Lybel the first birth control pill designed to stop periods has been approved by the FDA. It is expected to go on sell in the United States in July.
Lybel is reported to stop a woman’s normal period. The pill is taken daily and has a slightly lower dose of the same hormone in standard birth control pill. Some women may experience unscheduled bleeding, breakthrough bleeding or spotting. Woman are advised to consider the convenience of no scheduled periods against unexpected bleeding before starting the pill. Research reports that bleeding was eliminated in 59% of woman who took Lybel for a full year but 41% experience some bleeding.
Woman have long been eliminating their periods by starting new packs of pills on the 22 day of their cycle. But Lybel is currently the only pill on the market designed for woman to take every day all year. It eliminates the pill- free or placebo pill that stimulates a woman’s menstruation. The new pill is designed to for woman who want to eliminate menstruation.
There are other options currently on the market to woman wanting to eliminate or reduce their menstruation. The pill Seasonique has been on the market for some time and reduces a woman’s cycle to just 4 a year. The hormone injection Depo Provera has been used to eliminate menstruation and must be administered every three months. Lybel is the first pill to be approved that eliminates menstruation.
Studies show that Lybrel was just as effective as the tradition birth control pill. But since Lybrel prevents menstruation it maybe be harder for a woman to recognize if she has become pregnant. FDA says if a woman suspects pregnancy while taking Lybrel she should have a pregnancy test.
Both Lybel and the FDA both report that no evidence of any long term risk of stopping a woman’s period. Stopping menstruation may be a benefit to woman suffering from cramps, bloating and mood swings. Other lower dose pills have reduced blood clots, stroke and other serious and sometime deadly side effects.
The FDA believes that the risk of using Lybel is similar to any other oral contraception. They do not suspect any long term surprises in the use of the pills.
Some argue that not enough research has been done to determine long term effects of stopping menstruation. While others worry about what kind of message this will send to woman about their monthly menstruation.
$40 million in sales of Lybel is expected in July 2007 when the pill is set to be available in the United States. Lybel is expected to generate $235 million a year through 2010