The contraceptive pill or birth control pill (often just called ‘the pill’) is taken by women to prevent pregnancy.
Marvelon is one of many types of contraceptive pill. Marvelon is a “combined pill”, which means that it contains two different hormones, ethinylestradiol (which mimics the sex hormone oestrogen) and desogestrel (which mimics the sex hormone progestogen). The combined pill is 99% effective when taken according to the instructions.
|3 x 21 tablets||£25|
|6 x 21 tablets||£35|
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Marvelon, just like other combined oral contraceptives, prevents pregnancy by:
- preventing your ovaries from releasing an egg
- thickening the mucus at the entrance to the womb and decreasing the chance of sperm successfully making its way to the egg
- slightly changing the walls of the womb so that a fertilised egg cannot implant and develop
How is Marvelon taken?
It is best to take Marvelon at approximately the same time every day. If for any reason you have to delay taking a tablet, you’ll still be protected as long as you remember to take it within 12 hours. You must make sure you do not miss a dose, as this may stop the pill working properly. Please refer to the patient leaflet, should you miss a dose entirely.
Use a barrier method such as a condom or diaphragm to protect yourself from falling pregnant after a missed pill.
Do not take more Marvelon than advised, or take extra tablets, as this will not make the tablet more effective or reliable and could cause side effects.
Why are there 21 pills in a pack?
Marvelon is taken for three weeks every month, followed by a break of one week. During the break, you will have a “withdrawal bleed” which is like a period. You should start taking the new packet after a seven day break, whether you are still bleeding or not.
You will still be protected from pregnancy during the seven day break, so you do not need to take any extra precautions during this time, as long as you have taken all your pills correctly.
If you have sex with a new partner you still need to use a condom, as Marvelon will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
Are the active ingredients in Marvelon safe for everyone?
Just like any other medication, there are contraindications to the use of Marvelon.
Your GP will check your medical family history and your general health before prescribing Marvelon for the first time.
Marvelon is not suitable for women who have migraines, severe depression, liver disease or kidney disease. It should not be taken by those with cardiovascular problems, especially blood clots. If members of your family have had blood clots, you should tell your doctor. Women who have, or have had, breast cancer, or have the genetic mutations for breast cancer should not take Marvelon. You should also tell your doctor if you have any lump in your breast that has not been investigated. Other reasons why you may be unsuitable for Marvelon are if you smoke or if you are overweight. You should not take Marvelon if you are breastfeeding, or at least wait until weaning or six months after birth.
For a full list of contraindications, please read the patient leaflet.
- Migraine and headache
- Weight gain
- Sore breasts or nipple discharge
- Depression and mood swings
- Increased blood pressure levels (swollen feet and hands)
- Gynaecological and vaginal problems auch as fibroids or endometriosis (womb disorders)
- Fungal infections like thrush
- Changes in secretions
- Irregular bleeding
- Rashes or brown patches on the skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Discomfort in the eye
- Gall stones
- Chorea (jerky movements)
- Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (causes joint ache and tiredness)
Drugs which interact with Marvelon include:
- Epilepsy treatments
- Some antibiotics
- Some sedatives (barbiturates)
- St John’s Wort (herbal remedy)
- Griseofulvin (antifungal)
- Some laxatives/medical charcoal
Tell your doctor if:
- You have had heart or circulation problems (e.g. blood clotting)
- You have inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis
- You have sickle cell anaemia
- You have diabetes
- You have excessive thickening of the womb lining
- You have had gynaecological problems like fibroids or endometriosis
- You have had kidney/liver problems or gall stones
- You have had severe depression
- You have/ have had epilepsy/migraines
- You have brown patches on your body/face (chloasma)
- You smoke
- You have high blood pressure
- You have high blood levels of cholesterol or a family history of this condition
- You have gallstones