We may be able to prescribe you a repeat private prescription of your pill after you complete an assessment to check it's suitability. If you have not been prescribed the pill by your doctor or nurse before then this service is not appropriate for you, please contact your GP or local contraceptive clinic instead. Please ensure you read all the information below before you start an assessment.
The Combined Contraceptive Pill
The combined contraceptive pill contains artificial forms of oestrogen and progestogen. Each brand of the pill will provide different types of the two hormones and at different strengths.
If used correctly then the pill is a very effective (over 99%) form of contraception. This equates to about 3 women in 1,000 using the pill correctly will become pregnant each year. It is less effective when not taken correctly. Correct use means not missing the pill, restarting the pill on time and using additional contraception where necessary.
How it works:
1. It stops the ovary from releasing an egg each month.
2. It thins the endometrial lining, reducing the chances of a fertilised egg implanting in the uterus (womb) and growing.
3. It thickens the mucus in the cervix reducing the chances of sperm travelling to the womb and fertilising an egg.
You should have your blood pressure checked every six months, as this pill can cause it to rise. If your blood pressure becomes too high, then you will need to look at alternative contraceptive options with your doctor or nurse.
There are uncommon but serious risks from taking the pill. The risks include blood clots which can lead to a DVT (deep vein thrombosis), a PE (pulmonary embolus), a stroke or a heart attack. Other risks include a slightly higher chance of breast cancer, cervical cancer and a rare form of liver cancer.
The Progestogen Only Pill (POP)
This pill is commonly used when the combined pill is not suitable. It can also be used while breastfeeding.
It works by thickening the cervical mucus making it difficult for the sperm to enter the uterus. Some types of this pill including Cerazette also stop ovulation.
This pill is 99% effective if used correctly. This type of pill should be taken every day without a break. It should be taken at the same time each day. It is important to read the information leaflet contained with the medication carefully. This pill does not increase your chances of blood clots.
The POP can cause periods to change. They may stop, become more or less frequent, or become lighter. The side effects are usually mild and can include irregular periods, mood changes, nausea, headaches, skin changes such as acne and breast tenderness. The risks from this pill are very small and include breast cancer and ovarian cysts.