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|3 x 21 tablets||£25|
|6 x 21 tablets||£35|
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Marvelon works like other combined pills to prevent pregnancy by:
- stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) every month
- thickening the mucus in your cervix lining the neck of the womb (uterus), making it harder for sperm to reach an egg
Marvelon is 99.7% effective in preventing pregnancy when taken exactly as prescribed. Although it may actually be closer to 91% effective if you:
- forget to take the pill
- restart the pill at the wrong time
- are sick (vomit) or have diarrhoea
- are taking other medicines or herbal products that make Marvelon less effective
Marvelon comes in a strip of 21 pills. You should:
- Take the 1st pill on the 1st day of your period – this prevents pregnancy immediately
- Take 1 pill at the same time every day for 21 days. You should use the marked strip to take the pill on the correct day
- After taking 21 pills, take no pill for 7 days. During this 7 day break you should have a bleed which is like a period (it’ called a withdrawal bleed)
During the 7 day pill break you will be protected against pregnancy. For full instructions, see the patient information leaflet.
What should I do if I miss a pill?
If you miss your pill, you can take it within the next 24 hours without worrying about getting pregnant. You should take it as soon as you remember. Then continue to take your pill at the correct time. This may mean that you need to take 2 pills on the same day.
If you’re late to restart your pill after the 7 day break:
- Take the most recent missed pill as soon as you remember
- Use an emergency contraceptive if you’ve had unprotected sex during the 7 day break, or in the days after the 7 day break has ended
- Use another form of contraception such as a condom until you have taken 1 pill every day for 7 days in a row
- Take a pregnancy test 3 weeks after you last had unprotected sex
If it’s been more than 24 hours, follow our doctors’ advice on missed pills.
Other ways of taking the pill
There are other ways of taking Marvelon which you may find more suitable for you. These include taking each pill pack back to back without a pill free week, or, instead of a 7 day break, taking a 4 day break every 3 weeks.
You should never take more than a 7 day break between pill packs.
We recommend that you discuss the best way of taking Marvelon with your doctor. You can also message a Superdrug Online Doctor for advice.
If you start taking Marvelon on days 1 to 5 of your period it will start to work straight away and you won’t need extra protection.
Otherwise, you’re only protected from pregnancy once you’ve been taking Marvelon for 7 days in a row without missing any pills. Until you have done so you should use another form of contraception such as condoms to prevent pregnancy.
Marvelon may give you side effects, but they don’t affect everyone.
- If you’re having minor side effects, continue to take the pill for 3 months as this is quite normal, and they should go away as your body adjusts to the pill
- If your side effect symptoms continue after 3 months or become worse, it’s important to talk to your GP. They may recommend another form of contraception
Common side effects:
- breast pain
- changes in your period
- mood changes
- vaginal discharge
- vaginal thrush infection
Uncommon side effects:
- breast enlargement
- changes in blood pressure
- hair loss
- changes in libido
- fluid retention
- changes in weight to less or more
Rare side effects:
- reduced hearing
- blood clots
- skin changes
- nipple discharge
Will I gain weight on Marvelon?
There is currently no scientific evidence or studies to suggest any kind of link between taking combined pills such as Marvelon and putting on weight. In fact some women will find that they lose weight when they take the pill.
Your doctor may not prescribe Marvelon if you are:
- are a smoker and over the age of 35
And if you have/have had:
- history of breast cancer (but Marvelon can be used after 5 years if there is no evidence of disease and non-hormonal methods are unsuitable)
- problems with heart disease, circulation or a previous history or family history of blood clotting
- high levels of cholesterol, or a family history of any other medications such as statins for high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- a history of migraines with aura
- raised BMI or are very overweight
- heart attack or stroke
- unexplained vagina bleeding
- cervical cancer
- uncontrolled diabetes
- kidney or liver problems
- Crohn's disease or inflammatory bowel disease
- sickle cell anaemia
- varicose veins
- allergies to any of the ingredients in Marvelon
You shouldn’t take Marvelon if you are:
- pregnant or may be pregnant
- breast feeding
If you have any of these conditions, then progesterone-only (mini pill) might be better for you. Always discuss any conditions with your doctor. If Marvelon isn’t right for you they can tell you about other forms of contraception.
There are some medicines and herbal products that make Marvelon less effective, like those taken for:
- hepatitis C viral infection
- other infectious diseases
- blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs
- depressive moods
Tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking. And for more information, see the patient information leaflet.
Taking Marvelon makes it more likely that you may develop:
- blood clots – because of the oestrogen in Marvelon, it can cause an increase in clotting factors in the blood, which can mean that a blood clot is more likely while you're using it. This risk is small though. Symptoms to look out for include sharp chest pains, coughing up blood, swollen and painful legs, and a sudden, rapid heartbeat or breathing
- breast cancer – the oestrogen in Marvelon can also make breast cells grow faster, which can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer. Whether you are on the pill or not, remember to check for breast lumps regularly and report any that you find to your doctor
- cervical cancer – the oestrogen in the combined contraceptive pill can also lead to some cancer-promoting genes becoming more active, leading to an increased risk of cervical cancer. Whether you're on a contraceptive pill or not, you need to get regular cervical screenings. The NHS offers them to women aged 25 to 64 and they can pick up unusual cell changes in your cervix
Talk to your doctor about the health risks of Marvelon if you're worried, and make sure to let them know about any medical conditions you have.
Can I drink while on Marvelon?
You can drink alcohol in moderation when you’re taking the combined pill – drinking won’t make the pill less effective, and neither will it make possible side effects worse.
For health reasons you should still stick to the recommended guidelines on drinking.
Can I take painkillers with Marvelon?
You can take painkillers that you buy over-the-counter, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, while you're taking Marvelon. Taking painkillers won’t make the pill work any less effectively for preventing pregnancy, and it will not increase any possible side effects either.
Can I take the morning after pill while on Marvelon?
You can take the morning after pill if you forget a dose of Marvelon, but you should use a condom for the next 7 days because you will not be protected from pregnancy during this time.
- If you have taken Levonelle, take your next combined pill within 12 hours of taking the morning after pill
- If you have taken ellaOne, wait 5 days before taking your next combined pill
How can I delay my period while on Marvelon?
You can delay your period by finishing the strip you’re on and continuing to the next strip of pills without a break.
Then, take your pill as normal and then take a 7 day break before continuing to the next strip of pills.
Can I take Marvelon if I’m breastfeeding my child?
You should not take Marvelon while breastfeeding, especially within the 1st 6 weeks of breastfeeding when your risk of blood clots after childbirth is higher.
The combined pill may also affect your breast milk. Talk to your doctor about other methods of contraception if you are going to be breastfeeding.
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