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Reproductive Health (Women’s Health)

Birth Control (Lo Loestrin FE, Junel FE 1/20. and Nuvaring)


  • Regulates menstrual cycles and balances hormonal fluctuations that may cause irregular or heavy bleeding1,2
  • Reduces menstrual pain such as cramps3,4,5
  • Clears up acne6,7
  • Reduces the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer10,11,12, 18,19,20
  • Reduces the risk of ovarian cysts13,14,15,21,22,24
  • Relieves symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)25,26,27

Background & History

The first oral contraceptive was FDA approved for use in 1960. Women who take combination birth control pills such as Lo Loestrin FE and Junel FE 1/20 are 50 percent less likely to get uterine cancer and the benefits can last for up to 20 years after stopping the pill. Birth control works by preventing ovulation from occurring which means there is no egg for the sperm to fertilize and pregnancy is not possible. Birth controls also thicken the cervical mucus making it difficult for sperm to pass through the cervix and find an egg. The pill is the most popular form of hormonal birth control and are 99.9% percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

Taking the Medication and Side Effects

Lo Loesrin FE and Junel FE 1/20 are oral tablets that are taken at the same time each day. Nuvaring is a flexible ring that is inserted vaginally and lasts a month. Birth control is considered very safe for most women. The most common side effects are spotting or bleeding between periods, sore breasts, mild nausea, mood changes and decreased sex drive. If experiencing any side effects that seem unmanageable, it is possible to switch to another contraceptive that may work better because there over 170 different brand and generis available. A medication guide and pharmacy consultation will be provided to you upon receiving this medication.

(generic for Valtrex)


  • Reduces the number of outbreaks and the severity of symptoms in people with genital herpes1,2.3
  • Reduces the risk of spreading genital herpes to others when taken daily4,5,6
  • Prevents outbreaks of cold sores and shingles in people who have had them before7,8,9

Background & History

Valtrex (valacyclovir) was first discovered in 1995 and has since been the most preferred treatment option for treating individuals who have an infection caused by the herpes virus including genital herpes, cold sores, and shingles. Cold sores, also known as oral herpes, are very common. In fact, about 90% of all people get at least one cold sore in their life and about 40% of American adults have recurrent cold sores. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 11.9% of people aged 14 to 49 years in the United States have HSV-2 infection, which is the virus that causes genital herpes. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is also common in the United States. About 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime.

Taking the Medication and Side Effects

Valtrex (valacyclovir) is an oral tablet that can be taken 1-3 times a day when symptoms occur or once daily if taking this medication to prevent reoccurrence of outbreaks. Valacyclovir is considered a safe and well-tolerated medication. Some common side effects include headache, nausea, stomach pain, and dizziness. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. A medication guide and pharmacy consultation will be provided to you upon receiving this medication.

Research Articles

Regulating menstrual cycles:

(1) Delaying your period with hormonal birth control – Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/birth-control/in-depth/womens-health/art-20044044.

(2) Best Birth Control For Irregular Periods – PeriodProHelp.com. https://www.periodprohelp.com/best-birth-control-for-irregular-periods/.

(3) Learn If Birth Control Can Help With Menstrual Cramps – Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/dysmenorrhea-treatment-using-birth-control-pills-906489.

(4) Menstrual Cycle Management in Adolescents – Johns Hopkins All Children …. https://www.hopkinsallchildrens.org/ACH-News/General-News/Menstrual-Cycle-Management-in-Adolescents.

(5) How Birth Control Can Ease Painful Periods | Power to Decide. https://powertodecide.org/news/how-birth-control-can-ease-painful-periods.

(6) Best birth control for acne treatment – The Checkup. https://www.singlecare.com/blog/bestirth-control-for-acne/.

(7) Birth Control for Acne: Brands to Try, How It Works, and More – Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/best-birth-control-for-acne.

