Norelgestromin

Reviewed: May 24, 2021
Norelgestromin is a third-generation synthetic progestin, making it a pretty recent addition to the collection of contraceptive hormones. It was first made available in 20021, and is used in the hormonal patch alongside ethinyl estradiol, a synthetic oestrogen.

How does it work?

When used in combination with ethinyl estradiol, norelgestromin prevents ovulation, thickens the cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to enter the womb and thins the lining of the womb to prevent a fertilised egg from implanting2.

What is it in?

  • Hormonal patch – Evra

Is it androgenic?

Yes – it’s androgenic. (Check out our ‘Androgens’ blog for more info on what this means).

What are the side effects?

As norelgestromin is only available to take in combination with ethinyl estradiol, it’s impossible to say which side effects are caused by which hormone or the combination. Side effects for norelgestromin taken alongside ethinyl estradiol in the combine pill may include3 4:
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement
  • Mood changes
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Skin irritation

References

  1. Annual reports in Medicinal Chemistry. Elsevier. 2012. Volume 47. p620
  2. Chapter 5 Birth Control. Mosby’s Guide to Women’s Health: A Handbook for Health Professionals. Mosby Elsevier. 2007. p30 <https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-032304601-5.50039-3> [Accessed 13 August 2020]
  3. Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press <https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/ethinylestradiol-with-norelgestromin.html> [Accessed on 13 August 2020]
  4. Family Planning Association. Combine pill (COC). Jan 2021. Available at: https://www.sexwise.org.uk/contraception/contraceptive-patch

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