Oral contraceptives, commonly known as birth control pills, are most frequently used to prevent pregnancy. Other uses for oral contraceptives include treatment for acne, regulate the menstrual cycle, and to help ease premenstrual symptoms. Oral contraceptives contain certain hormones which cause changes in the women’s reproductive system in order to prevent pregnancy.
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Written by Patrick Moser, FNP-BC
Information last reviewed 06/21/19
Chateal is a combined oral contraceptive which contains both estrogen and progesterone. It is considered a low dose oral contraceptive because it has a lower dose of progesterone compared to some of the other birth control pills. Chateal, when taken daily, is used to prevent pregnancy; it can also be used as emergency contraception.
There are three actions caused by the hormones, estrogen and progesterone, in Chateal. The first of these actions is to suppress ovulation. Chateal also thickens the mucus lining of the cervix, or entrance to the womb, and changes the lining of the uterus, or womb. All of these actions work to prevent fertilization of an egg.
The active ingredients in Chateal are ethinyl estradiol (estrogen component) and levonorgestrel (progesterone component).
The inactive ingredients in Chateal are lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, and polacrilin potassium. The inactive pills also contain artificial color.
Chateal is packaged in blister packs containing 28 tablets each. There are 21 active tablets, which are white and contain the active hormones. There are 7 green inert tablets, which do not contain the active ingredients. There are two ways to start Chateal, the Day 1 Start and the Sunday Start.
Day 1 start: This is the most commonly used starting method for Chateal. Start with the first active white tablet on the first day of menstruation, which is known as Day 1 of the menstrual cycle.
Sunday start: With the Sunday start, the first tablet should be taken on the Sunday after the onset of the menstrual period. Again, start with the first active white tablet and take them in order as packaged.
Chateal should be taken at around the same time every day. The pills should be taken in order according to the packaging. Your menstrual period should occur during the seven days of inert, or inactive, tablets. This does not mean that your period will last seven days, although it can. Take Chateal at a time of day when you are most likely to remember to avoid late or missed doses.
Possible side effects of Chateal include:
Chateal and other oral contraceptives do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
You should not take Chateal if you:
Extra care should be taken if you:
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:
Some medications can decrease the effectiveness of Chateal. These include:
If you are prescribed antibiotics while taking Chateal, you should use a backup birth control method while taking the antibiotics.
When taken correctly, Chateal is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. This means that fewer than one woman out of 100 women who use Chateal for contraception will get pregnant in one year. Other forms of birth control, such as the IUD and implant, may be more effective than Chateal.
Chateal is indicated for emergency contraception. The dosage for emergency contraception is 4 white (active) pills as soon as possible after unprotected or inadequately protected sexual intercourse, followed by 4 white pills 12 hours after the first dose. Although it can be used for emergency contraception, it is not as effective compared to progesterone (Levonorgestrel or mifepristone) only. The progesterone only pills, commonly known as plan B, are the preferred medication for emergency contraception.
There are several different types of birth control pills available. You may have to try a few different ones before you find the pill that works best for you. You may have heard of the mini pill, which contains progesterone only. The mini pill is a good alternative if you are sensitive to estrogen. Progesterone-only pills are also used for women who are breastfeeding. Other alternatives include the implant, IUD (intrauterine device), and injections. These options have the advantage that you do not need to remember to take a pill every day. However, there are some side effects with these methods which can make them undesirable. Make sure you talk to your doctor and get the information you need to make the best decision for you.
There may be some additional health benefits from taking oral contraceptives. These benefits include decreased incidence of ovarian cysts, lower risk for ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in which the fertilized egg attaches outside of the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes), and protection from certain types of cancer, specifically ovarian or uterine cancer. Pain during menstruation might be less severe or occur less frequently.
You can become pregnant as soon as you stop taking Chateal. However, it usually takes a couple of months for your menstrual cycle to return to normal. Remember that every woman is different, and there may be other causes if you are not able to conceive. There is no evidence to suggest that use of oral contraceptives such as Chateal causes infertility.
If you miss one of the white active pills, you should take it as soon as you remember. Your next pill should be taken at the normal time, even if you take 2 pills in one day. If you forget to take 2 active pills in a row, you should take 2 pills on the day you remember and 2 pills the next day. Then resume taking pills as normal. You should use a backup birth control method, such as condoms, for the next 7 days if you miss 2 active pills, as there is an increased risk for pregnancy during that first week. Refer to the package insert or ask your doctor if you are not sure what you should do if you forget to take your pill(s).
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