What are the side effects of the Contraceptive Pill?
While side effects are usually uncommon and mild in nature, it is best to be aware of any that may occur. Some of the most common side effects include mood swings, headaches, nausea, and breast tenderness.
For a full list of side effects and more information, you can read the NHS Choices site on contraception. Alternatively, see the patient information leaflet for your pill.
What are the advantages of the Combined Oral Contraceptive?
The combined oral contraceptive can help to make periods lighter, less painful and more regular. When taken correctly the combined pill is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It can also help reduce the risk of womb and ovarian cancer.
What are the disadvantages of the Combined Oral Contraceptive?
The combined oral contraceptive can cause side effects including breast pain, spotting, and nausea. Other side effects such as headaches and mood swings are also common.
What are the advantages of the Progesterone only contraceptive?
One advantage of the progestogen-only pill is that it has a lower likelihood of side effects because it does not contain oestrogen. It can also be used by women who are unable to take oestrogen. Women who are breastfeeding can take the progestogen-only pill at the same time.
What are the disadvantages of the Progesterone only contraceptive?
The mini pill has to be taken at the same time every day. If you are more than 3 hours late (or 12 hours for the desogestrel pill), it may not be effective. It may cause periods to be irregular, they may stop altogether or get more frequent.
Which pill is right for me?
Prescribers will take a thorough medical history before choosing the right contraceptive pill for you. For most people, the combined contraceptive pill works best. For those who are over 35, smoke, suffer from migraine or have other risk factors, the progesterone-only pill may be more suitable. Talk to your doctor to discuss the best course of action for contraception.
Am I protected against pregnancy straight away?
Some pills, if taken correctly, will provide protection immediately, while others take time to provide contraceptive cover. Refer to the patient information leaflet of your pill to find out when you are protected on your pill.
Do I still need to use a condom?
Although you will be covered against pregnancy with the pill, it is always advised to use a condom. This is to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. No contraceptive pill will protect against sexually transmitted infections.
I forgot to take my pill – what should I do?
You should always take your pill around the same time each day to ensure maximum contraceptive cover. Different pills vary in the amount of time you can delay your dose. Always refer to your prescribed medication’s patient information leaflet to find more detailed information relating to missed doses.
Where can I get the contraceptive pill in the UK?
In the UK, you should speak to a GP or visit a sexual health clinic if you would like to get the contraceptive pill prescribed. This is free via the NHS.
You can order the contraceptive pill online from Simple Online Pharmacy if you have already been prescribed it by your doctor. You must complete a medical assessment form for our doctors to review. They can use this to make sure it is safe and suitable for you to take. We offer delivery (including next working day options) via the Royal Mail.
Content Reviewed: 14/01/2021
Before taking any medication, it is important to read the Patient Information Leaflet. You can find information leaflets for your medicines by typing them into the search bar at medicines.org, or by contacting us.