Cryselle birth control is a daily oral contraceptive in the combination birth control category.
Each Cryselle blister card contains 21 white active pills containing norgestrel (a version of progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (a type of estrogen) and 7 mint green inactive pills.
With perfect use, Cryselle can be a 99.9% effective measure of preventing pregnancy.
While Cryselle can protect against unwanted pregnancy, it cannot be used to prevent STDs or HIV (AIDS).
Cryselle is intended to prevent pregnancy but some people may notice other perks like lessening painful, heavy periods and helping to clear up acne.
What is Cryselle birth control?
If you’re scoping out versions of the pill to be your birth control method of choice, it might be worth considering the little green and white tablets signature to Cryselle.
Cryselle birth control is an oral contraceptive you’ll take each day to let it work its magic. As far as efficacy goes, Cryselle is a knockout: with perfect use, it’s roughly 99.9% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy.
With a little guidance on Cryselle’s benefits, how to use it, and what to expect from your medicine cabinet’s new recruit, you can welcome this budding birth control star into your regimen with confidence.
What are the pros and cons of using Cryselle?
By buddying up with Cryselle, you might open yourself to a healthy sum of benefits—beyond putting babies on the back burner.
The potential benefits of Cryselle include:
Relief from painful periods – Combination birth control pills like Cryselle may help you lighten up around that time of the month. Not only may they help mitigate heavy menstrual periods, but many people who take Cryselle may find relief from the pain that accompanies them.
Clearing up acne – Combination birth control pills like Cryselle may help to keep blemishes at bay. If you struggle with inflammatory or non-inflammatory acne, Cryselle’s cocktail of estrogen and progestin may help your skin clear up within months (or even weeks!) of taking it.
Flexibility – While progestin-only birth control pills require you to take your dose every day at the same time, combination oral contraceptives like Cryselle give you a bit more flexibility. So long as you have one birth control pill each day, you’re likely to be covered against unwanted pregnancy.
Aside from those fringe benefits, there are some disadvantages to be aware of when it comes to Cryselle:
It’s not recommended if you smoke – Smokers aren’t advised to take oral contraceptives like Cryselle. People who smoke—especially those over the age of 35—are at risk of developing a blood clot when they take Cryselle. Because blood clots can have serious and even fatal health consequences, you’re best off choosing a barrier method of birth control if you smoke.
Its efficacy may be affected by medication – Some hormonal contraceptives like Cryselle may work less effectively if you have other medications in your system. In a similar vein, some medications (such as those used to treat epilepsy) may be less effective if you’re taking an oral contraceptive like Cryselle. Before you sign up for your first Cryselle blister card, be sure to consult with a healthcare provider to confirm that every medicine in your regimen can coexist.
You may see some side effects – Cryselle is a very safe medication to take, but you may notice a few side effects when you first start taking it. However, during one clinical trial, 92% of people who tried Cryselle elected to push past their side effects and continue using it as their primary birth control method. (If you’re curious what side effects to expect, we’ll cover them below).
Who should use Cryselle?
Cryselle is an excellent choice of combination birth control pill for the majority of women and people who menstruate. If you want to start taking hormonal birth control as your family planning method of choice, Cryselle is an excellent ally to have in your corner.
That said, some individuals with risk factors aren’t advised to take it:
People who smoke and are over 35 years of age
People with hypertension (high blood pressure)
People who are diabetic or prediabetic
People with liver disease
People with migraines with aura
If you don’t count yourself among those demographics, you’ll want to consider whether you can stick to the schedule of taking one Cryselle pill every day. Also, just like when you start any new medication, keep an eye out for an allergic reaction.
And remember: if you have a healthcare team in place, you can always lean on them if you want to try a different type of birth control.
How to use Cryselle
Ideally, you’ll start taking Cryselle on the first Sunday after your period starts. You’ll select the first active white pill from your pack, pick a time you can stick to, and swallow.
During your first week of Cryselle, it’s recommended you use a secondary method of non-hormonal birth control if you have sex.
