Best Contraceptive Pills in the UK
From its legalization in the United States in the 1960s, the contraceptive pill (commonly referred to as “the pill”) revolutionized women’s health. Apart from giving single women greater sexual freedom, it also allowed conservative couples to experience the joy of recreational sex unencumbered by passion-killing condoms. And as the range of contraceptive pills has grown over the intervening 60 years, the question on many lips remains – which is the best pill for me? Every woman needs to know, which is why we’re here to lend a helping hand!
What is a contraceptive pill?
A contraceptive pill is a pill that women take to avoid getting pregnant. It contains synthetic versions of female hormones. If taken according to the instructions, there’s a 99 per cent chance you won’t get pregnant. Along with preventing unwanted pregnancy, oral contraceptives come with a whole range of other benefits. So, your doctor might prescribe the pill as a way of enhancing your hormonal balance. The pill can also be prescribed for menstrual pain.
Oral contraceptives work in three ways:
- They suppress ovulation by preventing the egg from being released.
- The pill causes the mucus in the cervix to thicken and stop the sperm from reaching the egg.
- The lining of the uterus becomes thinner, which also prevents fertilization.
There are three types of oral contraceptive pills:
- Combined Pills (micro pill)
- Progestin-Only Pills (mini pills)
- Morning-After Pills (emergency pills)
All three have their pros and cons. So, none of them are ideal for everyone. You’ll need to consult your doctor before deciding which to buy. Along the way, consider the following when thinking about using oral contraceptives.
First of all, compared to other methods, oral contraceptive pills are on the whole better and more convenient for most women. Sexual freedom and sexual health are two of the major reasons why so many women choose oral contraception.
Taking oral contraceptives in line with the instructions is a recipe for worry-free sex with a 99 per cent guarantee of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy. And even if you have sex after missing a pill, there’s always the morning-after pill to keep you covered with 24/7 protection.
Multiple studies show that oral contraception is effective in 88-99 per cent of cases. Even when taken irregularly, oral contraceptive proves more reliable than the classic “withdrawal method”. The failure rate of oral contraceptives is less than one per cent, which is pretty good odds!
Contraceptive pills achieve their effect by using synthetic female hormones, which is why doctors prescribe them to women with painful and irregular periods.
One of the great things about oral contraception is that you can stop using it at any time with no negative consequences. So, if you decide it’s time to get pregnant, no problem! After stopping the pills, it’s usually possible to conceive within the following one to three months.
Unfortunately, contraceptive pills do have their downsides, but these are more than outweighed by their benefits. Most women can take them with no risk whatsoever, but some precautions are advisable. For one thing, make sure you read the patient’s leaflet and always follow your doctor’s instructions.
As the name suggests, birth control pills do an excellent job of preventing unwanted pregnancies, but they are no defence against sexually transmitted diseases. For that, you need the extra protection provided by a condom, in combination with your oral contraception, to avoid viruses. Another option is to abstain from having sex, which might not suit everybody.
… otherwise, you might get yourself into a bit of a mess. To be on the safe side, always have a new pack ready plenty of time before the old one runs out. Missing or delaying a pill after finishing the previous pack can put you at a real risk of getting pregnant.
Like virtually all other pharmaceutical products, contraceptive pills come with side effects. The most common are spots on the skin, nausea, low sex drive, headaches, fluctuating blood pressure, etc. That said, the vast majority of women remain unaffected by these side effects.
The operative word here is “rare”. Nevertheless, oestrogen in combination pills has the potential to slightly increase the risk of contracting rare diseases. For more information about skin – and other – conditions that may appear or worsen, please read the patient’s leaflet.
Combined pills or micro pills
Combined contraceptive pills, which contain oestrogen and progestin, work in two ways. They prevent your body from ovulating; in other words, your ovaries no longer release an egg each month. This means there’s nothing to fertilize at sexual intercourse. They also have the effect of thickening the cervical mucus, which is the other way that combination tablets prevent pregnancy.
The Progestin-Only Pills or mini pills
The progestin-only contraceptive pill is another effective option. This pill also works in different ways. Primarily, it thickens the cervical mucus and thins the endometrium—the lining of the uterus, where the egg is implanted after fertilization. The egg can’t implant itself on a thinned endometrium, so conception can’t occur. The progestin-only tablets have the added contraceptive effect of preventing ovulation.
Morning After Pill
This is often referred to as the emergency contraception pill. When you hear the word emergency, it’s usually about needing something super-fast. Emergency contraceptives are for after you had sex and something went wrong, or you’re not sure whether you’re safe. Perhaps you didn’t use any protection; maybe the condom broke and you needed something in a hurry to avoid conception. For obvious reasons, the emergency method is often prescribed to victims of sexual assault. You are supposed to use the medicine within three days after intercourse—the sooner the better.
How Do You Take Contraceptive Pills?
It all depends on the type of oral contraceptive you are taking. Some should be taken daily, like progestin-only and combination pills. Others, like emergency pills, you take as soon as possible after the emergency. Of course, all oral contraceptive products come with detailed instructions. And, if you’re not sure about an instruction, you can always ask your healthcare professional for more information.
