The Pill

What is it and how does it work?

There are two types of contraceptive pill:

The combined pill has two hormones - estrogen and progestrogen - that stops ovulation; thickens cervical mucus to stop sperm reaching an egg; and thins the lining of the womb to prevent fertlised eggs implanting.  

The progestrogen-only pill contains only the hormone progestrogen, which thickens cervical mucus to stop sperm reaching an egg and may also stop ovulation for some months. 


Over 99% effective

Who can have it?

Women of child bearing age depending on consultation


Depending on type of pill can help with premenstrual symptoms and heavy painful periods.  Your fertility will return to normal once you stop the pill. Periods may become regular, lighter, less painful or stop completely depending on the type of pill. 


Must be take daily. Is only as effective as the person taking it. 

Risks/Side effects

Combined pill has a small risk of blood clots for some women. May have temporary side effects such as headache, mood changes, breast tenderness and may feel sick. Progestrogen Only Pill may temporarily cause acne or breast tenderness. 

Further guidance:

The Combined Pill

The Progestrogen Only Pill