For the next three weeks, you’ll take 1 white active pill each day as close to your original time of day as possible. Giving yourself a little wiggle room is okay—so long as you take your pill daily, Cryselle will still prevent pregnancy with maximum efficacy.
On your fourth week, you’ll take your first green inert pill. Because this pill contains no hormones, many people experience light vaginal bleeding within 3 days of taking them.
Your green pills will run out after 1 week. After that, you’ll start a new blister card of Cryselle, beginning with those little white tablets and starting the cycle anew.
Cryselle is relatively seamless to begin if you’re new to hormonal birth control or haven’t taken an oral contraceptive in a while. However, there are two practical considerations to be aware of if you’re switching from another oral contraceptive to Cryselle:
Switching from a 21-day oral contraceptive – If you’re swapping a 21-day oral contraceptive for Cryselle, you must wait 1 week between switching medications. During this period, you will likely shed some of your uterine lining (this is normal). Be sure to start taking Cryselle exactly 7 days after you complete your previous medication regimen.
Switching from a 28-day oral contraceptive – If you’re trading in your 28-day oral contraceptive for Cryselle, you should begin taking Cryselle the day after you’ve taken the final pill of your previous medication. If you wait, you may become pregnant.
Like most other oral contraceptives including nikki birth control, Cryselle birth control is exceptionally good at what it does: protecting unwanted pregnancy. Let’s take a look at where Cryselle exceeds, and where it may fall short.
Clinical trials show that Cryselle is more than 99% effective at protecting against unwanted pregnancy. That said, this efficacy ranking depends on how carefully you can follow its instructions.
Combination oral contraceptives like Cryselle work best when they are taken every day in the same window of time, avoiding missed pills. If you fumble your schedule and miss a dose, it’s important to get back on schedule as soon as you realize your error. For extra coverage during missed pills, find reinforcement with a backup birth control method (a condom will do!) if you plan on getting intimate after your slip-up.
Combination birth control pills like Cryselle are marvels at preventing pregnancy. But Cryselle also has its limits: it doesnot help prevent the transmission of STDs or HIV (AIDS).
To protect against STDs and HIV (AIDS), you and your partner should be screened for them regularly to rule out any inadvertent transmissions. If one of you has either of these conditions, be sure to use condoms to ensure both of you can enjoy the heat of the moment while staying healthy and safe. Also be sure to understand the difference between condoms vs. birth control to stay protected.
What are the side effects of Cryselle?
Every new chapter takes a little warming up to—and Cryselle birth control is no different.
Many people who take Cryselle birth control will go through an adjustment period, particularly in the first weeks and months of their pill regimen. In some cases, this adjustment period includes one nuisance in particular: side effects.
Some of the most common (and mildest) ones include:
Irregular menstruation or spotting
Additionally, in rare cases, Cryselle may aggravate more severe, persistent side effects. These could be:
Blood clots in the arms or legs (DVT) or in the lungs (PE)
Fortunately, only around 2% of people who take Cryselle will experience adverse reactions to the medication.
As for those pesky (and usually temporary) side effects like headaches and tender breasts? So long as you’ve got your healthcare team behind you, you’ll have the support you need to start fresh with Cryselle. If you notice unusual vaginal bleeding, severe stomach pain, lumps in the breast area, or hormonal and mood changes, it's best to seek a professional for medical advice.
All told, Cryselle is a prime choice in the world of oral contraceptives and a highly effective way of ensuring you don’t start a family prematurely.
If you’re ready to join the Cryselle fan club, The Pill Club is here to facilitate. With a subscription to The Pill Club, you’ll have access to:
Consultations with healthcare providers via telemedicine
Prescription fulfillment and delivery services
Personalized skincare and reproductive healthcare packages delivered to you
Join The Pill Club through your insurance or check out our out of pocket options. From up-leveling your daily birth control to upgrading your skincare routine, how you choose to use The Pill Club is up to you. It’s our job to support, advise, and deliver what you need.
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