Pill

contraceptive pill

The Menstrual Cycle

Each menstrual cycle starts on the first day of your period (day one) and lasts until the day before your next period begins.
 

There are two main types of contraceptive pill that if used correctly will protect against a pregnancy 99 out of 100 times.

 

THE PROGESTROGEN ONLY PILL

How do you take the progestrogen only pill?

The progestrogen only pill needs to be taken every day at the same time for it to work properly, if you take your pill more than three hours late (or if you are taking the Cerazette pill and you take it 12 hours late) it may not work.   If you are worried that you may not be protected from pregnancy think about taking the morning after pill, you can get them from an ASC chemist or the Integrated Sexual Health Service.

It is important that you talk to the person prescribing the pill about when you will be protected from pregnancy and follow the instructions that come with your pills.

Advantages

  • Does not interrupt sex
  • Can be taken by some women who cannot use the combined pill
  • Can be used when breastfeeding


 Disadvantages

  • You must take it at the same time every day or it may not work
  • Does not protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
  • Your periods may become irregular. They may happen more often, less often, be lighter or stop altogether.
  • It may not work if you vomit within two hours of taking it, you have diarrhoea or if you are using some types of medicines such as antibiotics - you must read the instructions carefully


 THE COMBINED CONTRACEPTIVE PILL

How do you take the Combined Pill?

You take one pill every day for 21 days, until you finish one pack. Then you don't take any pills for 7 days. You will be protected against pregnancy during this week. You will probably have some bleeding during the 7 day break.

IYou may not be protected against pregnancy the first time you take a pill, it is important that you talk to the person prescribing the pill about when you will be protected from pregnancy and follow the instructions that come with your pills.

Advantages

  • Does not interrupt sex
  • Can help reduce spots
  • Bleeding may be lighter and period pain or Pre-Menstrual Tension (PMT) is less likely.


Disadvantages

  • Some people do not remember to take it every day, which means thay may be at risk of getting pregnant
  • Does not protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
  • 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.


The Progestrogen and Combined Pill may not be suitable for everybody you need to speak to your GP or the Integrated Sexual Health Service to see if you can take the Pill.

Remember: The only contraception that will protect you from most Sexually Transmitted Infections is a condom.

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