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Microgynon is a combined pill you can get in a regular 21 day pack or a 28 day pack you take every day of the month.
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Microgynon is a combined pill for contraception. It combines two hormones, an oestrogen and a progestogen. These override the normal menstrual cycle in the body, and makes pregnancy much less likely to happen.
There are two pack sizes for Microgynon. There’s the standard 21 day pack, where you take a pill each day for 21 days and then have a 7 day break. But there’s also a Microgynon ED or everyday version. Each strip of pills in this pack contains 28: 21 active and seven inactive pills. You’ll take the inactive pills on the days you would normally have a break. This can help taking the pill easier, and help you remember to start your new pack on the right day.
Microgynon works by changing the levels of hormones in the body. Hormonal birth control can stop ovulation, which is when the ovary releases an egg every month. With no egg to fertilise, there can be no pregnancy. But that’s not the only way Microgynon provides protection from pregnancy.
Normally, the lining of your uterus will grow every month so that it’s easier for a fertilised egg to implant itself. With Microgynon, this lining remains thin, which is why you’re likely to get shorter and lighter periods. Hormones change the consistency of your cervical mucus too, preventing the sperm reaching the womb, making it even more effective at preventing pregnancy.
Microgynon birth control has 0.15mg of levonorgestrel and 0.03mg of ethinyl estradiol. You might also see the ethinyl estradiol written as 30mcg. Microgynon only comes in one dosage, which means there’s no low dose Microgynon if you like how you feel on it but want to adjust the amounts of oestrogen or progestin.
There is however another combined pill which has the same active ingredients in a lower dose. Logynon is a triphasic pill (which means that the month’s pills are split into three phases) which contains lower amounts of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol. Microgynon 30 ED is the same as regular Microgynon 30 only with 7 extra inactive spacer tablets that help you to remember to take a pill every day.
Use of oral contraceptives for management of acne vulgaris and hirsutism in women of reproductive and late reproductive age. Menopausal Review, 17(1), pp.1–4.
Contraception: Do hormonal contraceptives cause weight gain? Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).
Take Microgynon at the same time every day to get the best protection from it. It’s recommended that you pick a time that’s easy to remember and that works for every day of the week. For example, early in the morning might not be a good idea if you like to sleep in on weekends or your sleeping pattern is likely to change.
Microgynon 30 ED (every day) comes in a pack of 28 pills. The first 21 pills are active pills, which means they contain hormones. The final seven days of pills contain no hormones, which is when you’ll get your period. Microgynon 30 comes in strips of 21 pills, after which you will take a seven day break before starting the next strip.
Microgynon 30 (without the ED) is just the same, but without the inactive pills. Instead you take a week long break from the treatment before starting the next strip.
If you miss one or more pills when taking Microgynon 30, your protection against pregnancy may be lowered. What to do next after missing a pill depends on how many pills you’ve missed, where in the pack your missed pill is (or your missed pills are), and whether you’ve had otherwise unprotected sex recently.
If you’re less than 12 hours late taking one pill, take the one you missed right away, and your next pill at the usual time. (This might mean taking two pills on the same day.) If this happens, your protection isn’t likely to be affected.
Being more than 12 hours late taking your pill qualifies as a ‘missed’ pill. If this happens, or you miss more than one pill, it’s best to use a condom or other barrier protection for the next seven days when you have sex. You should also read the leaflet that comes with your pill. There’ll be specific instructions on what to do next depending on where the pill is in the pack. Sometimes you’ll be advised to finish your current strip and start the next one without a break.
(If you’re taking Microgynon ED and miss an inactive pill, your protection won’t be affected – you can throw the missed inactive pill away and take your next one at the usual time.)
You can start taking Microgynon on any day. If you start it the day your period begins, you’ll be protected against pregnancy straight away. If you start it on another day, you’ll need to use condoms for a week to stay protected while Microgynon takes effect.
Once it reaches its full effects you’ll be 99% protected from pregnancy if you’ve managed to take it perfectly. The average protection for the typical user is 91%, which takes into account the odd missed pill.
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