How does it work?Gestodene stops you from ovulating. When it’s used alongside ethinyl estradiol (a synthetic oestrogen) it also makes your cervical fluid too thick for sperm to pass through, and makes your uterine lining too thin for a fertilised egg to implant.
What is it used in?Combined pill
Is it androgenic?Yes, but it is weak1. (Check out our ‘Androgens’ blog for more info on what this means).
What are the side effects?As gestodene is only used in combined contraceptives with ethinyl estradiol (synthetic oestrogen), it’s hard to say which of the reported side effects it is responsible for, and which are down to its fellow hormone. When gestodene is used alongside ethinyl estradiol in the combine pill, the following side effects have been reported2 3:
- Breast tenderness or enlargement
- Mood changes
- Changes to your period
- Changes to libido
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Meeram, K. Chapter 38 – Hypothalamic, pituitary and sex hormones. In Clinical Pharmacology. Eleventh Edition. Churchill Livingstone. 2012. p 596-614.
- Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press <https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/ethinylestradiol-with-gestodene.html> [Accessed on 13 August 2020]
- Family Planning Association. Combined pill (COC). March 2021. Available at https://www.sexwise.org.uk/contraception/combined-pill-coc