Estarylla vs Mononessa: What’s the Difference?

Published: June 25, 2021Updated: November 22, 2022

Are you thinking about going on Estarylla or Mononessa birth control pills? Your SimpleHealth doctor can go over each option in-depth, but sometimes, it helps to see a side-by-side comparison as you make this decision. Here’s what to know about these combination birth control pills, including what’s the difference between Estarylla and Mononessa.

How They Work

Estarylla and Mononessa are both combination birth control pills, which means they use a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin to prevent pregnancy and regulate periods. They are both generic versions of the birth control brand Ortho-Cyclen.

Both Estarylla and Mononessa pills contain equal amounts of ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen) and norgestimate (a progestin). These hormones prevent pregnancy by thickening vaginal fluid to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg and changing the lining of the uterus to prevent attachment of an egg.

If you’re a smoker and over the age of 35, you should not take Estarylla and Mononessa. Talk to your doctor about another birth control option that works for you. 


Estarylla and Mononessa are 91% effective with typical use and 99% effective with perfect use, which puts them at the same effectiveness rates as other combination birth control pills. However, neither Estarylla nor Mononessa protect against sexually transmitted infections like a barrier method (such as a condom). Want to protect yourself against STIs too? Add an internal condom to your monthly shipment of birth control—here’s more info on that.

Do Estarylla or Mononessa reduce acne?

Like other forms of hormonal birth control, Estarylla and Mononessa prevent pregnancy by stabilizing your hormone levels. One of the pleasant side effects of that? Improved skin quality, like reduced acne. If reducing acne is the main reason you want to go on birth control, you might consider one of these four brands, which are all FDA-approved to treat acne:

Do Estarylla or Mononessa lead to weight gain?

The estrogen levels in Estarylla and Mononessa are low enough that they don’t contribute significantly to weight gain. During your first month of taking hormonal birth control, it’s normal to gain a few pounds. However, this is typically water weight, and it usually goes away within a few weeks.

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Both Estarylla and Mononessa are daily birth control pills that come in packs of 28 pills. Each pack contains 21 active pills and 7 placebo pills. For both brands, you need to take the pill at the same time each day in order for it to be fully effective.

How to take Estarylla:

  • Take one active pill daily, for 21 days
  • Take one placebo pill daily, for 7 days

How to take Mononessa:

  • Take one active pill daily, for 21 days
  • Take one placebo pill daily, for 7 days

Side effects

In general, side effects of Estarylla and Mononessa are mild. They’ll likely ease after a few months of being on birth control. If you’re still experiencing mild side effects after three months, talk to your doctor about exploring other birth control brands or methods. SimpleHealth doctors are here for whatever questions you have—at no cost to you.

Common side effects of Estarylla and Mononessa:

  • Headache (migraine)
  • Breast pain or tenderness, enlargement or discharge
  • Stomach pain, discomfort, and gas
  • Vaginal infections and discharge
  • Mood changes, including depression
  • Nervousness
  • Changes in weight
  • Skin rash

However, some side effects are more serious. Please note that these serious side effects are incredibly rare, they do require immediate medical attention—so it’s important to be aware of them, regardless of how unlikely they are to occur.

Serious side effects of Estarylla and Mononessa:

  • Leg pain that will not go away
  • Sudden severe shortness of breath
  • Sudden change in vision or blindness
  • Chest pain
  • S sudden, severe headache unlike your usual headaches
  • Weakness or numbness in your arm or leg
  • Trouble speaking

Please note this list is not exhaustive and the side effects you noted are still valid.


Estarylla and Mononessa are both affordable birth control options. With most insurance plans Estarylla is a $0 copay; otherwise, it’s $25/month. With most insurance plans Mononessa is a $0 copay; otherwise, it’s $20/month.

Has Mononessa been discontinued?

Mononessa has been discontinued and is no longer manufactured. However, there are many other oral contraceptives that contain the same dosage and hormones. Ask your doctor about:

  • Sprintec
  • Previfem
  • Mono-linyah
  • VyLibra
  • Estarylla
  • Femynor
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