The Pill and Mini Pill
The combined pill contains the hormones oestrogen and progestogen (the hormones that are naturally released from the ovaries).
You take the pill every day for 21 days, then stop for seven days. During that week, you have your period. After seven days, you start taking the pill again.
- You don't ovulate when you take the combined pill, so you don't have a real period every month. Instead, you get a withdrawal bleed, which can be much lighter and shorter than a period. If you have problems with heavy, painful periods, taking the combined pill can help.
- It can protect against cancers of the ovary, womb and colon, and some pelvic infections.
- The POP can be used by women who can't use contraception that contains oestrogen, for example, because of high blood pressure, previous blood clots or being overweight.
- You can take the POP if you're over 35 and you smoke.
What else should I know?
- To be effective, it must be taken at the same time every day, and on the correct days.
- You could get pregnant if you don't take it at the same time every day, you miss one, you vomit or have severe diarrhoea, or you take other types of medication.
- The combined pill isn't suitable for women over 35 who smoke, or women with certain medical conditions. Your doctor or nurse can tell you whether you can take this kind of pill.
- There are side effects so always consult a doctor.
By using condoms as well as the combined pill, you'll help to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).