Microgynon 30

Microgynon 30

Microgynon is a combined contraceptive pill which is up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy when taken correctly. It's available as a 21-pill pack and a 28-pill pack called Microgynon ED (if you prefer taking a pill every day without a break).

In stock
from £14.99

Product details

Microgynon is a combined contraceptive pill which is up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

There are 2 different types of Microgynon – a 21 pill pack and a 28 pill pack (called Microgynon ED). The pills are exactly the same but the packs are designed to be taken in different ways.

Dr Simran Deo Medical Editor

Medically reviewed by

Dr Simran Deo

Last reviewed: 05 Mar 2021

Microgynon Prices

Pack Size Price
30 mcg - 3 x 21 tablet(s) £14.99
30 mcg - 6 x 21 tablet(s) £24.99

How it Works

About Microgynon Contraceptive Pill

What is Microgynon?

Microgynon is a combined oral contraceptive pill. It is taken daily to prevent pregnancy and can also be used to treat other issues, such as heavy periods. Microgynon is known as a combined pill because it contains the synthetic versions of two different female hormones: oestrogen (ethinylestradiol) and progesterone (levonorgestrel). Microgynon contains 30mcg of ethinylestradiol and 150mcg of levonorgestrel.

There are two different types of Microgynon available:

  • Microgynon 30: this comes in a 21-day pack so you take it every day for 21 days and then have a 7-day break
  • Microgynon 30 ED: this comes in a 28-day pack so you take one pill every day without a break

Is Microgynon the same as other combined pills?

Microgynon contains the same dose of levonorgestrel and ethinylestradiol as Levest and Rigevidon. The only difference is in the brand names.

There are other combined pills available which have different combinations of synthetic hormones, such as Gedarel. These pills work in the same way, but use different hormones that may be more suitable for some women.

How to buy Microgynon

A doctor needs to prescribe Microgynon for you before you can buy it. You can buy Microgynon through a licensed site such as Superdrug Online Doctor, even if you have never had a prescription for it before:

  • Answer the short online questionnaire.
  • One of our doctors will review your answers.
  • If Microgynon is suitable for you to take, the doctor will confirm your prescription.
  • You then buy the pills and can either have them sent to your home discreetly (in an unmarked package) or you can ‘click & collect’ from a Superdrug store of your choice.

Can you get Microgynon over the counter?

No, you cannot buy Microgynon over the counter or without a prescription. Microgynon is a prescription-only medication, which means you need a prescription from a doctor before you can buy it.

Can you get Microgynon on the NHS?

Depending on local guidelines you may be able to get Microgynon on the NHS. You should talk to your GP or your local NHS sexual health clinic about this.

How does Microgynon work?

Microgynon works by releasing synthetic versions of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone into your body. This prevents pregnancy in three different ways:

  • stopping ovulation so your ovaries do not release an egg each month.
  • increasing the thickness of the fluid around the neck of the womb, so it is harder for sperm to reach an egg
  • reducing the thickness of the lining of the womb, which means it is more difficult for any egg that does become fertilised to implant itself

How long does Microgynon take to work?

If you take your first Microgynon pill in the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle in order to be protected from pregnancy immediately.

If you start taking Microgynon on day 6 or later in your cycle then you won’t be protected from pregnancy straight away. You should use additional protection, such as condoms, for 7 days. If you have unprotected sex during this time, you will need to use emergency contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

How effective is Microgynon?

When taken correctly, Microgynon is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. However, some factors such as missing pills, interactions with other medications, or being sick can impact the effectiveness of the pill. Taking these factors into consideration, Microgynon is around 91% in reality, which is the same as other combined contraceptive pills.

How to take Microgynon

There are two different versions of Microgynon, which are taken slightly differently.

Microgynon 30

  • comes in strips of 21 tablets
  • each tablet is marked with the day of the week it should be taken on
  • swallow one tablet whole with water at the same time every day
  • at the end of the strip you take a 7-day break
  • during this 7-day break you will have a ‘withdrawal bleed’ which is similar to your period
  • start your new strip after 7 days and start on the same day each time
  • you are protected from pregnancy both when you are taking the pills and during your 7-day break

Microgynon 30 ED

Microgynon ED (Every Day) contains dummy pills that do not have any hormones in them. It is designed to make it easier to remember to take the pill as you do not take a break.

