Alesse is a brand-name birth control drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, one that’s formed from a mixture of two active synthetic hormones, ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel. It is classified as a low-dose birth control drug, which means it contains only 20 micrograms of estrogen, as opposed to the 30 to 50 micrograms of estrogen found in other kinds of birth control drugs. Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel work in conjunction to prevent ovulation, which is the process whereby an ovary releases an egg. They also alter the uterine lining in such a way that it’s difficult for sperm to make it all the way to the uterus, and harder also for an egg that does manage to get fertilized to attach itself to the uterus. Alesse can also be used to reduce acne in teenagers and women fourteen and older, to help control a woman’s menstrual cycle, or even to ease periods that are painful.
It’s important to remember that Alesse is only to be used before conception. If you take Alesse during a pregnancy, you can do harm to your fetus. If you suspect that you have indeed become pregnant during the time when you’re taking Alesse, be sure to call your doctor immediately. And if you’ve just had a baby, you should wait four weeks before you start taking or resume taking Alesse, or six weeks if you’re breastfeeding your baby. This drug can interrupt your production of breast milk, or even pass through breast milk and cause harm to your baby.
Alesse is not for every woman. Women who have had blood clots, strokes, heart valve disorders, or other problems with their circulatory system should avoid this drug. If you have diabetes, your doctor may want you not to take this pill as well. Also, women who have in the past suffered a cancer, such as uterine cancer, that is related to hormones – as opposed to, for instance, skin cancer – should not take Alesse. And anyone who experiences vaginal bleeding beyond what is normal for a woman, or who has had problems in the past with their liver, or who has been diagnosed with jaundice, high blood pressure, or who gets migraine headaches from time to time, should skip Alesse and try a different form of birth control. Your doctor should be aware if you have been diagnosed with epilepsy, depression, uterine cysts or TB. Keep in mind, too, that if you’re over the age of 35, taking Alesse, or any hormones for that matter, can elevate your risk of having a heart attack, a stroke or a blood clot in the future. This risk is especially increased for women who smoke.
When you’re on Alesse, you must take these pills at regular intervals. You might want to use other prophylactic devices when you first start taking Alesse, until such time as this drug is able to do what it’s supposed to; speak with your doctor about how long that might take. Remember too that Alesse cannot protect you from getting a sexually transmitted disease, nor can any other contraceptive for that matter.
Like any medication, side effects can arise from Alesse usage. These include weight gain, extra hair growth, swelling, numbness, darker facial skin and even mild depression. You may find that your eyes are a little more sensitive as well, which can make it more difficult to put contact lenses in. In rare cases, decreased libido can result from using this contraceptive. And if you take an Alesse tablet when your stomach is empty, you may get a little nauseated and dizzy. Speak with your doctor should you find that any of these symptoms persist, or are so intense they are interrupting your everyday schedule.