Seasonique and LoSeasonique - What You Need to Know

Are the Extended Cycle Birth Control Pills Seasonique and LoSeasonique Safe?

Seasonique and LoSeasonique
Seasonique and LoSeasonique. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

What is Seasonique and LoSeasonique?

Both Seasonique and LoSeasonique are FDA-approved extended cycle birth control pills. The only difference between Seasonique and LoSeasonique is their hormone dosages. Both of these combination birth control pills are made up of ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel. Each pill pack contains 91 pills:

  • Seasonique: is made up of 84 pills that contain 30 mcg ethinyl estradiol and .15 mg of levonorgestrel. You take one of these pills each day for 84 days. The last pills for the last 7 days of the 3-month pill-pack contain a low-dose of 10 mcg ethinyl estradiol. 
  • LoSeasonique: is also made up of 84 pills. These pills contain  20 mcg ethinyl estradiol and .1 mg levonorgestrel. The final 7 days of the 3-month cycle contain 10 mcg ethinyl estradiol.

How Do Seasonique and LoSeasonique Work?

Seasonique and LoSeasonique work just like any traditional birth control pill. The biggest difference is that these are extended cycle pills, so each pill packs come with a 3 month supply of pills. You take one pill every day for 3 months. With traditional birth control pills, you take one pill every day for only 3 weeks. 

With Seasonique and LoSeasonique, You Only Have 4 Periods a Year:

Because each pack of Seasonique and LoSeasonique lasts for 3 months, you will have fewer periods if you use these pills (it equals to about 4 periods a year). You should get your period during the last week of the pill pack. Research shows that taking a low-dose estrogen pills for the last 7 days of the pill pack helps to make your period lighter and shorter.

During clinical trials, most women reported that their period only last about 3 days.

What About Side Effects?

The side effects for these pills are similar to those of other combination pills. But the manufacturers of Seasonique and LoSeasonique do point out that even though you only have 4 periods a year, you may be more likely to have bleeding or spotting between periods.

This bleeding can range from spotting to a blood flow like your regular period. the good news is that this unscheduled bleeding typically decreases over time. Keep in mind though -- bleeding or spotting is a common side effect with any birth control pill, but you’re more likely to experience it if you use Seasonique or LoSeasonique.

Are Seasonique and LoSeasonique Effective?

Seasonique and LoSeasonique are just as effective as other brands of combination birth control pills. Seasonique and LoSeasonique are 91% effective with typical use and 99.7% effective with perfect use. This means that out of every 100 women who use these birth control pills for one year, less than 1 will become pregnant (with perfect use) and 9 will become pregnant (with typical use).

Okay, But Are Seasonique and LoSeasonique Safe?

Some people wonder whether extended cycle pills are safe. There is no medical evidence to show that women need to have a period each month. There are no health problems linked to skipping monthly bleeding.

Studies show that that using the Pill to stop monthly bleeding or to skip periods is a safe option for preventing pregnancy. Research also reveals that the using extended cycle pills, like Seasonique or LoSeasonique, is an attractive option for many women. If you suffer from menstrual-related problems (like dysmenorrhea, PMS, menstrual migraines and/or menorrhagia), using extended cycle pills (to prevent a monthly period) can help improve your symptoms and quality of life. Plus, the ability of pills like Seasonique and LoSeasonique to postpone your monthly cycle can be super convenient if you have a busy lifestyles. It also helps the environment (and saves you money) because you are not using as many tampons or pads.

Source:

Burness CB. "Extended-Cycle Levonorgestrel/Ethinylestradiol and Low-Dose Ethinylestradiol (Seasonique): A Review of Its Use as an Oral Contraceptive." Drugs. 2015; 75(9):1019-1026. Accessed via private subscription.

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