Alesse is an oral contraceptive that uses both the estrogen and progestin hormones to prevent pregnancy.  When used as directed, this combination pill is very effective in preventing pregnancy.

How does Alesse Birth Control Work?

Each pack comes with either 21 or 28 pills. For the 21 pill package, you take one active tablet daily for 21 days straight, take no tablets for 7 days, then resume the same cycle with a new package of birth control pills. Your menstrual period should arrive in the 7 day period that you are not taking any tablets.

For the 28 pill package, you take one active tablet daily for 21 days, then 7 placebo tablets. Once the 28 pack is complete, you continue the same cycle with a new pack of pills. All of the tablets are labelled so that you know whether or not you’re taking an active or inactive pill. Your menstrual period should arrive in the 7 day periods that you are taking the placebo pills.

The active tablets contain estrogen and progestin, and the inactive pills do not. The purpose of taking the inactive pills is to help keep you in the routine of taking your pills every day at the same time. 

When taken as directed, Alesse inhibits pregnancy in the following ways:

  • prevents the release of an egg from your ovary
  • thickens the vaginal fluid, which blocks sperm from fertilizing the egg.
  • alters the lining of the uterus, making it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant within the womb
  • if a fertilized egg fails to attach to the uterus, it will pass right out of the body

How do I Get Alesse?

A doctor’s prescription is required to get Alesse. Your doctor/medical professional will take your current health and contraceptive needs into consideration when deciding which birth control pill is best for you. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you have additional questions specific to your situation.

Once you have a prescription, you can fill it online at PocketPills to get Alesse birth control delivered to your doorstep. 

What are the Benefits of Alesse?

When taken as directed, Alesse is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. In addition to preventing pregnancy, Alesse has other added benefits that may act as a bonus to some users.

Alesse can be used to shorten or skip your menstrual period. To skip your period, you take an active pill every single day. To shorten your period, you take, for example, one active pill every day for 24 days straight, skip 4 days, then continue that same cycle all over again. Shortening or skipping a menstrual period may be beneficial for those who experience severe cramping, heavy menstrual bleeding, changes in mood, etc.

How does Lolo compare with Alesse? – Learn more about Lolo Birth Control

What are the Disadvantages or Side Effects of Alesse?

While Alesse may be the optimal birth control pill for many people, it is essential to note that there are a number of side effects to be aware of. 

Some common side effects of Alesse includes the following:

  • Weight gain – One of the most common side effects of Alesse birth control pills, is the weight gain.  Even though weight gain is not scientifically proven to be associated with Alesse specifically, many women who use Alesse as their birth control method experience bloating due to water retention and weight gain.  Most often, the weight game is correlated with lifestyle changes, and if you are wanting to lose weight, the same techniques would apply whether or not you are on birth control.  A combination of regular exercise and adjustments in a diet to maintain a healthy weight, can have significant and long lasting effects.
  • skin issues (acne, darkening of the skin on the face)
  • breast soreness and tenderness
  • nausea followed by vomiting
  • bloating and abdominal pain
  • fluid retention (edema)
  • vaginal bleeding or spotting

This is not an exhaustive list of the potential side effects of Alesse. For more information, please review the Alesse brochure on the Pfizer website.

While many people may enjoy the benefit of being able to shorten or skip their menstrual periods, it is worth noting that this may not happen right away. You may still experience breakthrough bleeding, though this bleeding should subside over time. It is important to speak to your doctor or medical professional before attempting to skip or shorten your menstrual period.

Learn more: How to choose the right birth control pill?

Oral contraceptive pills are the primary form of birth control in Canada. They are easily accessible with a prescription and are relatively easy to use. If you are considering using Alesse as your preferred method of birth control, it is vital to have a conversation with your doctor or pharmacist about the pros and cons. Discussing Alesse with your doctor or pharmacist is especially crucial if you are currently taking medication to treat another condition. 

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