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How do you know if Levlen is the perfect birth control solution for you?

Updated on December 21, 2008

Yes, you've heard it before but it is a case of trial and error in finding out whether Levlen is the best oral contraceptive pill for your body. Sometimes known as Alesse and other brand names, Levlen is an oral contraceptive pill made up of two synthetic female hormones, estrogen and progestin. Often prescribed for other medical conditions, Levlen is primarily intended to be used by women as a convenient method of birth control. Pregnancy is prevented if an egg is not released from an ovary and thus cannot be 'caught' and fertilized by an energetic little sperm that has managed to reach it. Levlen acts to stop the egg escaping from its ovary and also slows down the frantically swimming sperm by thickening the mucous at the cervix - poor thing- must be like swimming through glue! Levlen makes doubly sure that even if an egg does get fertilized by a superhuman sperm, the chances of it being able to implant into the womb are almost impossible.

When do I take Levlen and how is it used?

As mentioned above, as well as birth control, Levlen is used to treat other female conditions including acne, endometriosis and to settle down pre-menstrual problems. However, Levlen is not taken for an indefinite period of time for these conditions but is usually prescribed for approximately 3 month courses on average. Your doctor will monitor your progress carefully with regular health checks if this treatment applies to you and decide how long you should be taking Levlen.

If you wish to use the Levlen oral contraceptive as a method of birth control for a reasonable length of time though, you owe it to yourself to get the necessary medical checks first.

LEVLEN has a 98% success rate IF you take it correctly- since Levlen affects the levels of hormones in our body it makes sense that better regulation (and therefore effectiveness/protection) occurs if we take the contraceptive pill at the same time each day. If you take Levlen just before going to bed and with a little food in your stomach, it's likely that any side effects you may feel will quickly disappear. Some women report a week of adjustment, others as long as 3 months before their body type gets used to the new hormone levels.

If you have not taken Levlen before, remember to use additional birth control for the first week while your hormone levels alter. Of course, if your medical practitioner recommends using extra precautions for your first full cycle, then persevere, as it's a small price to pay for the ultimate convenience (and peace of mind!) of being able to rely on Levlen as an oral contraceptive for the longer term.

I've heard of nasty side effects with the contraceptive pill- will I have them too if I take Levlen?

First of all- don't expect to have any side effects but do be aware of your body's reactions when you first start a course of Levlen. The changing hormone levels throughout your menstrual cycle affect your body anyway so try to differentiate between what you 'normally' experience, be it mood swings, bloating or whatever and other 'changes' in your body when taking Levlen (or any contraceptive pill)

Otherwise, most common side effects will usually fade after a few weeks once your body has got used to functioning with its new levels of hormones.

During the first 3 weeks you may have some nausea or sweating.

If you are over 35- you may find that your menstrual stops altogether OR may be prolonged (every woman is unique)

Some women report yeast infections while on the contraceptive pill so Levlen would be no different here if they are 'prone' to this condition, others have slight increases in blood pressure.

Remember, we are dealing with hormones here- so please be safe and discuss any persistent or worsening side effects with your doctor. It's worth some thorough trialling of contraceptive pills

if Levlen does not suit your body, to have peace of mind and confidence in managing your birth control methods.

I am 36 and I smoke- is it safe to take Levlen?

If you are a non smoker, you should be fine but if you do smoke, the news is not so good. You are at a higher risk of having some quite severe side effects, especially heart related problems, that may make you think twice about asking your doctor for Levlen. You should certainly discuss another birth control option if you suffer from liver dysfunction,stroke, diabetes,high blood pressure or breast cancer.

Occasionally, women find they gain weight, hopefully you are not in this category but some also complain about hairiness, which is a fair enough reason to try a different brand of contraceptive pill.

One last word- you DO KNOW that no contraceptive pill, including Levlen, will protect you from HIV or any other sexually transmitted disease? Yes, Thought you did.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      hi have been taking levelen for almost two months. i am still having mood swings but not terrible ones. also i am a light smoker, i just read that this is not good with this so with all contaceptive pills?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi, I've been on levlen for 2 months now and on my first pack I got my "period" on my last two active pills but skipped my placebo pills and went to the next pack thinking it would stop but I've had my "period" or breakthrough bleeding for my whole second pack it hasn't been bad, some days are a little heavier then others but nothing terrible. I was just wondering if this is normal to have it this long and how long it might be because honestly it's getting annoying. I've herd it shouldn't last longer then 3 cycles and I'm going on my 3rd soon. Any answers would be great or if anyone had had the same problem.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello, I have been taking levlen for a few years and just became very comfortable with my partner i have been seeing for 7 months and the other night i let him cum inside me, never let anyone do it before because im not ready to be a mum :) have been taking the pill faithfully and its about a week off being at the end of my cycle, im a little worried but should i be ok?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have been talking levlen for just over a week now, and at once me and my partner didnt use protection. Will it protect me ?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      will i get fat from taking it?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      been on leveln for 4yrs and suddenly had breakthrough bleeding.

      y is this happening?

    • CaroleP profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Australia

      Dear Jenny,

      Wonderful news! Thanks for sharing this with everyone who visits this hub.

      Low Dose Birth Control is helping lots of women control their acne but in really severe cases of this condition, Accutane may be prescribed, which can cause birth defects if you become pregnant while on it- this means that you are taking a huge risk if you rely SOLELY on your low dose birth control method to stop you from getting pregnant.

      I posted a special article excerpt about this on my website which is worth reading and maybe passing onto friends who have severe acne that does not respond as well as yours to low dose birth control pills.

    • CaroleP profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Australia

      Dear Ryelle, I have been o/seas and unable to answer your comment but I do hope that you perservered with Levlen as your body needs a few weeks to adjust its hormones levels after starting ANY contraceptive pill. Hopefully by now your headaches have subsided, if not go straight to your doctor and tell him - a different type of pill may be better for you. Maybe Mircette or Yaz (there are generic cheaper versions too)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I've been taking it for 4 days, and already my face is clearing up awesomely.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I'm 14 & I've been taking Levlen for just over a week. I have had a slight headache for a few days, but I'm not sure if it's caused by Levlen, or something else.


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