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This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.
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    Combined Pills: Here's what we've got.
    Silvery blue Katya blister pack containing 21 round white tablets



    Standard oestrogen dose pill that's very similar to Femodene and Millinette.

    • Starting from £28.00
    Blister strip of Elevin tablets



    Safest category combined pill, with a lower risk of oestrogen side effects. Very similar to Levest.

    • Starting from £55.00
    Silver Gedarel blister pack containing 21 round white tablets labelled with days and arrows



    Comes as a 'standard' oestrogen dose or a lower dose option. Very similar to Marvelon and Mercilon.

    • Starting from £26.00
    Blister strip of Rigevidon tablets placed diagonally



    Very similar to Microgynon and Levest. Safest category pill that helps with heavy menstrual bleeds.

    • Starting from £22.00
    Blister strip of Logynon tablets



    Phased dose pill, similar to TriRegol. Designed to match changes in hormone during your cycle.

    • Starting from £25.00
    Pink blister pack containing 21 round white tablets



    Lower dose version of Katya. Less oestrogen, better if you've had side effects on higher doses.

    • Starting from £28.00
    Blister strip of Femodene tablets



    Standard oestrogen dose. Similar to Millinette and Katya. 21 and 28 pill options available.

    • Starting from £30.00
    Blister strip of Ovranette tablets



    Very similar to Microgynon and Levest. Safest category pill that makes menstrual bleeds lighter.

    • Starting from £22.00
    Silver Lucette blister pack containing 21 round white tablets marked with arrows



    Very similar to Yasmin. Can help with PMS and making your periods more regular.

    • Starting from £35.00
    Blister strip of Levest tablets



    Safest category pill, helps with heavy menstrual bleeding. Very similar to Rigevidon and Microgynon.

    • Starting from £23.00
    Yellow Yasmin blister pack containing 21 round white tablets



    Well known pill that reduces PMS symptoms and can help to make your periods more regular.

    • Starting from £36.00
    Silver blister pack containing 21 small round blue tablets


    Norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol

    Also known as Cilest. Can help to make your periods more regular.

    • Starting from £27.00
    Blister strip of Eloine tablets



    Like Yasmin but in a lower dose. 28 day pill you take without a break.

    • Starting from £38.00
    Back of Microgynon blister tablets



    Safest category pill that reduces heavy bleeding. Same hormone mix as Levest and Rigevidon.

    • Starting from £24.00
    Blister of Femodette tablets



    Lower dose version of Femodene. Comes in a 21 pill pack or a 28 pill pack you take without a break.

    • Starting from £31.00
    Blister strip of Millinette tablets



    Same hormone mix and dose as Femodene and Marvelon. Lower oestrogen version available.

    • Starting from £28.00
    Blister strip of Marvelon tablets



    Pill with a 'regular' oestrogen dose. Comes in a 21 pack. Very similar to Cimizt and Gedarel 30.

    • Starting from £30.00
    Orange blister pack containing 21 round white tablets



    Very similar pill to Cilest and Cilique. Can help to make periods more regular.

    • Starting from £27.00

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    Pharmacist Prescriber

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    Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a doctor.

    What are combined birth control pills? 

    They’re pills that combine two types of hormone: oestrogen and progesteroneThese hormones affect how and when your body prepares for pregnancy. 

    There are several different types of combined birth control pill and they’re all just about equally effective at preventing pregnancy. However, some contain higher doses of hormones than others, or use different types of progestin and oestrogen. This means one pill might be ideal for easing specific PMS symptoms, while another pill works great for women who are extra-sensitive to hormones. 

    It can feel a bit overwhelming, so we’re here to help. 

    How does the combination pill work?

    The combined pill works in three ways to prevent pregnancy. Here’s the big one: it stops ovulation. That’s when your ovary releases an egg, and it happens once a month. Each egg has the chance to become fertilised, leading to pregnancy. If fertilisation doesn’t happen, the lining of your womb breaks down and the whole thing happens again next cycle (lots of fun, we know). 

    Because the combined birth control pill stops ovulation, your chances of becoming pregnant are significantly reduced. 

