Desogestrel is an oral contraceptive. Women take this pill daily in order to reduce the risk of becoming pregnant. The medication works by changing the woman’s hormonal balance so that the body thinks it is already pregnant and the ovaries don’t release eggs. The hormones also make the lining of the uterus thinner so that eggs are less likely to attach to the uterus if they become fertilized.
Women who smoke cigarettes while taking this medication risk having a stroke. Oral contraceptives increase the stroke risk for all women, but women who smoke are at particular risk; doctors strongly advise against smoking cigarettes while on this medication. Women who are over the age of 35 are also at risk for stroke while on Desogestrel.
Desogestrel does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Women should use an alternate form of protection to ensure they don’t get AIDS or other STDs.