This is a pill that you take every day without a break to prevent pregnancy. 

The traditional POP works by thickening the cervical mucus to make it harder for sperm to pass through into the womb and thins the lining of the womb.

The desogestrel POP can also stop ovulation.  

When used correctly the combined pill is over 99% effective, however with typical use by individuals it is 91% effective.

The traditional way to take the combined pill is 21 days of continuous pill taking followed by a seven day break.

There are other tailored ways to take this that may include shorter and less frequent breaks, you can discuss this in clinic.  

You may not be suitable to take the combined pill if you are pregnant, if you are over 35 and are a smoker, very overweight, take certain medications, have had blood clots, have had stroke or arterial disease, have heart or blood pressure issues, suffer with severe migraines, have or have had breast cancer, have liver disease, have diabetes, have a family history of blood clots.  

You can start the combined pill at any time in your cycle, however if you start after day five of your cycle you will need to abstain from sex or use condoms for the next seven days until the pill starts to work.

It can be used after birth unless you are breastfeeding, in which case you will have to wait six weeks.

Additional contraception may be required if you start the combined pill after birth.

It can be used after abortion or miscarriage.  

Reduces risk of ovarian, endometrial and colon cancer.

Can reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

May make bleeds lighter, less painful and can reduce acne.

In some cases, users may experience the following side effects:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • breast tenderness
  • mood swings
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased risk of blood clots and breast cancer.