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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Low Dosage?

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Author Topic: Low Dosage?
PandaYoghurt
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Member # 96436

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Hi, I hope this is the right place to post this. I have been told by my doctor that my birth control pill is a 'low dosage' one. I was wondering what exactly this means. I think it means there is a lower amount of hormones in it, but how would this not make it less effective? (I'm sure it probably isn't less effective, I'm just curious as to why). Like it might make sense that individuals might need higher or lower doses depending on individual factors, but how would the doctor know this type of thing without testing?

Sorry if that sounds really stupid, I know I'm not informed about this aspect of my pill, just hope you can help me understand more.

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Heather
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That's actually a bit of a misnomer, because, really, all BCPs on the market any more are "low-dose," in that the amounts of hormones are really quite small. And that doesn't make the pill any less effective, just safer.

Now, it may be that your pill has lower estrogen than some others, or lower progesterone: without knowing which pill, I couldn't say. But again, in those cases, your pill is still just as effective.

Usually when people take pills with higher or lower amounts of those hormones it's about a body reacting better to less of one hormone or another in terms of side effects.

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PandaYoghurt
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Hmm, I see. Yeah, my doctor did say that it was one of the 'lightest' ones (or something along those lines) and that people generally had fewer side effects with it.

The pill I'm on is called Microlite. I live in Ireland though, so I'm not sure it would be called the same thing in the US.

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Heather
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NP.

So, Microlite contains 100 mcg (micrograms) Levonorgestrel (the progestin in it) and 20 mcg Ethinylestradiol (the estrogen).

Just to give you a comparison, one of the most prescribed BCPs in the west, ortho-novum (trinovum in the UK) contains and 35 mcg Ethinylestradiol (the estrogen, again) and 1 mg (milligram) norethisterone.

Another common brand, Microgynon 30 contains 150 mcg of Levonorgestrel and 30 mcg of ethinylestradiol.

So, your pill has a smaller amount of estrogen than those, and more progestin than one of those pills, less than another.

But really, all BCPs now are "light" on estrogen. That said, yours is lighter than some. But again, that has no impact on how well your pill will work. And how well the pill works, period, no matter the pill, is almost entirely about how people use it, more than what's in the BCP itself. User error is why the pill fails, when it does, the vast majority of the time.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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PandaYoghurt
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Glad to hear it works just as well, as long as you use it correctly. I take mine at roughly the same time (give or take an hour at most) every day and I've never missed one so I've been using it correctly, I think.

Thanks for the information, it's interesting!

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