Vienva is a daily oral contraceptive pill that uses two key reproductive hormones to prevent pregnancy: estrogen and progestin.
Each supply of Vienva comes with 21 white active pills and 7 peach-colored inactive ones; you’ll take 1 white pill per day for 3 weeks, followed by a peach pill each day for the last week of the pack. If patients are prescribed to skip their period, you will skip the peach pills and start a new pack.
While Vienva is an effective measure of birth control, it cannot block the transmission of STIs/STDs or HIV (AIDs).
Vienva is a highly-effective method of birth control with a 99% success rate with perfect use.
Vienva birth control 101
In your high school health class, you probably listened to a lecture from your teacher about the different kinds of birth control out there. Your teacher probably explained that there are barrier methods, rhythm methods, and of course, hormonal methods like the pill.
But your health teacher may not have discussed the fact that there isn’t just one pill. There are countless oral contraceptives out there for people with uteruses. And they’re not all alike. That’s why learning more about the different options out there can better equip you to choose the best birth control pill for your body.
This guide will be discussing just one kind of pill—Vienva. We’ll take you through everything you need to know about Vienva and why it might be right for you.
But first, a quick download on what Vienva actually is.
What is Vienva?
Vienva is an oral contraceptive (also known as “the pill”) used to prevent pregnancy in people with uteruses who are sexually active. Each supply comes with:
Vienva falls under the category of combination birth control, a type of medication that prevents pregnancy by supplementing two hormones into the body. This done through the help of:
Ethinyl estradiol- A synthetic version of estrogen, which is one of four key hormones involved in the monthly ebbs and flows of the menstrual cycle. Ethinyl estradiol is used to stop estrogen hormones from fluctuating, helping to prevent pregnancy.2
Levonorgestrel- A synthetic version of progesterone, which is a naturally-occurring hormone that prepares the uterus for fertilization after an egg has been released. Combination birth control uses this artificial hormone because progesterone has limited bioavailability when taken in pill form.3
Using this combination, Vienva operates on multiple fronts to help prevent pregnancy. Here’s how:
Ovulation prevention – Together, estrogen and progestin couple together to stop the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). Without a fresh egg in the uterus, sperm cells have nothing to fertilize. This significantly decreases your chances of pregnancy.
Uterine lining – Vienva prevents the thickening of the uterine lining. While a thick uterine lining creates a hospitable environment for egg implantation, a thin uterine lining makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant and grow.
Cervical mucus – Vienva also increases the viscosity of cervical mucus, which deter sperm from reaching the egg if ovulation occurs. Increasing the viscosity of cervical mucus actually makes it thicker and stickier. This means that sperm cells will struggle to get through the mucus at your cervix and access the uterus.
What are the pros and cons of using Vienva?
Everyone’s sexual health needs are unique, and with so many options for birth control, it’s critical to map out the advantages and drawbacks of individual medications to get a sense of which option will fit your lifestyle most comfortably.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of taking Vienva birth control.
Benefits of Vienva
Here are the top advantages to taking Vienva:
Lessened menstrual symptoms – Studies show that birth control pills like Vienva can help regulate your menstrual rhythms and lessen the severity of symptoms like period cramps.
Quick and easy – Sometimes, putting your reproductive health first really is just as easy as taking a pill. Taking Vienva means your sex life will be relieved of long-term concerns and inconveniences that can take away from the heat of the moment. Vienva can help put your mind at ease and keep practical headaches out of the bedroom.
Lower incidence of reproductive disorders – Finally, oral contraceptives that contain more than 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol are shown to decrease your risk of illnesses like pelvic inflammatory disease and ovarian cancers when used in the long term. With each Vienva pill containing 0.02 mg per dose, Vienva can help you combat reproductive disorders (as well as unplanned pregnancies) for the good of your long-haul health.
Potential disadvantages of Vienva
If you’re considering taking Vienva, you should be aware of some aspects of this medication that may suit some lifestyles better than others.
Protection is limited to pregnancy – Oral contraceptives, including Vienva, were not designed to guard against STIs (e.g. gonorrhea) or HIV (AIDS).
Side-effects typically associated with oral contraceptives – Like comparable forms of combination birth control, Vienva may have some less-than-desirable consequences—particularly if you’ve just started taking it. These include nausea, mood changes, and “breakthrough bleeding” as you adjust to your new hormonal normal (we’ll talk more about these later on in this guide).
On the whole, Vienva’s limitations are very much in line with other types of combination birth control pills you’ll encounter.
Who should use Vienva?
If you’re deciding whether or not Vienva is right for you, you’ll want to ask yourself the following questions:
Can I keep to a schedule? The best part about taking Vienva is convenience: you take one pill a day, with no other grunt work required. If you’re prone to forgetfulness, tech has made it easier than ever to stay on track with your daily regimen. You can find apps built especially to help you keep up with your schedule or set a daily reminder on your smartphone to give you a nudge when and where you need it.
