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Home / Contraception / Combined Pill

Combined Pill

Information about the combined contraceptive pill

Combined pills are the most popular form of oral contraceptive. Unlike the Progesterone-only- or mini- pill, it contains synthetic versions of two hormones, oestrogen and progestogen, which work together to prevent pregnancy and regulate the menstrual cycle.

The combined contraceptive pill should be taken daily for three weeks, with one week break in between packs. During this break women will experience withdrawal bleeding, which is often lighter and less painful than menstruation can be. When taken correctly, the combined pill has a success rate of almost 100% and protects against pregnancy for the full month.

There are a number of different combined pills, which are divided into two types: monophasic and multiphasic. The former will contain equal amounts of both hormones, whereas the latter will vary the levels throughout the month in order to replicate a woman's natural cycle.

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Pack of 63 Yasmin 0.03mg/3mg ethinylestradiol/drospirenone film-coated tablets
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Pack of 63 Marvelon desogestrel/ethinylestradiol tablets
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How does the combined pill work?

Combined contraception pills work in three different ways to prevent pregnancy. The oestrogen works to stop ovulation, meaning that no egg is released. The progestogen thickens the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach the area where an egg would be. It also prevents the womb lining from thickening, so that a fertilised egg would be unable to attach and grow.

What are the benefits?

There are a number of benefits to using oral contraceptives - the main one being its 99% rate of effectiveness in preventing pregnancy. Many women find it easier and more convenient than other forms of contraception.

There are additional benefits to taking combined contraceptives. For example, they help to make periods less painful and more regular. Also, they can help to treat skin conditions such as acne and polycystic ovary syndrome.

What are the side effects?

As with all prescription medication, the combined pill presents a small risk of side effects, though these tend to be mild. The most common reported side effects include headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and weight gain.

The risk of blood clots may increase slightly in certain cases when taking the combined pill, however with so many different combined contraceptive pill brands, there will usually be a one which is the most appropriate for you.

Who can take the combined pill?

Most women over the age of 18 can take the pill safely, although there are some exceptions. Women who smoke who are over the age of 35 will be advised against taking the pill, and it should not be used by women who are pregnant or breast feeding.

There are certain medical conditions which may prevent you from being prescribed a combined pill, such as thrombosis, severe migraines, high blood pressure or diabetes. You should always tell your doctor about any pre-existing conditions or medications you are currently taking to ensure the combined pill is a safe option for you.

How can I buy the pill?

The combined pill is available to order online, making it a more convenient option for many women. Once you have selected your preferred contraceptive pill brand, you will be required to fill out an online medical consultation. If the pill you've chosen is safe and appropriate for you, you will be issued a prescription. Our pharmacy will then dispense the medication, which will be delivered using a free next day delivery service.

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