Combined pill

Combined pill

Your contraception guide

It is common practice to refer to the combined oral contraceptive pill simply as “the pill.” It includes synthetic forms of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, both of which are naturally generated in the ovaries.

It is possible for there to be a pregnancy if the sperm can reach the egg (ovum). In most cases, contraception will attempt to prevent this from occurring by physically separating the egg and the sperm or preventing an egg’s release (ovulation).

At a glance: the combined pill

  • When used precisely as directed, the pill has an effectiveness rate of over 99 percent in preventing conception.
  • This translates to a pregnancy risk much lower than 1 in 100 for women who use the combination pill as their primary method of birth control.
  • The recommended course of action for taking the pill is to take one tablet each day for the first 21 days, followed by a break of seven days, during which time you will have bleeding similar to that of a period.
  • After a week has passed, you resume taking the medication as directed.
  • You may be able to take some kinds of pills with either no breaks at all or shorter pauses (a customized regimen), which could lessen the severity of some of the adverse effects.
  • Talk to a medical professional or a nurse about the choices you have.
  • It is essential that you remember to take the tablet at around the same time every day. If you do not do this, or if you skip a pill, or if you throw up, or if you have severe diarrhea, you run the risk of becoming pregnant.
  • It’s possible that some medications will make the tablet less effective. Inquire about any other medications you could take with your primary care physician.
  • PMS (premenstrual syndrome) or endometriosis, which is treated with a combination pill, could be helpful if you have heavy, painful periods or heavy cycles.
  • Some people have minor side effects such as mood swings, nausea, breast soreness, and headaches; however, these symptoms often disappear after a few months of treatment.
  • There is no evidence to support the claim that taking the tablet would cause you to put on weight.
  • The likelihood of experiencing majsignificantverse effects, such as blood clots or cervical cancer, is relatively low.
  • If you are over the age of 35 or a smoker or have some medical issues, you should not take the combo tablet.
  • Because taking the pill alone will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), you should also wear a condom.
  • There is some indication of a connection between the pill and depression; however, the data is inconsistent, and further study is required.

The mechanism of action of the combination pill

How it stops women from becoming pregnant

Because of the pill, the ovaries are prevented from producing an egg every month (ovulation). Additionally:

  • Increases the thickness of the mucus in the womb’s neck, making it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb and find an egg;
  • Decreases the thickness of the womb’s lining, making it less likely that a fertilized egg will implant in the womb and be able to grow;
  • And increases the risk of miscarriage.

If used precisely as directed, the pill has a success rate of above 99 percent. Other forms of contraception, such as the intrauterine device (IUD), intrauterine system (IUS), implant, and injectable, are more effective at preventing conception.

There are numerous distinct brands of pills, which may be broken down into three primary categories:

Monophasic tablets for a period of 21 days

This is by far the most typical kind. The quantity of the hormone included in each tablet is the same. A single tablet is swallowed daily for the first 21 days, after which no pills are taken for the next seven days. This category of medicine includes brands such as Microgynon and Marvelon, and Yasmin.

Phasic tablets for 21 days

The packages of phasic tablets often have two or three portions, each of which contains a different colored pill. There is a variance in the total quantity of hormones found in each area. A single tablet is swallowed daily for the first 21 days, after which no pills are taken for the next seven days. The phasic tablets have to be consumed in the specific sequence specified. One example of this kind of drug is called Logynon.

Pills are taken every day (ED)

One package contains 28 pills total, 21 of which are the real deal and 7 of which are placebos.

The two varieties of the pill each have a distinctive appearance. One tablet is to be taken daily for a total of 28 days, and there is no break between the individual packets of pills. The sequence in which you take your regular medication is critical. One example of this kind of medication is known as Microgynon ED.

Please ensure that you are following the directions that are included with your package. If you have any questions, you should see a physician, a registered nurse, or a pharmacist.

Because skipping tablets or taking them simultaneously as other medications can reduce the effectiveness of the treatment, it is essential to take the pills exactly as directed.

Standard protocol for administering the tablets over 21 days

  • You should take your first pill from the package that is labeled with the day of the week that it is, or you should take the first pill that is the first color (phasic pills).
  • Maintain the routine of taking one pill simultaneously every day until the whole pack has been used.
  • Stop taking medications for 7 days (during these 7 days, you will get a bleed).
  • On the eighth day, regardless of whether or not you are still experiencing bleeding, you should begin taking the following box of tablets. You must take this medication on the same day of the week as the first one you took.

