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Desomono Contraceptive Pill

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Desomono is a progesterone only pill (POP). It’s taken daily and is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. It’s ideal if you’re over the age of 35 and a smoker or if you can’t take pills that contain oestrogen. It’s also a great choice of pill if you have painful periods.

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3 x 28 tablets £20.00
6 x 28 tablets £32.00

Prices include delivery and prescription.

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Desomono Contraceptive Pill

Desomono is a progesterone only pill (POP) or mini-pill, which means it does not contain oestrogen. It is used to prevent pregnancy and needs to be taken every day. Desomono is known as a 12 hour pill because it must be taken within 12 hours of the same time every day to still be effective in preventing pregnancy. This gives you a longer time frame if you forget to take it at the same time each day than with some other POPs. 

Desomono works to prevent pregnancy by thickening the mucus in your cervix to stop sperm from reaching an egg. It works this way thanks to its active ingredient desogestrel, which is a type of progestogen. This acts in the same way as the natural hormone progesterone. It contains 75 micrograms of desogestrel, which also prevents you from releasing an egg every month. 

How long does Desomono last?

Desomono lasts for as long as you take it. There are no breaks between packs, which means it will continue to work for as long as you use it. The contraceptive pill is usually safe to be taken for a long time, as long as there are no medical reasons why you cannot take Desomono. 

After you stop taking Desomono, you will begin ovulating again within 48 hours to 4 weeks.

How long does Desomono take to work?

Desomono will start working straight away if you have regular periods and take it on the first day of your period. If you start taking it after day 5 of your period, you will need to use another form of contraception (like condoms) for your first 2 days of taking it.

If you’re on another type of contraception such as the combined pill, transdermal patch, or vaginal ring and start taking Desomono the day after stopping using them it should work straight away, provided you’ve taken them as instructed for the previous 7 days. If you have had a break in between contraception, it may take up to 2 days before you’re protected, so use another form of contraception like condoms during this period if you have sex.

If you’re changing from another progesterone only pill (POP) or mini-pill to Desomono, it will work straight away as long as you don’t take a break in between.

How effective is Desomono

When used correctly, Desomono is over 99% effective. But it is most effective when taken at the same time every day. Sometimes life can get in the way of remembering to take your pill on time, so on average Desomono is 91% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Desomono is a pill that you take every day with water. It is called a 12 hour pill as it should be taken within 12 hours of the same time each day to prevent pregnancy.

Unlike combined contraceptive pills, Desomono does not have a break between packs. When you finish a packet, you can start the next one the following day. 

How long can I take Desomono for?

You can take Desomono for as long as you need contraception until you are 55 or you reach menopause, in which case your doctor will let you know when it’s safe to stop contraception. Your doctor will regularly review your contraception to make sure it is safe and effective. 

When should I start Desomono?

You can start Desomono at any time in your menstrual cycle, but your doctor may recommend taking it on the first day of your period. When starting it on day 1 to 5 of your period, it will work straight away and you will not need barrier contraception. If you only have a short or irregular cycle, you should use barrier contraception until you’ve taken Desomono for 2 days. 

If you start Desomono at any other point in your menstrual cycle, you should also use barrier contraception for 2 days. After having a baby, you can use Desomono after 21 days and you will be protected from pregnancy. If it has been over 21 days since you had a baby, you will need to use barrier contraception for 2 days. 

Your doctor can give you more information if you are not sure when to start taking Desomono, especially following an abortion or miscarriage. 

You can get Desomono online or from a pharmacy but you will need a prescription from a doctor.  

Can I buy Desomono online?

Yes, you can get Desomono online from trusted sellers such as Superdrug Online Doctor. 

To order Desomono, you will need to complete a short medical questionnaire. A doctor will review your answers and prescribe Desomono, or offer another contraceptive pill if Desomono is not suitable for you. You can then get Desomono delivered to your home in discreet packaging, or collect it from your nearest Superdrug Pharmacy. 

Can I buy Desomono over the counter?

You cannot currently get Desomono over the counter, although you can buy some POPs without a prescription. You can speak to your pharmacist for more information. 

Can I get Desomono on the NHS?

Yes, you can get Desomono on the NHS if you need a contraceptive pill. You may be prescribed Desomono or a similar treatment containing the same ingredients, such as Zelleta. 

Common side effects of Desomono include:

  • mood changes, such as depression
  • a decrease in sex drive (libido)
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • acne
  • breast pain
  • headache
  • irregular or no periods

Uncommon side effects of Desomono include:

  • vaginal infections
  • vomiting (being sick)
  • hair loss
  • trouble wearing contact lenses
  • painful periods
  • tiredness
  • ovarian cysts, which are small fluid filled sacs that are usually harmless and do not need treatment

Rare side effects of Desomono include:

  • rash
  • hives, which is a skin reaction that causes red and itchy skin
  • erythema nodosum, which are painful blue reddish skin lumps

Though weight gain is listed as a potential side effect by manufacturers, more recent studies have shown there is no link between POPs and weight gain.

