Synphase is what’s known as a ‘biphasic’ combined pill, which means it’s a pill that has two different doses of hormones in it. So there are two types of pill in each strip that contain the same amount of oestrogen, but slightly different amounts of progesterone.
The doses that you take change part of the way through your cycle, to mimic the body’s natural hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle.
Although there are only two different doses of hormones in Synphase pills, you take these doses over three phases. It’s a 21 day pill, so you start by taking 7 blue pills of 500mg norethisterone, followed by 9 white pills of 1mg norethisterone, and then 5 blue pills of 500mg norethisterone.
How does Synphase work?
Synphase reduces your risk of pregnancy in three different ways.
The ovaries prepare the body for pregnancy by releasing an egg, so that the egg can be fertilised by sperm. The combined pill stops the ovaries from doing this, which helps to prevent fertilisation from happening.
The pill also makes the mucus in the cervix thicker, and this makes it harder for sperm to reach an egg.
The lining of the uterus does the opposite. It’s made thinner, which makes it harder for a fertilised egg to embed itself there and develop into a baby.
How effective is Synphase?
If you take it at the same time each day and don’t miss any pills, it’s over 99% effective. This means if 100 women take it over 12 months, only one will get pregnant. This is referred to as ‘perfect use’.
But if you make mistakes when you use it, or if you miss pills from time to time, its effectiveness dips slightly to about 91%. So around nine in every 100 women will become pregnant in a year. This is sometimes known as ‘typical use’.
How to take Synphase
Each Synphase strip contains 21 pills, and each pill is marked with a row of bubbles indicating the days of the week. When you take your first pill, you should press the bubble for the day of the week you have started taking the pills on.
Take one pill each day, at the same time, in the correct order. You can take Synphase either with or without food.
If you take your first pill on the first day of your period, you’ll be protected from pregnancy immediately. If you don’t start taking Synphase on the first day of your period, you can start on days 2-5 of your cycle, but you will need to use additional contraception such as a condom for the first 7 days.
Once you’ve used all 21 pills, take a 7-day, pill-free break. It’s likely that you’ll experience bleeding during this time.
Having taken a 7-day break, start the next strip of pills, regardless of whether you’re still bleeding or not. You’ll always start a new strip on the same day of the week. Your protection from pregnancy remains the same during the 7-day pill-free window (provided that you always start a new strip on time).
What to do if you miss a Synphase pill
If you’re less than 12 hours late taking a pill, take the pill as soon as you remember and any pills that follow at the usual time, even if it means taking two pills in one day. Your protection from pregnancy will not be compromised in any way.
In the event that you’re more than 12 hours late taking one or more pills, take the pill you missed most recently and take any further pills as normal. You may be at risk of pregnancy though, so you should either avoid having sex for seven days, or use an extra barrier method of contraception, such as condoms, for the next seven days.
If you’ve missed a pill and find that there are less than seven pills left in the strip, you should complete the strip and then start the next strip without taking a seven day, pill-free break. You might not experience a period until the end of the second strip in these circumstances, but this is normal. You may get some bleeding on the days that you take these pills too.
How will Synphase affect my periods?
When you’re taking Synphase, you may find that your periods become more irregular, and that you notice some bleeding between periods. They can also become lighter, and there may be times on the pill-free days where you don’t experience any bleeding at all.
If you have any concerns about your periods whilst you’re taking the combined pill, just let our clinician know.
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.
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.
Can Synphase help treat acne?
It can for some women. Progesterone and oestrogen in the combined pill can help to regulate hormones that trigger acne, but not in all cases.
If you suffer from acne, or any skin condition, you should let your prescribing clinician know during the online consultation. This information might change the treatment you’ll be offered. Although Synphase isn’t prescribed to treat the condition, it can be considered as a more suitable treatment than other forms of contraceptive pill.
Does Synphase cause depression?
Depression and mood changes are reported side effects of the combined pill. If you find that your symptoms of depression or low mood persist with Synphase, contact our clinician. They may recommend that you try an alternative pill, and can talk you through your options.
You should also let us know if you are prone to mental illness during the online consultation. This will allow us to ensure that the treatments you’re being offered are safe for you.
Is Logynon a good alternative to Synphase?
It could be in some cases. In so far as it contains different doses of oestrogen and progesterone hormones, the Logynon combined pill is quite similar to Synphase. Logynon is a triphasic pill though, rather than a biphasic pill, so the pills have three different doses of hormones in each strip, and not two.
Logynon also contains a different type of progesterone to Synphase (levonorgestrel, rather than norethisterone), so if your body is better suited to levonorgestrel, Logynon may be a strong alternative.
Are biphasic pills better than monophasic or triphasic pills?
It all depends on you and your body. Women who experience side effects with monophasic pills (pills which contain the same amount of hormones in each strip) or triphasic pills (pills which have three different quantities of hormones in each strip) may find that they’re more suited to a biphasic pill. And vice versa. If you have a certain health condition, this can also determine which type of pill is more suitable for you than others.
Biphasic and triphasic pills mimic the natural menstrual cycle more closely than monophasic pills due to being made up of different doses of hormones, and some women may find that this is beneficial. But monophasic pills are very popular too, and many women find that they’re well suited to them.
Triphasic pills tend to cause less unexpected bleeding between periods than biphasic pills, so if you’re more prone to this, a triphasic pill may suit you more.
In short, then - it’s very much a case of how your body responds to hormones, and doses of those hormones, with your medical background factored into the equation. It’s taking these things into account that determines what type of pill is best for you.
Why should I buy Synphase online from Treated?
With a Treated subscription, you can buy Synphase online and decide how regularly you’d like to receive your pill. It starts with a consultation with one of our clinicians, who will check your medical background and talk you through the best pill options for you. Once you’ve chosen your pill, you can set your delivery schedule.
Our clinical team will stay in touch with you on a regular basis to see how you’re doing with your treatment. And if you’ve got any questions or if you’d like to switch to a different medication or dose, you can. You just need to sign in to your account and send our clinicians a message.
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.
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