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What Is Dienogest?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated May 17, 2024
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Dienogest is a man-made form of the hormone progesterone. It is used with estradiol, a man-made form of the hormone estrogen, for birth control. Hormonal birth control works by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg and decreasing the chances of fertilization. It also affects the lining of the womb to prevent an egg from implanting. Women can reduce the chances of becoming pregnant while on the pill by following their doctor's dosage instructions carefully.

The birth control pill is intended to be taken once daily in a specific order. These pills will be marked with a number so the patient knows which pill to take on which day. This order is important because the patient must take the different hormones in different dosages on certain days. They are best taken at the same time each day for maximum efficacy. Patients who are switching to dienogest and estradiol tablets from a different form of birth control may need to start taking this pill on a certain day and they should also use a barrier method of birth control for the length of time recommended by their doctors.

Some side effects may occur with the use of dienogest and estradiol, which should be reported to a doctor if they become bothersome. These can include tenderness of the breast, light spotting between menstrual periods, and headaches. Patients have also reported nausea, abdominal pain or bloating, and weight gain. Some people notice acne, malaise, and diarrhea.

More serious side effects require medical attention as soon as possible. These can include shortness of breath, severe chest pain, and sudden partial or total blindness. Persistent leg pain, unusual headaches, and problems speaking may occur rarely. Jaundice and numbness or weakness also require a doctor's care.

Before taking dienogest and estradiol tablets, women should be aware of the potential complications of the birth control pill, the risk of which can be increased by smoking and obesity. These hormones may increase the risk of blood clots, which can travel to the lungs, heart, or brain to cause a heart attack or stroke. Other complications can rarely include high blood pressure and gallbladder problems.

Not all women can safely take dienogest and estradiol for birth control. Those with uncontrolled diabetes, heart valve problems, or a history of blood clots may be unable to use it. It is also contraindicated for use by women who are pregnant. Dienogest and estradiol tablets may interact with other medicines, including St. John's wort, barbiturates, and topiramate.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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