Feanolla is a POP which is a quicker way of saying progesterone-only pill (or mini pill). When you take it correctly - as in every day at the same time - it’s very effective at making sure you don’t get pregnant.
Feanolla contains one hormone: desogestrel. It’s a synthetic version of the naturally occurring hormone progesterone. This makes it different to the combined pill which contains two hormones (a progestogen and an oestrogen too).
How effective is Feanolla?
Very. So if you take it ‘perfectly’ (every day, at the same time, without making any mistakes) you can be assured of over 99% protection from pregnancy. So out of 100 women taking it over twelve months, fewer than one will get pregnant.
If you take it ‘typically’ (missing the odd pill, taking it late, pretty much just being a human) it’s slightly less effective: 91%. So in numbers, around nine in 100 women taking it this way over the course of a year will get pregnant.
Is Feanolla safe?
Yes. Feanolla is a reliable, reversible type of birth control pill. Just without oestrogen.
Because they don’t carry any oestrogen, mini pills are safer in many ways than combined pills (which are already safe to begin with). They carry a lower risk of blood clots, and are safer for women who are a little more likely to get them especially. They’re a safer option for breastfeeding women who need to steer clear of pills with oestrogen or women who get migraines with aura.
How to take Feanolla
Take one pill every day at the same time. It’s a 28-day pill so you don’t take a break. Start your next strip the day after you finish your previous one.
Each strip comes with the days of the week marked above it. This allows you to keep track of what has been taken.
Bleeding on Feanolla can occur for some women and is often irregular. This tends to be at the start and settles down after a month or two of use. But let your prescriber know if this continues for a prolonged period of time. If you get particularly heavy or prolonged bleeding, you should see a clinician right away.
For more information about how to take Feanolla, read the package leaflet that comes with it.
When can I start taking Feanolla?
If you’re not taking a contraceptive pill or using a hormonal contraceptive already, you can start Feanolla any time. Taking your first Feanolla pill on the first day of your period (when bleeding starts) means you’re covered straight away, and you don’t need to use extra precautions.
When you start Feanolla on any other day in your cycle, you’ll need to use an extra barrier contraceptive (like a condom) for the first seven days of use.
If you have taken the mini pill (or any other progesterone only method) up until the day of swapping to Feanolla, simply carry on as you would have with the other treatment.
If you were taking the combined pill (or any other method containing progesterone and oestrogen) up until starting Feanolla, then you can start taking Feanolla immediately and remain just as protected.
I missed a Feanolla pill. What do I do now?
Check the leaflet that comes with your pill for advice on what to do next.
It’s best to take Feanolla at the same time every day. If you’re late taking it by less than 12 hours, you’re still protected. Just take your pill as soon as you remember and the next one at the time you normally would, and carry on.
If you’re more than 12 hours late, or miss more than one pill, your protection might be reduced. If this happens, take the most recent pill you missed, then the next one at the usual time. It might mean taking more than one on the same day.
To stay protected, you’ll need to use a condom or other barrier contraception for seven days if you have sex, if you’re late by more than 12 hours taking a pill, or miss one or more pills.
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.
How does Feanolla work?
Hormone levels in your body rise and fall over the course of your menstrual cycle. This tells your body to do certain actions at certain times of the month.
One of these is ovulation. This is where an egg is released by your ovary, ready to be fertilised.
The progestogen hormone in the pill tricks your body into thinking that it’s already ovulated. So no egg is released (and it can’t be fertilised by sperm if it’s not there).
Mini pills don’t do this all the time, so there are two additional things they do to make pregnancy less likely.
One is that they make your cervical fluid thicker. Sperm then has a harder time getting through to an egg to fertilise it.
Another is that they stop the lining of the uterine wall from building up. A fertilised egg would need to implant here to develop. With no lining here, the egg can’t attach.
So as long as you take the pill correctly, these three functions have got you covered to a very high degree.
If you miss the odd pill though, there’s a greater chance it may not work properly. Each missed dose reduces this level of protection significantly, with the NHS estimating that typical use averages around 92% protection.
Does Feanolla stop periods?
For most women, yes. It’s likely you’ll get some spotting or irregular bleeding at first. This is one of the most common side effects of the mini pill, but tends to stop after a couple of months of using it.
Some women may get occasional spotting when using the mini pill. If this starts to concern you, or you experience heavier or prolonged bleeding, speak to our clinician. You just need to sign in to your account and send them a message.
What alternatives are there to Feanolla?
There are several different types of mini pill. Feanolla is a desogestrel pill, which is the same as Cerazette, Cerelle and Zeletta.
There’s also Noriday and Norgeston, but the hormones in these are a little different to desogestrel. The missed pill window is also a bit shorter (you’ve got three hours instead of 12 on these).
But they may be better for some women who take desogestrel pills and get mild side effects.
What’s the difference between Cerazette and Feanolla?
Very little. Both treatments contain the same active ingredient at the same dose.
So are Cerazette and Feanolla the same? Yes. They both work equally well and their side effect profile is also very similar.
Because they’re made by different manufacturers, they’re simply branded differently. And there could be a slight difference in cost, as well as the appearance and packaging of the pill.
Are there any non-pill alternatives to Feanolla?
Yes, there are. If the mini pill isn’t working for you or remembering to take the pill every day is tough for you then the depo-Provera injection or contraceptive injection might be a good alternative. It’s a progesterone only birth control which lasts for 3 months, so you only need to have it four times a year to stay covered.
But keep in mind that it’s not something you can do yourself. You’ll need to be injected by a clinician or nurse.
What else are Feanolla birth control pills used for?
As well as being an effective contraceptive, Feanolla has other benefits too.
The changes it makes to the normal menstrual cycle mean that it can reduce symptoms of PMS. It helps to stop periods while you’re taking it, so it’s helpful for women who have particularly painful or heavy periods. It may also help to reduce the pain associated with endometriosis.
Why should I buy Feanolla with Treated?
Finding the treatment that suits your life is important. And no one knows you better than you do. We know this. So we give you control over your healthcare.
Tell us about your health, and our clinicians will advise you on safe and suitable treatments for you. You can then make the final call and choose your medication.
And it doesn’t end here. You can choose how much medication you get and how often it’s delivered to your door. You also have the power to change, pause or cancel your subscription any time you like.
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.
This treatment category isn't suitable for the gender you have selected.
If you made a mistake on the gender selection, you can amend this by pressing 'Cancel' below and changing your gender. If you entered the correct gender but made a mistake on the treatment category selection, you can choose a different category by pressing 'Choose other treatment' below.