How to take every day pills

  • You should start by taking the first tablet that is included in the portion of the package that is labeled “start.” This will be a pill with some kind of effect.
  • Continue to take one pill daily, making sure to take them in the correct sequence and aiming to do so around the same time each day until the pack is empty (28 days).
  • You will have bleeding at some point throughout the seven days when the inactive tablets are in your system.
  • You should begin the second pack of tablets after you have completed the first pack, regardless of whether or not you are still experiencing bleeding.

Specifically crafted regimens

In addition, you may use the combination pill as a custom regimen for yourself. This may include taking the tablet for a total of 21 days before pausing for 4 days, or it may involve taking the drug nonstop for the whole 30 days. Please see a medical professional or a nurse for more information.

The mechanism of action of the combination pill
The mechanism of action of the combination pill

Taking the first tablet of the combination

In most cases, you are free to begin taking the pill whenever you choose throughout your menstrual cycle. If you have recently had a baby, an abortion, or a miscarriage, you are eligible for further support and assistance. If you have a shorter menstrual cycle than average, the advice may also differ. If necessary, consult a medical professional, such as a doctor or nurse. Depending on when you begin taking the pill in your monthly cycle, you may or may not need to use an extra method of birth control during the first few days of taking the medication.

Beginning on the first day of your menstruation, you should…

If you begin taking the combination pill on day one of your period (day one of your monthly cycle), you will immediately be protected against becoming pregnant. Day one of your menstruation is considered day one of your menstrual cycle. You won’t need any other forms of birth control.

Beginning on day 5 of your cycle or earlier, whichever comes first,

You will still be protected against pregnancy as soon as you start taking the pill, regardless of when during your period you decide to do so, as long as it is before the fifth day.

After the fifth day of your cycle, you will begin to see results.

You will not be protected against pregnancy right immediately. You will need additional contraception until you have taken the pill for a whole week before you can consider yourself fully protected.

If you start taking the pill after the fifth day of your cycle, you should be sure that in the time since your previous period, you have not done anything that might put you in danger of becoming pregnant. Suppose you are concerned about becoming pregnant while taking the pill. In that case, you should get a pregnancy test three weeks after the most recent time you engaged in sexual activity without using protection.

What to do if you forget to take a medication

If you start a pack late or skip a tablet or pills altogether, this might cause the birth control pill to be less effective in preventing pregnancy. After missing a pill or tablets, the likelihood of becoming pregnant is dependent on the following factors:

  • When there is a shortage of the medicines;
  • How many of the tablets are not taken.

Find out what you should do if you forget to take a combination medication.

Vomiting and diarrhea

If you throw up less than three hours after taking the combination tablet, there is a possibility that it was not completely absorbed into your circulation. Take another tablet immediately, and then take the next pill when you usually would.

If you continue to feel nauseous, you should use an additional method of birth control until you have successfully taken the pill for a period of seven days straight without throwing up.

It’s possible that the tablet isn’t working effectively if you have severe diarrhea, which is defined as six to eight loose bowel movements in 24 hours. You should continue to take your pill as directed, but you should also use a different form of contraception, such as condoms, while you have diarrhea and for the next two days after you have recovered from it.

If you continue to feel ill or have diarrhea, it is best to see a general practitioner (GP) or a nurse or phone NHS 111 for additional advice.

Who is eligible to use the combination pill?

You can continue taking the pill up to the time of menopause if you do not smoke and there are no medical grounds that prevent you from taking the medication. The drug is not appropriate for everyone. Talk to your primary care physician, a nurse, or a pharmacist if you want to find out whether the medication is proper for you.

You should probably avoid taking the tablet if any of the following apply if you:

  • Are significantly overweight;
  • Take certain medications;
  • Are pregnant;
  • Smoke and are at least 35 years old;
  • Quit smoking within the last year and are at least 35 years old.

In addition, you should not take the tablet if you have (or have had had) any of the following conditions:

  • Clots of blood that form in veins, such as those seen in the leg or lungs;
  • A stroke;
  • Any other condition that causes the arteries to constrict;
  • Everyone in your immediate family who is under the age of 45 who has a blood clot;
  • A cardiac anomaly or heart illness, including high blood pressure, should have their blood pressure checked regularly;
  • Migraines of a severe nature, particularly when accompanied by an aura (warning symptoms);
  • A history of breast cancer;
  • Gallbladder or liver illness;
  • Diabetes with complications, or diabetes over the last 20 years.

