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The Pill


Does it work?

The combined pill – which contains
two hormones - is up to
99% + effective.

The mini pill – which contains just
one hormone - is up to
99% effective.
(Although it is slightly less
reliable than the combined pill.)

Image of the Pill
Top 5 Plus Points
  • Sometimes makes a woman's periods lighter, shorter and less painful
  • Can help with pre-menstrual syndrome/ tension/acne
  • Protects against cancer of the ovary and cancer of the womb and some pelvic infections
  • Doesn't interfere with sex
  • Reduces the risk of fibroids (non-cancerous tumours of the womb), ovarian cysts and breast disease other than cancer

Any bad points?

  • Some women may suffer from nausea, breast tenderness, bleeding between periods, headaches and mood changes. Changing pill may help.
  • May increase blood pressure
  • Doesn't protect against STIs, including HIV/AIDS
  • They have to be taken either every day or 21 out of 28 days on your cycle.
  • Contraceptive protection can be reduced during sickness and while taking antibiotics
  • It is usually recommended to take a different method of contraception taken during breastfeeding

There are also some uncommon but serious side effects which should be discussed with your doctor if you are considering using the pill.


Where can I get them from?

The pill is available free from a GP or from family planning clinics with a prescription. It can also be purchased from most pharmacies with a prescription.

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