Combined pill

What the packet says

What is it?

How it works

The Combined pill is a small tablet you swallow daily that contains hormones oestrogen and progesterone. It prevents pregnancy in three ways - by stopping ovulation, making the fluid in your cervix thicker (which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb), and preventing the lining of your womb thickening enough for an embryo to grow in it.

How does this compare?

Frequency

  • During intercourse
  • Daily
  • Monthly
  • 1 - 3 Months
  • 1 - 3 Years
  • 3 - 5 Years
  • Permanent

Clinical effectiveness

99% if used perfectly

What does this mean?

Contains hormones

  • Yes
  • No
What does this mean?

What you said

These stats are based on 650 reviews

Side Effects

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After Effects

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Moods & Emotions

Periods

Body Weight

Sex Drive

Reviewer data

Time Taken

Age of Reviewers

Reviewers had children

Reviewers currently using

Detailed information

How to get started

  • Your doctor or nurse will do some tests to make sure that you can take the pill. They check your medical history, make sure that you’re not pregnant and take your blood pressure.
  • Most women can start the pill at any time in their period cycle. However unless you start the combined pill on the first day of your period, you won’t be protected from pregnancy straight away. Make sure you read the packet carefully and use condoms or other methods until you’re covered.
  • There are special instructions for starting the pill if you have just had a baby, abortion or miscarriage.
  • Take the pill around the same time every day – for example first thing in the morning, or before you go to sleep at night.
  • If it helps, keep your pill packet somewhere you use or look at everyday (like your makeup bag) to remind you to take it, or set an alarm on your phone.
  • You will normally be given a prescription for the pill for a couple of months, and will need to go back to your doctor for regular check ups (e.g. blood pressure tests).

How to stop

 

  • Stopping the pill is easy – you just stop taking it. As soon as you stop taking it, you’re no longer protected from pregnancy.
  • If you have periods, you may prefer to wait until you reach the end of your current pill packet before stopping, so you can keep your cycle more regular.
  • Check out our survey results to see how long it took most women’s cycles to return to their definition of ‘normal’ after they stopped taking the pill, and read up about the after effects they’ve experienced.

Things that can go wrong

  • Missing or forgetting to take a pill has happened to all of us. Check out the NHS guide on what to do, depending on how many you’ve missed and where you are in your cycle. If you’re in any doubt, make sure you use a condom or don’t have sex until you’re protected.
  • There are a few things that can stop the pill from working properly – make sure you watch out for these and check your pill information leaflet or speak to your doctor if you have any questions:
    • Vomiting and diarrhea will impact on how the pill is absorbed into your body. If you’re sick within two hours of taking the pill you’ll need to take another pill straight away and the next pill at the usual time. If you’re sick or have severe diarrhea for longer than this, check your pill packet for what to do next – and use condoms or abstain if you have any doubts.
    • Some medicines and antibiotics (like rifampicin and rifabutin, St John’s wort and anti-epilepsy drugs) change the way your body digests the pill.
  • With any combined type of hormonal contraception there is a slightly increased risk of developing blood clots in your veins and arteries. We are developing a full guide to the medical research on the serious and potentially life threatening side effects of contraceptives here.

Reviews

Combined pill

- Microgynon ED Tablets

Whilst the pill improved my skin and gave me the appearance of regular periods vs the irregular periods I was having it signifi…

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Combined pill

- Loestrin 20

Physical and mental health at risk.

At first I trusted this contraception, no side effects and was happy. After about t…

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Combined pill

- Rigevidon

Overall no negative experiences, apart from the beginning week of taking the pill when I experienced mood swings. Never gotten …

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Combined pill

- Gedarel 20/150

Was moved from loestrin 20 to gederal after it was discontinued- currently looking for an alternative

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Combined pill

-

Overall physically I´ve feel good while taking the pill, my only complain regarding this would be that I have headaches and so…

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Combined pill

- Rigevidon

Been on this for a long time but as time goes on it has had a negative effect on my emotions

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Combined pill

- Millinette 20/75

I have been on the pill since I was 24, I started on Yasmin to solve an acne issue.
I have also been on Mercilon but was …

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Combined pill

- Microgynon 30/75

I used the microgynon 30 from my 16th till 30th as I didn’t know better. I quit at some point as I wasn’t in a rela…

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Combined pill

- Microgynon 30/75

I feel that this pill has definitely had an affect on my mental awareness, happiness and moods, and also my body although not q…

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