Challenges in Deciding on Birth Control Pills

The following is a list of the brand names of birth control pills on the market….

  • Alesse
  • Aranelle
  • Apri
  • Aranelle
  • Aviane
  • Azurette
  • Beyaz
  • Caziant
  • Desogen
  • Enpresse
  • Estrostep Fe
  • Gianvi
  • Kariva
  • Lessina
  • Levien
  • Levlite
  • Lovora
  • Loestrin
  • Lybrel
  • Mircette
  • Natazia
  • Nordette
  • Low-Ogestrel
  • Lo Ovral
  • Lo/Ovral-28
  • Ocella
  • Ortho-Novum
  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen
  • Previfem
  • Reclispsen
  • Safyral
  • Seasonale
  • Seasonique
  • TriNessa
  • Velivet
  • Yasmin
  • Yaz

Given the long list, and the desire to not expose oneself to harm, or cause other problems, it makes it a challenge to decide about birth control.

Combination Pills

Combination pills contain the hormones estrogen, and progestin (as compared to progestin-only pills).  All of the brands listed above are combination pills, the most profitable being Yaz made by Bayer AG, a German company.

Yaz was first produced in 2006 and looks like the picture to the right. These are the active pills.

Many women have sued Bayer because of blood clots they developed, which they said were caused by Yaz.  See Link.

How Combination Pills Work

Essentially, no matter the brand, birth control pills work in the same manner.  In most cases, the pills are taken for 21 days, and then an inactive pill is taken for 7 days. The pill is designed to work in three ways:

  1. Prevent implantation of the child in the uterus.  It does this my changing the lining of the uterus, making it thinner and more slippery.
  2. Prevent ovulation.
  3. Increase cervical mucus in order to inhibit the sperm from reaching the egg.

This is how the manufacturer of the pill confirms that they work.  The Physician’s Desk Manual provides these details.


According to the drug’s label on Yaz, you should not take the pill if you:

  • Have preexisting kidney, liver or adrenal disease
  • Are at high risk for arterial or venous thrombotic diseases (eg, clots)
  • Have rhythm diseases of the heart such as atrial fibrillation
  • Have ever had a stroke or heart attack
  • Have ever had blood clots in the legs, lungs or eyes
  • Have or have had breast cancer or other estrogen- or progestin-sensitive cancer
  • Are pregnant
  • Have uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Have diabetes with vascular disease
  • Have migraine headaches
  • Take certain combinations of hepatitis C drugs

What these warnings imply is that if a person has any of these conditions, then if could result in a consequence, including blood clots for example.  Many people also indicate that irritability is associated with the pill.


Note: Information on this website is intended to supplement, not substitute for the knowledge of your doctor, or other health care provider.