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Combined oral contraceptives like Microgynon work by overriding your normal menstrual cycle. A woman’s normal menstrual cycle is characterized by changing levels of sex hormones. The hormones cause the release of an egg from the ovaries and prepare the lining of the womb for a possible pregnancy.
- Highly effective form of birth control
- Contains oestrogen and progestogen
- Easy to take
What is Microgynon 30?
Microgynon is a combined oral contraceptive pill containing Levonorgestrel (Progestogen) & Ethinylestradol (Oestrogen).
There are some risks associated with using the combined contraceptive pill. However, these risks are small and, for most women, the benefits of the pill outweigh the risks.
The oestrogen in the pill may cause your blood to clot more readily. If a blood clot develops, it could cause:
- deep vein thrombosis (clot in your leg)
- pulmonary embolism (clot in your lung)
- heart attack
The risk of getting a blood clot is very small, but your doctor will check if you have certain risk factors before prescribing the pill.
The pill can be taken with caution if you have one of the risk factors below. It is unlikely you would be advised to take it if you have two or more risk factors.
- having a close relative who had a blood clot when they were younger than 45
- having high blood pressure
- being very overweight (in women with a BMI of 35 or over, the risks of using the pill usually outweigh the benefits)
- being 35 years old or over
- being a smoker or having quit smoking in the past year
- having migraines (you should not take the pill if you have severe or regular migraine attacks, especially if you get aura or a warning sign before an attack)
- having had a blood clot or stroke in the past
- being immobile for a long time – for example, in a wheelchair or with a leg in plaster
Research is ongoing into the link between breast cancer and the pill. Research suggests that users of all types of hormonal contraception have a slightly higher chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared with women who do not use them. However, 10 years after you stop taking the pill, your risk of breast cancer goes back to normal.
Research has also suggested a link between the pill and the risk of developing cervical cancer and a rare form of liver cancer. However, the pill does offer some protection against developing womb (endometrial) cancer, ovarian cancer and colon cancer.
How do Combined Oral Contraceptives work?
The combined oral contraceptive pill is usually just called “the pill”. It contains the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which women produce naturally in their ovaries.
The Combined pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
The usual way to take the pill is to take one every day for 21 days, then stop for seven days, and during this week you have a period-type bleed. You start taking the pill again after seven days.
You need to take the pill at around the same time every day. You could get pregnant if you don’t do this, or if you miss a pill, or vomit or have severe diarrhoea.
Some medicines may make the pill less effective. Check with your doctor if you’re taking any other tablets.
If you have heavy periods or painful periods, PMS (premenstrual syndrome) or endometriosis the combined pill may help.
The pill does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so using a condom as well will help to protect you against STIs.
It works by:
1) Prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation).
2) Thickens the mucus in the neck of the womb, so it is harder for sperm to penetrate the womb and reach an egg
3) Thins the lining of the womb, so there is less chance of a fertilised egg implanting into the womb and being able to grow
Are All Daily Oral Contraceptives The Same?
No, not all oral contaceptives are the same. There are many different types of oral contraception and each one differs slightly. Your oral contraception should be taken as directed by your prescriber. If you miss doses and do not take your pill as it has been prescribed it will not be as effective and may not work.
What Types of 'The Pill' Are Available?
There are two main types of oral contraception: The combined pill (CoC), which containes two hormones, progestin and oestrogen and the progesterone only pill (PoP), often referred to as the mini pill, contains only one hormone, progesterone. Both types of oral contraception the CoC and PoP are 99% effective if taken as prescribed meaning your chances of becoming pregnant if you have unprotected sex are very low. Although you are unlikley to become pregnant, you are still likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection if you are regularly having unprotected sex with different partners.
What is "The Pill"?
Contraceptive pills are often referred to as "The Pill". Contraceptive pills consist of synthetic hormones (hormones that mimic the ones made in your body). They are composed of a synthetic type of oestrogen and progesterone. The Combined Oral Contraceptive (CoC) containes both of these hormones and the Progeterone Only Pill (PoP) (The Mini-Pill) only contains one of these hormones (progestin).
If I Vomit or Have Diarrhoea After Taking The Pill, What Do I Do?
If you have severe diarrhoea or vomit 3-4 hours after taking your pill, the chances of you being protected from getting pregnant are less likely. If this does happen to you, you should take another pill within 12 hours of your episode. If you are taking the inactive pill when this happens then you do not have to take another pill to compensate.
How Reliable is Oral Contraception?
If your dose is taken as prescribed and then the pill is one of the most reliable forms of contraception when it comes to protecting you against pregnancy. The pill is 99% effective at preventing pregnancies if taken appropriately, however it does not protect against STI's meaning if you are having sex with different partners, barrier contraception should still be used.
How Hard is it to Remember to Take Oral Contraception?
If you manage to adopt a regular routine of taking your pill as soon as you get up, you are less likely to forget. If you do find that you are more likely to forget then it is best to set reminders on your phone. Alternatively there are many apps avaialbe for android and iOS such as myPill that can help you to remember to take your pill.
Do I Have to Take My Pill at The Same Time Everyday?
Routine is imperative when you start taking oral contraception. The time of day you take the pill does not matter, however if you should pick to take it in the morning, afternoon or night time- whatever time you decide to choose you must be consistent with it and continue to take it during this period of time every day.
Can I Still Have Sex During The 4 or 7-Day Break?
It is safe to have sex during the the break if you have been taking your pill properly as prescribed. If you are having regular unprotected sex during this time you should be vigilant to start your next pack or strip on time and to make sure you are taking your pill properly.
I Have Not Had My Period And I Have Been Taking My Pill as Prescribed, am I Pregnant?
It is important to understand that if you have been taking your pill on time everyday as directed by your prescriber then the chances of you being pregnant are extremely low. If you are not getting your period whilst taking the pill then there is a chance that the lining of the womb has not formed enough for it to be released, if you continue to not see any bleeding or have a period for 2 months or more than you should contact your prescriber for investigation.
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