Everything You Need to Know About the Contraceptive Pill & How it Works

A medic showing contraceptive pill in Birmingham & Solihull

The contraceptive pill is sometimes referred to as simply “the pill”. It contains man-made versions of both estrogen and progesterone, the natural hormones produced by the ovaries. Keep reading to find out more about the contraceptive pill in Birmingham & Solihull.

Pregnancy occurs when sperm reaches the ovum (egg). The contraceptive pill in Birmingham & Solihull is meant to help avoid pregnancy. It does this either by stopping the sperm from fertilising the egg or by stopping ovulation (egg release).

How does the contraceptive pill in Birmingham & Solihull work?

How it prevents pregnancy

The pill works by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg every month (ovulation). It also:

  • Makes it harder for sperm to get to the womb and reach an egg, by thickening the mucus found in the cervix.
  • Thins the womb lining, making it difficult for a fertilised egg to implant into the womb in order for it to grow.

The contraceptive pill is 99% effective if used the right way.

Learn more about sexual health in our previous blog post here:

Sexual Health

Which contraceptive pill in Birmingham & Solihull is best?

There are numerous brands of pills available, and they come in three main types:

Monophasic 21-day pills

This type is the most common. Each pill contains the same quantity of hormones. Take one pill every day for 21 days, before taking a 7-day break. Some of the monophasic 21-day pills include:

  • Marvelon
  • Yasmin
  • Microgynon.

Phasic 21-day pills

Phasic pills include 2 or 3 parts of pills separated by colour in a pack. Each part has a different quantity of hormones. A single pill is taken every day for 21 days, then followed by a 7-day break. These pills have to be taken in the correct order for them to be effective. An example of phasic pills is Logynon.

Every day (ED) pills

These pills come in a pack containing 21 active pills and 7 dummy pills. Take one pill every day for 28 days, without taking any breaks. These pills have to be used in the correct order. A good example of this type of pill is microgynon ED.

What are the side effects of using the contraceptive pill in Birmingham & Solihull?

It’s difficult for your healthcare provider to tell which pill may give you side effects. Most women do not experience any side effects while taking a progesterone-only pill or the combined pill.

However, you may have to try a variety of pills before you get the one that best suits you. Every woman may witness a different reaction to a particular pill, and every type of pill comes with different side effects.

Possible side effects are:

  • Mood swings, mood changes, and depression
  • Unusual bleeding during the first 3 months
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Breast pain
  • Low libido
  • Acne

It’s always advisable to go through the patient leaflet of the medicine you are using, considering every contraceptive pill comes with slightly different side effects. In some rare cases, you may experience a variety of other uncommon side effects.

Learn more about contraception on our previous blog post here:

Emergency Contraception

contraceptive pill Birmingham & Solihull

Is the contraceptive pill in Birmingham & Solihull safer than condoms?

In certain countries, healthcare providers and pharmacists actively encourage couples and sexually active single women to use both pills and condoms. As a result, this has contributed to some of the lowest rates in the world in terms of unwanted pregnancies. Using both a condom and the pill provides you with protection from both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Knights Pharmacy Branch

You can find your nearest Knights Pharmacy branch to get help and advice, as well as contraception.

Find Your Branch


This post was written on behalf of Knights Pharmacy by Pharmacy Mentor