Cycle 21: See if the pill is fattening and reliable

Since the 1960s, several contraceptive methods have been developed for women, such as: female condom , IUD (intrauterine device), injectable hormonal contraception, vaginal ring, among others.

Data show that the contraceptive pill is the most used by Brazilian women, either for its effectiveness, practicality or cost / benefit.

Several types can be found according to their components and actions in the body. Learn a little more about Cycle 21.


What is Cycle 21?

Cycle 21 is a very popular and affordable oral contraceptive that combines the components ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel and is indicated to prevent pregnancy and to regulate the menstrual cycle.

The carton has 21 pills. That is, 21 days taking a pill a day, and when the pack is finished, a 7-day break is given and so a new cycle starts over.

With each pill taken, synthetic hormones are deposited in the bloodstream, making the ovary understand that it should no longer produce hormones or hatch eggs. This is what actually prevents pregnancy.

This change in natural hormonal regulation causes other changes to also occur in the body, such as in the cervical mucus and in the endometrium.

Cervical mucus is a natural liquid secretion that is produced constantly in the cervix to protect against possible infections. It happens that, when the woman is in her fertile period, the appearance of the cervical mucus changes, from being thick to becoming thinner, which facilitates the passage of the sperm.

The use of Cycle 21 prevents this change from happening, causing the cervical mucus to always remain thick, becoming an obstacle for the entry of the sperm.

Something similar also occurs in the endometrium – tissue that lines the inside of the uterus. During the first phase of the menstrual cycle there is an increase in estrogen and progesterone in the second phase. This makes the endometrium thicker to receive a fertilized egg. With the use of Cycle 21 these hormonal phases are blocked, and the endometrium will always remain in the same state.

It’s safe?

According to the instructions for Cycle 21, the following health effects are proven:

Effects on menstruation:

  • Improvement of the regularity of the menstrual cycle;
  • Decreased blood loss and the incidence of iron deficiency anemia;
  • Decreased incidence of dysmenorrhea (uterine pain around the menstrual period).

Effects related to ovulation inhibition:

  • Decreased incidence of functional ovarian cysts;
  • Decreased incidence of ectopic pregnancy (gestation that begins outside the uterus).

Other non-contraceptive benefits:

  • Decreased incidence of fibroadenomas and fibrocystic breast disease;
  • Decreased incidence of acute pelvic inflammatory disease;
  • Decreased incidence of endometrial cancer;
  • Decreased incidence of ovarian cancer;
  • Decreased severity of acne.

When correctly and constantly ingested, the probable failure rate for combined oral contraceptives is 0.1% per year, however, the failure rate during typical use is 5% per year for all types of oral contraceptives.

That is, the effectiveness of most methods of contraception depends on the accuracy with which they are used. Failure of the method is more common if combined oral contraceptives are overlooked.


According to the package insert, each tablet contains 0.15mg of levonorgestrel and 0.03mg of ethinylestradiol along with the excipients: lactose, povidone, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium lauryl sulfate, croscarmellose sodium and macrogol.

Excipient is a pharmacologically inactive substance used as a vehicle for the active principle, helping in its preparation or stability.

There may be a reduction in the effect of the medicine if it is used:

  • Any substance that reduces the time of gastrointestinal transit and, therefore, the absorption of ethinyl estradiol;
  • Substances that induce microsomal liver enzymes, such as rifampicin, rifabutin, barbiturates, primidone, phenylbutazone, phenytoin , dexamethasone, griseofulvin, topiramate, some protease inhibitors, modafinil;
  • Hypericum perforatum , also known as St. John’s wort, and ritonavir (possibly by stimulating liver enzymes);
  • Some antibiotics (for example, ampicillin and other penicillins, tetracyclines), due to decreased intestinal-liver circulation of estrogens.

In case of overdose, nausea and bleeding due to suppression may occur. If necessary, overdosage is treated symptomatically. If you experience severe symptoms, seek medical help quickly and take the medicine package or package insert if possible.

Dosage: how to use Cycle 21?