    The combined birth control pill also protects you by making the mucus in your cervix thicker. “Thick mucus” isn’t something you normally want to hear but in this case, it’s great news. When it’s thicker, sperm have a much harder time reaching the egg. 

    The pill also makes your uterine lining thinner. This lining builds throughout the month and then breaks down during your period. When you’re using birth control, the lining doesn’t build in the same way. And so the period you have while taking the pill should be shorter, lighter and more predictable.

    Which contraceptive pills are combination pills?

    Any that contain two active ingredients, a progesterone and an oestrogen. To find out if your pill is a combined pill, just check the active ingredients. 

    In the leaflet that comes with your pill, the ingredients should be clearly listed at the top underneath the name of the drug. For combined pills you should see two ingredients, front and center, that are progestin and oestrogen. 

    With Loestrin, for example, the active ingredients are norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol. This pill is clearly stated as a progestin-oestrogen combination. 

    We offer a range of combined birth control pills, so there’s plenty of choice for you. But if you can’t take combination pills, for any reason, it’s important to share this with us for your safety.  

    Medically reviewed by
    Dr Daniel Atkinson
    GP Clinical Lead
    on August 02, 2022.
    Meet Daniel  
    This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

    How we source info.

    When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

    How effective are combined birth control pills?

    There are two ways of measuring how effective pills are at preventing pregnancy. One way is according to perfect use. This means you take the pill exactly as you should, every day, without making a mistake. The level of effectiveness of the combined oral contraceptive pill when taken like this is over 99%. So in a whole year, fewer than 1 in 100 women taking the combined birth control in that time will become pregnant.

    The other way is typical use. This is when you take the pill but make realistic errors, such as forgetting the occasional pill or taking it late. It’s 91% effective when taken like this, which means about 9 in 100 women taking it over a year will become pregnant.

    The best way to make sure the pill is effective then is to follow the instructions as closely as you can when you take it.

    When to start taking the combined pill

    It depends on whether you’re taking the pill for the first time, coming back after a break, or switching from a different type of birth control. If you’re using the pill for the first time, you can start on any day.

    When you start using the pill on the first day of your period, you’re protected from becoming pregnant immediately — so you don’t need to worry about using a condom. You’ll also be protected immediately if you start taking the pill before the fifth day of your period. 

    If you start using the pill after the fifth day of your cycle, you won’t be protected right away. Use a back-up birth control method (like condoms) for seven days while the pill starts to work.

    Another option is the Sunday start approach. If you start taking the pill on the first Sunday after your period begins, you avoid withdrawal bleeding on a weekend (if you want to skip having your period on a weekend, this is the way to go).

    When to start the combined pill if you’re already on birth control

    You shouldn’t leave a gap when you’re switching from one birth control method to the combined pill. If you’re already taking a hormonal birth control pill, start your new prescription the day after you finish your last pill. 

    If you’re using a transdermal patch like Evra, start the pill a day before you’re due to take off the patch. If you’re using the vaginal ring, start the pill a day before you’re set to take out the ring. 

    If you normally have the Depo-Provera injection, you can start taking your pill up to 15 weeks after your last shot. 

    And if you have an IUD (copper or hormonal), you should begin your combined birth control pill pack a week before having your IUD removed.

    Reference Popover #ref1
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    Are all combination pills the same?

    No. Whilst all contraceptive pills have the same effectiveness (so over 99% when they’re used correctly), some pills contain variations of the same hormone, or higher or lower doses of hormones than others. It may be that you’re more sensitive to progestin (or oestrogen) in the combined pill for instance, and so you’ll be better off taking a particular pill that restricts the number of side effects you get. 

    If you’re more sensitive to progestin for example, combined pills like Microgynon, Levest and Ovranette are the safest, and the least likely to trigger side effects. And if you’re more sensitive to oestrogen, combination pills such as Lucette, Yasmin and Yacella should offer you the best protection from side effects. 

    How do I know which is the best combined pill for me?

    Unless you’ve tried a few different pills and found one that works well for you, there’s a good chance that you won’t know which is the best option. Finding the right combination pill for you can involve some trial and error. And our bodies can change over time, so what was effective before might not suit you as well now. A consultation with our clinician will help you to narrow down your options. 

