Oral contraceptive pill

Oral contraceptive pill

Introduction

The contraceptive pill works by changing the body's hormonal balance helping to prevent pregnancy. Dears Pharmacy offers either the combined pill, low dose pill, and mini pill/progestogen-only pill.

Combined pill

The body naturally produces hormones called progesterone and oestrogen, and the combined contraceptive pill contains synthetic versions of these hormones. The pill works by temporarily stopping ovulation (an egg being released). The lining of the womb is also thinned, so if an egg were to be fertilised, it would be less likely to attach.

The combined pill is a daily tablet, it is best taken at the same time each day to ensure you are protected. Used correctly, it is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Please note it will not protect you from STIs, so condom use may also be advisable.

As oestrogen can cause a rise in blood pressure, to ensure that your combined pill is safe for you to take, the pharmacist will need to check your blood pressure, height, and weight before they can dispense your contraception. These checks are free and will take place in our private consultation rooms.

Low dose pill

The low dose pill is a combination of a contraceptive containing both progesterone and oestrogen. It contains a smaller amount of oestrogen than a regular combined contraceptive pill. Reducing the oestrogen means that some side effects, such as breast tenderness, can be lessened.

Low dose pills have a higher rate of irregular bleeding than the regular pill, so are not suitable for everyone. They are more often used by older women, though they can be tried by everyone.

Once taken, the hormones are absorbed and work to stop eggs from being released and fertilised.

The low dose pill is taken daily. Some brands have a 7-day break every month, but some do not. Providing it is taken as instructed, it should provide protection in 99% of cases.

Since low dose pills contain oestrogen, which can cause a spike in blood pressure, the pharmacist will need to check your blood pressure, height, and weight in-store before they can supply your contraception. These checks are free and will take place in our private consultation rooms.

About mini pills (Progesterone only)

The mini pill contains only one hormone: progesterone. It is often suitable for women who cannot use contraception containing oestrogen (a hormone used alongside progesterone in more common contraceptives such as the combined pill). This may include women with previous blood clots, high blood pressure, or those who are overweight.

The important thing to note about the mini pill is that most brands must be taken at the same time daily. If you are more than three hours late to take the mini pill, you will not have contraceptive protection. With this in mind, it is a good idea to make taking the mini pill part of your regular daily routine or set an alarm to make sure you take it on time.

In addition, use condoms to stop the transmission of STIs.

The mini pill works by thickening the mucus at the entrance to the womb, so it is harder for sperm to penetrate into the womb and reach an egg. Some varieties of the mini pill also stop ovulation. The most common side effect when this pill is commenced is irregular bleeding, but this tends to be light and usually settles down within 3 months.

At Dears Pharmacy we can provide you with up to three months’ supply at a time following a short consultation with our pharmacist with no prescription necessary.

Service details

Price: Small charge

Frequency: When required...

Leaflet: Page one

Availability

This service is available in / from the following pharmacies:

 

Select your preferred pharmacy to visit their page and enquire about this service or just pop in when it suits you.

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