Last update: Aug. 24, 2017

Ethinylestradiol + Desogestrel

Low Risk for breastfeeding


Moderately safe. Probably compatible.
Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended.
Read the Comment.

Birth control pill that contains the combination of an estrogen (Ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (Desogestrel) for oral use.

Ethinylestradiol is a synthetic estrogen with similar action than estradiol. Used in combination with progestogens for contraception.
Ethinylestradiol is excreted into the breast milk in no or small amount.
There is evidence (albeit inconsistent) that estrogen-containing pills may decrease milk production, especially during the first few weeks postpartum with a daily dose above 30 micrograms of Ethinyl estradiol.
It may reduce the protein content of the milk.
No problems have been observed in infants whose mothers were treated, except some cases of transient gynecomastia in infants whose mothers were receiving a higher dose than usual.

Desogestrel is a progestin with similar structure as Levonorgestrel. It is excreted into breast milk in clinically non-significant amount. No problems have been observed in infants whose mothers were on this medication.

With other similar combined contraceptives no differences have been observed in the frequency of breastfeeding or the amount of milk produced or weight gain of breastfed infants compared to other contraceptive methods (intrauterine devices, isolated progestogens). However, it would be advisable to avoid them until breastfeeding is well established (4-6 weeks).

During lactation, Progestin-only contraceptive are preferred to Estrogen containing ones, otherwise, the lowest estrogen dose should be used.
During the first 6 postpartum weeks, non-hormonal methods are in the first line of choice.

Hormone containing contraceptives do not affect the composition of milk, minerals (Mg, Fe, Cu, Ca, P) fat, lactose and calories but only a few the proteins.

Alternatives

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Group

Ethinylestradiol + Desogestrel belongs to this group or family:

Tradenames

Main tradenames from several countries containing Ethinylestradiol + Desogestrel in its composition:

Pharmacokinetics

Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 40 - 60 / 75 %
Molecular weight 296 /311 daltons
Protein Binding 99 / 96 %
VD 5 / l/Kg
Tmax 2 - 3 / 1,8 hours
T1/2 18 - 36 hours
M/P ratio 0,3 / -
Theoretical Dose 0,000045 / 0,02 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 0 / 1,3 %

References

  1. Lopez LM, Grey TW, Stuebe AM, Chen M, Truitt ST, Gallo MF. Combined hormonal versus nonhormonal versus progestin-only contraception in lactation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Abstract
  2. Tepper NK, Phillips SJ, Kapp N, Gaffield ME, Curtis KM. Combined hormonal contraceptive use among breastfeeding women: an updated systematic review. Contraception. 2015 Abstract
  3. Bhardwaj NR, Espey E. Lactation and contraception. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Abstract
  4. Berens P, Labbok M; Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. ABM Clinical Protocol #13: Contraception During Breastfeeding, Revised 2015. Breastfeed Med. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. WHO. Department of Reproductive Health and Research World Health Organization. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use. WHO/RHR/15.07. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Berens P, Labbok M; Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. Protocolo clínico de la ABM n.º 13: Anticoncepción durante la lactancia, revisado en 2015. Breastfeed Med. 2015 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. CDC. Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). U.S. Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, 2013: adapted from the World Health Organization selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use, 2nd edition. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). U S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2010 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Blode H, Foidart JM, Heithecker R. Transfer of drospirenone to breast milk after a single oral administration of 3 mg drospirenone + 30 microg ethinylestradiol to healthy lactating women. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2001 Abstract
  11. Dórea JG. Oral contraceptives do not affect magnesium in breast milk. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2000 Abstract
  12. Dorea JG, Miazaki ES. The effects of oral contraceptive use on iron and copper concentrations in breast milk. Fertil Steril. 1999 Abstract
  13. Dorea JG, Myazaki E. Calcium and phosphorus in milk of Brazilian mothers using oral contraceptives. J Am Coll Nutr. 1998 Abstract
  14. Costa TH, Dorea JG. Concentration of fat, protein, lactose and energy in milk of mothers using hormonal contraceptives. Ann Trop Paediatr. 1992 Abstract
  15. Briend A, Fauveau V, Chakraborty J. Contraceptive use and breast-feeding duration in rural Bangladesh. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1991 Abstract
  16. Nilsson S, Mellbin T, Hofvander Y, Sundelin C, Valentin J, Nygren KG. Long-term follow-up of children breast-fed by mothers using oral contraceptives. Contraception. 1986 Abstract
  17. Betrabet SS, Shikary ZK, Toddywalla VS, Patel D, Vaidya P, Saxena BN. ICMR Task Force Study on hormonal contraception. Biological activity of ethinyl estradiol present in the breast milk. Contraception. 1986 Abstract
  18. Madhavapeddi R, Ramachandran P. Side effects of oral contraceptive use in lactating women--enlargement of breast in a breast-fed child. Contraception. 1985 Abstract
  19. Tankeyoon M, Dusitsin N, Chalapati S, Koetsawang S, Saibiang S, Sas M, Gellen JJ, Ayeni O, Gray R, Pinol A, et al. Effects of hormonal contraceptives on milk volume and infant growth. WHO Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction Task force on oral contraceptives. Contraception. 1984 Abstract
  20. Peralta O, Díaz S, Juez G, Herreros C, Casado ME, Salvatierra AM, Miranda P, Croxatto H. [Effect of a combined oral contraceptive on lactation and growth of the infant]. Rev Chil Obstet Ginecol. 1983 Abstract
  21. Peralta O, Díaz S, Juez G, Herreros C, Casado ME, Salvatierra AM, Miranda P, Durán E, Croxatto HB. Fertility regulation in nursing women: V. Long-term influence of a low-dose combined oral contraceptive initiated at day 90 postpartum upon lactation and infant growth. Contraception. 1983 Abstract
  22. Croxatto HB, Díaz S, Peralta O, Juez G, Herreros C, Casado ME, Salvatierra AM, Miranda P, Durán E. Fertility regulation in nursing women: IV. Long-term influence of a low-dose combined oral contraceptive initiated at day 30 postpartum upon lactation and infant growth. Contraception. 1983 Abstract
  23. Díaz S, Peralta O, Juez G, Herreros C, Casado ME, Salvatierra AM, Miranda P, Durán E, Croxatto HB. Fertility regulation in nursing women: III. Short-term influence of a low-dose combined oral contraceptive upon lactation and infant growth. Contraception. 1983 Abstract
  24. Klinger G, Claussen C, Schröder S. [Excretion of ethinyloestradiol sulfonate in the human milk (author's transl)]. Zentralbl Gynakol. 1981 Abstract
  25. [No authors listed] American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Drugs: Breast-feeding and contraception. Pediatrics. 1981 Abstract
  26. Lönnerdal B, Forsum E, Hambraeus L. Effect of oral contraceptives on composition and volume of breast milk. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  27. Nilsson S, Nygren KG, Johansson ED. Ethinyl estradiol in human milk and plasma after oral administration. Contraception. 1978 Abstract
  28. Guiloff E, Ibarra-Polo A, Zañartu J, Toscanini C, Mischler TW, Gómez-Rogers C. Effect of contraception on lactation. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1974 Abstract
  29. Marriq P, Oddo G. [Letter: Gynecomastia in the newborn induced by maternal milk? An unusual complication of oral contraceptives]. Nouv Presse Med. 1974 Abstract
  30. Kaern T. Effect of an oral contraceptive immediately post partum on initiation of lactation. Br Med J. 1967 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)

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