As we’ve seen, taking the emergency pill is quite simple: to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, take the emergency contraceptive pill 72 hours after unprotected sex. On the other hand, you have to take progestin-only and combined pills every day. Daily pills usually come in two types: A 21-dose package where you take the pills for 21 days, and then take 7 days off before resuming the cycle. Other packages consist of 28 days on with 7 days off.
If you missed your pill less than 12 hours ago, you can take the pill and continue with the pack—no further precautions needed. If more than 12 hours have passed, you need to make up the total dosage immediately. Even if it means taking two pills in one day. And use extra protection for 7 days. This advice doesn’t apply to Qlaira, Eloine and Zoely. Please, read the patient’s leaflet to find out more about missing your pill.
If you use the 28-pill pack
Once you finished the pack, start the new one the next day.
If you use the 21-pill pack
Once you have finished the pack, wait 7 days before starting a new one.
How Effective Are Oral Contraceptives?
Used properly, contraceptive pills are super useful in preventing pregnancy. Combined contraceptives and progestin-only pills have a very low failure rate. On average, only 9 in 100 women fall pregnant when using these options. However, for the progestin-only contraceptive to be effective, it must be taken at the same time every day—or within 3 hours of that time—to be effective. Combined contraceptives are more flexible. Although you should really take them at the same time each day, you can safely take them within 12-hours without running the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.
Drugs you take because you suffer from certain health conditions can blunt the effectiveness of this type of contraception—the anti-biotic drug rifampin, HIV medication, and anti-seizure medication, for example. Also, a bad case of diarrhoea and/or vomiting is very likely to flush the contraceptive properties out of your system.
The Side Effects of Contraceptive Pills
Contraceptive pills are safe for most users. Nevertheless, some side effects do exist. Everyone reacts differently to the hormones, so watch out for the warning signs.
The most common side effects are migraine, spots, headaches, mood swings, and fluctuating blood pressure. If you have symptoms of heatstroke, deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, or pulmonary embolism, it’s advisable to consult your doctor or healthcare professional. Nevertheless, most of the side effects will wear off in two or three months. Lots of women use these contraceptives with no issues whatsoever! The rarest side effect of using oral contraception is the risk of developing blood clots. Studies have shown that about ten women in 10,000 develop blood clots, especially if they’ve been using combined contraceptives for a long time. If you already suffer from blood clots, ask your doctor’s advice before you start taking the pills.
Where To Obtain Your Contraceptive Pills
Birth control pills are a prescription-only drug. You can pick them up from your doctor’s office or purchase them from an online pharmacy. Whatever the case, you’ll have to go through a brief review during which medical experts will assess you to find out whether or not you have any contraindications to oral contraception. The experts may also provide you with alternative contraceptives based on your health and medical history.
- Choose your treatment
- Consult with a doctor and get your prescription
- Buy the treatment
- Take the pills
- Fill in the Questionnaire
- Choose Treatment
- Confirm your order and Proceed with Payment
- Take the pills
Wait a second! There is another way! You can buy prescription-only contraceptive pills online from an authorized pharmacy. You’ll still need to go through the online medical questionnaire (just the first time), which will be checked by a medical professional. After that, if you meet the necessary criteria, you can purchase the product, and it will be delivered directly to your door—a very swift, efficient, and convenient way to obtain all your medical products.
Frequently Asked Questions
The basic modus operandi of virtually all forms of contraception, including the contraceptive pill, is to prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg. Different oral contraceptive pills do this in different ways, including stopping ovulation, thickening mucus and thinning the lining of the womb.
The price of these products ranges between £50 and £180. Like any medical product, contraceptives don’t come cheap. Beware of low-priced or free drugs. They are certainly fake. They come from untrustworthy, unlicensed pharmacies and will definitely damage your health.
It depends on the type and brand of the medication. Your doctor may advise you to start taking these tablets on the first day of your period. The ‘emergency’, or so-called morning-after pill starts working immediately. Most daily dose contraceptives kick in on the seventh day.
Yes, you can buy this type of contraceptive over the counter but only by prescription. Nevertheless, you can always order online! Just click “No time to lose!” and follow the steps.
Slight weight gain is quite possible, but it’s not drastic. Most women don’t put on. Moreover, the amount of hormones in modern contraceptives is far too small to account for significant weight gain.
Headaches are one of the most common side effects of oral contraceptives. They affect 110 per cent of women but usually wears off in the first few months.
Oral contraceptives may affect the pharmacological activity of beta-blockers. Therefore, it’s not recommended to mix the two. Even if beta-blockers don’t stop the contraceptive from working, they may increase the chances of side effects.
You can take the emergency pill more than once, and when necessary, during a cycle. However, it’s not recommended as a regular method of contraception.
All contraceptives with hormones (except the morning-after pill) stop your periods. Nevertheless, during the period between packages, you may experience your period as a withdraw symptom.
To find out which contraceptive pill would suit you best, you could either fill out an online questionnaire from a reputable pharmaceutical site or ask your doctor. Whether you do one or the other or both, there’s no guarantee the answer will be totally correct. At the end of the day, it’s only you who can decide! So, listen to your body, monitor it while you’re taking pill and that should b put you on the right track.