Norethindrone can be used to help prevent unwanted pregnancy in sexually active women. This medication increases the woman’s estrogen levels in order to block ovulation. The medication also makes it harder for sperm to penetrate the cervix and for fertilized eggs to implant themselves in the uterus.
Women should not smoke while on this medication. Smoking while on Norethindrone can cause strokes or heart attacks. Women over the age of 35 and those who smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day greatly increase their risk, but any woman who smokes risks a stroke or heart attack.
This medication does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Women who are worried about AIDS or any other sexually transmitted disease should use an additional form of protection in order to avoid getting these diseases.