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Contraception is a method or device used by singles/couples to prevent unwanted pregnancy. There are many different methods you can use however the contraceptive pill is one of the most popular forms of contraception for women today. Hormonal contraception includes oral pills, patches, and vaginal rings.

The pill also known as the ‘birth control pill’ or ‘the pill’ is approximately 99% effective against pregnancy. This is why it is one of the most popular forms of contraception on the market today. There are over 20 types of contraceptive pill available. And over 100 million women worldwide currently use ‘the pill’ as a form of contraception.

Other effective contraceptive methods include: condoms, and diaphragms. You can also speak to your doctor about contraceptive sponges and contraceptives that can be injected every couple of months; and intrauterine devices (IUDs).


Combined Contraceptive Pill

The combined contraceptive pill is a very popular form of contraception for women worldwide. The combined contraceptive pill contains synthetic versions of the female sex hormones oestrogen and progestogen. The names of the hormones in combined pills will be different however they all work in the same way.

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Contraceptive Mini Pill

The contraceptive mini pill is commonly referred to as POP (progestogen-only pill). The contraceptive mini pill can suit women that have problems associated with estrogen hormones found in other forms of oral contraceptions such as combined contraceptive pills.

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Contraceptive Patch

The contraceptive patch is a transdermal patch that is applied to the skin and is as effective as the contraceptive pill. Evra is the only contraceptive patch available, providing women with an alternative to the pill. The contraceptive patch protects you against unwanted pregnancy.

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Contraceptive Ring

The contraceptive ring offers women an alternative to oral contraceptives. It is ideal for women who forget to take the daily pill. The ring has the same hormones, as combination pills. It is similar to the patch as it also releases a slow dose of the synthetic version of female hormones – oestrogen and progestogen.

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Morning After Pill

The morning after pill is an emergency contraceptive pill used to prevent unwanted pregnancy after having unprotected sex. Morning after pills can be taken up to 72 hours after having unprotected intercourse and are effective against pregnancy. Even if you are careful, accidents can happen.

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What other contraception is available?

Contraception such as implants, IUDs, or vaginal rings that are long-lasting are also recommended. Men can undergo operations to be sterilized such as a vasectomy and tubal ligation which is a permanent contraception option and usually for men and or couples that have had children.

There is also the morning after pill which can prevent pregnancy after an accident, unprotected sex or forgetting to take the pill.

What is the pill?

The pill is a tablet that combines two female hormones – oestrogen and progestogen, which stop you from ovulating every month. The cervical mucus is also affected which will make it harder for sperm to enter the womb and inhibits female fertility.

How does the contraceptive pill work?

You should start taking the pill on the first day of your period; you will then be protected within 1-2 weeks. However if you start the tablets at any other time during the month doctor’s advice using another form of protection until you start menstruating.

The majority of combined contraceptive pills are taken at the same time daily for 21 days followed by a 7-day interval during which your menstrual bleed will occur. Women can also continue to take sugar pills during the 7 days to avoid breaking their daily routine. Failure to take the sugar pills during the placebo week will not impact the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill as long as you resume taking the active pills at the end of the 7 days.

What are the different contraception pills?

Phasic pills – these are taken in order over 21 days, followed by a break of no pills for 7 days. The dosage of hormones is increased in phasic pills. Some brands have up to 2 or 3 doses, these include Biphasic pills and Triphasic pills.

Monophasic pills – the pills are taken at the same time daily for 21 days and then followed by an interval for 7 days where you take no pills. Brands include: Cilest and Microgynon.

Every day (ED) pills – these tables were created to help you continue a regular routine by taking the tablets daily with no break. Popular brands include Microgynon ED and Logynon ED, which come in a packet of 28, with 21 active tablets and 7 sugar pills.

Mini Pill – this pill is a lower strength of the pill as it only contains progestogen and no oestrogen. Women who suffer from side effects from the pill may choose to have a pill that contains only one hormone. Having only one hormone does not compromise the effectiveness of the mini pill but the pill does not control periods like other forms of oral contraceptive.

What are the side effects?

Some studies show that approximately 60% of women experience no side effects at all. In some cases the pill can improve conditions such as acne, pelvic inflammatory disease, excess hair, dysmenorrhea and can also reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Side effects can sometimes occur during the first few weeks of taking the pill and often go away. If they continue make sure to speak to your doctor. These include:

  • breakthrough bleeding (spotting)
  • headaches
  • breast tenderness
  • slight weight gain

How can contraception be purchased online?

You can buy contraceptive pills online, safely and securely. You will be asked to complete a free online consultation form which will include relevant medical details. Our specialists can then make sure this is the right medication for you and your prescription will be sent to our pharmacy for next day delivery to your door.

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