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Kariva Birth Control Reviews

writtenByWritten by: Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is a contributing health writer who has been researching and writing health content with PlushCare for 3 years. She is passionate about bringing accessible healthcare and mental health services to people everywhere.

Read more posts by this author.
reviewBy Reviewed by: Dr. Maria Glukhovsky

Dr. Maria Glukhovsky

Dr. Maria Glukhovsky, Pharm.D. has been a pharmacist for the past 12 years, clinical educator across many disease states and a clinical instructor at Jefferson School of Pharmacy. She loves to educate her patients and everyone around her on the proper use of medications and top disease management techniques to improve health and wellbeing.

March 1, 2021 Read Time - 6 minutes

Is Kariva Birth Control Right For Me?

Finding the right birth control can be tricky since not everybody reacts to each one the same. Since the features of many birth control pills are similar, it can be helpful to read reviews from actual users. That’s why we’ve put together this information about Kariva along with real user reviews, to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Keep in mind, only a doctor can decide if Kariva is appropriate for you. It’s also important to note that oral birth control methods like Kariva do not protect against HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), some of which have no symptoms.

If you’d like to ask a doctor about Kariva, set up a virtual appointment with a PlushCare doctor here.

What Kind of Birth Control Pill Is Kariva?

Kariva is a combination birth control pill. It contains both Ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel. These hormones help prevent ovulation and also alter your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and for fertilized eggs to attach to the uterus.

Read: How to Get Free Birth Control

Kariva Side Effects

As with any medication, Kariva has the potential to cause side effects, which may be serious. Side effects of Kariva include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating
  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Swelling of the feet or ankles
  • Irregular or missed periods
  • Mental or mood changes (like depression)
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Liver problems
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.


Who Should Not Take Kariva?

Kariva isn’t right for everybody. Make sure to tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Blood clots
  • High blood pressure
  • A blood clotting disorder
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Thyroid problems
  • Varicose veins

Smoking and obesity increase your risk of blood clots, especially if you’re over 35. Make sure to tell your doctor if you smoke or are overweight.

You should not take Kariva if you are pregnant, nursing, or have recently given birth.

Certain medications may interact with birth control like Kariva in negative ways. Always tell your doctor about any medications you take, especially:

  • Tranexamic acid
  • Tamoxifen
  • Tizanidine
  • Ospemifene
  • Aromatase inhibitors (such as anastrozole, exemestane)
  • Certain combination products used to treat chronic hepatitis C
  • Modafinil
  • Griseofulvin
  • Rifamycins (such as rifampin, rifabutin)
  • St John’s Wort
  • HIV drugs
  • Drugs used to treat seizures

Read: Where and How to Get Birth Control Pills

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kariva low estrogen?

Yes, Kariva is a low-estrogen birth control medication.

Is Kariva good birth control?

When taken at the same time every day, birth control medications like Kariva are up to 99% effective. However, everybody reacts differently to medications, so you could experience unpleasant side effects. That makes it difficult to call any birth control “good.”

Does Kariva stop periods?

Generally, you will take the full dose of Kariva for three weeks, then a placebo or lose dose pill for a week, which will cause you to have a period. Some birth control medications are available in 28-day packages without an off week to have a period. If you want to – or are afraid to – stop having periods, be sure to talk to your doctor.

Get Kariva Birth Control Online

If you’re ready to get Kariva online, the trusted doctors at PlushCare can help. You’ll have a video or phone appointment with a licensed doctor and talk about your medical history and any medications you take. If the doctor thinks Kariva is right for you, they can electronically send a prescription to your favorite pharmacy.

Getting started is easy. To schedule an appointment, simply click here, or download the PlushCare App from The App Store or Google Play. You could talk to a doctor and get a prescription for Kariva as soon as today.

Appointments as low as $20.

Use our cost checker to see what you'll pay

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Kariva Reviews

8/13/2020 – “I went on the pill for my skin 5 years ago. I struggled with very dry skin & acne. I never noticed changes in my behavior, I do get a little moody during my period but I feel like that’s normal. Before going on Kariva my periods were long, painful and heavy. I noticed once I went on the pill I had short, light and manageable periods. I could always expect what week/day I’d be getting my period. I’m not sure if I gained weight because I was only 14 when I started. I do always wonder if I got off Kariva if I would lose weight (Although I’m already slim). I wouldn’t say this pill affects my sex drive, but again I was on the pill before I was sexually active so I’m not sure. Overall, I would recommend this birth control for people who have dry, flaky skin. Everyone’s body acts differently, but this pill has never made me anxious and/or depressed. I would definitely recommend this to people who are starting out or people who have preexisting problems with their skin.”

6/30/2020 – “I have been on many types of birth control before and I have never left a review no matter how good or bad, but this pill literally was destroying me mentally. I was on this pill Kariva a little less than 2 months and had to stop mid-month because I could not handle the anxiety and depression anymore. I’m a sensitive person but wow this pill made me not able to function. I cried ALL the time. I didn’t want to go anywhere. My anxiety was a level I never experienced before. At first I was like cool this pill doesn’t make me hungry….later I realized yeah I’m not hungry because I’m so anxious all the time I couldn’t focus on eating if I tried. It did its job at preventing pregnancy but the emotional state it put me in was so not worth it!!!! Please be careful taking this pill. I know it affects everyone differently.”

5/30/2020 – “Helped my skin! Haven’t noticed any negative side effects, so far very happy.”

4/4/2020 – “Kariva did improve my acne but as far as anything else I wouldn’t really recommend. Really put a toll on my emotions and made me have either bad bursts of crying randomly or just being angry for no reason. Didn’t really mess with my weight though, but did lose all sex drive completely which was awful as well.”

3/10/2020 – “I’ve been on Kariva for almost 3 months and I really like it. I spent a lot of time researching BC pills and with this I haven’t experienced any negative side effects, other than the bloating right before my period, which is to be expected. Before birth control, my periods were beginning to become irregular and Kariva has kept it on track. Although the first week of starting Kariva…I became nauseated, had a slight headache, and even threw up. I called my gynecologist and was told it would ease off. It did just that! I feel good and I’m happy with it!”

Read More About Birth Control


PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Dailymed. KARIVA- desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol and ethinyl estradiol. Accessed on November 23, 2020 at


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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