Alesse is a combination pill containing a combination of estrogen and progestin. Pills containing both hormones are called combined estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives (COCs), which people generally refer to when they talk about “the pill.”
Alesse is considered a low-dose COC and a safe and reliable contraceptive for most women. It contains 20 mcg of ethinyl estradiol, a synthetic estrogen, and a progestin - levonorgestrel. The low dose doesn’t make Alesse any less effective than higher-dose oral contraceptive pills.
The low estrogen content in Alesse can be beneficial for people experiencing side effects such as headaches, nausea, mood changes, and breast tenderness. However, it’s worth noting that a low dose of estrogen can also increase the risk that you will experience spotting. Spotting, also known as breakthrough bleeding, is light vaginal bleeding that occurs between periods.
Higher dose estrogen pills, such as Mirvala, can be a good alternative if you experience spotting on Alesse. Different COCs also contain different types of progestin. Through discussion with your healthcare practitioner and trial and error, you can determine if Alesse is a good choice.