Following giving birth

If you have just given birth and are not planning to nurse your infant, you may most likely begin taking the pill on day 21 after the delivery; however, you should verify this information with your physician before doing so. You won’t have to worry about becoming pregnant right soon because of this method.

If you start taking the pill later than 21 days after giving birth, you will need additional contraception (such as condoms) for the next seven days until you may start taking the pill usually.

It is recommended that nursing women wait at least six weeks after giving birth before taking the combination pill.

Following a failed pregnancy attempt or an abortion

You can start taking the pill up to five days after having an abortion or a miscarriage. At this point, you will be immediately safeguarded against becoming pregnant by the medication. Suppose you begin taking the pill more than five days after the abortion or miscarriage. In that case, you will be required to utilize additional contraception until you have taken medicine for a whole week.

Advantages and disadvantages

The following are some of the benefits of taking the pill:

  • It does not prevent sexual activity;
  • It makes your periods more consistent, lighter, and less painful;
  • It lowers your chance of developing cancer of the womb, ovaries, and colon, and it accomplishes all of these things.
  • It has been shown to alleviate the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and
  • It may also help clear up acne and protect against pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • It may lower the likelihood of developing fibroid tumors, ovarian cysts, and non-malignant breast diseases.

The following is a list of some of the pill’s potential drawbacks:

It is possible for it to initially create adverse effects that are only transitory, such as headaches, nausea, breast soreness, and mood swings;

if these side effects do not go away after a few months of usage, switching to a different tablet may be helpful.

It has the potential to raise your blood pressure.

You will not be protected from sexually transmitted illnesses by using it.

It is not uncommon to have breakthrough bleeding and spotting in the first few months of taking the pill.

It has been associated with an increased risk of several major health issues, including blood clots and breast cancer.

The combined pill with other medicines

Because of the interaction of some medications with the combination tablet, it does not function as intended. There is a list of some interactions; however, it is not a comprehensive list. If you wish to be sure that your current medications are compatible with the combination pill, you may do the following:

  • Inquire with your primary care provider, practice nurse, or pharmacist about having the patient information leaflet that accompanies your medication read to you.


Antibiotics such as rifampicin and rifabutin, which are prescribed to treat conditions such as TB and meningitis, can potentially lessen the efficacy of the combination tablet. Any of the other antibiotics do not cause this effect.

If you are given rifampicin or rifabutin, it is possible that you may be recommended to switch to a different method of birth control. In such a case, you will need to use additional contraception (such as condoms) while you are taking the antibiotic and for a short period after you have finished your course of treatment. Consult a medical professional or a registered nurse for assistance.

Medications for epilepsy and HIV, as well as St. John’s wort

The combination tablet can affect other medicines known as enzyme inducers. These cause your liver to break down hormones more quickly, which decreases the efficiency of the pill you are taking.

The following are some examples of enzyme inducers:

  • Carbamazepine, Oxcarbazepine, Phenytoin, Phenobarbital, Primidone, and Topiramate are some medications used to treat epilepsy.
  • St. John’s wort is herbal therapy.
  • Antiretroviral medications are used to treat HIV (research suggests that interactions between these medicines and the progestogen-only pill can affect the safety and effectiveness of both).

While you are on any of these medications, your primary care physician or a nurse may recommend using an extra or alternate method of birth control.

Possible adverse effects of taking both pills together

The utilization of the combined oral contraceptive pill is not without its share of potential side effects. On the other hand, these dangers are relatively minor.

Clots of blood form

The estrogen in the pill may make your blood more likely to clot. If a blood clot forms, it may result in the following:

  • Deep vein thrombosis (clot in your leg);
  • Embolism of the lungs (clot in your lung);
  • Stroke;
  • Heart attack.

Even though the likelihood of developing a blood clot is very low, your physician will examine your medical history to see whether or not you have specific risk factors before prescribing the tablet.


There is some evidence that taking the pill is associated with a somewhat increased risk of getting breast and cervical cancer. Additionally, it has been shown to reduce one’s likelihood of acquiring cancers of the uterus (womb), ovaries, and bowels.

