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Apri Birth Control Review

Blog Birth Control

Apri Birth Control Review

January 25, 2019 Read Time - 9 minutes

About Author

Jennifer is a freelance writer in the Midwest who writes about a variety of topics but especially enjoys educating people about their health and the health of their pets.

If you’re looking at starting birth control, there are so many options to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Let’s start with just one for now: the Apri birth control pill. We’ll discuss potential side effects, how to take Apri, and who should not take it. We’ll also show you recent reviews from real users to help you decide whether Apri may be right for you.

Keep in mind that Apri birth control is not for everybody, and this article shouldn’t replace a conversation with a doctor about whether Apri is appropriate for you. Apri birth control does not prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and more. Many STDs are becoming more popular, and some have no symptoms, so you should be tested regularly for STDs if you have unprotected sex.

What is Apri Birth Control?

Apri is one brand name of a hormonal birth control pill that contains two different hormones, desogestrel (estrogen) and ethinyl estradiol (progestin), to prevent pregnancy. Apri prevents pregnancy by both inhibiting ovulation and changing cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus.

How Effective is Apri Birth Control?

Apri is up to 99% effective when taken at the same time every day without any missed doses. The more doses are missed, the less effective Apri birth control is.

Apri Birth Control Side Effects

Like all hormonal birth control options, Apri does have many potential side effects, some of which can be serious or even life-threatening. Side effects of Apri may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depression
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Allergic reaction
  • Fluid retention
  • Breast lumps
  • Bloating
  • Vaginal itching
  • Breast tenderness
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods
  • Yeast infections
  • Change in menstrual flow
  • Liver tumors
  • High blood pressure
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Heart attack
  • Blood clots
  • Stroke

Who Should NOT Take Apri Birth Control?


Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular events from combination oral contraceptive use. This risk increases with age, particularly in women over 35 years of age, and with the number of cigarettes smoked. For this reason, combination oral contraceptives, including Apri®, should not be used by women who are over 35 years of age and smoke.

Apri birth control is not for everybody. Avoid taking Apri or talk to your doctor before use if you smoke and are over 35 or have any of the following conditions:

  • Birth control-related jaundice, heart attack, or stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Circulation problems
  • Diabetic problems with your eyes or kidneys
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease or cancer
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Severe migraines
  • Untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Untreated vaginal bleeding

Tell your doctor if you take any of the following medications since they may interact with Apri in negative ways:

  • Paritaprevir
  • Tranexamic Acid
  • Dasabuvir
  • Ritonavir
  • Ombitasvir
  • Aprepitant
  • Anagrelide
  • Amifampridine
  • Bupropion
  • Bosentan
  • Boceprevir
  • Dabrafenib
  • Ceritinib
  • Carbamazepine
  • Donepezil
  • Dexamethasone
  • Darunavir
  • Enzalutamide
  • Encorafenib
  • Elagolix
  • Glecaprevir
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Fosaprepitant
  • Ivosidenib
  • Isotretinoin
  • Griseofulvin
  • Lumacaftor
  • Lixisenatide
  • Lesinurad
  • Nafcillin
  • Modafinil
  • Mitotane
  • Paclitaxel
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Nevirapine
  • Pibrentasvir
  • Phenytoin
  • Phenobarbital
  • Prednisone
  • Pitolisant
  • Piperaquine
  • Rifampin
  • Rifabutin
  • Primidone
  • Theophylline
  • Sugammadex
  • St John’s Wort
  • Valproic Acid
  • Ulipristal
  • Topiramate
  • Tizanidine
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How to Take Apri Birth Control

Generally, you will start taking Apri the first Sunday after your period starts. Take one rose-colored pill at the same time every day for 21 days (3 weeks), then take one white placebo pill at the same time every day for 7 days. You will then start a new pack of Apri. 28-day packs where you don’t take a week off to have your period may also be available. You must use backup birth control for the first 7 days after you start taking birth control pills like Apri while the hormones build up in your body to prevent pregnancy.

If you forget to take a dose, take your next dose as soon as you remember, then continue your normal dosing schedule. If you miss a dose, you can take two pills in one day to get caught back up, but remember that missing even one pill can increase your odds of becoming pregnant. If you miss a pill, you should use backup birth control (like condoms) for 7 days after taking your next dose. If you miss more than one dose, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what you should do to get back on track with your dosing schedule.

