Ovral Manufacturer : Wyeth Pharmaceutical
Ovral is an ECP (Emergency Contraceptive Pill) used by a good percentage of women today for preventing child birth or pregnancy. Ovral is taken after an unprotected intercourse or in cases of known or suspected failure of birth control measures such as a missed BC pill, a broken condom, etc.
Ovral contains the two hormones: progestin and estrogen. The effectiveness of Ovral is at its maximum, when the same is taken as early as possible after an unprotected sexual intercourse. However, its ability to prevent pregnancy is up to 120 hours or 5 days.
An alternative ECP to Ovral is Plan B that contains only the progestin hormone. Both the ECPs (both Plan B and Ovral) work only as emergency contraception and will not work if already pregnant. Also ECP cannot be used for regular use as they are not as effective as birth control pills.
The product has other medical uses, and can be taken to regularize menses, relieve painful periods, decrease blood loss during menstruation, lessen risks to ovarian cysts and treat acne.
Ovral : Working mechanisms
Ovral works as an ECP by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg and trapping the sperm in thickened cervical mucus. Therefore, Ovral is thereby known to prevent fertilization (which is the process of meeting of sperm with egg) and prevent egg implantation in uterine lining.
Ovral becomes ineffective if the fertilized is already implanted in the uterus before the consumption of the ECP. Also the pill might not work, if it is taken after the effective time period.
Ovral birth control tablets contain two hormones viz. norgestrel (synthetic progestogen) and ethinyloestradiol (synthetic oestrogen). These protect the woman from unwanted pregnancy. The medicine disrupts menstrual cycle by preventing maturation of egg and ovulation. It also prohibits endometrium development, which is the uterus lining needed for pregnant egg’s implantation.
Thus, the fertilized egg, if any, is not able to implant on uterine lining, restricting pregnancy. The cervical mucus is changed in consistency, becoming thick. The thickening of cervix acts as a barrier to sperm entering uterus, which averts fertilization of eggs. However, Ovral may remain ineffective in inhibiting pregnancy, if the female is already pregnant, or if taken after 120 hours of last intercourse.
In the first three months of the medication course, the person can experience breakthrough bleeding. After course’s completion, menstrual bleeding called as ‘withdrawal bleeding’ begins within 7 days placebo for ’21 day course’ or while the duration of 7 days of inert tablets for the ’28 day course’.
Ovral : Dosage format
Ovral is recommended to be taken as soon as possible after an unprotected intercourse or within a maximum of 5 days. First, take 2 pills of Ovral and then repeat the dosage after 12 hours of the first dose. The pill effectiveness reduces as time between intercourse and pill consumption increases
The user can either choose 21 or a 28 day course of Ovral pills. Take a tablet orally with water on the initial day of menses or on the first Sunday from the period’s commencement. The female has to use non-hormonal measures like spermicide or condom for the first seven days of Ovral’s course. Consume one tablet every day. Maintain a gap of 24 hours before the next dosage. Ingest the tablet at the same time everyday.
The 21 day course contains active hormonal tablets, which needs to be continued for 21 consecutive days. After dosage ends, give a gap of 7 days, before resuming a new course of the birth control medicine. Those opting for 28 day course need to take an inert tablet each day as a replacement for the 7 day placebo. Avoid overdose, alcohol and smoking during the birth control medicine’s intake.
Ovral : Precautions
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use Ovral. Patients with a medical history of heart diseases, migraine, liver problems and those on medications for tuberculosis or epilepsy must also avoid Ovral. Therefore, it is recommended to consult and discuss your medical history with your doctor before taking Ovral.
Those who are over 35 years of age or smoke, or have a history of uterine/breast cancer, jaundice caused by Ovral used earlier, blood clot disease, stroke or cardiac arrest, must not use this product. This medicine should not be combined with antibiotics, barbiturates, tizanidine (Zanaflex), dantrolene (Dantrium), tranexamic acid (Lysteda, Cyklokapron), anti-infectives, and medications for Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, seizures etc. Ovral does not protect from sexually transmitted diseases or aid in abortion.
If the female has recently given birth to a child, then she should wait for at least a period of 4 weeks before starting with contraceptive tablets. However, she must not take the tablets if breastfeeding. Birth control pills are prohibited for people with uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe migraine, obesity, high cholesterol or triglycerides, gallbladder disease, under-active thyroid, diabetes, abnormal mammogram etc.