  • comes in strips of 28 tablets
  • each tablet is marked with the day of the week it should be taken on
  • swallow one tablet whole with water at the same time every day
  • at the end of the strip, start your new one on the same day each time
  • during the last 7 days of your strip you will be taking the dummy pills and you will have a ‘withdrawal bleed’ which is similar to your period
  • you are protected from pregnancy throughout the 28 days

When should I start taking Microgynon?

To be fully protected from pregnancy immediately it is recommended that you start taking Microgynon in the first 5 days of your period. If you start taking Microgynon on the 6th day of or later in your cycle, you should use additional contraception for 7 days.

If you are changing contraceptive pills or changing from a coil or injection you should make sure you follow the directions given by your doctor to ensure that you are fully protected from pregnancy.

  • If you are currently taking a combined pill you should start taking Microgynon at the end of your strip or at the end of your active pills if you are taking a 28-day pill. You will be protected from pregnancy immediately but you will not have a bleed until the end of your first strip of Microgynon.
  • If you are currently taking a mini pill, you should start taking Microgynon on the first day of your period even if you have already taken your mini pill that day. You will have protection from pregnancy immediately.

Can I take Microgynon without a break?

Yes, you can take Microgynon every day without taking a 7-day break. In some cases, this approach can help with heavy periods. The NHS advises that you do not do this for more than 2 packets unless you have spoken to your doctor.

What should I do if I miss taking my Microgynon pill?

If you have missed one pill or start your new strip a day late:

  • take the missed pill as soon as you remember, even if this means taking two pills at once
  • continue taking the strip as normal
  • you will be protected from pregnancy
  • if your strip ends within 6 days of you missing a pill then do not take the 7-day break but start your new strip immediately
  • if you are taking Microgynon 30 ED and the active tablets end within 6 days of you missing a pill you should throw away the inactive tablets and start a new pack of Microgynon 30 ED at the end of the active tablets

If you are sick within 3 to 4 hours of taking your pill or have diarrhoea, your body may not have fully absorbed the hormones so you should act as though you have missed a pill. In the case of ongoing vomiting and diarrhoea, you should get medical advice to be clear on whether you need to use additional protection.

If you have missed two or more pills:

  • you should take your pill as normal once you remember
  • you should use additional contraception for the next 7 days as you may not be protected from pregnancy
  • if you have had unprotected sex since you missed your pill you will need to use emergency contraception

Can I take Microgynon to delay my period?

Yes, you can take Microgynon back-to-back to delay your period. You should talk to your GP if you do this regularly.

Taking Microgynon 30 ED back-to-back will not delay your period as you will have your period in the last 7 days of the strip.

Can I use Microgynon as emergency contraception?

No, Mircogynon is not an emergency contraceptive. It works to prevent pregnancy by stopping an egg from being fertilised in the first place, whereas emergency oral contraception works to stop a pregnancy from developing after unprotected sex (and potentially fertilisation of an egg).

Can I take Mircogynon after a miscarriage or termination?

Yes, you should discuss this with your doctor beforehand, but it is possible to start taking the combined pill immediately after a miscarriage or termination.

Can I take Microgynon if I am breastfeeding?

You should talk to your doctor about what contraceptive pill to take while you are breastfeeding. The combined pill is not always recommended for breastfeeding mothers due to the oestrogen it contains.

Can I drink while taking Microgynon?

Yes, Microgynon does not interact with alcohol.

Can I take painkillers when taking Microgynon?

Yes, Microgynon does not interact with painkillers.

Is Microgynon safe?

Microgynon is safe for most women to take, and is one of the most commonly prescribed contraceptive pills in the UK.

As with all contraceptive pills, there are some low risks associated with taking Microgynon, and may not be recommended for women who have specific medical conditions. If you have been prescribed Microgynon that means the doctor has assessed your medical condition and knows that Microgynon is a good option for you.

Microgynon side effects

Many women who take Microgynon will not experience any side effects. However, as with all medications, some people will experience side effects. These can vary from person to person and in severity.

Side effects are more common in the first 3 months of taking Microgynon as your body gets used to the hormonal changes. If you are getting side effects and they are having a big impact on your life or do not go away after the initial 3 month period, you should talk to your doctor. They may suggest you swap to a different pill. You can talk to your SuperDrug Online Doctor through your patient account.

In rare cases taking Microgynon can lead to a blood clot. Signs of a blood clot include stabbing chest pain, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, immediate loss of vision, and unexplained swelling or tenderness in one or both legs. If you feel any of these symptoms, you should stop taking Microgynon immediately and seek urgent medical help. The Patient Information Leaflet has more information on how to recognise a blood clot.

