Contraceptive pills

Contraceptive pills are called oral contraception and your GP or nurse will go through the two types of pills you could be offered. Remember, that if you have had a sexual relationship before, you may want to get an STI check. Contraceptive pills do not stop STIs so itís good to use condoms too.

Combined Pill

What is it? A pill containing the hormones oestrogen and progestogen.

How effective is it? If used according to the instructions in the pack it is over 99% effective.

Advantage: Can often reduce bleeding, period pain and pre-menstrual symptoms.

Disadvantage: Missing the pill, vomiting or severe diarrhoea can make it less effective. Having to remember to take it every day and it doesnít protect against STIs


Progestogen-only Pill

What is it? A pill containing the hormone progestogen.

How effective is it? If used according to the instructions in the pack it is over 99% effective.

Advantage: Can be used by women who are breastfeeding or are over 35. It can reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and painful periods.

Disadvantage: Late pills, vomiting or severe diarrhoea can make it less effective.

Forgotten to take your pill?

Call 111 for non-urgent medical advice or go straight to your GP, CASH Clinic or local Pharmacist as you might need emergency hormonal contraception. Itís important to access it within 72 hours (3 days).