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What is Microgynon?

Microgynon is a type of hormonal contraceptive pill and is one of the most popular and reliable birth control methods available to women who want to prevent pregnancy. It is a common alternative to pills such as Rigevidon and Levest, which contain the same dose of hormones.

It is a combined contraceptive pill, meaning it contains both a type of synthetic oestrogen and progesterone that have individual roles in regulating a woman's natural cycle.

You normally take one pill each day for 21 days and then you have a 7-day break. Depending on the type of Microgynon you choose, this break will either involve a pill-free week, or taking inactive pills to simulate a break.

Whilst it protects you against pregnancy, it does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Please visit a sexual health clinic if you’re concerned you might have an STI.

Provided you are already taking it, you can buy Microgynon online with free next-day delivery at euroClinix.

How does Microgynon work?

Microgynon contraceptive pills work in three main ways: by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg), thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the lining of the womb (uterus). These processes are governed by natural changes in oestrogen and progesterone levels that occur throughout your menstrual cycle. The goal of Microgynon is to keep these levels consistent to prevent these processes from being triggered.

The primary way that Microgynon prevents pregnancy is by preventing ovulation. Ovulation is the process in which your ovary releases an egg into the fallopian tube to be fertilised. This process is governed and cued by changing levels of oestrogen. When you take Microgynon however, there is no sudden rise in oestrogen to cue ovulation.

As well as preventing ovulation, Microgynon pills also increase the viscosity of cervical fluid and thin the lining of the uterus. Typically, progesterone is released later in your cycle to make your uterine lining more receptive to the fertilised egg, and your cervical mucus less thick to facilitate the fertilisation process. However, a lack of spike in progesterone levels prevents this. Instead, the cervical mucus thickens to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus and the uterine lining thins to prevent implantation of an egg.

What are the benefits of taking Microgynon?

As well as preventing pregnancy, Microgynon contraceptive pills have other benefits including:

  • alleviating cramps and pain caused by your period
  • lightening heavy periods
  • regulating irregular periods
  • reducing PMS symptoms

A lot of these benefits occur because Microgynon prevents ovulation, and it is being aided by synthetic hormones. The bleeding that you do experience is your body's way of naturally removing the contraceptive hormones and is similar to a period, but technically called a withdrawal bleed. With no egg released, there is no pregnancy.

Microgynon 30 pills are sometimes also prescribed to help women with long-term conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Research Trusted source PubMed Government Source Database of Biomedical Research Go to source has also found that the combined pill can slightly reduce your risk of ovarian cancer over time.

How effective is Microgynon?

The standard effectiveness rate of Microgynon, when taken correctly, is around 99%. In fact, one study Trusted source ScienceDirect Peer-reviewed Journals Multidisciplinary Research Go to source even found that out of 227 women taking Microgynon, not a single participant became pregnant. This is even despite the fact that 7.6% of the women taking it reported tablet-taking errors.

However, there are cases where Microgynon doesn’t work. Thankfully, most of these scenarios can be avoided. The most common reasons the pill doesn’t work include:

  • user error (e.g missing or losing a pill)
  • vomiting and diarrhoea
  • taking certain medicines with the pill (e.g antibiotics)

Some suggest that having a high BMI can affect the pill. Research Trusted source Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Professional Organization Go to source suggests that BMI shouldn’t alter the efficacy of combined pills like Microgynon. However, it may mean you are at a higher risk of conception if something goes wrong.

Can I take Microgynon?

Microgynon is safe for most women to take. However, some may be at a greater risk of complications and adverse effects so should seek another form of contraception.

Do not take Microgynon if you have or have a history of:

  • breast cancer
  • blood circulation problems (e.g blood clot, stroke or heart attack)
  • blood clot symptoms (e.g angina or a ‘mini-stroke’)
  • migraine with visual disturbance (aura)
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • severe liver disease or tumours (e.g hepatitis)
  • diabetes that affects your blood vessels
  • hypersensitivity (an allergy) to any of the active or inactive ingredients

Microgynon could also make some conditions worse, and your doctor will want to monitor your reaction to the drug closely. This may include those who are overweight, have diabetes, have issues with their pancreas or a circulation problem.

For more information on who Microgynon is most suitable for, please refer to the patient information leaflet.

How do I take Microgynon?

As with all combined contraceptives, Microgynon needs to be taken consistently in order to be effective. Tablets must be taken once a day at the same time each day - this is important to ensure your pill works.

When taking it for the first time, you should start your first pack between days 1 - 5 of your period for it to be effective immediately. You can start taking it at any time in your cycle but you will need to abstain from sex or use a barrier contraceptive (e.g condoms) for at least 7 days.

There are two types of Microgynon: Microgynon 30 and Microgynon 30 ED. Both types contain the same synthetic hormones and both are monophasic, meaning they contain the same dose of hormones in each active pill.

Their main difference is the number of pills in each pack, which means you have to take them slightly differently.

How to take Microgynon 30

Microgynon 30 contains 21 pills in each strip. Each pill contains both hormones.

Take each pill at the same time for 21 days. Then after 21 days, and once you finish a strip, you take a 7 day break from pills. This allows for a withdrawal bleed, which simulates your regular period.

On the day after your 7th pill-free day, you can start your next strip of pills. The day of the week you start a new strip should be the same as when you started the pill.

You may choose to skip your pill-free break if you don’t want a withdrawal bleed. Simply take your next strip of the pills the day after your last.

How to take Microgynon 30 ED

Microgynon 30 ED contains 28 pills: 21 hormonal pills and 7 inactive pills.

