low level hormone pills less effective?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
low level hormone pills less effective?
Wed, 01-20-2010 - 7:33pm

I have been on Aviane/Alesse/Lutera for about 7 years now. I will soon be switching to Ortho Tri-cyclen soon, which the doctor said is the closest she has to what I have been on (it's through my university's health center -- it's either switch and get free birth control, or pay $20/mo to stay on what I've been on). Now, I know that lower dosage of hormones does not necessarily make the pill any less effective, but what is the reason for pills to have higher dosages of hormones anyway, if the low ones are just as effective?

If I miss a pill on Lo, am I more likely to get pregnant than if I were on a higher dosage?

I imagine it might have to do with how women don't have the same levels of estrogen in their bodies, but how would a woman know if the lowest dosage pill available isn't effective other than to get pregnant?
Is there a way for my body to get "immune" to this low dosage and eventually need a higher dosage? (and the only way for me to find out is to get pregnant?)


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Thu, 01-21-2010 - 3:43pm

I think the hormones are different in different pills for various reasons, but most likely because we're all different and what works best for one isn't what will necessarily work best for another.