What is Seasonique?
Seasonique is a new form of birth control pill that, unlike traditional birth control pills, works in 91 day cycles. As a result, a woman only has four periods a year. Seasonique is different from Seasonale, another pill with 91 day cycles. One cycle of Seasonique consists of 84 days of birth control pills followed by 7 days in which a low dose estrogen pill is taken. Seasonale has 84 days of birth control followed by 7 days in which no hormone is taken. Seasonique is designed to maintain a more stabilized hormone level in the woman's body.
How do you use it?
As with all forms of birth control, Seasonique is most effective when taken at the same time every day. It is important not to skip taking a pill each day during menstruation, for these pills, rather than being placebos, contain small amounts of estrogen and are important to help maintain stabilized hormone levels during the menstrual week.
What if one or more pills are missed?
If a woman misses one pill, she should take one pill as soon as she realizes that she missed one, and then take the next pill at the usual time. If a woman misses two pills, she should take two pills as soon as she remembers, and then TWO more at the next time she usually takes her pills. There is also an increased risk of pregnancy for seven days after missing two pills, so another form of birth control (such as a condom) is recommended. If she misses three or more pills, she should leave them in the packet (and not take them), then continue taking one pill each day at the regular time. In this case, another method of birth control IS REQUIRED for seven days because there is a very high risk that she might become pregnant if she does not use backup protection. If she misses one of the pills she was suppose to take during the menstrual week, she should skip it and continue taking the other pills normally, and this should not allow pregnancy.
How does it work?
Seasonique uses both estrogen and progestin, like traditional Combination pills to inhibit ovulation, which means there will be no egg released for the sperm to impregnate. The hormones also thicken the cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to get through the cervix, and they thin the lining of the uterus, making it harder for a fertilized egg to implant and develop into a fetus.
How effective is it?
Seasonique has been shown to have a failure rate of less than one percent (about 0.1% actually) if used perfectly, and a failure rate of around five percent under typical use. This means that 1 in 1000 women would become pregnant under perfect use and 5 in 100 women would become pregnant with typical use.
How much does it cost?
Seasonique is expected to cost about one dollar per pill, or around thirty dollars a month, similar in price to other forms of birth control pills.
Are there any side effects?
If you begin to experience any serious side-effects, contact a medical professional immediately. These side effects, which would be caused by an allergic reaction to Seasonique, may include constricted breathing, yellowing of the skin, hives and swelling of the face or any organs located on the face. Any other serious reaction to the pill should be reported to a doctor and the pill should be discontinued immediately. Other serious side effects that should be reported include depression, difficulty sleeping, numbness, severe headaches, difficulty seeing or speaking, chest pain, heavy coughing, severe nausea, swelling of the limbs and breast lumps.
Side effects that are less serious and can occur with the usage of Seasonique include a change in menstrual cycle or discharge, vaginal itching, weight gain or loss, cramps, bloating, nausea , and tenderness of the breasts. Nausea can occur when a female first begins taking Seasonique, but often decreases with further usage. Remember, many women will react differently to different forms of birth control. If your body does not respond well to Seasonique, ask your doctor for a different form of oral contraceptive.
If you are taking any other medication, inform your doctor before beginning Seasonique.
Some health benefits which can occur from the usage of oral contracpetives include a decrease in the risk of the following: ovarian cysts, benign breast tumors, ectopic pregnancies, anemia, pelvic inflammatory disease and dysmenhorrhea.
Last Updated February 12, 2013.