The combined oral contraceptive pill is usually just called “the pill”. It contains the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which women produce naturally in their ovaries.
The Combined pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
The usual way to take the pill is to take one every day for 21 days, then stop for seven days, and during this week you have a period-type bleed. You start taking the pill again after seven days.
You need to take the pill at around the same time every day. You could get pregnant if you don’t do this, or if you miss a pill, or vomit or have severe diarrhoea.
Some medicines may make the pill less effective. Check with your doctor if you’re taking any other tablets.
If you have heavy periods or painful periods, PMS (premenstrual syndrome) or endometriosis the combined pill may help.
The pill does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so using a condom as well will help to protect you against STIs.
How the combined pill works
1) prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation).
2)thickens the mucus in the neck of the womb, so it is harder for sperm to penetrate the womb and reach an egg
3)thins the lining of the womb, so there is less chance of a fertilised egg implanting into the womb and being able to grow
There are many different brands of pill, made up of three main types:
Monophasic 21-day pills
This is the most common type. Each pill has the same amount of hormone in it. One pill is taken each day for 21 days and then no pills are taken for the next seven days. Microgynon, Marvelon, Yasmin and Cilest are examples of this type of pill.
Phasic 21-day pills
Phasic pills contain two or three sections of different coloured pills in a pack. Each section contains a different amount of hormones. One pill is taken each day for 21 days and then no pills are taken for the next seven days. Phasic pills need to be taken in the right order. Logynon is an example of this type of pill.
Every day (ED) pills
There are 21 active pills and seven inactive (dummy) pills in a pack. The two types of pill look different. One pill is taken each day for 28 days with no break between packets of pills. Every day pills need to be taken in the right order. Microgynon ED is an example of this type of pill.
Follow the instructions that come with your packet. If you have any questions, ask your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist.
What is Femodette?
Femodette is a combined oral contraceptive pill (‘the Pill’) to prevent pregnancy.
This contraceptive contains two types of female sex hormones, Gestodene and Ethinylestradiol (a oestrogen and a progestogen).
These hormones stop you getting pregnant by working in three ways:
by preventing an egg being released from your ovaries; by making the fluid (mucus) in your cervix thicker, which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb;
by preventing the lining of your womb thickening enough for an egg to grow in it.
Femodette is a 21-day Pill – you take one each day for 21 days, followed by 7 days when you take no pills.
How to take Femodette?
Take Femodette every day for 21 days
Femodette comes in strips of 21 pills, each marked with a day of the week.
Take your pill at the same time every day.
Start by taking a pill marked with the correct day of the week.
Follow the direction of the arrows on the strip. Take one pill each day, until you have finished all 21 pills.
Swallow each pill whole, with water if necessary. Do not chew the pill.
Then have seven pill-free days
After you have taken all 21 pills in the strip, you have seven days when you take no
Within a few days of taking the last pill from the strip, you should have a withdrawal
bleed like a period. This bleed may not have finished when it is time to start your next strip of pills.
Once you take the pill on the first day of your period, you will immediately be protected from pregnancy. If taken on the other days of the cycle, you will need to use a condom as additional barrier contraception in the following 7 days before you receive the full protection.
Though the pill is proven effective to protect you from getting pregnant, it is not to be used in protecting against STIs or sexually transmitted infections. Use barrier contraception to protect yourself from STIs especially if you doubt the sexual health of your partner.
Like all medicines, Femodette can cause side effects, although not everybody gets
them. If you get any side effect, particularly if severe and persistent, or have any
change to your health that you think may be due to Femodette, please talk to your
An increased risk of blood clots in the veins (venous thromboembolism (VTE)) or
blood clots in the arteries (arterial thromboembolism (ATE)) is present for all women
using combined hormonal contraceptives. For more detailed information on the
different risks from taking combined hormonal contraceptives please see section 2
“What you need to know before you use Femodette”.
➜ Tell your doctor, pharmacist or family planning nurse if you are worried
about any side effects which you think may be due to Femodette.
4.1 Serious side effects – see a doctor straight away
Rare side effects (between 1 and 10 in every 10,000 users may be affected)
harmful blood clots in a vein or artery for example:
– in a leg or foot (i.e. DVT)
– in a lung (i.e. PE)
– heart attack
– mini-stroke or temporary stroke-like symptoms, known as a transient
ischaemic attack (TIA)
– blood clots in the liver, stomach/intestine, kidneys or eye.
The chance of having a blood clot may be higher if you have any other conditions
that increase this risk (see section 2 for more information on the conditions that
increase risk for blood clots and the symptoms of a blood clot).
Signs of a blood clot (see section 2.3 ‘Blood clots’)
Signs of a severe allergic reaction or worsening of hereditary angioedema:
swelling of the hands, face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat. A swollen
tongue/throat may lead to difficulty swallowing and breathing
a red bumpy rash (hives) and itching.
Page 16 of 18
Signs of breast cancer include:
dimpling of the skin
changes in the nipple
any lumps you can see or feel.
Signs of cancer of the cervix include:
vaginal discharge that smells and/or contains blood
unusual vaginal bleeding
Signs of severe liver problems include:
severe pain in your upper abdomen
yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
inflammation of the liver (hepatitis)
your whole body starts itching.
➜ If you think you may have any of these, see a doctor straight away. You
may need to stop taking Femodette.
For a full list of side effects please see patient information laflet.
Further information can be found on the manufacturers
Paitient Information Leaflet and printed if required.