Aygestin® is a medication that is primarily used to treat a variety of conditions affecting the uterus. It contains a synthetic female hormone known as progestin, which has been found to change the uterine lining and help relieve certain uterine conditions. This hormonal medication may also be used to help prevent pregnancy.
Endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus begins to build up outside of the uterus, is one of the most common uses for Aygestin®. Uterine tissue normally builds up and then breaks down and exits the body during a woman’s monthly menstrual bleeding. Since this uterine tissue develops outside of the uterus with endometriosis, it may not be able to be expelled during a monthly menstrual period and can end up building up around other organs and causing severe pain, irregular or extremely heavy menstrual bleeding, and may even lead to infertility. The active female hormones from the medication can help prevent the excessive production of uterine tissue and may treat the symptoms of endometriosis and keep the condition from recurring.
Aygestin® can also be used to treat irregular menstrual periods. The criteria for menstrual periods to be considered irregular tends to be women whose menstrual cycles do not occur approximately every 21 to 35 days. The synthetic hormone of progestin in the medication has been found to be effective at making menstrual periods occur on a more regular basis by stabilizing female hormone levels. It may also be helpful at treating excessively heavy menstrual periods or severe cramping.
Although it is not as common a use, Aygestin® is also occasionally recommended as a form of hormonal birth control to prevent pregnancy. Hormonal birth control typically works at preventing pregnancy by stopping the body from ovulating and producing eggs each month. Without eggs being released each cycle, there is nothing for sperm to fertilize and cause pregnancy. The majority of hormonal birth control contains two types of female hormones, estrogen and progestin, while Aygestin® contains progestin only. Progestin-only hormonal birth control is often recommended for women who have or at risk for having adverse reactions to estrogen, which can cause potential dangerous blood clotting in women over the age of 35 or those who smoke.
Potential side effects may occur with Aygestin®. The most common include irregular vaginal bleeding in between menstrual periods, acne, nausea, changes in weight, and breast tenderness, and medical attention is generally only recommended if the side effects become severe or do not subside with regular use of the medication. Serious side effects that require immediate medical attention and can be potentially dangerous tend to be rare and include difficulty breathing, changes in vision, dizziness, and chest pain.