Combined Pill

The combined pill, an oral contraceptive that incorporates both oestrogen and progestin, is primarily used for effective birth control. Beyond its primary function, the combined pill offers additional advantages such as regulating menstrual cycles, alleviating menstrual cramps, and managing specific hormonal conditions.

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    • About the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill

      The combined oral contraceptive pill, commonly referred to as “the pill,” is a widely used form of hormonal contraception. It contains synthetic forms of two hormones: oestrogen and progestin. These hormones work together to prevent pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation, which means the ovaries do not release an egg each month. Additionally, the pill thickens the mucus at the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and reach any egg that might have been released. It also thins the lining of the uterus, which reduces the likelihood of a fertilised egg implanting.

      ● Preventive Health Benefits: Besides providing effective birth control, the combined pill offers several health benefits. It is associated with a reduced risk of certain types of cancer, such as ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancer.
      ● Usage Guidelines: The pill is taken daily, and it is essential to follow the prescribed schedule to maintain its effectiveness. It is available in various formulations, which may differ slightly in hormone dosage or the number of hormone-free days.
      ● Considerations and Risks: While the pill is suitable for many women, it is not recommended for those with certain health conditions such as a history of thrombosis, certain types of cancer, or severe liver problems. It’s also unsuitable for smokers over the age of 35 due to increased cardiovascular risks.
      ● Accessibility and Consultation: The pill requires a prescription, and it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure it is a suitable method of contraception based on individual health and lifestyle.

    • Symptoms

      The combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), commonly known as the combined pill, is used to prevent pregnancy and also provides benefits in managing various medical conditions. Here are some conditions that the combined pill helps manage or treat, along with their associated symptoms:

      ● Menstrual irregularities: The pill can regulate menstrual cycles, reducing symptoms of irregular periods, such as unpredictable timing and variable flow.
      ● Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Symptoms like irregular menstrual cycles, acne, and excessive hair growth can be managed with the combined pill, which helps regulate hormonal imbalances typical of PCOS.
      ● Endometriosis: The pill is often used to manage pain associated with endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus grows outside it, causing painful periods and chronic pelvic pain.
      ● Acne and Hirsutism: By regulating hormones that exacerbate acne and unwanted hair growth, the combined pill can help alleviate these conditions.
      ● Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): The pill can help alleviate symptoms like mood swings, headaches, and breast tenderness associated with PMS and the more severe PMDD.
      ● Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: The pill can reduce the volume and duration of menstrual bleeding, providing relief for those with abnormally heavy periods.

      The combined pill works primarily by preventing ovulation and also makes the uterine lining less receptive to implantation should fertilisation occur. It’s important for individuals to consult with healthcare providers to determine the best type and regimen of the pill based on their health profile and medical needs.

    • Diagnosis

      Diagnosing conditions that are treated by the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP) involves a comprehensive approach, focusing on the specific symptoms that patients present with, as well as a detailed medical history and sometimes diagnostic tests.

      ● For Menstrual Irregularities and conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), diagnosis often starts with the patient’s medical history, particularly concerning their menstrual cycle patterns, and may include blood tests to check hormone levels and ultrasound scans to look at the ovaries and uterine lining.
      ● In cases of Endometriosis, diagnosis is typically more complex and may require a pelvic exam to check for abnormalities or pain in the reproductive organs. If further investigation is needed, techniques like ultrasound or even laparoscopy (a minor surgical procedure where a camera is used to see inside the pelvis) may be employed.
      ● Acne and Hirsutism, often hormonal in nature, may be evaluated through clinical examination and patient history. Hormonal tests might also help determine the underlying causes and guide the treatment with COCPs to regulate hormonal imbalances.
      ● Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) are generally diagnosed based on a detailed symptom diary that tracks the timing and impact of symptoms across several menstrual cycles.

      Each of these conditions may require a tailored approach based on the individual’s symptoms and health profile. Medical professionals use these diagnostic approaches to not only confirm the presence of a condition but also to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms. Effective diagnosis is crucial as it informs the subsequent decision to use COCPs for treatment, considering their dual role in both contraception and the management of these gynaecological issues.

    • Treatments

      Combined oral contraceptive pills offer benefits for managing conditions related to hormonal imbalances:

      Microgynon 30:

      • PCOS: Helps regulate menstrual cycles and reduces symptoms such as acne and excess hair growth by balancing androgen levels.
      • Acne: Contains ethinyl estradiol which helps reduce the severity of acne.

      This pill is particularly effective in managing hormonal symptoms and is one of the preferred choices due to its combination of hormones which are effective in treating PCOS-related symptoms.


      • Acne and Skin Conditions: Similar to Microgynon, Rigevidon helps manage acne to some extent, although its effectiveness can vary. It is also a second-generation pill with potential side effects including mood swings and further acne in some cases.


      • PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder): Known to be effective in managing symptoms of PMDD, providing relief from mood swings, depression, and irritability associated with the menstrual cycle.
      • Acne: Contains drospirenone, which is particularly helpful in reducing acne by regulating hormones that influence skin condition.


      • Acne: Similar to Yasmin, Lucette contains drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, which are beneficial for skin conditions like acne due to their regulatory effects on hormonal activity.

      These pills work by regulating hormones that can cause irregular menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth, severe acne, and mood disorders related to menstrual cycles. They provide over 99% effective pregnancy control while also addressing secondary conditions that are hormonally driven.

    • Prevention Strategies

      Some prevention strategies for conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, acne, and PMDD based on the latest research and recommendations:

      Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):

      ● Maintain a healthy weight, as weight loss can reduce insulin and androgen levels, potentially restoring ovulation.
      ● Adopt a low-carbohydrate diet to help manage insulin levels. Opt for complex carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
      ● Engage in regular physical activity to improve insulin resistance and overall health.


      ● There are no confirmed preventive measures for endometriosis due to its unclear causes. However, managing oestrogen levels through hormonal treatments might reduce the risk of developing or worsening the condition.

      ● Maintain a skincare routine that includes cleansing and products suited for your skin type.
      ● Avoid high-glycemic foods and dairy as they may exacerbate acne.
      ● Consider non-comedogenic makeup to avoid clogging pores.

      Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD):

      ● Regular physical exercise can help manage symptoms.
      ● Stress management techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, or therapy can be beneficial.
      ● Ensure adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and magnesium, which might help mitigate symptoms.

      These preventive measures focus on lifestyle and dietary changes that can help manage symptoms and possibly prevent the onset of more severe manifestations of these conditions. Regular consultations with healthcare providers are essential for personalised advice and to manage any of these conditions effectively.