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Ortho-Micronor Birth Control Pills

Ortho Micronor birth control pills

Table of Contents

What are Ortho Micronor Birth Control Pills?

Ortho Micronor birth control pills are progestin-only birth control pills. They contain the progestin norethindrone which is used to prevent pregnancy. Because these pills do not contain any estrogen, they are also referred to as the mini-pill.

These birth control pills do not protect against sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDs, herpes, chlamydia, etc. As such, it’s important to also use barrier methods such as the condom or female condom to limit the spread of infection.

Advantages of Using Ortho Micronor Birth Control Pills 

Because Ortho Micronor is a progestin-only pill, it is ideal for women who cannot take estrogen-based medications. Reasons for these may include having a history of or being prone to:

  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Breast cancer
  • Migraines
  • Stroke

Progestin-only pills are also a better option for women who are obese, smokers, or over the age of 351.

Ortho Micronor: Breastfeeding

Ortho Micronor breastfeeding

Ortho Micronor is also a good option for breastfeeding mothers. Studies have shown that estrogen can interfere with lactation, which is why the combination pill and other estrogen-containing medications aren’t typically recommended by doctors. On the other hand, progestin-only pills have been found to have no detectable adverse impacts on breastfeeding2.

How do Ortho Micronor Birth Control Pills Work?

Ortho Micronor birth control pills work primarily by thickening the cervical mucus and changing the uterine lining to make it more difficult for a fertilized egg to attach3.

Ortho Micronor also suppresses ovulation (the release of an egg). However, this only occurs in half of the users.

Information about Ortho Micronor Dosage

Ortho Micronor dosage

Ortho Micronor birth control pills contain 0.35 mg of norethindrone. Because the dose of hormones is lower in comparison to the combination pill, there are 28 active pills in one pack. Thus, the Ortho Micronor dosage is one pill every day.

Unlike the combination pill, there are no breaks between packs. So, once you have finished the last pill in a pack, start a new one the next day.

Ortho Micronor: Missed Pill

It’s important to take Ortho Micronor birth control pills at the same time every day. According to VeryWell.com, this is because the progestin’s effect on cervical mucus last for about 24 hours.  If you miss the pill or are more than three hours late in taking it, your chances for getting pregnant increase.

In this event, take your missed pill as soon as you remember. You can then continue taking your pills at your regular time. You should also use backup contraception if you have sex in the next 48 hours.

Ortho Micronor Side Effects and Disadvantages

Unlike combination pills, the Ortho Micronor effectiveness rate is slightly lower. With perfect use, this pill is over 99% effective. However, with typical use, it’s about 92% effective, according to NHS. This is due to the potential of missing a pill or taking it late.

In addition to this, Ortho Micronor birth control pills are not always recommended for everyone. Women who have any of the following should not use this pill:

  • Unusual, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
  • Breast cancer
  • Benign or cancerous liver tumours
  • Acute liver disease
  • Allergic reactions to norethindrone or other ingredients in this pill
  • A known or suspected pregnancy

Women who are taking certain medications for epilepsy, TB, or pulmonary hypertension and certain herbal products should also avoid this pill4.

Furthermore, Ortho Micronor may also increase your risk for the following:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Liver tumours

Keep in mind that the chance of developing any of these conditions is very low. For the most part, the benefits of the pill outweigh the risks.

Additionally, even though this pill may be better suited for smokers, it is still advisable not to smoke while taking it.

Ortho Micronor: Side Effects 

Learn about Ortho Micronor side effects

Like other birth control methods, you may experience adverse reactions while taking this pill. Some of the more common Ortho Micronor side effects include5:

  • Change in menstrual bleeding
  • Spotting between periods
  • No period

Less common side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Weight gain
  • Dizziness
  • Extra hair growth (on face or body)
  • Hair loss
  • Rash
  • Abdominal pain

If any of these side effects persist, be sure to contact your doctor.

Less common but serious side effects include:

  • Jaundice
  • Tubal pregnancy

Be sure to contact your doctor immediately in the event that you experience any of these serious side effects.

Ortho Micronor: Weight Gain 

Ortho Micronor weight gain

Generally, weight gain is a rare side effect of Ortho Micronor. However, just like other birth control methods, this pill may affect users differently.

One study found little evidence of weight gain when using progestin-only pills like Ortho Micronor.

However, as anecdotal evidence suggests on Treato.com, some women have also experienced weight gain as a side effect.

In a clinical trial, 44.5% of patients gained weight as a result of taking this pill. However, the majority of the women who gained weight—553 out of 906 (55%)—gained less than 5 pounds.

Ortho Micronor: Acne

Just like weight gain, acne is a rare side effect of Ortho Micronor. However, like any birth control method, you may have a different experience with this pill.

On Treato.com, women have shared mixed experiences with Ortho Micronor and acne. Some have said that it improved their acne, while others have said that it worsened it.

If you are looking for a birth control pill that will also double as a treatment for acne, ask your doctor about Yaz. It is approved by the FDA for treating acne in women of at least 14 years of age.

Ortho Micronor Reviews

Ortho Micronor reviews

On Drugs.com, Ortho Micronor has a star rating of 3 out of 5.

Some women had positive experiences with this pill. These women experienced little to no side effects such as bloating, cramping, irregular periods, weight gain, and mood swings.

Other women had negative experiences. Common complaints included feeling bloated, getting irregular periods, gaining weight, and getting mood swings. One woman had an unintended pregnancy while on this pill.

Overall, reviews were positive. However, remember that everyone is different and will have a different experience with this pill. As such, be sure to speak with your doctor about the right birth control method for you.