The contraceptive pill
The pill is one of the most commonly used contraceptive methods. If you take it properly, it is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. You need to remember to take it every day for it to work.
There are two types of contraceptive pill: combined pills and mini-pills
. Both contain synthetic versions of “sex” hormones which control your reproductive system. “Combined” pills contain a combination of two hormones, oestrogen and progestogen, whilst the “Mini-pill” only contains progestogen.
The combined pill is taken every day for 21 days, after which you have a seven day break. During this break you will have a bleed, like a period. The main difference with the progestogen-only mini-pill is that it must be taken at the same time each day, and you take it every day, without a break. As a result, you may not have periods when you take the mini-pill. The mini-pill is suitable for some groups of people who are unable to take the combined pill.
Contraceptive pills do not prevent infection with an STI, so you still need to wear a condom if you are unsure whether you might be at risk. All contraceptive pills are prescription-only medications. In order to begin using an oral contraceptive, you need to see your GP.
If you are already taking the pill, the Superdrug Online Doctor service provides a convenient service for repeat prescriptions with the option to pick up your pill at your local Superdrug pharmacy, or have it delivered to your home or work address.