Apri® birth control is an oral contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy. It contains two hormones, estrogen and progestin, that work together to prevent ovulation. The pill makes it harder for sperm to reach the uterus by causing changes in the cervical mucus. It also changes the uterine lining, so if an egg does manage to be fertilized, it will be harder for the resulting embryo to attach to the uterus.
Apri®, a prescription birth control medication that also is known by the name Desogen®, among others, contains 21 active pills that contain hormones and seven inactive pills that do not have hormones. The inactive pills give the body a break from the hormones and, as a result, the woman taking the pills will have a menstrual period. For the pill to be effective, it is important to take them consistently and not skip any of the active pills. The inactive pills are there basically to assist in keeping one's daily routine of taking the pill.
In addition to preventing pregnancy, there are several other uses for Apri® birth control pills. Physicians also prescribe Apri® birth control for acne, heavy menstruation, painful menstruation, irregular menstruation and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Although acne is one of the conditions that Apri® treats, Apri® birth control is only prescribed to women who are of reproductive age.
As with all medication there are guidelines when taking Apri® birth control. Discussing one's health background with the prescribing physician is important, because there are certain conditions that would prohibit a woman from taking this medication. Issues that may prevent the use of this birth control pill include, but are not limited to, a history of stroke or blood clots, circulation problems, hormone-related cancers, abnormal vaginal bleeding, liver disease, severe high blood pressure, migraine headaches or heart valve disorders. Thoroughness is crucial when going over health history with a physician.
Any birth control that is a combined oral contraceptive, including Apri®, increases the risk of serious complications. For women who are young, healthy and do not smoke, this risk is minimal. For women over 35 and for those who smoke, there is a much greater risk of stroke, heart attack and blood clots, important considerations when determining the proper birth control.
If a woman is using Apri® birth control to prevent pregnancy, it is important to bear in mind that it is purely a birth control pill. It will not protect a woman from sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Using a condom is important to aid in preventing the spread of such diseases.