A woman’s ability to conceive and bear a child, the regularity of the cycle is determined by the interaction of two hormones in her body. These are the so-called “female” and “male” hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen ensures the stability and regularity of the cycle, that is, the timely maturation and release of the egg into the uterine cavity, and progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy.
Most drugs use estrogen ethinylestradiol at a dosage of 20 mcg. Levonorgestrel acts as a gestagen in this drug Levlen. Combined hormonal contraceptives are widely used to treat menstrual irregularities, reduce or eliminate ovulatory syndrome. Taking COCs reduces blood loss, so it is advisable to prescribe them for menorrhagia. COCs can be used to correct the menstrual cycle – if necessary, delay the onset of the next menstruation.
COCs reduce the risk of developing benign breast formations, inflammatory diseases of the pelvic organs, and functional cysts. Taking COCs with already existing functional cysts contributes to their significant reduction or complete resorption. The use of COCs helps to reduce the risk of ovarian malignant diseases by 40%, endometrial adenocarcinoma – by 50%. The protective effect lasts up to 15 years after drug withdrawal.
How Levlen affects the woman’s body
Once in the blood, even in a micro dose, this synthetic hormone acts as follows:
thickens cervical mucus, thereby narrowing the cervical canal and preventing sperm from getting inside the uterine cavity;
reduces the patency of the fallopian tubes for sperm;
reversibly suppresses ovulation – that is, after the cancellation of the intake, the cycle is restored after a while without consequences.
Due to these properties, levonorgestrel is widely used in the manufacture of various contraceptives, both alone and in combination with synthetic estrogen analogues.
Contraceptives that contain levonorgestrel, the active ingredient in Levlen, include:
so-called mini-pills, progestin-only contraceptive pills. They contain micro-doses of the hormone and are designed to be taken within a month;
emergency contraception (“morning pills” or “plan B” pills). The dose of the hormone in them is slightly higher than in mini-pills, so that they can urgently prevent unwanted conception within a few days after unprotected intimate contact. These remedies are most effective within 72 hours of intercourse. To ensure contraceptive action, only 1-2 tablets are enough, depending on the drug.
In addition, in combination with synthetic analogs of estrogens, levonorgestrel is part of a variety of combined oral contraceptives, vaginal rings, intrauterine devices, and implants.
Contraindications for the use of combined oral contraceptives
angina pectoris, transient ischemic attacks;
diabetes mellitus with vascular complications;
pancreatitis with severe triglyceridemia;
hormone-dependent malignant diseases;
vaginal bleeding of undiagnosed etiology;
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