Microgynon Side Effects

What are the Side Effects of Microgynon, and What Can you Do About Them?

If you're taking Microgynon or considering taking it, you might want to know if there are any side effects to expect.

While Microgynon is safe as long as a doctor has prescribed it to you, it helps to learn what side effects to watch out for, and how to manage them.

What Side Effects Can Microgynon Give You?

Some women who are taking Microgynon experience side effects. Not everyone gets them, but these are the ones to look out for.

Common side effects (between 1-10% of women who use Microgynon will get one of these side effects):

  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Stomach ache
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Low mood or mood swings
  • Pain in the breasts

Uncommon side effects (less than 1% of women who use Microgynon will get one of these side effects):

  • Being sick (nausea)
  • Upset stomach
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Migraines
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Breast enlargement
  • Skin rash, which can be itchy

Rare side effects (less than 0.1% of women who use Microgynon will get one of these side effects):

  • Finding your contact lenses suddenly uncomfortable
  • Weight loss
  • More interest in sex
  • Discharge from the breast or the vagina
  • There are also some common questions that people have about Microgynon.

Will Microgynon cause me to gain weight? – some women who take Microgynon do find that they gain some weight. More rarely, others find that they actually lose weight. However, the majority of women do not notice weight changes after starting Microgynon. And, women who do report weight gain only notice small changes to their weight.

Will Microgynon cause me to have mood swings? – some women find changes to their mood after they start taking Microgynon. The majority of women report that their mood is normal when they are on Microgynon.

Is there a link between Microgynon and cancer? – there may be a link between taking the Pill and cervical cancer. However, it’s not clear whether it’s the Pill that causes cancer or whether it is another factor, such as having sex without using a condom.

Taking the Pill slightly increases your risk of getting breast cancer. So, you should not take Microgynon if you currently have breast cancer or you have had it in the past. The risk of getting breast cancer is higher if you have a close relative that has had breast cancer or if you have a high body mass index (BMI). So, you should tell your doctor if this is the case.

What if I Think I’m Having Side Effects From Microgynon?

Side effects are most likely when you start your Pill – you are more likely to be having side effects if your symptoms start shortly after starting or changing the Pill. So, if you have been taking Microgynon for a while before noticing some of the symptoms that have been listed, it’s less likely that you are having side effects caused by the Microgynon.

If you are having side effects from the Microgynon – you may wish to carry on with the medication for a few weeks. Some women find that these side effects settle down as their body gets used to the medicine. However, if the side effects do not settle down or you can’t tolerate them, we recommend that you go back to your GP or see a pharmacist who will be able to advise you on the next steps. You should not stop taking your medication without a doctor’s or pharmacist’s advice.

What to do in an emergency – there is a very small risk of developing a blood clot if you are taking Microgynon. This is a medical emergency. If you experience any symptoms described below, call 999 immediately or get someone to take you to the nearest Accident & Emergency department:

  • Swelling of one of the legs. You may also experience pain on standing or walking, increased temperature of the swollen leg, or change in colour of the swollen leg
  • Suddenly becoming breathless
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of vision or blurring of vision to one eye
  • Sudden weakness to a limb, sudden weakness to the face, or difficulty speaking

Am I Still Protected From Pregnancy?

In most cases you are still protected – even if you have side effects, you are still protected from pregnancy. This is because your body still absorbs the Microgynon in order for it to have an effect.

Stomach-related side effects can affect your contraceptive – you may not be protected if you miss a dose, throw up, or have diarrhoea whilst on Microgynon. This is because your body might not have absorbed as much of the Microgynon as it needs to protect you from a pregnancy.

What could mean you're pregnant – if you miss any pills in your strip and you do not have a bleed during your week break of the pill, you could be pregnant. Make an appointment with your GP or a family planning clinic as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can carry out a pregnancy test at home.

What to do about missed pills – you may need to use additional contraception (for example, a condom) if you have missed 2 or more pills in the pack, or started your pack more than 48 hours late. You should continue your pill pack, and take the most recent missed pill (even if this means taking 2 pills at once) and use additional contraception for 7 days. If you are in the last 7 days of your pill pack, you should skip your pill free week and start the next pack without a break.

Should Microgynon Affect My Periods?

Yes Microgynon can affect your period – when you are taking Microgynon, you normally get a period-like bleed in the week’s break where you take no pills. You may notice the change especially if your cycles are irregular or normally more than 28 days in length. Microgynon can also make your periods lighter or reduce premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.

This is different for each person – whilst a majority will find that their periods are lighter and more regular, some women find that they have heavier or irregular bleeding, especially during the first few months of taking Microgynon. If this happens, you may wish to carry on taking Microgynon for a few months until your body gets used to the medicine. However, if it doesn’t settle down or you can’t tolerate the heavier or irregular bleeding, make an appointment with your GP who will be able to suggest alternative treatments.

How Can You Make Microgynon Side Effects Less Likely?

Taking your pill with food – some women find that if they take Microgynon with food, they are less likely to experience side effects such as stomach ache or feeling sick. Ensure that you keep hydrated throughout the day to help prevent side effects such as headache. Unfortunately, sometimes getting side effects from Microgynon is unavoidable.

Taking your Pill as instructed helps – it’s very difficult to predict how a person’s body will react to a medicine so it’s hard to tell whether someone is likely to get side effects from Microgynon. You are more likely to get side effects from a medicine if you don’t take it as directed so we recommend that you take Microgynon exactly as you’ve been instructed.

Switching contraception – if you can’t tolerate the side effects from Microgynon, it may be worth making an appointment to see your GP to discuss an alternative contraceptive pill or even a different contraceptive method. There are a lot of options available and many methods of contraception are over 99% effective.


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