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Combined Pills and Progestogen - only Pills
Both combined pills and progestogen-only pills are very reliable (if women follow the instructions correctly), with a very few women who used this method still getting pregnant.
Combined pills release 2 hormones – oestrogen and progestogen. These hormones stops the woman’s body from ovulating, thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm meeting an egg, and also thins the womb lining to stop an egg going and staying in the lining.
Combined pills may lead to less bleeding and less painful period problems and may reduce pre-menstrual tension (PMT). These pills also help to reduce the risk of some pelvic infections, ovarian cancer and womb cancer. When these pills are stopped, the fertility level will go back to normal. Combined pills are suitable for females who are not smokers and has not reached menopause. Combined pills may cause a low risk of thrombosis (blood clots), breast cancer and cervical cancer.
Progestogen-only pills work the same as combined pills but progestogen-only pills do not stop ovulation for every female who takes these pills. Progestogen-only pills must be taken at the same time each day. If a pill is forgotten or more than 3 hours late, the body may not be protected against pregnancy.
Progestogen-only pills may cause some side effects, such as periods becoming not regular with some bleeding in between periods. These pills are suitable for females who cannot take oestrogen, who are over 35 and who smoke. When these pills are stopped, the fertility level will come back to normal.