‘The pill’ and the ‘mini-pill’ are two types of oral contraception that are proven to offer almost 100% effective protection should you or your partner choose not to use a barrier form of contraception such as a condom. There are over 30 contraceptive pills to choose from in the UK alone, many of which are also capable of treating painful periods, heavy periods, premenstrual syndrome and endometriosis. Dianette, a combination oral contraceptive, is even known to treat bad cases of acne.
The contraceptive pill is the most frequently prescribed method of birth control to women throughout the world; an estimated 3.5 million women in the UK are now using the pill and over 100,000 women are choosing the mini-pill due to their reliability and ease of use. When taken each day as instructed, both variants of the pill are shown to have the highest success rates in preventing pregnancy, above condoms, the IUD, diaphragm and vaginal ring. You can receive popular branded contraceptive pills, such as Yasmin, Cerazette, Dianette and Microgynon at 121doc today by completing our three-step online order form.
The chart below indicates the success rates of the standard pill and the mini-pill in comparison to other chemical and mechanical methods of contraception.
|IUD||94 – 99%|
|Condoms||95 – 99%|
|Diaphragm/cap (plus spermicide)||92 – 98%|
Please note, the effectiveness of the pill and the mini pill is conditional on a woman using it correctly. If a dose is missed, the failure rate increases.
The pill is an oral tablet that is made up of two types of artificial female hormones, an oestrogen and a progestogen. Because it contains both ingredients, it is known as the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), or simply the pill. Clinical data shows that if 100 women go on the pill for a year and that all of them never forget to take a tablet it’s likely that not a single one of them will fall pregnant.
The contraceptive pill is administered as part of a three-week-on, one-week-off dosage schedule, with the first tablet ideally being taken on the first day of your period. The combined oral contraceptive pill protects against pregnancy in three different ways:
As well as providing comprehensive contraceptive cover, the pill is also prescribed to women for various other health reasons. Further benefits include: making bleeds regular, lighter and less painful; helping with premenstrual symptoms, reducing the risk of cancer of the ovary, womb and colon by up to 35%; protecting against pelvic inflammatory disease; and lowering the risk of fibroids, ovarian cysts and breast disease.
The mini-pill differs from the regular pill in that it contains only a progestogen and no oestrogen. For this reason, its known as the progestogen-only pill, or POP. It is said to be a milder form of contraception that produces fewer and less severe side effects making it a more practical, safer choice for certain groups of women.
The absence of one of the synthetic hormones does not significantly compromise the effectiveness of the mini-pill; you still have less than 1% chance becoming pregnant when starting this pill on the first day of your cycle and taking one dosage each day. Unlike the regular pill, a tablet should be taken each day throughout your cycle with no breaks.
A doctor may recommend the mini-pill over the regular pill for the following people:
The mini-pill does not control the periods in the same way that the ordinary pill does, although it too works in three ways to stop conception during sex: by thickening the secretions round the neck of your womb, thereby making it difficult for the sperm to get through; altering the womb lining so that it is less 'receptive' to an egg; stopping you ovulating.
Both the pill and the mini-pill can be obtained in as little as 24 hours at 121doc. You do not need to make an appointment to visit your doctor for a prescription or collect the medication from your local pharmacy; we incorporate such time-consuming aspects into our fast, convenient and reliable service. Simply fill out a medical questionnaire online, and if approved by our doctor, your choice of pill will be delivered to you the very next working day.
There are several ways of getting in touch should you have a query about ordering online. Contact our friendly Patient Services team by phone, email, fax or Live Chat.