Is Microgynon the right pill for you?

The combined pill Microgynon 30 and ED might be the GP's first contraceptive choice for you, but is it yours? Here, we reveal how it works and its side effects.

You probably know by now that it finding the right contraceptive pill for you can be challenging. One almost has to be their own guinea pig, testing out different brands until they find their match. Sometimes females strike lucky, and their bodies work well with the first pill they are given. Others may have to go through a few more until they find the right one.

The pill that will most likely be the one you have heard of is Microgynon. It is probably the one either you or friends were put on when they first decided to go onto contraception. The one that probably has extremely mixed reviews.

Whether Microgynon is right for you will be your choice, but we hope to bring some clarity here and hopefully answer some of those burning questions you may have.

What is Microgynon 30?

Microgynon 30 is a combined pill, which means every month you take a seven-day break where you get your ‘period’. According to Express Pharmacy, like its sister brand Yasmin, the pill is an effective and reliable combination pill if taken correctly. The main difference between the two is the type of synthetic progesterone in their composition, with Microgynon containing levonorgestrel rather than drospirenone.

It prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation, making the fluid in your cervix thicker and preventing the lining of your womb from thickening enough for an embryo to grow in it.

For those who want to take a pill every day for ease, there is also a Microgynon 30 ED (every day) pill which consists of seven dummy pills, aesthetically different from the other 21. One pill is taken each day for 28 days with no break and they must be taken in the correct order.

As highlighted before, when taken correctly, this pill is more than 99% effective. It is best to start the pill on the first day of your period as here, you will be protected from pregnancy right away (if that is the reason you’re using it). Of course, you may be prescribed this pill to help with irregular periods and pain, acne, moods, balance of hormones etc.

What happens if I miss a pill?

If you miss taking your pill, you are advised to take it as soon as you remember and to either avoid sex for seven days or to use a condom. However, each pill has different cut off times where it will no longer be effective. If it has been less than 12 hours since you were due to take your Microgynon 30 pill, take the delayed pill right away and continue taking the next ones as usual. You should still be protected from pregnancy.

However, if it has been more than 12 hours since you were due to take your pill, take the most recent one and continue to take the next ones as usual but use other methods of contraception for the next seven days.

Side effects of Microgynon

As with many contraceptives, side effects will differ depending on your own circumstances. For Microgynon 30 and ED, general side effects may include womb cramps, headaches, sports, enlarged breasts or vaginal discharge.

One rare but serious side effect of this combined pill is blood clots, including a deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. The risk of getting a blood clot is temporarily increased if you are immobile for long periods of time, according to netdoctor.

It says that each year, between five and seven women out of every 10,000 taking Microgynon will get this type of blood clot. While the risk is very low, look out for the symptoms of a blood clot. These include stabbing pains in one leg, pain on breathing or coughing, coughing up blood, sudden breathlessness, chest pain, migraine, sudden disturbance in vision, hearing or speech, sudden weakness or numbness in one side of your body or collapsing.

Our users’ Microgynon 30 side effects

According to The Lowdown reviews, the most recorded Microgynon 30 side effect was vaginal discharge with 50% reporting feeling some sort of symptom. Of that, around five percent said they had a great deal of discharge, but 21% said they only had it a little bit.

Around 36% of reviewers said Microgynon 30 impacted their moods in a negative way, 30% said somewhat negatively and 20% said it was neutral. In terms of their periods, 55% of respondents said they were lighter than normal, with 5% recording spotting and 21% recording no change.

Some 45% of reviewers said there was no change to their weight, 32% gained weight and 3% lost weight. Please do note, it tends to be the pill changing your appetite rather than it causing you to gain or lose weight itself.

In terms of sex drive, 41% of reviewers said they had a loss of sex drive when taking Microgynon 30 and ED. A lesser 32% said there was no change, 23% said they could not tell and almost five percent said they felt an increase in their sex drive

Microgynon 30 reviews

While the statistics are very useful, we wanted to share some of the written reviews at The Lowdown, submitted by people who have used Microgynon 30 and Microgynon ED.

“Been using this combined pill for about 1 month now. I have had no problems with it yet apart from every month I get the odd headache. It has made my periods a lot more manageable when I’m on my pill-free week. I come on around day 4 or 5 my withdrawal bleed has just started today on day 26 which gives me peace of mind knowing I’m protected from pregnancy. I have been having unprotected sex on the pill free week and have no pregnancy scares. My periods are a lot lighter which I like about this pill I am very satisfied with this pill I have no side effects.”

“For the first two months I felt fine but then on the third month, I was just sooooo moody! I was constantly arguing with my family and my boyfriend and constantly getting upset and crying over the smallest things. I didn’t see any weight gain which was a massive plus but I completely lost my sex drive so there are ups and downs to this pill.”

“I feel like this pill is the best of a bad bunch (for me). I’ve tried the mini pill (Cerelle, Cerazette, and another one I can’t remember the name of) and the implant. They all affected my mood very negatively so I tried the combined pill. Microgynon so far has been the only pill that hasn’t affected my mood drastically so I do plan to stay on it but I do get more side effects I never had on the mini pills/implant. My sex drive is pretty low although not as low as it was on the other pills, I feel a bit nauseous sometimes and I do get the odd persistent headache that lasts for a few hours. I haven’t really heard of this as a side effect but I do also get noticeably bad heartburn!”

This guide was brought to you by The Lowdown. We are the world’s first contraception review platform, providing real-life experiences from thousands of reviews collected from our community of men and women.

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