Just take one pill daily for 21 consecutive days at the same time and in the order indicated on the pack. When the last pill is taken you should take a 7-day break, as this will be the menstrual period. On the 8th day, even if menstruation has not stopped, you need to start a new pack.

How to take Ciclo 21 for the first time?

To take the Cycle 21 contraceptive for the first time, you must ingest the 1st tablet of the pack on the 1st day of menstruation and continue to take 1 pill a day at the same time until the end of the pack, following the instructions on the package insert.

When finished, you should take a 7-day break at the end of each pack and start the next one only on the 8th day, even if your period has ended earlier or has not yet ended.

It is important that the pill is always taken at the same time to avoid reducing its effect. Not to forget, you can keep the card in a very visible place, easily accessible and place a daily alarm on your cell phone.

There is no specific schedule, but the ideal is to avoid taking the pill on an empty stomach, as it can cause stomach upset and pain.

We emphasize that you should start using Cycle 21 after consultation with a professional, to make sure that this is the best option for you, because what works for one person does not work for another.

What to do in case of forgetfulness?

When forgetting is less than 12 hours from the usual time, take the forgotten tablet as soon as it is remembered, and take the next one at the usual time. In such cases, Cycle 21 contraceptive protection is maintained. However, when forgetting is more than 12 hours from the usual time, the contraceptive effect can be lessened.

You should never take more than one pill to “make up” the one you missed the day before, as this will have no positive effect. It is worth noting that the contraceptive pill is not the same as the morning-after pill , so they should not be used together or in substitution for each other.

When does cycle 21 start taking effect?

Cycle 21, like other birth control pills, takes about a month to take effect and prevent pregnancy. However, in some cases, it may take longer for the body to adapt to contraceptive hormones. Therefore, in the first months, the ideal is to combine the use of condoms if the goal is to prevent pregnancy.

On average, three cards are necessary to fully adapt to the contraceptive. Therefore, it is common to have irregular bleeding [menstrual leakage] in the first pack, decreasing in the second and disappearing in the third. If you still have irregular bleeding in the fourth table, you need to see a doctor.

Side effects

The use of Cycle 21 can cause several side effects, however, not all women develop these symptoms after starting the contraceptive method. The most common are:

  • Vaginitis, candidiasis;
  • Mood swings, depression;
  • Changes in sexual appetite;
  • Headache, migraine, nervousness, dizziness;
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain;
  • Acne, bleeding, pain;
  • Breast sensitivity, enlargement and secretion;
  • Changes in menstrual flow, absence of menstruation, fluid retention and changes in weight.

Cycle 21 gives pimples?

It depends, some people do not get acne while taking contraceptives, but start having outbreaks when they stop using it. This is due to the way contraceptives regulated hormones.

Combined oral contraceptives, such as Cycle 21, suppress natural hormones, including testosterone. When you stop taking these pills, androgens (which are male hormones) can increase, which can result in acne.

When choosing to start using a contraceptive pill, consult a doctor or gynecologist to clarify all your doubts about contraceptives with androgenic effect, that way the professional will be able to recommend the most appropriate.

Cycle 21 is fattening?

Cycle 21 has compounds that do not directly alter the balance, but can increase fluid retention, leaving the woman bloated, which causes the impression that she is overweight. But it is not possible to say what the intensity of this accumulation of liquid will be, as it varies a lot for each woman.

What are the contraindications?

Although safe, Cycle 21 is contraindicated for children, the elderly, pregnant women, suspected pregnancies, men, patients with hypersensitivity to the components of the formula, in breastfeeding and in cases of:

  • High pressure;
  • Breast cancer or other known or suspected estrogen-dependent cancer;
  • Benign glandular tumor;
  • Liver cancer or liver disorders.
  • Current or previous history of deep vein thrombosis or thromboembolism;
  • Stroke or narrowing of the vessels that support the heart;
  • Disease of the heart valves or blood vessels;
  • Diabetes with blood vessel involvement.

Value: what is the price and where to buy?

Ciclo 21 is produced by União Química laboratories and can be purchased at conventional pharmacies or online, as well as platforms such as Consulta Remédios. Each box contains cartons of 21 pills, and is sold for a price of about R $ 2 to R $ 8 reais *.