However, if you stop using the pill altogether after ten years, your chance of developing breast and cervical cancer returns to its pre-pill levels.

Where you can get the combined pill

Through the NHS, contraception is provided at no cost to patients. The following are some of the locations where you may get contraception:

Community clinics that provide family planning services;

Some genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics and sexual health clinics also provide services for testing for sexually transmitted infections and contraception.

GP surgeries – Talk to your primary care physician, a nurse, or someone who works in a youth program. (for more information, contact the Sexual Health Line at the number 0300 123 7123)

Find a center for sexual health care.

What steps do I need to take to switch to a different pill?

You may seek the counsel of a general practitioner (MD), a contraceptive nurse (also known as a family planning nurse), or a sexual health clinic if you have questions about modifying your oral contraceptive.

Because you should not have a break between various packs, you will often be recommended to start the new pill immediately or wait until the day after you take the last of your old drugs before beginning the new pack. Since you should not have a break between different packs,

Because it can take the new pill a little while to start working correctly, your doctor might also suggest that you switch to another form of birth control during the transition.

If you’re under 16 years old

Those under the age of 16 are eligible for contraception services that are both free and confidential. This includes people who are less than 16 years old.

If you are under the age of 16 and desire to use contraception, the physician, nurse, or pharmacist will not notify your parents (or caretaker) as long as they feel you completely comprehend the information that is provided to you and the choices that you make.

When working with patients younger than 16, medical professionals must adhere to several stringent requirements. They will suggest that you discuss it with your parents and urge you to do so, but they will not require you to do so.

If a professional suspect that you are in danger of being harmed, such as by an abusive partner, then and only then will they reveal this information to another person. The threat would need to be significant, and before taking any action, they will typically discuss it with you.


Birth Control Brands: How to Choose What’s Right for You

Birth Control Brands: How to Choose What’s Right for You

Pills used for birth control are used monthly by millions of women in the United States to prevent pregnancy or alleviate the discomfort of menstruation. Before deciding on a birth control brand, it is essential to discuss your options with your primary care provider, regardless of the reason why you use birth control. They may guide you toward the most suitable option to your preferences and how you live your life.

Here is a brief introduction to the topic so that you may go into your appointment with the doctor well educated and prepared to make a choice.

What exactly are these combined pills?

Hormones known as estrogen and progestin may be found in combination tablets and synthetic versions of these hormones. They are available in various proportions or combinations of both active and inactive constituents.

When taken exactly as directed, the combo pill has an effectiveness rate of above 99 percent.

Conventional pills

The most frequent combination pill consists of either 21 active pills and 7 inactive pills or 24 active pills and 4 inert pills. Occasionally, combination pills may also include both active and passive medications. While taking the inactive tablets, you may have monthly bleeding comparable to that of a typical period.

Monophasic pills

Pills that are monophasic only contain one phase or level of the active hormones. Throughout the course of the month, the quantity of hormones included in each active tablet is unaltered.

Brand names such as the following are examples of common monophasic pills:

  • Apri;
  • Alesse;
  • Aviane;
  • Estrostep Fe;
  • Lessina;
  • Levlite;
  • Levora;
  • Loestrin;
  • Lo Ovral;
  • Nordette;
  • Ocella;
  • Low-Ogestrel;
  • Previfem;
  • Safyral;
  • Velivet;
  • Yasmin;
  • Yaz.

Multiphasic tablets

In multiphasic tablets, the amount of the active component changes from phase to phase. The stage in your cycle that you are now in will affect the number of active chemicals currently present.

Biphasic tablets consist of the following:
  • Azurette;
  • Mircette.
Triphasic contains the following:
  • Caziant;
  • Enpresse;
  • Ortho;
  • Tri-Cyclen;
  • TriNessa;
  • Velivet.
Quadriphasic tablets include:
  • Natazia.

Extended-cycle pills

Your physician may recommend an extended-cycle or continuous-dose tablet to you if you express interest in having fewer periods. These comprise 84 tablets with an active ingredient and 7 pills with no active ingredient. If you use this kind of tablet, you may expect to get your period four times a year, on average.

The following are examples of common brand names for extended-cycle pills:

  • Seasonale;
  • Seasonique;
  • Lybrel.

