What is Qlaira used for?

10th June 2019

When it comes to hormone contraception for women, there are a lot of options. Arguably the most popular of all of these is the combined contraceptive pill; a category that Qlaira falls into.

Qlaira is used by women to prevent unwanted pregnancy and also in the treatment of heavy and/or prolonged menstrual bleeding. A few added benefits of taking Qlaira are that it can make your periods lighter and more regular, plus it can help to lessen the severity of period pain.

Although it’s not a direct use of the medication, women taking Qlaira may find that they are less likely to suffer from conditions such as ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease and cancer of the uterus and ovaries.

How does Qlaira work?

Qlaira is a hormonal contraceptive, which means that it works with your body’s menstrual cycle to effectively prevent pregnancy. It contains two female sex hormones; oestradiol valerate and dienogest, which are versions of oestrogen and progestogen respectively. These hormones are broken down in the body to form versions which are identical to the natural versions produced by the body, making the ingredients different from synthetic hormones used in other forms of the pill.

These hormones work in sync with your body’s menstrual cycle to alter your hormone levels and inhibit ovulation, so that no egg is released. If no egg is released, there is obviously nothing for a sperm to fertilise, and this stops you from becoming pregnant. Qlaira also has additional ways in which it protects you from pregnancy though, including thickening the cervical mucus to make it more difficult for a sperm to reach an egg, and also by changing the lining of the uterus, making it less suitable to house a fertilised egg.

This 3-pronged approach makes Qlaira over 99% effective when used correctly. That is, in clinical trials at least. However, real life is not always an exact science so allowing for the occasional misstep with taking the pill, taking other medications that can interfere or suffering with the occasional vomiting or diarrhoea bug, the actual real life effectiveness rate is more like 92%.

How do I use Qlaira?

Qlaira is a prescription drug which means that you will need a doctor to assess its suitability before being able to take it. This decision will take into account any pre-existing medical conditions, any other medications you are taking and your family medical history. For example, a doctor will most likely decide that Qlaira is not suitable if you have a history of blood clots in your family, or if you suffer from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Qlaira comes in a pack of 28 so that each strip should last you for 4 weeks. Each 28 pill strip contains 26 active tablets and 2 inactive tablets; these inactive tablets are white and do not contain any hormonal ingredients.

You should take one tablet per day, swallowed with a drink of water, until all the tablets are gone. Once you have finished the packet, you should immediately start taking the next one the very next day, as Qlaira is not the kind of pill where you are supposed to have a 7 day break.

To help you keep track of where you are with your pill, the Qlaira packs come with 7 weekday sticker strips marked with the days of the week. When you take your first tablet, mark it with the corresponding sticker to whatever day it is, so that the remaining days will then be marked on to help remind you to take the pill on a daily basis.

If you do forget a pill then you should simply take it as soon as you remember. If you are less than 12 hours late taking it then you are still protected against pregnancy and needn’t worry. However, if you are more than 12 hours late, protection against pregnancy may be reduced. You should use additional barrier contraception in the meantime, to avoid any unwanted pregnancies.

If the pill that you forget is an inactive one then you don’t need to worry about taking it but ensure that you discard the missed pill to avoid confusing yourself and ending up missing an active pill.

For full details on how to take Qlaira and how to ensure it maintains its high effectiveness rate, refer to the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with the pill packet before you begin taking it.