Cerazette is a mini pill that’s over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly. It’s safe for use during breastfeeding or if you’re sensitive to oestrogen.
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Why should I use Cerazette as my contraceptive pill?
Cerazette is a type of contraception called a mini pill, because it contains only one active ingredient – progesterone – compared to the combined pill which also contains oestrogen. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not as effective. It’s 99% effective when taken correctly, meaning that your likelihood of getting pregnant on Cerazette is as low as it would be if you were taking the combined pill.
As a progesterone only pill or POP, Cerazette can be taken by more women than the combined pill. Unlike many mini pills, it can be taken up to 12 hours after its scheduled time and still provide effective cover, so it’s perfect for those who might need a little leeway.
How does Cerazette work?
Hormonal birth control usually works in three ways to prevent pregnancy. So if one of these processes doesn’t work, there are two other ‘backup’ processes to protect someone.
The main one is stopping ovulation. By supplementing progesterone levels, it’s highly unlikely that an egg will be released. Without an egg to fertilise, you can’t get pregnant. The pill also helps to prevent the sperm from entering the womb by thickening vaginal mucus. And just to be (99%) certain, the pill also thins the lining of the womb to make it less hospitable for an egg to attach itself there.
How effective is Cerazette?
Cerazette is just as effective as the combined pill. Out of 100 women taking it perfectly over the course of the first year of use, less than one will get pregnant. Women taking it ‘inconsistently’ (so making the odd mistake here and there) will find it a little less effective: typical use reduces the effectiveness to around 91% (so 9 in 100 women over the first year of taking it will get pregnant).
All hormonal contraceptive pills need to be taken at the same time each day to be fully effective. Most people will usually find it easy to remember to take one pill a day once they get into the habit.
How to take Cerazette
Each strip of Cerazette contraceptive pills comes with 28 pills marked with the days of the week. This will help you keep track of what you’ve taken.
Swallow one pill whole with water at the same time every day.
Take one pill every day until the 28 pills have been finished.
Then start the next pack.
Mini pills don’t contain dummy pills like some combined pill packs, which are placebos added to the strip to keep you in the habit of taking it daily. In a mini pill pack, each pill carries a hormone, so it's essential to take all of them to stay protected against pregnancy.
How long does Cerazette take to work?
If you’re just starting on Cerazette, how long it takes to become effective depends on what day you start taking it. Starting the pack on the first day of your period means you’re covered right away. If you start it on any other day of your menstrual cycle, it takes up to seven days to become fully effective. You’ll need to use a barrier contraceptive like a condom during this time to be safe.
If you’re switching from another mini pill, make sure you take your first Cerazette the day after you’ve taken your final pill in your previous pack to stay protected. Switching from the combined pill is a little different – you should begin Cerazette on the first day of what would normally be your ‘pill free week’, and use a barrier contraceptive for the first seven days of taking it.
I missed a Cerazette pill. What now?
Cerazette has quite a forgiving window compared to other, older, mini pills. If you forget to take your pill but remember within 12 hours of your normal time, as long as you take your missed pill right away and carry on as normal, you won’t be any less protected.
Your protection is reduced if you’re more than 12 hours late. If this happens, take your missed pill when you remember and your next one at your usual time, and use a barrier contraception or avoid sex for the next seven days.
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What type of birth control pill is Cerazette?
Cerazette is a mini pill, or progesterone only pill. The main ingredient in Cerazette is a synthetic hormone called desogestrel. It was the first available brand of desogestrel pill available, so its got a long track record for safety. It doesn’t contain any oestrogen, like the combined pill, which means it can be used by women who are breastfeeding.
A lot of women who take Cerazette will have no periods or very infrequent, light bleeding which is why many women prefer it. But it may not have some of the secondary benefits associated with the combined pill, such as helping with oily skin or hair.
Will I get side effects on Cerazette?
Cerazette is a much better option for women who are prone to migraines, digestive issues and other problems with pills containing oestrogen, because it’s progesterone only.
But some women who take the mini pill may get side effects. Some of the more common are headache, acne, nausea and decreased libido. A lot of the time, milder side effects pass within the first few weeks and are just a sign of your body adapting to the pill. But consult a clinician if you get any prolonged side effects on Cerazette or notice anything that concerns you.
Cerelle vs Cerazette: what’s the difference?
Besides having different manufacturers, names and prices, Cerazette and Cerelle are virtually the same pill. Both contain 75mcg of desogestrel, so should in theory do exactly the same job.
So if Cerazette isn’t working well for you and you’re looking for an alternative, it’s likely Cerelle won’t work well for you either and you’ll need to try something else. If Cerazette suits you well, you might be able to save some money by switching to Cerelle. It’ll do the same job, but it’s usually cheaper.
What alternatives to Cerazette are there?
If you’ve been advised to take the mini pill because of your age, migraines or because you’re breastfeeding, the combined pill isn’t going to be suitable for you, and neither is the patch or the ring.
There are many different mini pills available though. Norgeston, Noriday and Cerazette are very similar, but contain slightly different progestogens. Each of these might be better suited to you depending on what it is you’re looking for from a pill. So if you’re getting minor side effects on one type, you might find a slight adjustment makes all the difference.
Coming off Cerazette: what if I want to get pregnant?
If you’re thinking of stopping Cerazette because you want to try for a baby, coming off Cerazette shouldn’t cause significant issues and your menstrual cycle should return to its normal rhythm fairly quickly. But if you’re stopping Cerazette and still want to remain protected against pregnancy, you’ll need to use a different form of contraceptive.
If you’re stopping Cerazette to try and get pregnant, it’s recommended that you wait for your first full period before trying to conceive. This way you can more accurately track where in your pregnancy you are. Remember that it’s helpful to take folic acid supplements while you’re trying to conceive, not just once you’re pregnant.
Does Cerazette stop periods?
A lot of women who use Cerazette will notice their bleeding becomes light or stops altogether. But everyone reacts differently to the changes in hormones that the pill produces. Heavy bleeding on Cerazette shouldn’t happen, so if you do experience it, speak with your doctor.
While Cerazette often stops periods during use, it’s not prescribed as a period delay treatment. It can be an added benefit for some or at the very least regulate the menstrual cycle and minimise symptoms of PMS.
Why should I buy Cerazette online with Treated?
At Treated, we believe contraception should be as straightforward as possible. Take our consultation to get contraception recommendations from our clinician. They’ll present you with the safest and most suitable options, and you can choose the specific treatment you’d like. You’ll get your chosen pill delivered regularly on subscription, and you can pause or switch your treatment at any time.
As part of your plan, you’ll also get expert aftercare from our clinical team. So they’ll check in with you every so often just to make sure the treatment you’re taking is right for you.
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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