What is Levora?
Levora or levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol is a generic version of Nordette and it is an oral contraceptive. Oral contraceptives, also called “the pill”, regardless of the brand, are used to prevent undesired pregnancy. In addition to providing protection against pregnancy, this oral contraceptive also assures lighter and more regular periods, less menstrual cramps and milder symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome. It is also believed to reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer.
Like most oral contraceptives, Levora is a combination of hormones, as it contains both estrogen, in form of ethinyl estradiol and progestin, in form of levonorgestrel. In order for this contraceptive to work and to provide full protection against unwanted pregnancy, Levora has to be used exactly as instructed.
Levora basically works by preventing the ovulation. Ovulation is a process in which an egg is created and released into the uterus, where it waits to be fertilized. If the ovulation does not take place, there is no egg to be fertilized and hence there can be no pregnancy.
In addition, the pill changes the consistency and viscosity of the cervical mucus, making it less permeable by the sperm. Finally, it also changes the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus wall, so it becomes less receptive for the embryo.
Levora belongs to a group of oral contraceptives that contains 27 active and 7 inactive pills. Active pills contain hormones while the inactive ones are basically placebo. The inactive pills provide a break from hormones and allow the menstrual period to take place. The pills need to be taken each day at the approximately same time, otherwise they will not be completely efficient.
Off-label uses of Levora include treatment of acne prevention of heavy bleeding and menstrual cramps, as well as regulation of periods.
Levora as an emergency contraceptive
Levora is not designed to be used as an emergency contraceptive or a “morning-after” pill. Taking just one pill from the pack the day after unprotected sex will not prevent pregnancy. Unfortunately, many women, especially inexperienced young women and girls, often borrow a pill from a friend, hoping that taking it will keep them safe from pregnancy, which, of course, is not true.
However, even if this is not listed on the leaflet provided with the pill, it is believed that taking four active Levora pills at the same time, within 120 hours after unprotected sex and taking four more 12 hours later may work as emergency contraception and prevent undesired pregnancy.
The safer and more reliable option for emergency contraception is to see a doctor and ask for prescription or recommendation of a drug that is specially designed to be used as emergency contraceptive.