Low-dose pills

Less than 50 micrograms of estrogen are included in each active tablet that makes up a low-dose package. If you’re sensitive to hormones, your best bet is to go with low-dose tablets. They are also an excellent choice for those who are just beginning their journey with birth control.

You may suffer more breakthrough bleeding than you would if you were taking a more significant amount of hormones with low-dose birth control pills, even though many individuals have tremendous success with these types of birth control pills.

The following are examples of common brand names for low-dose pills:

  • Apri;
  • Aviane;
  • Loestrin;
  • Lo Ovral;
  • Ortho-Novum;
  • Yasmin;
  • Yaz.

What exactly are minipills, then?

There is just one formulation of minipills available, and it contains only progestin and no estrogen. As a result, the minipill is an excellent choice for individuals who have specific medical issues and those who are sensitive to estrogen.

Each tablet includes the same amount of hormone at the same concentration, and each pill also contains the same active components. There are no inactive tablets contained in this pill, in contrast to the combo pill. While taking this method of birth control, you should be aware that there is a possibility that you may not have a period at all. The amount of progestin that is included in a minipill is much less than what is contained in any combo pill.

When used appropriately, mini-pills have a more than 99 percent efficacy rate.

The following are examples of common brand names for mini-pills:

  • Camila;
  • Errin;
  • Heather;
  • Jencycla;
  • Jolivette;
  • Nor-QD;
  • Nora-BE;
  • Orthoa Micronor.

What are the critical differences between combination pills and mini pills?

The presence or absence of estrogen is the primary distinction between combination pills and minipills. Minipills do not include estrogen. There is also a discernible distinction in the ways in which each medication impacts your body.

Combination contraceptives are effective in preventing conception in three different ways. First, the hormones stop your ovaries from producing an egg when they should be doing so. Sperm cannot produce offspring in the absence of an egg to fertilize.

Additionally, the hormones are responsible for the accumulation of viscous, gummy mucus near the entrance of your cervix. Because of this, it is more difficult for sperm to enter your body via your cervical hole. Some birth control medications that combine hormones also reduce the thickness of the uterus lining. A fertilized egg that does not have a thick lining will have a tough time connecting and growing into a baby.

Minipills work to prevent conception by weakening the lining of the uterus and increasing the thickness of the cervical mucus. However, the primary purpose of these progestin-only tablets is not to block ovulation, even if certain minipills do have this capability.

What side effects may I experience?

Many individuals may use pills that prevent pregnancy without risk and with very few adverse effects or symptoms. Nevertheless, these health worries may crop up for a few individuals, particularly when they begin taking the tablet for the first time.

Combination birth control pills have been linked to the following potential adverse effects:

  • Symptoms like nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • A headache;
  • Weight increase (which is often caused by fluid retention);
  • Breast pain;
  • Bleeding in between periods.

Some of the potential adverse effects of progestin-only minipills include the following:

  • Blemishes on the face and breasts;
  • Discomfort in the breasts;
  • Headache;
  • Tiredness;
  • Bleeding between periods;
  • Ovarian cysts;
  • The increase in weight led to a decline in libido.

What side effects may I experience?

What exactly is it that causes the negative effects of birth control pills?

Hormones are included in birth control tablets. They are meant to maintain a constant amount of hormones in your body throughout the whole of your menstrual cycle. Because of this, your chances of becoming pregnant are decreased, and it also helps prevent ovulation.

Experiencing adverse effects due to fluctuations in your hormone levels is possible. When you first start taking the pill, when you are late taking a tablet, or when you skip a dosage, these changes may occur in your blood pressure.

After taking the tablet for a few weeks or months, most of these negative effects should start to subside. If you are still experiencing these health issues after using the product continuously for three months, you should see your doctor. You might look into alternative methods of birth control.

Considerations of potential dangers

Birth control is both safe and effective for the vast majority of individuals. You may have a greater chance of suffering adverse effects if you are exposed to certain risk factors. Have a conversation with your physician about your personal medical history before you start using birth control. This will allow your physician to evaluate which, if any, drugs you should steer clear of.

You may be at a greater risk of experiencing adverse effects if any of the following apply to you:

  • Smokers who are above the age of 35;
  • History of breast cancer;
  • History of high blood pressure;
  • History of heart attacks or heart disease;
  • History of stroke;
  • History of breast cancer;
  • History of heart attacks or heart illness;
  • Have a family history of problems with blood clotting;
  • Having been diagnosed with diabetes for over ten years.