The following side effects have been reported by women taking Microgynon:

Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 women):

  • headache
  • stomach pain/feeling sick
  • increase in weight
  • tender breasts
  • depressive mood and changes in mood

Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 women):

  • migraine (see a doctor if it is your first or is particularly severe)
  • fluid retention (swollen hands, ankles or feet)
  • reduced interest in sex
  • diarrhoea/being sick
  • rash/hives
  • enlarged breasts

Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1000 women):

  • changes in vaginal or nipple secretions
  • discomfort when wearing contact lenses
  • reduction in body weight
  • increase in sexual desire

Women discuss the following issues when taking Microgynon:

Can Microgynon help with painful and heavy periods?

Yes, by regulating the hormones in your body the combined pill can help with painful and heavy periods.

Does Microgynon make your breasts grow?

The hormonal changes caused by taking Microgynon can lead to changes in the size of your breasts, but this usually settles down after the initial 3 months of taking the pill.

Does Microgynon increase your risk of blood clots?

Microgynon is a combined pill and there is a small increase in the chance of you developing blood clots when taking the combined pill, compared to when you are not taking it. The risk for Microgynon is between 5-7 out of 10,000 women so it is deemed to be low overall. The risk is higher when you first start taking Microgynon (or if you restart it after a break) and once you stop taking Microgynon your risk of developing a blood clot returns to normal in a few weeks. Factors such as age (being over 35), family history, being overweight or having recently given birth can all impact the risk of you developing a blood clot. Always make sure you discuss your personal health and your family’s medical history with the doctor prescribing you Microgynon.

Does Microgynon help with acne?

Taking Microgynon can help control acne as the hormonal changes can reduce the production of sebum (the oily substance which is secreted onto your skin and can cause acne).

Can Microgynon cause mood swings or make you depressed?

Taking Microgynon changes the hormones in your body and women report that this can result in changes of mood or low mood. Research has neither proved or disproved this link and some women do find that the mood changes improve after the first 3 months of taking Microgynon.

Can Microgynon cause changes to your weight?

There is no scientific evidence to prove that taking the combined pill either increases or decreases your weight. But some women do report weight changes as a side effect of taking Microgynon.

Can Microgynon lower your libido?

Some women find the hormonal changes caused by taking Microgynon have an effect on their sex drive. If you are worried that taking the pill is impacting yours, speak to your GP who may suggest you try a contraceptive pill with a different combination of hormones.

Does the Microgynon pill stop periods?

No, you take the active hormones for 21 days and then have a withdrawal bleed (period) in the 7 days before you start taking the active pills again. This is the same for both Microgynon 30 and Microgynon 30 ED (which simply provides you with dummy pills for the 7-day break). Microgynon can be used to stop periods if taken back to back (without a break), but this isn’t the regular way to use this pill.

Who shouldn't take Microgynon?

Microgynon is recommended for many women but the combination of oestrogen and progesterone can make it unsuitable for women with certain medical conditions. If this is the case for you, your doctor may recommend that you try the progesterone-only mini pill instead.

It is important to tell the prescribing GP if you:

  • smoke and are 35 or older
  • stopped smoking less than a year ago and are 35 or older
  • are overweight
  • suspect you might be pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • are going to have an operation which means you will be off your feet for a long time
  • take certain medicines
  • have or have had blood clots on a vein (eg, your leg or lungs)
  • have issues affecting your blood clotting or a family history of blood clots
  • have or have had a stroke
  • have or have had a heart abnormality
  • have or have had severe migraines
  • have or have had breast cancer
  • have or have had disease of the gallbladder or liver
  • have or have had diabetes
  • have or have had very high blood pressure

Can I take Microgynon if I am taking other medicines?

If you are taking medication or herbal supplements you should tell your doctor before taking Microgynon. If you are already taking Microgynon and you are prescribed another medication, you should also make sure you let your doctor know. This is because the interactions between Microgynon and other medications or supplements can make it less effective.

Medicines for the treatment of the following conditions may stop Microgynon from working properly:

  • epilepsy
  • tuberculosis
  • HIV infection
  • hepatitis C virus infection
  • other infectious diseases
  • high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs
  • depressive mood

What are the risks from taking Microgynon?

If you have been prescribed Microgynon by a doctor, then it is safe for you to take. However, as with all combined oral contraceptive pills, there are increased risks associated with taking it.

