Differences Between Loestrin and Loestrin Fe

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The news of conception and pregnancy is always received with happiness by most couples. However, there are certain situations when pregnancies are unplanned and can take a couple by surprise. Also, a pregnancy after a family has been completed is never a happy occurrence. Birth control pills such as Loestrin and Loestrin Fe have been invented primarily for avoiding such untoward situations.

Loestrin and Loestrin Fe:

Both the medicines Loestrin and Loestrin Fe are manufactured by Duramed Pharmaceuticals. Loestrin is a generic medicine while Loestrin Fe is a brand name of a contraceptive medicine. Both these medicines are oral birth control pills and perform a contraceptive function by preventing the monthly ovulation in females. These pills also bring about a change in the cervical mucus of the female making it difficult for the sperm to reach the uterus. The uterine lining is also modified by the pills not allowing the fertilized egg to attach itself to the uterus if fertilization does occur by chance. Both are monophasic birth control pills as the amount of hormones do not change throughout the pill cycle.

Side Effects of Taking the Pills:

The side effects that are experienced by the individuals who consume both the pills are almost similar. Mood swings, weight gain, fluid retention, bloated feeling, headache and nausea are some of the common side effects of the pills

Loestrin Versus Loestrin Fe:

  • Loestrin is a regular birth control pill with low estrogen content while Loestrin Fe acts a contraceptive and also makes the monthly periods shorter and lighter.
  • Loestrin is comprised of a combination of two female hormones estrogen -ethinyl estradiol and progestin- norethindrone acetate. In Loestrin Fe the compound ferrous fumarate is also added to the tablets in addition to the hormones as a mineral supplement.
  • Loestrin has 28 pills in total with 21 pills having hormones and 7 pills which do not have any hormones. They are given for a placebo effect and to help the individual maintain the habit of taking a pill daily. The person under this medication would get her periods during the seven days of taking the inactive tablets. A lady who is under Loestrin Fe medication will also take 28 tablets one each day but will be consuming 24 white hormonal tablets and 4 brown tablets which do not have any hormones but have only iron. The lady will get here periods during the days that she is consuming the iron pills. The periods are lighter and quite short compared to normal periods when the individual is under Loestrin Fe pills. It is to be noted that the tablets do not contain enough iron to rectify iron deficiency if any.
  • Due to the presence of iron in Loestrin Fe the stools may be of a darker color while there is no change in the color of the stools when Loestrin is taken. Vitamin C supplements are advised with Loestrin Fe to increase the absorption of iron.


Birth control pills are a boon to people who want to plan or delay their pregnancies. The pills also help to check the population growth of a community and avoid the trauma of aborting fetuses as a result of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. It is recommended to consult a medical practitioner before starting on the pills and it is always preferred to go for pills with lower dose of estrogen. These pills are not to be taken by females who smoke and have certain health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes and migraine.

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