Junel 1/20 is a combination oral contraceptive pill (OCP, birth control medication, birth control pills) that 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. Junel 1/20 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
Junel 1/20 is super easy to use.
Simply take one pill every day, at the same time each day. Many women find that taking Junel 1/20 before bedtime or just after their evening meal reduces nausea and other side effects. After taking 21 days of active pills, you’ll switch to seven sugar pills (placebo pills).
These are inactive pills with no hormones that are there to keep you in the habit of taking your pill every day.
Junel 1/20 uses a combination of two hormones estrogen (Ethinyl Estradiol, 0.02 mg) and progestin (Norgestimate Acetate 1mg) to make your body think it’s pregnant so a real pregnancy won’t happen.
The risks are very low, but some women have experienced unwanted side effects when taking Junel 1/20. Minor ones include breast tenderness, headaches, nausea, swollen feet or ankles, and slightly elevated blood pressure or blood sugar levels.
Positive side effects are also a possibility, too — reduced acne, fewer mood swings, and other perks 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.
There is no direct link between Junel 1/20 and weight gain. Some women experience changes in their appetite that may lead to weight gain while taking Junel 1/20. Others may find that their bodies retain more fluid while taking Junel 1/20, even though they actually don’t gain any body fat.
One of our Patient Care Advisors or licensed physicians will always review the medications and supplements you’re currently taking before prescribing Junel 1/20. Certain drugs (recreational, over-the-counter, or prescription) can interact with Junel 1/20 and make it less effective at preventing pregnancy. Drugs that may interact with Junel 1/20 include HIV drugs, anti-seizure drugs, antibiotics, and even herbal supplements like St. John’s wort.
Women who have high blood pressure or take medications to control blood pressure should not take Junel 1/20. Our Pandia Health medical team recommends other options including progestin-only pill (POPs), IUDs with hormone (Mirena, Liletta, Kyleena, Skyla), copper IUDs, implants (nexplanon), the birth control shot (depo-provera), or condoms and spermicide.
If you choose to pay out-of-pocket, Junel 1/20 is a pretty affordable birth control pill, being $26 per pack. You can also save money by choosing any other Junel 1/20 generic equivalent such as Larin 1/20, Loestrin 1/20, or Gildess 1/20 for $20 per pack or $0 with insurance. Generics have the SAME active ingredients and dosage as the name brand. Watch our video explaining generics vs. brand birth control pills.
You shouldn’t smoke anyway, but especially not if you take estrogen containing birth control pills like Junel 1/20. Smoking increases the risk of serious side effects like blood clots, especially in women who are older than 35.
Don’t take Junel 1/20 if you’re allergic to any of its ingredients. Signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to Junel 1/20 are rare and usually very mild and may include itching, hives, or dizziness. Serious allergic reactions to Junel 1/20 can occur in very rare cases. Stop taking Junel 1/20 and call 911 immediately if you experience swelling in the lips, mouth, or tongue, or if you have a hard time breathing.
Junel 1/20 isn’t for everyone. Women with a history of certain medical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver cancer, or severe migraines should not take Junel 1/20. Our Pandia Health Care Advisors are standing by to help you figure out the best birth control method given your health history.
It’s easy to get Junel 1/20 at just about any pharmacy near you with a doctor’s prescription. Concerned about your privacy? Our doctor-founded, doctor-led team at Pandia Health is happy to help you get Junel 1/20 or any other birth control you need, discreetly and conveniently.
If you don’t have insurance, don’t worry! Pandia Health has a range of payment options.
It’s not true that Junel 1/20 causes infertility. If you’re taking Junel 1/20 and want to have a baby, talk to your doctor and then stop taking the medication. Normal fertility should return within one or two menstrual cycles after your last pill. Dr. Yen explains more about birth control and infertility in this video. Watch to learn more!