Lutera is a combined oral contraceptive, the most common type of birth control pill. It is a combined oral contraceptive because it contains a combination of two different types of hormones. It contains an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (levonorgestrel). The hormones in Lutera prevent pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries).
This medication also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, less important ways. It changes the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. It also alters the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
General considerations for when and how to use Lutera include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth once a day.
- Each pack contains 28 pills. Be sure to take them in order. Once you finish a pack, start a new one right away. You will probably start your period during the last seven days of the pack.
- You can take Lutera with or without food. If the medication bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
- It is important that you take Lutera every day and at the same time each day. Try to pick a time that will be easy to remember, such as at bedtime or breakfast. If you have trouble remembering, please talk with your healthcare provider, as missing pills increases your risk of pregnancy.
- Make sure you know exactly what to do if you miss any pills. In some circumstances, you may need to use a backup method of contraception, such as condoms, for a week.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Lutera will not work if you stop taking it.