The most common type of contraceptive pill is the ‘combined pill’. This contains a balance of oestrogen and progesterone, which when taken correctly, has been shown to be 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. This works by thickening the mucus in the lining of the womb so that sperm cannot penetrate, as well as thinning the lining of the womb so a fertilised egg is unable to implant.

Advantages –

  • The combined pill usually makes periods lighter and less painful.
  • The pill has been shown to reduce the risk of ovarian, womb and colon cancer.
  • The combined pill is good for reducing acne and some symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
  • The combined pill may reduce the risk of fibroids, ovarian cysts and non-cancerous breast disease.

Disadvantages –

  • Temporary side-effects such as headaches, breast tenderness and mood swings may be experienced in the first few months of taking the combined pill. If these symptoms persist, it may be that you need to change to a different type of pill.
  • The combined pill does not protect against transmission of sexually transmitted infections, so condoms may still be needed.
  • The pill has been linked to an increased risk for some serious health conditions such as blood clots and breast cancer.
  • The combined pill can increase your blood pressure, so it is important to have this checked by your GP on a regular basis.

There are several types of contraceptive pill e.g. combined or progesterone-only. It may require some trial and error to work out which is the best for you. Consultation with a Midland Health GP is recommended to discuss lifestyle and other health factors which could help in finding what works for you.

Methods of Oral Contraception


  • Standard GP Consultation (30 min) - £120

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