Women's Contraceptives

Choosing the right type of contraception is essential when it comes to preventing unwanted pregnancy, protecting your health and wellbeing, and giving you peace of mind. Here at Access Doctor, we offer a range of contraceptives, including the combined pill, mini pill, contraceptive patch, and vaginal ring, as well as emergency contraception.Ordering online pharmacy contraception from us is quick and easy. Simply choose your contraceptive, complete an online consultation and then, once your request has been approved by our expert prescribers, our contraception pharmacy will prepare and dispatch the treatment and it will be delivered to your door.

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What is the combined pill?

Often simply called ‘the pill’, the combined pill contains artificial versions of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.


It works by preventing ovulation, and it also thickens the mucus in the neck of the womb, making it harder for sperm to reach an egg if one is released.


It thickens the lining of the womb too, reducing the chance of a fertilised egg being implanted in the womb.


When taken correctly, this type of contraceptive is 99 per cent effective at preventing pregnancy.


Typically, these pills are taken once a day every day for 21 days, before a seven-day break. During the break, you will have a bleed similar to a period.

What does the combined pill contain?

The combined pill contains both progestogen and oestrogen. These hormones prevent ovulation and unwanted pregnancy.

What is the mini pill?

Progestogen-only pills, also sometimes called ‘mini pills’, only contain progestogen. They work by thickening the mucus in the cervix and, like combined pills, they are 99 per cent effective when used correctly.

This option is often recommended for those who have high blood pressure, are at risk of blood clots or are overweight. You take one tablet each day, with no pill-free break.

What are the alternatives to the pill?

When you wish to order online pharmacy contraception but want an alternative to the pill, there are other options.


For example, we offer combined hormonal contraceptive patches that can be applied to the upper arm or thigh, and we provide vaginal rings. Both of these methods slowly release hormones into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy.


One of the advantages of these options is that they don’t require you to remember to take a daily pill.

How soon do I have to use emergency contraception after unprotected sex?

There are two types of emergency contraception. Levonelle contains the synthetic hormone levonorgestrel and must be taken within three days (72 hours) of unprotected sex.


EllaOne contains the medication ulipristal acetate and has to be used within five days (120 hours) of unprotected sex. The earlier both medications are taken, the more effective they will be.


 To order contraception online, simply choose your preferred option and complete a consultation. You can also contact our experts for further information on this topic or another area of women’s health.

How does the combined pill work?

The combined pill works in a number of ways in the body:

1. It stops the ovaries from releasing eggs, therefore stopping ovulation.

2. It also thickens the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the womb. It makes the womb walls thinner, so if an egg were to be released, it would be unable to attach itself to the womb.

It is important to note that the contraceptive pill will NOT protect you from sexually transmitted infections, and a barrier method of contraception such as a condom is recommended.

How to take the combined pill

Take it at the same time daily to ensure you're protected.

Most combined pills are taken for 21 days, followed by a 7-day break (or 7 days of inactive pills, which contain no hormones).

During the 7-day break you're likely to have a period, but are still protected as long as you have taken the dose correctly.

After the 7-day break, you can continue with the next pack.

Follow the same cycle for as long as you require contraception

Side effects of the combined pill

As with all medications the combined pill also has a risk of potential side effects. Some common side effects such as unexpected bleeding or spotting are often temporary and seen within the first few months of starting treatment whilst the body adjusts to the medication.

Occasionally some side effects can persist, or start to develop later on in the treatment and these should be considered when choosing the right form of contraception.

Below are some of the common and uncommon side effects as mentioned in the British National Formulary (BNF):

Common side effects

  •        Feeling sick
  •        Stomach ache
  •        Putting on weight
  •        Headaches
  •        Depressive moods or mood swings
  •        Sore or painful breasts

Less common side effects

  •        Being sick and stomach upsets
  •        Fluid retention
  •        Migraine
  •        Loss of interest in sex
  •        Breast enlargement
  •        Skin rash, which may be itchy

For a full list of side-effects, refer to individual Patient Information Leaflets (PIL).

Precautions with the combined pill

The effectiveness of “combined oral contraceptives”, “progestogen-only” oral contraceptives, contraceptive patches , vaginal rings, and emergency hormonal contraception can be considerably reduced by interaction with drugs that induce hepatic (liver) enzyme activity.

Some common examples include:


  •        Carbamazepine
  •        Phenytoin
  •        Phenobarbitone
  •        St John’s Wort
  •        Topiramate
  •        Rifampicin
  •        Griseofulvin

For short-term use of enzyme inducing drugs alongside combined oral contraceptives, it is suggested that appropriate barrier methods such as condoms are used for the duration of the treatment, and continued for 4-weeks after stopping.

For patients on long-term courses of potent enzyme inducing drugs such as Rifampicin and Rifabutin, it is recommended that an alternative method of contraception such as an IUD (intrauterine device) or coil is used instead of the combined oral contraceptive and continued for 4-weeks after stopping.

It is recommended that no additional contraceptive precautions are required when combined oral contraceptives, contraceptive patches or vaginal rings are used with antibacterials that do not induce liver enzymes, unless diarrhoea or vomiting occur.

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Our friendly team is available to help Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm.

If you need urgent assistance, do not use this service. Call 111, or in an emergency call 999.

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