What is Apri&Reg; Birth Control?

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  • Written By: Sherri McKelvey
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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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.


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Post 2

@Pippinwhite -- I think it's kind of standard nowadays to offer to put teens on birth control if they have beast periods. The pill sure helped my sister. She was on Apri, too.

I always had regular periods, you know, four or five days, with cramps one or two days, a day of heavy flow and then just normal stuff. My sister had horrible PMS, unreal cramps that pain meds could not alleviate, bad flow, an eight-day period. She was miserable. The doctor finally did a bunch of blood tests on her and found out her hormones were severely out of whack, and he pretty much insisted she go on the pill, even though she was only 16. She said it changed her life. Her acne cleared up, too.

Post 1

I have never understood the numbers of girls who think being on the pill will keep them from getting an STD. It's really sad.

Apri (or Desogen) was the first birth control I took. I had to switch because my insurance stopped covering it.

My doctor put me on it because she said it was a good, middle-of-the road type of pill that didn't usually cause too many side effects. I never had any, except that it made my periods *so* much easier to deal with! I'd always had heavy flow, horrid cramps and backaches, and after just one month on it, it was a 180-degree turnaround. I couldn't believe how much better I felt! It made me wish I'd gone on the pill when I was in high school. I would have been a happier person, for sure.

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