Apri Reviews

1/17/19 – “I went on Apri after taking Tri-sprintec for 2.5 years. I have now been on Apri for about a year. Before taking Apri I struggled with breakthrough bleeding and VERY irregular periods. Now my period is so consistent and short. My period went from 6 days to 2-3 with no spotting. It was a life changer. Every person is different so do not take the super negative reviews seriously. APRI HAS CHANGED MY LIFE!! If you struggle with breakthrough bleeding, super long periods or irregular periods I 100% recommend this option. I get no acne, and my mood swings are no worse then they were normally LOL!! Good luck on your journey!”

1/16/19 – “So I’ve taken Apri for about four years now, let me say, I love it. I started taking if for terrible cramps- to the point where I’d puke from the pain and have to pull the car over with each wave. Not only did Apri help calm my cramps 98%, my period only last like 2-3 days. I used to have terrible, I mean real bad, skin breakouts. After taking Apri for a couple of months, my skin has been completely clear since. It’s like killing two birds with one stone. I never gained weight or felt weird. I’m a college student so I have enough stress on my plate already, Apri really helps.”

1-11-19 – “Unbelievably negative experience here. My natural demeanour is optimistic, easy-going, fun-loving and happy. Upon the second or third month I was on this birth control, I noticed drastic mood swings, feeling agitated and being irritable constantly. It felt like out of nowhere, I had serious anger management issues. I blamed a stressful job. I’m now on the seventh month taking this pill and my zeal for life is completely gone. I am depressed, lethargic, and have terribly dark thoughts about myself, the ones I love, and life in general. That is wildly uncharacteristic of me. The week that I take the sugar pill, I am nearly 100% myself. Within two days of starting my next pack, I’m back in the dark hole. I have also experienced some minor stomach issues including constant gas/bloating and loss of appetite.”

1-3-19 – “HORRIBLE. Terrible cramping, abdominal pain, heavy bleeding– why is this med even prescribed?? I’ve taken Yaz and another birth control pill in the past, and I never had anything like as bad an experience as I’ve had on Apri. I only took Apri because I have a new doctor, who wanted me to try it. I had to discontinue the Apri because it caused unbearable side effects. Am really angry this drug has used up so many days of my life and only caused pain. The dysregulation continues in my body even though I’ve been off the Apri for a few weeks. Never again.”

12-28-18 – “I am on my 2nd pack. I switched from Triquilar because I was having break through bleeding and feeling depressed. I’ve been going for tests for stomach troubles and I have found since being on these I’m nauseous daily so I started taking them before bed and it has helped somewhat but I usually go to bed queasy. I have had awful diarrhea which I think may be from my nausea and stomach issues, that has subsided some since I started taking it at night. I have never had much sex drive but I blame that on birth control in general. I have noticed my boobs look bigger but I have a bit of weight on. I just can’t control my appetite and just want junk but again not sure if it’s pills or not. My depression seems to have subsided somewhat but it’s Christmas so time will tell. The worst has been my stomach issues and diarrhea. I have a referral to get my tubes tied cause I just want to feel normal again.”

12-22-18 – “I’ve been on Apri for about ~4 years now. For the first 3 months or so, the mood swings and agitation were almost too much for me to be around some people. I did feel as though I gained some water weight and my boobs went from a B to a D over the course of that time. My acne got a little worse before it got better. Now with being on it for so long, I think it’s great for me. My skin is incredibly clear, I have control over my weight (at least it seems), and I can skip my periods with no issue. I do have some lingering anxiety and get agitated a little easily sometimes but it very well be due to just me as a person in general. Once I go off it later in life I’m interested to see how the anxiety does. Overall, I really really like this and will continue to stay on it for a while. It’s great once your body gets used to it, but everyone’s different.”

12-9-18 – “I have been taking Apri for a few years and generally have no concerns at all. Periods are managed perfectly – last 4 days and are always the same. The only downside is that I have more anxiety with this pill, and doesn’t control my acne very well. I am switching soon just to see if those symptoms will improve — but if they don’t, I’m definitely going back to Apri.”

Get Apri Birth Control Online

If you think Apri birth control is right for you, talk to one of our online doctors today and they can electronically send a prescription to your pharmacy.

Read More About Birth Control Medications

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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