In very rare cases, you may get a severe allergic reaction from taking Desomono. If you get swelling in your face or mouth or difficulty breathing, go to A&E or call 999 straight away. 

Spotting or bleeding

As you do not take a break between packets when taking Desomono, you may get vaginal bleeding at irregular intervals. This can cause spotting or bleeding, like a period. Some women do not get any bleeding at all while taking Desomono. It is not a sign that Desomono is not working and you should continue taking it as prescribed. If you get heavy or prolonged bleeding, or your bleeding pattern changes after 3-6 months on the pill, speak to your doctor. 

How long do Desomono side effects last?

Most side effects happen during the first few months of taking Desomono and will stop when your body is used to the treatment.

What to do if you get Desomono side effects

If you get Desomono side effects, treat them like you usually would at home. If they do not go away or are bothering you a lot, speak to your doctor.

Desomono may not be the right form of contraception for everyone. There are some conditions that could potentially make it unsafe to use or medications that could interact with Desomono, making it less effective. You should tell your doctor before taking Desomono if you have any medical conditions or have had any in the past, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or take any other medications. 

Contraindications

You should not take Desomono if you have:

  • an allergy to any ingredients in Desomono, especially desogestrel
  • ischaemic heart disease or a stroke
  • liver disease
  • breast cancer, or have had breast cancer in the past
  • unexplained vaginal bleeding

If you are pregnant or might be pregnant, you should not take Desomono. It can usually be taken while breastfeeding but you should speak with your doctor first. 

As Desomono contains lactose, you should speak to your doctor if you have an intolerance to lactose and should not take it if you are allergic to lactose.

Medications that interact with Desomono

Some medications could interact with Desomono, so you should let your doctor know if you take anything before using it for the first time. Some medications could mean Desomono takes a little longer to work, and you may need to use barrier contraception like condoms at the start of your treatment. Some medications can also increase the risk of unexpected bleeding. 

Medications that could interact with Desomono include treatment for:

  • HIV, such as ritonavir
  • epilepsy, such as carbamazepine
  • tuberculosis, such as rifampicin
  • hepatitis C, such as boceprevir
  • depression, such as St John’s wort
  • fungal infections, such as griseofulvin
  • stomach upsets, such as medical charcoal

There are alternatives to Desomono if it is not suitable for you. We provide a range of different contraceptive pills, patches and vaginal rings. We also recommend using a form of barrier protection, like a condom, to prevent STIs while on the pill.

Desomono vs other progesterone only pills (POPs)

The main difference between Desemono and other pops is that some POPs only have a 3 hour window to take the pill, which means you need to take it within 3 hours of the same time the next day. Desomono has a 12 hour window so it gives you more time if you forget your pill. Desomono and other POPs that contain desogestrel are also more likely to stop you from releasing an egg each month so can be better at helping with period pain than other POPs.

We have a range of other POPs that contain a form of progestogen, which is either the same as Desomono or slightly different. They all work in a similar way to prevent pregnancy. The other POPs that Superdrug Online Doctor use include:

  • Cerazette, which contains 75 micrograms of desogestrel
  • Cerelle, which contains 75 micrograms of desogestrel
  • Hana, which contains 75 micrograms of desogestrel and is also available over the counter
  • Norgeston, which contains 30 micrograms of levonorgestrel
  • Noriday, which contains 350 micrograms of norethisterone 

Desomono vs other combined contraceptive pills

The combined oral contraceptive pill is different to Desomono, as it also contains an oestrogen, as well as a progestogen. Combined contraceptive pills are usually taken with a break between packs, which is when you have a bleed like a period. Like Desomono, one tablet should be taken at the same time each day to be most effective. 

Some combined contraceptive pills have different levels of hormones for every week in the month, so they can mimic your natural menstrual cycle. This can lead to fewer side effects but can be more difficult to take. Some women find that combined pills help with heavier or painful periods or acne. They cannot be used if you cannot take oestrogen. You may not be suitable for the combined contraceptive pill if you are over 35 and smoke, have heart problems, are overweight, or have a family history of breast cancer. 

It’s important to speak to a doctor before taking a combined pill to check if it’s suitable for you.

Some of the combined contraceptive pills that Superdrug Online Doctor use include:

For a full list of the contraceptive pills that we use, check our website or speak to one of our doctors. 

About Online Doctor

We're a service that helps you order treatments online from UK-registered doctors with free, discreet, to-your-door deliveries.

See our About Us page to learn more.

Reviewed by: Dr Clair Grainger in line with the Superdrug Online Editorial Process.

GMC no. 7041314

Dr Grainger studied at the University of Edinburgh and worked in hospitals before becoming a GP. She has an interest in respiratory, and sexual and reproductive health.

Last reviewed on: 27/10/22