hours after you’ve taken your pill then it’s likely that it hasn’t been fully absorbed by your body. You should continue to take your pill as normal but use a condom for the next seven days to ensure you are protected against pregnancy.
One of the advantages of taking a combined pill such as Brevinor is having more control over your menstrual cycle. Usually you’ll take your pill every day for 21 days and when you reach the end of the pack you have a seven day break until you start the next one. This is when you have your period. If you wish, you can skip your period for events or occasions which make it inconvenient. Simply skip the seven day break and start taking your next pack of Brevinor right away. This means you won’t have a period.
The pill can cause a variety of side effects, some minor and others more serious. Your doctor will assess your medical history and any underlying conditions before prescribing Brevinor. The combined pill is not suitable for all women.
Common side effects include:
There are potential health risks associated with Brevinor. These include:
However, the pill has shown to protect against ovarian cancer, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Brevinor should not be taken if:
If any of the following conditions apply to you then you will need to inform your doctor of this first so that they can assess whether or not Brevinor is suitable for you:
Taking antibiotics can render Brevinor ineffective. You should inform your doctor that you are taking the combined pill before being prescribed with any medication. In such cases, you may be advised to use additional contraception for the duration of your treatment. Medications to treat epilepsy, HIV and hepatitis C may also interact with the combined pill.
Brevinor is designed to prevent pregnancy and should not be taken if you are pregnant. If you fall pregnant while on the pill, you should stop taking it and see your doctor right away so they can advise you what to do next.
Drinking alcohol while taking Brevinor does not produce any adverse effects.
The side effects that may be caused by Brevinor are temporary and should clear up after the first couple of months. Most common side effects will be breakthrough bleeding or spotting, mood changes, Breast tenderness or nausea and headaches. If you experience continuous bleeding after your period, this is nothing to worry about. It will stop after the first month or two. Be mindful of how you are feeling and drink plenty of water and eat healthy meals to combat any signs of nausea. If your side effects do not subside and are causing you stress or discomfort, then see your doctor who may try you with a different pill.
Brevinor affects everyone differently. For some women, taking the pill may improve migraines in cases where a dip in your oestrogen levels is the cause of a migraine. This happens right before your period and taking the pill helps because it controls your hormone levels. If taking Brevinor causes you to get migraines, or makes them worse, this will slightly increase your risk of having a stroke. If you experience migraines with aura, where you see a flash of light, you are more likely to be at risk of a stroke. Speak to your doctor if this occurs, the progesterone-only pill may be more suitable for managing this.
Taking Brevinor won’t have a long-term effect on your fertility. You can get pregnant as soon as you stop taking the pill but it can take a few months for your body to adjust to having a natural cycle again.
The mini pill is also known as the progesterone-only pill and does not contain oestrogen. This may be more suitable if taking Brevinor causes you to experience side effects or if taking Brevinor is risky for you.
Brevinor is a combined pill, meaning it contains both oestrogen and progesterone. For some women who cannot take the combined pill, the mini pill is available which contains progesterone only. Alternative methods of long-term contraception include the IUD or IUS (known as the coil), the implant, injection or patch. Barrier methods of contraception are available such as male or female condoms, a diaphragm or sponge.
You may get pregnant as soon as you stop taking Brevinor but it can take longer than that. Every woman’s body is different so it will depend on how long it takes to adjust to the differing levels of hormones as you come off the pill.