Is it in my budget? Depending on your insurance coverage, Vienva can cost as little as $6.99/pack for 1 year supply or $10.66/pack for 3 month supply. Oral contraceptives like Vienva are affordable, and if you’re relying on the pill for its contraceptive purposes, it may save you money in the long run compared to other methods.
Do I have an OB-GYN to work with? Any time you begin a new birth control protocol, it’s important to have a care team in place to support you if any complications arise. Your gynecologist can help you troubleshoot any side effects you may notice from taking Vienva to work out the kinks or explore alternatives that may be more conducive to how you and your hormones are uniquely, exquisitely calibrated.
When starting any new medicine, it’s important to remember that every body is different. Choosing the right birth control pill for you may take a bit of trial and error, but by paying attention to your body’s signals, you should be able to weather the adjustment period and land on a solution that harmonizes with your body.
Who shouldn’t take Vienva
There are some cases where it may be advisable to rule out Vienva as your preferred birth control method. Vienva birth control may yield adverse reactions if you have either of the following health concerns:
Tobacco use – If you smoke cigarettes or other types of tobacco products and are over the age of 35, Vienva may not be suitable for you. Studies show that smoking can increase the likelihood of breakthrough bleeding, and it may also impede the efficacy of Vienva altogether.
Emotional dysregulation – Think of hormones as the body’s chemical messengers. They zip around your systems, allowing for perfect communication between your brain and your physiological functions so your mind and body can work together harmoniously. However, sometimes the hormones of an oral contraceptive and your existing hormones can get their wires crossed. Those who’ve been diagnosed with a mental health condition like major depressive disorder should pay close attention to their moods and thought patterns when beginning Vienva and work with their doctor if they notice any significant or negative changes.
Finally, Vienva may not be right for you if you have a history of any of the following conditions:
As always, make it a point to consult with your doctor before starting any oral contraceptive regimen on your own.
How to use Vienva
Like most oral contraceptives, Vienva must be taken consistently to be effective. Before you start, you’ll need to take two timing-related considerations into account:
Daily – In order to do its job and keep your hormones level, each pill should be taken at the same time every day. If you forget a pill and it has been less than 24 hours since it was due, take the pill as soon as you remember. Then, take the next pill as scheduled. No backup method is needed. Ideally Vienva should be taken daily at the same time everyday to be most effective.
Monthly – Aside from getting on a daily schedule that works for you, it’s also crucial that you time the start of your Vienva regimen to harmonize with your monthly cycles. You’ll start taking Vienva on either Day 1 of your monthly cycle (the first day of your period), or no more than 1 week afterward.
If you want birth control coverage from Vienva immediately be sure to start Vienva during your natural cycle. Starting your birth control during the first 5 days of your cycle will immediately prevent pregnancy, but if you take it on day 6 or 7 of your period, it’s advisable to use complementary contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. For reference, the first day of your period is called “cycle day 1.”
What happens if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Vienva and it has been less than 24 hours since it was due, you’ll need to take the forgotten pill as soon as you remember, then take the next pill when it is due. This will help reestablish effective progestin and estrogen levels.
Like other combination birth control pills on the market, when taken as directed, Vienva touts an impressive 99% success rate in protecting against unwanted pregnancy.
Emphasis on “when taken as directed.”
According to the National Health Service, combination-hormone contraceptive pills are 99% if you use them as directed—this is referred to as “perfect use.” That means taking the pill you’re scheduled to take at the same time every day.
With less-than perfect use—referred to as “typical use”—that number goes down to 91%
STDs and Vienva
Like other contraceptive pills, you can’t rely on this pill to protect you from STDs. Vienva is strictly to be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
If you or your partner is HIV (AIDS) positive or has an underlying STD/STI, be sure to double-up on protection and supplement your pill regimen with another contraceptive to keep you both protected.
What are the side effects of Vienva?
More often than not, oral contraceptives like Vienva birth control are completely safe to use.
That said, hormones play an integral role in your physical, mental, and emotional health. When you add more hormones to the mix through your pill, you may notice some side effects as your body adjusts to this new reproductive baseline. For Vienva, these may include:
Sore or tender breasts
Nausea or vomiting
If you’re concerned (or irritated) about any of the side effects listed above, consult with your OB-GYN or healthcare provider to explore solutions or discuss other birth control options that may work better for you. Some formulations can potentially cause an allergic reaction, so it’s important to consult a doctor.You should also reach out to your provider and inquire about insurance coverage for each birth control option.
Start your Vienva journey with Favor
If you’re in the market for a new oral contraceptive, Vienva is an efficient, convenient method of birth control with a solid record of preventing pregnancy. But some days, we know that you want more from your pill than just a predictable period and peace of mind.
You’re not alone.
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Whether you pay by insurance or enroll in one of our affordable plans, it’s our mission to deliver the total package to you. We bring birth control access to 49 states across the U.S., fulfilling sexual health needs in 99% of contraceptive deserts across the country without any middlemen interfering with access and autonomy. To enroll today, learn more about how you can sign up with Favor and get started.
Reviewed By: Jessica Barra, FNP - Family Nurse Practitioner