The combined pill is a tablet that you take every day. Taken correctly, it’s over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. 

  • frequency: daily

  • effectiveness: 91%

  • STI protection? no

  • periods: gives you control

What you need to know about the combined pill

The pill is a very effective and popular method of contraception. It’s great for people who want to have more control over their bleeding pattern.

Side effects of the pill

Positive side effects include lighter periods and reduced acne. Negative side effects include breast tenderness and nausea.

Health benefits and risks of the pill

It may increase your risk of thrombosis and breast cancer but lower your risk of cancer of the lining of the womb and ovaries.

What type of pill should you take?

There are several brands of pill to choose from and they’re all equally good at preventing pregnancy. They contain different amounts and types of oestrogen and progestogen, so different pills suit different people.

How to take the combined pill

Take the pill at the same time every day. Once you’ve been taking it for over 3 weeks you can choose if and when to bleed.

How does the combined pill work?

It uses copies of 2 hormones – oestrogen and progesterone – to stop you from producing an egg each month.

Do you need help with something else?