    Besides your sensitivity to hormones in pills and whether you’re prone to certain side effects, there are other factors that may play a role in identifying the right pill for you too. If you’re looking for a pill that can also help with acne, for example, the likes of Yasmin (or the generic version, Lucette) are thought to be particularly strong choices. But at the same time, you may be at a slightly higher risk of getting a blood clot with these treatments, so the pros and cons of specific pills also need to be taken into account.

    In short then, we can help you to pick out the best (and safest) combination pills for you by weighing these things up, using your health background as the basis. 

    FAQ: Combined pill

    Have something specific you want to know? Search our info below, or ask our experts a question if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

    What should I do if I can’t take Cilique?

    If you can’t use Cilique or experience side effects when taking it, there are other combined pill options available with different hormone formulations. The mini pill, or progestin only pill, is also a great option if you have a condition that means you’re sensitive to oestrogen, or are more at risk of blood clots.

    Our clinicians can help you find the right pill based on your medical profile.

    Can I use the Cilique pill for acne?

    Many women find that combined pills like Cilique help acne. It isn’t licensed for this use, but Cilique is also less likely than some other pills to cause acne and other skin problems in women that are prone to these reactions.

    It’s important to know that acne is a recorded side effect of Cilique. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Cilique causes acne (as it can be caused by a number of factors) but if your skin is getting worse, talk to our clinician about trying a different birth control pill.

    Is there any evidence for the Cilique pill and weight gain?

    While weight gain has been recorded as a possible side effect for Cilique and combined pills, there is little evidence to support it. In other words, it’s possible to experience weight gain when taking Cilique, but because changes in weight can be related to so many other factors, it’s difficult to link the two.

    It’s important to know that everyone reacts to medications differently. For example, weight loss has also been recorded as a possible side effect of Cilique. If you’re concerned about changes in your weight, speak with our clinician.

    Are Cilique and Cilest the same pill?

    In clinical terms, Cilest and Cilique are the same pill. Cilest was manufactured and later discontinued by Janssen. Cilique is made by the same people and has the exact same hormones and in the exact same amounts.

    If you used to take Cilest and found it helpful, but haven’t been able to find a replacement pill, Cilique might be a good option for you.

    Is there more than one Cilique dosage?

    Cilique itself is only available in one dosage. The blister pack contains 21 tablets, with each pill containing 0.250mg norgestimate and 0.035mg ethinyl estradiol.

    If you feel like you need a pill with a lower dose because Cilique is causing you persistent or unwanted side effects, then it’s easy to switch pills with Treated. Just log in to your account and our clinician know you’re thinking about changing. They can then go through the options available for you to choose from.

    Do I need a prescription for Cilique?

    Cilique is not available over the counter. Hormonal birth control isn’t suitable for all women, so you have to talk with a medical professional to make sure Cilique is safe for you to use.

    Potential side effects that occur when using Cilique could have a significant impact on your health. When you use hormonal birth control, you should have check-ups with our clinician to make sure it’s still the right choice for you.

    Why should I buy Cilique online with Treated?

    At Treated, our clinicians can consider your medical history to recommend the right birth control option for you to choose. Talk to us about your specific needs and we’ll help you to find the right option.

    Once you have your treatment, you can access our aftercare service, where we want to know about any issues you’re having with the medication and any changes in your health in general. We’re here every step of the way.

    What is Lucette prescribed for?

    Birth control mainly. It’s a highly effective and reliable method of protecting against unwanted pregnancies. It can, however, also be used to control issues with menstruation, such as heavy, irregular or painful periods and acne.

    What ingredients are there in Lucette pills?

    Besides the hormones drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, other Lucette ingredients include lactose monohydrate, pregelatinised maize starch, povidone K-25, magnesium stearate, polyvinyl alcohol, titanium dioxide (E171), talc (E553b), macrogol 3350 and soya.

    What are the most common side effects on Lucette?

    The most common side effects on Lucette are irregular periods, breast pain, headache, migraine, nausea and unusual vaginal discharge.