  • Blood clots: the oestrogen in Microgynon can cause your blood to clot more easily which can cause deep vein thrombosis (clot in your leg), pulmonary embolism (clot in your lung), stroke and heart attack. The risk for Microgynon is low (between 5-7 women out of 10,000) but it is higher when compared to those not taking any oral contraceptive (2 out of 10,000 women). The risk decreases after your first year of taking Microgynon for the first time and returns to normal within a few weeks of when you stop taking it.
  • Cancer: research has shown that the combined pill can slightly increase the risk of developing breast and cervical cancer. The risk goes up the longer you are on the pill and is increased if you have a family history of breast cancer or you are overweight. Your risk of developing breast cancer goes back to normal 10 years after you stop taking the pill.

Microgynon reviews

On Trustpilot, our customers rate our service 4.7 out of 5 stars. This includes the process of ordering and delivering Microgynon from Superdrug Online Doctor as well as how customers rate Microgynon itself.

You can read about other people’s experiences, including side effects, of taking Microgynon on The Lowdown.

Microgynon FAQs

Is there a best contraceptive pill?

Lots of different pills are available, and they are all slightly different. There is no “best contraceptive pill”, but certain pills may work better for you than others, and some may not be suitable for you at all. Each pill contains slightly different hormones, sometimes in different amounts, so finding the best pill for you may involve some trial and error, with the guidance of a doctor. For advice on getting the right pill for you, read our doctors’ guide on how to find the best contraceptive pill.

Can the pill make me bleed between periods?

Bleeding between periods is a possible side effect of some of the contraceptive pills, especially the mini pill. Apart from discomfort and inconvenience, this is not usually a sign of something wrong and isn’t harmful to your health. However, bleeding between periods is usually a temporary side effect, and typically gets better in the first few months as your body gets used to the pill. So if it doesn’t stop after a couple of months, or is very heavy or worrying, you should see your doctor straight away to rule out any other causes. For more information, you can read our doctors’ advice on how the pill can affect your bleeding.

I didn’t get my period while taking the pill. Am I pregnant?

The pill is over 99% effective, so if you are taking it correctly then you are very unlikely to get pregnant. If you miss your period, it does not necessarily mean that you are pregnant. Some pills, especially the mini pill, can cause you to delay or skip your period, or stop having them at all. Read our doctors’ advice on how to tell if you are pregnant on the pill, and what you can do about it.

Can I switch to a different pill?

There are lots of different contraceptive pills, so if you find that the pill that you are on isn’t right for you, then there are plenty of other options to choose from. However, before switching to a different pill, you should talk with a doctor about which pill to switch to, and how to switch pills safely. For more information, read our doctors’ advice on how to switch contraceptive pills.

Does the pill cause weight gain?

While some women report they gained weight whilst taking the pill, there is no clinical evidence that pill causes weight gain. However, oestrogen can cause you to retain more water, progesterone can increase your appetite, both of which can lead to weight gain. For more information, read what our doctors have to say about weight gain and the pill.

How long will it take to get pregnant after taking the pill?

Taking the contraceptive pill has no long term impact on your fertility, so your fertility levels should return to normal shortly after stopping the pill. It is possible to get pregnant as soon as you stop taking the pill, though some women may find it takes a few months for their periods to return to normal.

How do birth control pills work?

While there are many different types of pill, they all work to prevent pregnancy in the same way. The hormones in the contraceptive pill prevent pregnancy by stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation), increasing the thickness of the fluid around the neck of the womb to prevent sperm from reaching an egg, and making the lining of the womb thinner to make it harder for any fertilised eggs to implant. Read for more information on how the pill works.

How effective is the pill?

All contraceptive pills are equally effective, and are more than 99% effective in protecting you against pregnancy. However, things like missing a pill, and vomiting or having diarrhoea shortly after taking it can make it less effective. Taking this into account, the pill is about 91% effective in practice.

What should I do if I miss a pill?

If you miss a pill, the first thing you should do is take it as soon as you remember and take your next pill as normal, even if it means taking two pills at the same time. Depending on the type of pill you are taking (combined or mini pill), or where in your cycle you missed a pill, you may not be protected from pregnancy any more and would need to use additional contraception. Read our doctors’ guide on what to do if you miss a pill.

Can I take antibiotics on the pill?

Most antibiotics don’t interact with the pill, and won’t make it less effective. However, there are a few less common antibiotics that do, so you should always tell your doctor that you are taking the pill if they prescribe you antibiotics. In addition, some antibiotics can have an indirect impact on the effectiveness of the pill, such as causing vomiting or diarrhoea. If you are taking antibiotics regularly, or are planning on taking them, then speak to your doctor first to make sure they do not interact. For more information, read our doctors’ guidance if you should take the pill and antibiotics.


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