What is it?

The combined oral contraceptive pill, usually just called "the pill", contains artificial versions of female hormones estrogen and progesterone, which women produce naturally in their ovaries.

A woman can get pregnant if a man's sperm reaches one of her eggs (ova). Contraception tries to stop this happening usually by keeping the egg and sperm apart or by stopping the release of an egg (ovulation).

To compare contraception methods and what will work best for you, use the Contraception Choices Tool 

Based on your medical history, your GP or a sexual health clinician will advise whether the combined pill is a good option for you.     

However, the pill is not suitable for those who are:

  • Very overweight

  • Smoke

  • Pregnant 

  • Breastfeeding

  • Have a history of blood clots 

  • Take certain medications 

  • It does not interrupt sex

  • Is extremely effective, over 99%, when used accurately 

  • It may make your periods lighter, regular and less painful

  • It may be helpful for patients with acne

  • May not be a good option if you have a hard time remembering pills. If have unprotected sex and have missed two or more pills, you may need to use emergency contraception.

  • It doesn’t protect against Sexually Transmitted Infection (STD’s) so the use of condoms along with the pill are recommended

  • it can cause temporary side effects at first, such as headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and mood swings 

Make an appointment at one of our clinics to speak with a nurse or clinician to talk through your options and whether the pill is a suitable method of contraception for you.