Compare Contraceptive Methods

With the wide number of contraceptive methods available, it can be difficult to know which method will be right for you. It can therefore be very helpful to look at the contraceptive properties of a particular hormonal method and compare it to your own personal requirements.

Contraceptive properties

Combined pill Mini-pill Contraceptive ring Contraceptive patch Emergency Contraception
  Yasmin Cerazette NuvaRing Evra NuvaRing
Effectiveness Over 99% 98 to over 99% Over 99% Over 99% Between 58% and 98%
Action Once daily for 21 days; 7-day break Once daily for 28 days; no break Once daily for 21 days; 7-day break Once a week for 3 weeks, 7-day break Once within 3-5 days of unprotected sex
Hormones Oestrogen and progestogen Progestogen Oestrogen and progestogen Progestogen Progestogen
How it works Prevents ovulation, thickens cervical mucus and alters the womb lining Thickens cervical mucus and alters the womb lining Prevents ovulation, thickens cervical mucus and alters the womb lining Thickens cervical mucus and alters the womb lining Prevents ovulation, thickens cervical mucus and alters the womb lining
Main benefit Daily contraceptive, regulates menstrual cycle, helps alleviate PMS symptoms Daily contraceptive, regulates menstrual cycle, helps alleviate PMS symptoms Daily contraceptive, regulates menstrual cycle, helps alleviate PMS symptoms Weekly contraceptive, regulates menstrual cycle, helps alleviate PMS symptoms Can be used in the event of contraceptive failure
More Info More Info More Info More Info More Info

Contraceptive methods are becoming increasingly more convenient to use, to ensure that there is less of a risk of failure of use. As it's important to use hormonal contraception correctly, it's a good idea to look at the different types of contraceptives to see whether there is a method that is particularly suited to you based on your lifestyle and schedule.

How you use it

Combined pill Mini-pill Contraceptive ring Contraceptive patch Emergency Contraception
Transdermal
Device
Oral treatment
Use daily
Every week
Use every few weeks
One-off benefit
Administered by nurse or doctor
Administered by patient

Although hormonal contraceptives are widely used, they may not be right for everybody, in particular if you are sensitive to the effects of certain hormones, or likely to develop side effects.

Who can't use it

Combined pill Mini-pill Contraceptive ring Contraceptive patch Emergency Contraception
Pregnancy
Migraines
High blood pressure
Breastfeeding
Smoking and over the age of 35
Women who weigh over 14 stone
Women taking other contraceptives

Hormonal contraceptives are still prescription treatments, which means that they carry a small risk of side effects. This is something that many women are aware of when they use the pill. Below is an outline of the most likely side effects that can occur when using some of the most popular hormonal contraceptive methods.

Side effects

Combined pill Mini-pill Contraceptive ring Contraceptive patch Emergency Contraception
Headaches
Spotting
Breast tenderness
Changes in libido
Muscle pain
Unwanted hair growth
Pelvic pain
Changes in menstrual bleeding
Migraines
Mood changes

The above information is meant to give a clearer idea of the properties of the different hormonal contraceptive methods available, but it's still a good idea to ask a medical professional for advice if you are unsure about the right method for you. This is why our team of trained patient support staff as well as registered doctors are ready to help if you have any questions.

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