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Gestodene is a synthetic version of a female sex hormone. When combined with other synthetic hormones, it interferes with a woman’s menstrual cycle, decreasing the symptoms of severe menstruation and preventing pregnancy. Used correctly, it is more than 99% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies.
The main use for gestodene is as an oral contraceptive. It mimics the naturally occurring female sex hormone progesterone, which is partially responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle. In order to be effective as a contraceptive, a synthetic version of the other female sex hormone, estrogen, is combined with gestodene.
The combination of synthetic hormones used in gestodene-based contraceptive pills works by interfering with the normal menstrual cycle. By releasing a steady amount of these hormones into the bloodstream, contraceptive pills fool the body into thinking that it is already pregnant. The ovaries do not release a new egg into the fallopian tubes while a woman is taking gestodene because the hormonal levels in the blood indicate that a pregnancy is already underway. Usually, a woman takes contraceptive pills for 21 days straight and then stops taking them for 7 days, at which point she begins menstruation.
In addition to its primary use as a contraceptive, gestodene treats disorders of the female reproductive system. It can be used to treat endometriosis, which is a condition in which tissue that is similar to the uterine lining grows on the outside of the uterus or on other parts of the reproductive system. Additionally, women may be prescribed this medication in order to prevent unusually painful or severe periods.
There are many different variations of synthetic female sex hormones. Gestodene works at least as well as other synthetic progesterones in its ability to prevent pregnancy and control the menstrual cycle. The advantage of this hormone over other similar drugs is that a lower dose of it is needed to produce results. Most pills containing this medication contain between 50 and 100 mg of the drug.
Instances of side effects from gestodene are low. The most commonly reported symptoms are headache and tenderness of the breasts, which may dissipate after the first few months. Some women may also experience slight weight gain, a slight rise in blood pressure, or an outbreak of acne when they first start taking the drug. These side effects usually lessen as the body adjusts to the medication.