Apri is a combination oral contraceptive pill (OCP, birth control medication, birth control pills). It prevents pregnancy by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation), and thickening the cervical mucus, blocking sperm from getting into the uterus and getting to the egg. Apri is also prescribed to: treat acne, reduce the risk of ovarian cysts (as in polycystic ovarian syndrome [PCOS]), treat painful or heavy periods, and more. Read More
Apri is super easy to use. Simply take one pill every day, at the same time each day. Many women find that taking Apri before bedtime or just after their evening meal helps reduce nausea and other side effects. After taking 21 days of active pills, you’ll switch to 7 inactive pills with no hormones These inactive/placebo pills are there to help you keep the habit of taking a pill every day.
Apri birth control pills have two main active ingredients: Desogestrel 0.15 mg (progesterone) and Ethinyl Estradiol 30 mcg (estrogen).
The risks are very low, but some women have experienced unwanted side effects when taking Apri. Minor ones include breast tenderness, headaches, nausea, swollen feet or ankles, and slightly elevated blood pressure or blood sugar levels. Positive side effects: reduced acne, fewer mood swings, and other benefits are fairly common.
The chances of serious side effects are extremely unlikely, but some cases have been documented. Symptoms include heart disease, blood clotting, shortness of breath, migraines, vision problems, slurred speech, confusion, and fainting. Those who wear contacts or are nearsighted may notice vision problems as well.
These may sound scary, but remember — they’re very rare.
No, Apri birth control does not stop your periods. There are 28 tablets on each packet and you will have a bleed on the last 7 days of each pack (aka placebo week). If you want to skip your period you can use Apri for it. Learn more about #PeriodsOptional and how to skip your period here.
Apri is as effective as any other birth control pill. Because of the fewer days on placebo (4 vs 7), it has a lower risk of breakthrough ovulation. Birth control pills are 99.7% effective if PERFECTLY used (in a research study) and 93% effective in “regular use” (when real people use it and mess up every now and then).
If you choose to pay out-of-pocket, Apri is pretty affordable because it’s a generic brand being $25/pack. You can also save money by choosing one of several other Apri generics, such as Desogestrel / Ethinyl Estradiol, Solia, Juleber, Enskyce, Emoquette or Reclipsen. Generics have the SAME active ingredients and dosage as the name brand. Watch our video explaining generics vs. brand birth control pills.
Pandia Health’s expert birth control doctors recommend this birth control pill because it has a low androgenicity (male hormone effects like acne and munchies) and good progestational effect (less risk of breakthrough bleeding).
Yes, Apri uses a combination of two hormones, estrogen and progestin, to make your body think it’s pregnant so a real pregnancy won’t happen.
Some women worry about weight gain when taking Apri and other birth control pills. While it might give you the munchies, it’s mostly water retention (and not actual fat) that’s to blame.