The Pill

There are 2 main kinds of contraceptive pill that women can take – the combined pill and the progestogen only pill. To get the pill you need to go to your doctor for a prescription or to a health clinic

The Combined Contraceptive Pill is often just called ‘The Pill’. There are lots of different types and you might have to try one or two before you find the right one for you.

The Combined Pill contains two types of hormone called oestrogen and progestogen. It will come in a packet of small tablets. There are 27 different types of combined pill available. All of them are designed to stop you getting pregnant and some of them might reduce spotty skin, or help with painful or irregular periods as well. No pill will protect you against sexually transmitted infections, though, so you might want to use condoms

The Combined Pill

This contains 2 female hormones (oestrogen and progestogen). There are several different types of combined pill. You should speak to your doctor about which is the best choice for you.

Advantages

  • The combined pill is 99% successful if you take it correctly. Higher failure rate with less careful use
  • No evidence that it causes additional weight gain
  • Can help reduce spotty skin on face and body.
  • Bleeding may be lighter and period pain or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) or Pre-Menstrual Tension (PMT) is less likely.
  • You may have lighter periods while taking the pill

Disadvantages

  • The pill doesn’t protect against sexual infections, always use a condom with it
  • Vomiting, diarrhea and some medicines such as antibiotics can interfere with how it works. (If any of the above happens and you have had sex, you should seek advice about emergency contraception)
  • Requires a prescription
  • Can cause temporary side effects like headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and mood swings
  • A very small number of women may develop a blood clot which can block a vein. If you have ever had a thrombosis, you should not use the pill
  • Not suitable for women with conditions such as high blood pressure or smokers over 35

1 IN 5 YOUNG WOMEN FORGET TO TAKE THE PILL AT LEAST TWICE A MONTH

Remember the combined pill does not protect against sexually transmitted infections

How To Take The Combined Pill

  • Must be taken consistently everyday
  • You start the pill on the first day of your period and take 1 pill everyday
  • You are protected against pregnancy from the first day of taking the pill
  • You take the combined pill for 21 days of the month . Then you have a 7 day break before starting a new pack. Most women have a light period during this week
  • The packs show the days of the week for each pill so it’s easy to realize if you have missed a day
  • Some drugs may stop the pill from working – a doctor or pharmacist will advise

What To Do If You Forgot To Take The Combined Pill

  • Read the pack instructions carefully about what to do when you forget a pill
  • If you had sex and forgot to take the pill, advice should be sought on emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy
  • Not reliable if taken over twelve hours late or after vomiting or severe diarrhea unless an extra method is used.

How effective is the Combined Pill?

This pill is over 99% effective if it is taken properly. This means that less than 1 in every 100 women who use the combined pill will get pregnant each year. It is less effective if it is not taken according to the instructions.

The Progestogen Only Pill Or Mini Pill

The mini pill contains one female hormone progestogen. This pill is taken everyday (at the same time) without a break. It works mainly by preventing sperm getting through the fluid at the neck of the womb. It may also thin the lining of the womb preventing an egg from settling there and may prevent an egg from being released. Effectiveness depends on careful and consistent use. 96%-99% effective with very careful use. You need to talk to your doctor about which type of pill is best for you. The mini pill does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Advantages

  • Is 99% successful if you take if correctly
  • It is good alternative if you can’t or do not want to take oestrogen
  • You can take it while breastfeeding
  • It can help relieve period problems

Disadvantages

  • Must be taken at the same time everyday
  • May cause irregular periods
  • May be less effective in women who weigh over 70kg

How To Take The Mini Pill

  • You usually start taking the mini pill on the first day of your period
  • You are protected against pregnancy from the first day of taking the pill
  • You take the mini pill daily for 28 days per packet
  • There is no break on the mini pill; you start a new packet the day after finishing a packet
  • Some

What To Do If You Forget To Take The Mini Pill

  • Read the pack instructions carefully about what to do when you forget a pill
  • Not reliable if taken 3 hours late
  • If you had sex and forgot to take the pill, advice should be sought on emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy
  • Not reliable if taken over twelve hours late or after vomiting or severe diarrhea unless an extra method is used.
  • Some drugs may stop the pill from working – a doctor or pharmacist will advise

Can anyone use POP?

The Progestogen-only Pill is not suitable for all women. A doctor or nurse will ask you questions about your own and your family’s medical history, weigh you and take your blood pressure, just to check it will be suitable for you. If it is, they will probably prescribe you about 3 months’ worth of pills to take home, and explain how to take them correctly