If you are breastfeeding your child, you should probably look into alternate birth control methods until you have finished nursing your child. Please consult your physician about the many treatment choices available to you since the progestin-only minipill may work best for some nursing mothers.

Birth control brands comparison chart
Birth control brands comparison chart

Birth control brands comparison chart

Brand name Generic name Type Schedule (active/inactive)
Alesse levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol monophasic 21 days/7 days
Apri desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol low-dose monophasic 21 days/7 days
Safyral drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol/levomefolate calcium and levomefolate monophasic 21 days/7 days
Lo Loestrin FE norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol, ethinyl estradiol low-dose monophasic 26 days/2 days
Seasonique levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol extended cycle 84 days/7 days
Camila norethindrone minipill 28 days
Yaz drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol low-dose monophasic 24 days/4 days
Yasmin drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol low-dose monophasic 21 days/7 days
Enpresse levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol triphasic 21 days/7 days
Azurette desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol and ethinyl estradiol biphasic 21 days/7 days

How to Determine Which Birth Control Pill Is Right for You

Suppose you are having trouble deciding between the many methods of birth cost birth control methods, the matter with your physician. Each kind of pill is beneficial, but your choices may vary depending on your family medical history, the way you live your life, and the outcomes you want to achieve.

It would be beneficial to have some concept of the kind of birth control pill that would be most suitable for you before making an appointment with your doctor.

Think about whether or not you would feel more at ease taking a combination pill that contains predominantly active tablets (pills that include hormones) or whether or not you would prefer to use minipills, which are progestin-only pills.

If you cannot take estrogen orally, you may find that minipills are helpful. It is possible that you will not have periods while using this sort of birth control pill, which is yet another essential factor to consider.

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of the two distinct kinds of pills. After choosing the form of medication that most appeals to you, your physician may suggest one or more specific brands of that medication to you. However, just because a particular brand has been successful for another person does not indicate that it will also be successful for you. It is not unusual for a person to try a few different kinds of birth control pills or different quantities of those pills before they settle on the one that meets their needs the most effective.

Take your time acclimate to the new medication and observe how your body responds to it, regardless of whether you choose to take the minipill or the combo pill. Most medical professionals advise waiting at least three months before switching from one drug to another.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any adverse effects that make it difficult for you to carry out your normal activities or that cause you any other problems. They could suggest that you try a different medication.

Concerning birth control tablets, the most often asked questions are as follows:

Which kind of birth control pill is used the most frequently?

The two forms of birth control pills that are used the most often are the combination pill and the minipill.

Which brand of birth control pill is available at the lowest price?

It depends. Anywhere in the United States, you should be able to receive birth control pills for free or at a very cheap cost. For more details, please have a look at our guide here.

Do I need to make an appointment with a medical professional to receive birth control pills?

Yes, in most cases. Contacting a doctor, nurse, or one of the locations providing Planned Parenthood services is often required to get a prescription for birth control tablets. Only a few states will let you fill a prescription at a local pharmacy or get one online.

Where can I acquire the medications that prevent pregnancy?

You may purchase birth control pills from a pharmacist or buy them online if you already have a prescription for them.

The main point to be learned

The most frequent forms of birth control pills are combination pills and minipills. Minipills are also available.

The answer to this question will depend on several circumstances, such as whether you want to take a tablet that does not include estrogen because you feel more comfortable with it or if you’rжв going to take a pill that contains primarily hormones. Each person’s experience with a drug’s adverse effects, its price, and how their body reacts to its various formulations and brands will be unique.

You can select the birth control pill that works best for you by conversing with your doctor about the options.


Where can I get contraception?

Where can I get contraception?

Your contraception guide

Free contraception is available from:

  • Contraception, sexual health, and GUM (genitourinary medicine);
  • GP (General practice) offices;
  • Youth services;
  • Pharmacies.

Find a sexual health clinic

Contraception services are free and confidential for under-16-year-olds.

If you’re under 16 and want contraception, the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist won’t tell your parents or caregiver if they feel you understand the facts and your options.

When treating minors, doctors and nurses follow tight restrictions. They’ll suggest alerting your parents, but won’t force you.