    Most of the time these side effects will go away on their own after the first couple of months of use. But let your prescriber know if they continue or start to feel uncomfortable.

    Does Lucette help with acne?

    It can sometimes, but it depends on the individual and the cause of the acne itself. In some cases, birth control pills like Lucette can make the condition worse, likely due to hormone levels in the body. So the relationship between Lucette and acne is not straightforward, and some experimentation may be required to see if this is the right treatment for you.

    How does Lucette work?

    In three ways. In order to become pregnant, an egg needs to be in the womb for sperm to fertilise. Changing levels of certain hormones is what triggers the release of an egg, so by maintaining these hormonal levels, Lucette ensures that an egg will not be released.

    It also thickens the mucus at the neck of the womb, making it almost impossible for the sperm to enter. It makes the womb itself less hospitable for an egg and this way prevents conception.

    Is Lucette similar to other combined pills?

    In some respects, yes. It’s virtually the same pill as Yasmin, Yacella and Yiznell. Other combined pills do the same job as Lucette, but they might have a slightly different hormone formulation. This matters because it can have an effect on the way menstrual symptoms are controlled.

    Contraception is an individual thing. Certain pills may cause issues for some, while others will suit them just fine. If you do have issues tolerating the combined pill, it’s possible that this is due to the presence of the hormone oestrogen, and a progesterone only pill might be more suitable.

    Lucette and weight gain

    Some women report that they put on weight when using the contraceptive pill. But there is plenty of evidence to suggest that, in most cases, the cause is not the pill.

    If you think you are gaining weight and it has something to do with the pill, let your prescriber know. They’ll be able to help you switch to a different alternative.

    Lucette vs Yasmin: what’s the difference?

    Not very much. They contain the same hormones in the same amounts. So is Lucette the same as Yasmin? Apart from the branding and the manufacturer, yes. The price might be a little different too. But they should do the same job in the body and are as effective as each other.

    Lucette vs Rigevidon: which is better?

    It depends on the user really. They work in a very similar way, but they might work differently in how they control menstrual symptoms.

    Rigevidon has a lower risk of progestogenic side effects (headaches, breast fullness, water retention), but women who want better control of oestrogenic side effects (lower sex drive, mood changes, vaginal dryness) might go for Lucette.

    Both these treatments contain the same oestrogen dosage (30mcg of ethinylestradiol), but have different versions of progesterone. Lucette contains 3mg of drospirenone, while Rigevidon has 150mg of levonorgestrel.

    Why should I buy a Lucette pill from Treated?

    At Treated, we make things simple, easy and fast. Talk to our clinicians online, and you can get recommendations that are safe for you. You can then choose from the options, and set your delivery schedule.

    You can select how much medication you need and how often you want it. Your first parcel will be delivered in one working day.

    We’re big on aftercare too. Our prescribers will reach out to you on a regular basis to check how your treatment is going. And if you want to clarify something, or if you’d like to explore other medications, you can reach out to us at any time. We’re here to help you whenever you need us.

    Why is Sunya sometimes called Sunya 20/75?

    ‘Sunya 20/75’ is just Sunya. The ‘20/75’ digits just refer to the dosage of hormones that are in the pill: 20 micrograms of ethinylestradiol (which is a type of oestrogen) and 75 micrograms of gestodene (which is a type of progesterone).

    Does Sunya cause weight gain?

    There’s no real evidence that the combined pill triggers any considerable weight gain (or weight loss) in women.

    The combined pill may increase the amount of fluid that your body retains to begin with, and this may cause you to put on a bit of weight, but it isn’t much, and it shouldn’t last longer than a few months. 

    If you experience any fluctuations in your weight whilst taking Sunya, get in touch with our clinician. They may be able to help with this. 

    Can I delay my period with Sunya?

    You can, but it’s not what Sunya is primarily prescribed for, so you should speak to our clinician before you do it. 

    To delay your period, start a new strip of pills immediately after you’ve finished the previous strip. So don’t take a 7-day break between strips. You may get some spotting (drops or flecks of blood) or some breakthrough bleeding when you’re using the second strip. At the end of the second strip, take your 7-day pill-free break as normal, and then start the next strip as you usually would. 
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