Similar to Microgynon 30, you take the 21 hormonal pills, each day at the same time. Once you have finished the hormonal pills, you immediately start the 7 placebo pills. These sugar pills contain no hormones and therefore will cause a withdrawal bleed.

Once you have finished a strip, you immediately start the next set of hormonal pills in the next strip. Each blister pack will be colour coded to differentiate between the pills.

You can also skip your set of inactive pills if you don’t want to have a withdrawal bleed. If so, simply throw away the remaining inactive pills and start your next set of active pills after you finish your last.

You may prefer taking the everyday pills if you find that you forget to start taking your pills again after a break.

What happens if I miss a pill?

Many women wonder what happens if they miss a pill. Missing a pill is common in many women, but isn’t always a cause of concern depending on how soon you remember.

  • If you are late by less than 12 hours, you should still be protected. Take your missed pill as soon as you remember and your next pill at your usual time. You may have to take 2 pills in one day.
  • If you are more than 12 hours late or you have missed more than one pill, your contraception is affected. Take your missed pill as soon as you remember and continue taking your pills at the usual time.

Most women find it beneficial to set an alarm or a reminder on their phone to take it each day. There are also several apps available that can help you track your pill and remind you to take it.

If you notice that you miss your withdrawal bleed and you have recently missed a pill, you should take a pregnancy test or consult your doctor as soon as possible. If it’s been less than 5 days since you had unprotected sex, you may be eligible for emergency contraception.

For more information on what happens if you miss or lose your pill, please refer to the patient information leaflet.

What should I do if I vomit or have diarrhoea?

Vomiting or having diarrhoea within 4 hours of taking the pill could mean it has not been digested properly, which could alter your contraception.In these circumstances, you should count every dose that you take during that time as a missed pill.

If you feel better within 12 hours of taking the pill, follow the instructions for whether you lose a pill. If you are still ill for more than 12 hours after taking the pill, follow the instructions for when you miss a pill.

What are the side effects of Microgynon?

As with any medication, Microgynon can cause some side effects. Most of the common side effects are mild and go away on their own whilst your body adjusts to the changes in hormones.

Common side effects include:

  • feeling sick
  • stomach ache
  • weight gain
  • headaches
  • depressive moods and mood swings
  • tender breasts
  • breast size changes
  • changes in your sex drive

Some women also experience spotting between withdrawal bleeds in the first few months of taking Microgynon. This is normal, but if it gets heavier and/or does not go away, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.

If you experience any persistent side effects, you should consult your healthcare provider. They may recommend you switch to another contraceptive method such as the progestogen-only pill known as the mini-pill (e.g Cerazette), IUD, patch or ring.

Serious side effects of Microgynon

There are some more serious complications reported from using the pill, such as cancer and blood clots (thrombosis). It’s important to remember these side effects are rare.

The manufacturer reports that 15 in 100,000 women on the pill will develop a blood clot, compared to 60 in 100,000 pregnant women each year. This risk has significantly reduced throughout the years as contraceptive pills have changed and evolved.

The same is true in breast cancer statistics. In 10,000 women who took the pill for 5 years in their 20s, 17-18 will develop breast cancer by the time they are 35. However, 100 women out of 10,000 who have never taken the pill will develop breast cancer by the time they’re 45.

For more information on the risks of the pill, please refer to the patient information leaflet.

Whilst these side effects are very rare, it’s important to constantly monitor your health and keep an eye on any sudden changes in your vaginal discharge, breasts, pain or any other symptoms.

Does Microgynon react with other medicines?

Yes, Microgynon can react with certain other medicines and this could alter the effectiveness of your contraception. For that reason, you should always tell your prescriber what medicines you take including over-the-counter and prescription medicines.

You should be cautious if you take any of the following medicines:

  • medicines to treat epilepsy
  • medicines to treat HIV
  • certain antibiotics
  • barbiturates - a type of sedative
  • griseofulvin - an antifungal medicine
  • St John’s Wort - a herbal medicine used to treat depression

You may need to use another form of contraception if you take any of these medicines regularly.

Where can I buy Microgynon online?

If you are already taking Microgynon prescribed by your doctor, you can reorder your pill at euroClinix. All you have to do is fill out a quick medical questionnaire that will be reviewed by one of our online doctors. Once you have been approved for treatment, our pharmacy will dispatch your pill with discreet next-day delivery. You never have to worry about running out of your pill again.

Note: You must complete a short online consultation so that our doctor can ensure that the treatment is suitable for you. The above pricing should only be used as a reference. The final decision to issue this treatment lies with the prescribing doctor.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Anand Abbot MRCGP Written by our editorial team Last reviewed 06-01-2024
Microgynon information
Product name Microgynon 30
Active ingredient(s) Ethinylestradiol and Levonorgestrel
Manufacturer Bayer
Trustpilot rating 4.9/5
Trustpilot reviews 218
Availability Out of stock
Description Microgynon is a combined contraceptive pill that offers 99% effectiveness at preventing pregnancy
Exemption Subject to medical prescription
Administration Oral
Presentation Tablets
Available dosage 150mcg/30mcg
Application Women over 18 who want to prevent pregnancy
Usage Take 1 pill per day for 21 days followed by a 7-day break / Take 1 active pill for 21 days, then take 1 inactive pill each day for 7 days
Drug class Combined oral contraceptive pill
Alcohol consumption No influence
When breastfeeding Not recommended, ask your doctor for alternatives
When pregnant Not applicable
Microgynon reviews
Pack of 63 Microgynon® 30 oral tablets Excellent 4.9 218 patients have reviewed Microgynon on Trustpilot
31 Oct

Great product

Natalia Gorczyca
03 Dec

Great product

Natalia Gorczyca
12 Jun

Great product.

Natalia Gorczyca

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