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Combined pill

Often called the pill, the combined pill contains two hormones – oestrogen and progestogen. These hormones prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulating), thus preventing pregnancy.

Key facts:

  • It’s 99% effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use
  • It doesn’t interrupt sex
  • No long-term effects to your fertility
  • It can increase your blood pressure
  • It can help make your periods become lighter, more regular and reduce period pains
  • Effectiveness is impacted by diarrhoea, vomiting and other medications
  • No STI protection

How to use:

There are different types of combined pill and different ways to take it.

Take the pill every day for 21 days and choose a time of day to start taking the pill. Taking it at the same time every day will help you get into the habit of remembering to take it.

If you start taking the combined pill in the first five days of your period, you will be protected against pregnancy straight away.

If you start the pill at any other time in your menstrual cycle, you will need to use additional contraception (for example, condoms) for the first seven pill taking days.

Download our patient leaflet for more information.