If you’re at danger of damage, such as abuse, a professional may warn someone. They’d discuss the danger with you first if it’s substantial.

Find out more about getting contraception.

How does the female condom work?

How does the female condom work?

Your contraception guide

Soft and thin synthetic latex or natural latex is used to produce female condoms. They are placed into the vagina to block the flow of sperm into the uterus.

  • A female condom that has not been wrapped is held between two hands.
  • A quick look at some facts concerning the female condom is credited:
  • Female condoms have a success rate of 95% when they are used appropriately.
  • They protect against pregnancy and illnesses that are transferred sexually (STIs).
  • Before there is any contact with the penis, a female condom has to be inserted into the vagina.
  • Whenever you purchase condoms, make sure the package displays either the European CE mark or the UKCA mark. This indicates that they have passed rigorous inspections to ensure their safety.
  • It is possible for a female condom to get lodged within the vagina while engaging in sexual activity; nevertheless, if this occurs, it is simple to remove the condom from the vagina.
  • There is a possibility that women who do not feel comfortable touching their genital region should not use female condoms.
  • It is not recommended to reuse female condoms. Start a fresh one every time you engage in sexual activity.
  • On the package of condoms is a date that indicates when they should be used. Do not use condoms that are out of date.

The inner workings of a female condom

A barrier form of contraception, female condoms are worn within the vagina to prevent pregnancy. They do this by preventing sperm from coming into contact with eggs, therefore preventing conception.

Before engaging in sexual activity, a female condom may be inserted into the vagina; however, it is essential to ensure that the penis does not touch the vagina before the condom has been inserted.

Even before a guy has had an orgasm, sperm may still be expelled from the testicles via the penis (fully ejaculated).

Condoms are the only form of contraception that, when used properly, protect against sexually transmitted infections and prevent pregnancy.

Instructions for using a female condom

  1. When you take the female condom from the package, be careful not to rip it while you’re doing so. Please do not use your teeth to open the package.
  2. After putting the condom into the vagina, squeeze the smaller ring that is located at the closed end of the condom.
  3. Be sure that the region surrounding the entrance of the vagina is covered by the big ring that is located at the open end of the condom.
  4. Be sure that the penis is inserted into the female condom and not in the space between the condom and the side of the vagina.
  5. Immediately after having sexual activity, the female condom should be removed by gently drawing it out. You may prevent any semen from escaping by twisting the vast ring.
  6. Put the used condom in the trash can rather than flushing it down the toilet.

Using lubricant

Even while female condoms already have lubricant to make them more user-friendly, you could find it more comfortable to add more lubricant.

To determine which lubricants are appropriate, check the back of the package.

Who is eligible to use a female condom?
Who is eligible to use a female condom?

Who is eligible to use a female condom?

The vast majority of individuals can utilize female condoms without risk. You can also use them right away after having a baby, having an abortion, or having a miscarriage.

On the other hand, they may not be appropriate for ladies who are uneasy about having anybody touch their private parts.

The following are some of the benefits and drawbacks of using a female condom:

  • Female condoms may protect both partners from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.
  • They are an effective means of avoiding pregnancy, provided that they are used properly.
  • You only need to use this kind of birth control whenever you engage in sexual activity.
  • There are no significant adverse effects to be concerned about.


  • Some partners feel that the act of inserting a condom brings an end to their sexual encounters. You may get around this by bringing it up ahead of time or by making the act of doing so a part of the foreplay.
  • Even though female condoms are pretty durable, they may still be damaged if they are not used appropriately.
  • It is possible to spend more money on them since they are not as commonly accessible as male condoms.

Is there anything that might potentially make female condoms less effective?

Even when a woman uses a female condom, sperm can enter the vagina during sexual activity.

This may happen if:

  • Before a female condom is inserted, the penis contacts the region around the vagina.
  • When the female condom is inserted, it is pushed too far into the vagina, and the penis mistakenly penetrates the space between the side of the vagina and the condom.
  • The condom is harmed when it comes into contact with sharp objects like fingernails or jewelry.
  • It is possible that you may need emergency contraception if you believe that sperm has entered your vagina.

You have access to emergency contraception for up to five days after engaging in sexual activity without protection.

You should also think about being tested for sexually transmitted infections. This may be accomplished by:

  • Clinics for sexual health or genitourinary health (also known as GUM clinics),
  • Clinics for contraception,
  • And clinics for young people

Find a center for sexual health care.

