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Does More Progestin Equal More Androgen?

ortho androgen progestin birth control hormonal acne

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#1 CS99

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 09:42 AM

Does having a BCP with more progestin mean MORE or LESS androgen (if the pill has low androgen potency).

For example, ortho tri cyclen and ortho cyclen contain norgestimate, a progestin with low androgenicity. However, would ortho cyclen's constant level of higher progestin REDUCE androgen or would more progestin automatically mean more androgen? Trying to decide if i should go from OTC lo to regular ortho tri cyclen or ortho cyclen.



#2 Green Gables

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 03:48 PM

Does having a BCP with more progestin mean MORE or LESS androgen (if the pill has low androgen potency).

For example, ortho tri cyclen and ortho cyclen contain norgestimate, a progestin with low androgenicity. However, would ortho cyclen's constant level of higher progestin REDUCE androgen or would more progestin automatically mean more androgen? Trying to decide if i should go from OTC lo to regular ortho tri cyclen or ortho cyclen.

 

It is not that simple, unfortunately.

 

Progesterone is both a hormonal precursor and a hormonal regulator.

 

It can downregulate testosterone and estrogen.

 

It can also convert into testosterone and estrogen. 

 

That is for natural progesterone. I honestly don't know if synthetic progestin is capable of the same downregulation / conversion as natural progesterone. 

 

Anecdotally, you can look at something like Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, which has a low androgenic progestin, but has less estrogen. In other words, a higher progestin level compared to estrogen. Acne sufferers do not typically fare well on this medication, even though the progestin is not very androgenic.

 

Ortho Cyclen is the best of those three for acne, in my opinion. It has a good dose of estrogen and is monophasic.


Edited by Green Gables, 25 October 2013 - 03:49 PM.


#3 brenmc

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 06:24 PM

If you had to pick, what is the best bc for acne sufferers?

Does having a BCP with more progestin mean MORE or LESS androgen (if the pill has low androgen potency).

For example, ortho tri cyclen and ortho cyclen contain norgestimate, a progestin with low androgenicity. However, would ortho cyclen's constant level of higher progestin REDUCE androgen or would more progestin automatically mean more androgen? Trying to decide if i should go from OTC lo to regular ortho tri cyclen or ortho cyclen.

 

It is not that simple, unfortunately.

 

Progesterone is both a hormonal precursor and a hormonal regulator.

 

It can downregulate testosterone and estrogen.

 

It can also convert into testosterone and estrogen. 

 

That is for natural progesterone. I honestly don't know if synthetic progestin is capable of the same downregulation / conversion as natural progesterone. 

 

Anecdotally, you can look at something like Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, which has a low androgenic progestin, but has less estrogen. In other words, a higher progestin level compared to estrogen. Acne sufferers do not typically fare well on this medication, even though the progestin is not very androgenic.

 

Ortho Cyclen is the best of those three for acne, in my opinion. It has a good dose of estrogen and is monophasic.



#4 Green Gables

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 10:24 PM

I added a list to my "Good/Bad Birth Control" post linked in my sig.



#5 CS99

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 06:59 AM

Does having a BCP with more progestin mean MORE or LESS androgen (if the pill has low androgen potency).
For example, ortho tri cyclen and ortho cyclen contain norgestimate, a progestin with low androgenicity. However, would ortho cyclen's constant level of higher progestin REDUCE androgen or would more progestin automatically mean more androgen? Trying to decide if i should go from OTC lo to regular ortho tri cyclen or ortho cyclen.

 
It is not that simple, unfortunately.
 
Progesterone is both a hormonal precursor and a hormonal regulator.
 
It can downregulate testosterone and estrogen.
 
It can also convert into testosterone and estrogen. 
 
That is for natural progesterone. I honestly don't know if synthetic progestin is capable of the same downregulation / conversion as natural progesterone. 
 
Anecdotally, you can look at something like Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, which has a low androgenic progestin, but has less estrogen. In other words, a higher progestin level compared to estrogen. Acne sufferers do not typically fare well on this medication, even though the progestin is not very androgenic.
 
Ortho Cyclen is the best of those three for acne, in my opinion. It has a good dose of estrogen and is monophasic.


I have fared decently well on OTC Lo but mainly get acne my first two weeks and it stops by the end of the pack. I am worried ortho cyclen might be too strong a dose of progestin. I want to talk to my doctor but she doesn't seem to understand the difference between good and bad bc

Also, there are fewer stories of success on ortho cyclen, although that might be because it is prescribed less and is less popular

#6 Green Gables

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 03:58 PM

 

Does having a BCP with more progestin mean MORE or LESS androgen (if the pill has low androgen potency).
For example, ortho tri cyclen and ortho cyclen contain norgestimate, a progestin with low androgenicity. However, would ortho cyclen's constant level of higher progestin REDUCE androgen or would more progestin automatically mean more androgen? Trying to decide if i should go from OTC lo to regular ortho tri cyclen or ortho cyclen.

 
It is not that simple, unfortunately.
 
Progesterone is both a hormonal precursor and a hormonal regulator.
 
It can downregulate testosterone and estrogen.
 
It can also convert into testosterone and estrogen. 
 
That is for natural progesterone. I honestly don't know if synthetic progestin is capable of the same downregulation / conversion as natural progesterone. 
 
Anecdotally, you can look at something like Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, which has a low androgenic progestin, but has less estrogen. In other words, a higher progestin level compared to estrogen. Acne sufferers do not typically fare well on this medication, even though the progestin is not very androgenic.
 
Ortho Cyclen is the best of those three for acne, in my opinion. It has a good dose of estrogen and is monophasic.


I have fared decently well on OTC Lo but mainly get acne my first two weeks and it stops by the end of the pack. I am worried ortho cyclen might be too strong a dose of progestin. I want to talk to my doctor but she doesn't seem to understand the difference between good and bad bc

Also, there are fewer stories of success on ortho cyclen, although that might be because it is prescribed less and is less popular

 

Ortho Tri Cyclen and OTC Lo have the same levels of progestin. OTC Lo just has less estrogen. 

 

Both of them alternate between 0.18/0.215/0.25 of progestin (hence the "tri" in the name).

 

OTC Lo has 25 of estrogen. OTC has 35. 

 

Ortho Cyclen has 0.25 progestin and 35 estrogen.

 

I still recommend Ortho Cyclen because it doesn't fluctuate hormone levels. Oftentimes it is the fluctuations (on top of everything else) that our bodies can't deal with. 

 

At the very least, you probably would fare better on OTC over OTC Lo.


Edited by Green Gables, 26 October 2013 - 03:59 PM.


#7 brenmc

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 07:39 PM

Thanks GreenGables, I have read that before, but if you had to pick just one?

I added a list to my "Good/Bad Birth Control" post linked in my sig.



#8 Green Gables

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:35 PM

Thanks GreenGables, I have read that before, but if you had to pick just one?

I added a list to my "Good/Bad Birth Control" post linked in my sig.

 

Probably Yasmin, good dose of estrogen, best progestin






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