(8) How to Treat and Reduce PMS Symptoms – Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/ways-to-reduce-the-symptoms-of-pms-3520990.

(9) Does birth control cause cancer? Here’s what the data says. https://modernfertility.com/blog/does-birth-control-cause-cancer/.

(10) Oral Contraceptives (Birth Control Pills) and Cancer Risk. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/hormones/oral-contraceptives-fact-sheet.

(11) The Truth About Birth Control and Cancer – Consumer Reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/contraceptives/truth-about-birth-control-and-cancer/.

(12) Birth control pill FAQ: Benefits, risks and choices – Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/birth-control/in-depth/birth-control-pill/art-20045136.

(13) Menstrual cramps – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menstrual-cramps/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20374944.

(14) Can Birth Control Help With Cramps? (for Teens) – KidsHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/cramps.html.

(15) Period Pain and Birth Control: How Contraceptives Can Help You … – Siena. https://www.sienahealth.com/blog/period-pain-and-birth-control-how-contraceptives-can-help-you-alleviate-your-menstrual-cramps.

(16) Hormonal Acne: Why It Happens and How to Treat It – Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/hormonal-acne.

(18) Birth Control and Cancer Risk: 6 Things You Should Know. https://www.mskcc.org/news/birth-control-and-cancer-risk.

(19) Birth Control & Cancer: Which Methods Raise, Lower Risk. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/latest-news/birth-control-cancer-which-methods-raise-lower-risk.html.

(20) Does birth control prevent—or cause—cancer? – Natural Womanhood. https://naturalwomanhood.org/does-birth-control-prevent-or-cause-cancer/.

(21) Lowering Risk of Ovarian Cysts Using Birth Control – Pandia Health. https://www.pandiahealth.com/resources/lowering-risk-of-ovarian-cysts-using-birth-control/.

(22) Ovarian cysts – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ovarian-cysts/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353411.

(23) ‘The Pill’: It’s Not Just for Birth Control – Medscape. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/938497.

(24) Does Birth Control Help Reduce Ovarian Cysts. https://ovariancyststories.com/birth-control-cysts/does-birth-control-help-reduce-ovarian-cysts/.

(25) The Pill: How Can It Help With PMS? – WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/women/pms/pms-and-the-pill.

(26) Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20376787.

(27) Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: Different from PMS? – Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/expert-answers/pmdd/faq-20058315.

(1) Frequent Herpes-2 Genital Recurrence Outbreak. https://www.newyorkurologyspecialists.com/std/genital-herpes/frequent-recurrence-outbreak/.

(2) Genital herpes – self-care: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000653.htm.

(3) CDC – Genital Herpes Treatment. https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/treatment.htm.

(4) Genital herpes: How can you prevent the spread of herpes in sexual …. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525787/.

(5) STD Facts – Genital Herpes – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm.

(6) A Herpes Vaccine Cure Could Be Closer Than You Think – GoodRx. https://www.goodrx.com/conditions/herpes/herpes-vaccine-progress.

(7) Mayo Clinic Q and A: Direct Contact With Cold Sore Could Spread Virus. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-direct-contact-with-cold-sore-could-spread-virus/.

(8) Shingles Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know | CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/shingrix/index.html.

(9) Genital herpes: Overview – InformedHealth.org – NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525769/.

(10) Patient education: Genital herpes (Beyond the Basics). https://www.uptodate.com/contents/genital-herpes-beyond-the-basics.

(11) Detailed STD Facts – Genital Herpes – Centers for Disease Control and …. https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes-detailed.htm.

(13) Genital Herpes Transmission Rate: Risks and Statistics – Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/genital-herpes-transmission-what-are-the-odds-5496285.

(14) Genital herpes – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/genital-herpes/symptoms-causes/syc-20356161.

(15) Shingles: Tips for managing – American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/shingles-self-care.

(16) Shingles in Your Mouth: Treatment and More – Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/shingles-in-mouth-5184151.

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