Where can I get condoms for women?

Even if you are under the age of 16, the following places will provide you with free female condoms:

  • Most clinics that provide contraception;
  • The vast majority of genitourinary medicine (GUM) or sexual health clinics;
  • Certain GP surgeries;
  • Certain organizations that cater to young people;
  • Locate the sexual health service that is closest to you.

There are specific contraceptive and sexual health clinics that do not provide female condoms, so you should inquire about their availability before you go.

You may also purchase female condoms from the following retailers:

  • Pharmacies;
  • Supermarket;
  • Websites.

Be sure that any female condoms you purchase have either the European CE mark or the UKCA mark anywhere on the packaging. This indicates that they have passed the tests necessary to meet the appropriate levels of safety.

Those under the age of 16 are eligible for contraception services that are both free and confidential. This includes people who are less than 16 years old.

If you are under the age of 16 and wish to use contraception, your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will not notify your parents (or caretaker) as long as they feel you fully comprehend the information you have been given and your choices made.

When working with patients younger than 16, medical professionals must adhere to several stringent requirements.

They will suggest that you discuss it with your parents and urge you to do so, but they will not require you to do so.

If they feel you are in danger of being harmed, such as by being abused, would a professional share this information with another person.

Under these conditions, the potential danger must be significant, and they will most likely consult with you before telling you about it.

Your contraception guide

Your contraception guide

Hello, and thank you for visiting the contraceptive guide!

“Where can I find methods to prevent pregnancy?”

“Which type of birth control is most suitable for me?”

“I’m under 16 – is it possible to receive birth control?”

This guide is here to answer any and all concerns you may have about the acquisition and use of contraception.

This article aims to provide helpful information to anybody interested in learning more about contraception or who may have a question regarding the technique they now use or are considering using in the future.

You will be able to learn about the many approaches provided by the NHS, where you can get them, and how to choose which method is likely to be most helpful to you.

Figuring out how to get about

If you are reading this page on a computer screen, you can access a complete menu for each component of the contraceptive guide by using the blue tabs that are located at the top of the page.

Try using the search bar at the top of the page if you’re having trouble locating the information you’re looking for; it searches the whole of the NHS website.

If you are reading this on a mobile device, you can access a list of all the subjects discussed in this tutorial by using the blue sections located at the top of the page.

Types of contraception
Types of contraception

Popular subjects and pages

You may get started by learning about the many methods of birth control that are available to you, including their mechanisms of action, the types of people who can take them, and any potential adverse effects.

These approaches are as follows:

  • Diaphragms or capped diaphragms;
  • Combination pill;
  • Сondoms;
  • Contraceptive implant;
  • Сontraceptive injection;
  • Contraceptive patch;
  • Female condoms (How does the female condom work?);
  • IUD (intrauterine device or coil);
  • IUS (intrauterine system or hormonal coil);
  • The practice of natural family planning (fertility awareness);
  • Progestogen-only tablet;
  • Vaginal ring,

Two forms of contraception are considered to be permanent:

  • Female sterilization;
  • Male sterilization (vasectomy).

You may also educate yourself about emergency contraception, a form of birth control that can be used after sexual activity that was not protected, or if your regular method of contraception fails.

You may also get information regarding:

  • How effective certain forms of contraception are;
  • How effective other methods of birth control are.

You are determining which approach is best for you. The most likely to be successful for you will be determined by various criteria, such as your age, whether or not you smoke, your medical and family history, and any medications you use.

Find out more in the article Which approach is best for me?

Where you may get contraception and contraceptives during times of emergency

On the NHS, contraception is provided at no cost. Learn where you may get contraception, and then search using your postcode to locate:

  • General practitioners close by, sexual health clinics close by, pharmacy close by;
  • You can also find out where you may get emergency contraception, such as the “morning after pill” or the IUD (coil).

Common questions regarding contraception

Find the answers to some frequently asked questions about the acquisition and use of contraceptives, such as the following:

  • What to do if you’re on the pill and you’re sick or have diarrhea;
  • Using contraception after having a baby;
  • When your periods will come back after stopping the pill;
  • Whether you can get a sterilization reversal on the NHS

If you utilize the blue tabs at the top of the page, you may access more organized questions and answers under the headings “Worries and queries” and “Questions regarding the pill.”