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Used by many women around the globe, the oral contraceptive pill is an extremely effective form of contraception. There are two main types of oral contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy, control painful or heavy periods, premenstrual syndrome and endometriosis; the combined contraceptive pill, also commonly known as the pill and the progesterone only pill, otherwise referred to as the mini pill or POP.
You must have a prescription to obtain the contraceptive pill. Oxford Online Pharmacy provides an online consultation with our GMC registered doctor, to determine which treatment is suitable for you. Simply select your contraceptive pills and complete the online doctor's questionnaire. Your medical information will then be reviewed by our doctor and, if suitable, we will issue a prescription for you. If your selected treatment is not approved, your payment will be refunded in full. If you already have a private or NHS prescription, you can select your contraceptives and send your prescription to Oxford Online Pharmacy. Your prescribed pills will be dispensed and sent discreetly to you when we have received your prescription.
To find additional information about how oral contraception works and the types of contraceptive pills that we provide, please click here.
The contraceptive pill is usually taken to prevent pregnancy but is also frequently used to control painful or heavy periods, premenstrual syndrome or endometriosis. The pill and the mini pill are 99% effective and work by stopping a man’s sperm from reaching a woman’s egg. Oral contraceptive pills control the natural process of conception by ensuring that the egg and the sperm stay apart, or by stopping egg production.
The combined contraceptive pill works by releasing synthetic versions of the female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. The two hormones, oestrogen and progesterone in the combined oral contraceptive pill prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg each month, in turn stopping a woman from ovulating. The combined contraceptive pill also works by making it difficult for the sperm to get through to the womb, or an egg to implant itself to the lining of the womb. In turn, the medication thickens the fluid in the cervix and prevents the lining of the womb from thickening.
There are three main cycle types for the combined oral contraceptive pill:
1. Every Day (ED) Pills: There are 28 tablets in each pack; within these 28 tablets, 21 are active and 7 are a placebo. Every day tablets need to be taken in the correct order with no breaks between packs.
2. Monophasic Pills: Monophasic pills are the most common form of combined contraceptive pill. There are 21 tablets in each pack, the pill is taken for 21 days, with a 7 day break between packs.
3. Phasic Pills: There are 21 tablets in each pack, within these there are two or three different coloured sections, relating to different amounts of hormones. Therefore, pills must be taken in the correct order.
The progesterone only pill, known as mini pill or POP, works by releasing a synthetic version of the female hormone, progesterone. The mini oral contraceptive pill is commonly used by women who cannot have oestrogen due to reasons, such as high blood pressure, blood clots, weight problems, smoking or for women over the age of 35. The mini pill prevents the sperm from entering the womb, however they don’t always stop the egg from maturing.