What is Cilique?
Cilique is an oral contraceptive pill used to help prevent pregnancy. It’s known as the combined pill as it contains synthetic versions of two different female hormones: oestrogen and progesterone.
It can also help to treat other issues like heavy or irregular periods, and acne.
What is Cilique used for?
Cilique is used to help prevent pregnancy. It’s a hormonal contraceptive pill.
How does Cilique work?
The combined contraceptive pill Cilique works in three ways to prevent pregnancy:
- Stops your ovaries from releasing eggs (ovulating)
- Makes it harder for sperm to reach any eggs by thickening the cervical mucus
- Thins the womb lining to make it less likely a fertilised egg can become implanted
It contains 250mcg of norgestimate and 35mcg of ethinylestradiol.
How to take Cilique
Take one Cilique tablet at the same time each day for 21 days until the pack is finished. Then take a seven-day break. You may experience a withdrawal bleed (like a period) during this break – usually 2-3 days after stopping. After these seven days, start your next pack of 21 pills regardless of the timing of your withdrawal bleed.
So if you finish a pack of Cilique on a Friday, start the next pack the following Saturday.
If you’re wondering when to start taking Cilique, you can take your first pill at any time in your menstrual cycle. However, if you start during days 1-5 of your period, you should be protected from pregnancy immediately. If you start at any other time, make sure to also use condoms or abstain from sex for the first seven days.
Each Cilique tablet contains 250 micrograms of norgestimate and 35 micrograms of ethinylestradiol.
Is Cilique effective?
When used perfectly, without missing any pills, there is less than a 1% chance of becoming pregnant while taking Cilique (i.e. <1 pregnancy per 100 women in their first year of use). Although typical failure rates are actually 5% in the first year. Each time you miss a pill during the menstrual cycle, the chance of pregnancy increases.
If you forget to take your pill, or have a sickness with diarrhoea or vomiting, you’ll be at risk of pregnancy. Find out more about what to do if you miss your pill.
Please note: if you take emergency contraception (the morning after pill), this can also impact the effectiveness of Cilique.
What are the main side effects of Cilique?
It’s normal to experience some side effects when you first start taking a contraceptive pill such as Cilique. These should go away after a few weeks once your body has adjusted to the medicine.
Common side effects you may experience could include: headaches, bloating, mood changes, painful periods, nausea, stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhoea, and unusual vaginal bleeding between periods.
If any of these side effects last longer than three months or you experience vaginal bleeding after sex, or a significant change to your bleeding pattern that doesn’t settle within six weeks, please speak to your GP or contact us through your online patient record.
Some rare but serious side effects of taking Cilique are: blood clots, heart attack and stroke. To help reduce these risks, regularly check your blood pressure – it should stay under 140/90 – and aim to have a normal weight.
If anything changes in your family or personal medical history while you’re taking Cilique, please let us know straight away.
For full information on Cilique’s side effects, please make sure to read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your prescription.
What else should I know about Cilique?
Cilique, like all other contraceptive pills, only protects you from pregnancy. It will not prevent you from catching sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have more than one sexual partner, you should also use barrier contraception (condoms) and have regular STI screenings. We offer easy test-at-home STI kits.
You should not take Cilique if you’re pregnant; if you do become pregnant while taking Cilique, make sure to stop taking it right away. If you gave birth within the last 6 weeks and are breastfeeding, you should not take Cilique.
Women who are aged over 35 and smoke, who have a BMI of above 35, or who have certain medical conditions will not be able to take Cilique. When filling out your online consultation, it’s important to tell us everything about your medical history and any other medicines you’re taking so we can make sure to only prescribe the pill if suitable for you.
What are alternative oral contraceptive pills?
There are many other oral contraceptive pills to choose from. Some combined pills have different progesterone components or lower doses of oestrogen and may be more suitable for you. If the combined pill isn’t right, we can also offer progesterone-only contraceptive pills (the mini pill).
If you’d rather use a non-pill method of contraception, there are other contraceptives you could consider. To discuss these – such as long acting implants, coils (hormonal or copper) or injections – talk to your GP or sexual health clinic.
What are the non-drug alternatives to Cilique?
You may prefer to use condoms or another barrier contraception. Speak to your GP or visit your local sexual health centre for more information on different barrier contraception methods. You can buy condoms from Boots or another local pharmacy.
Will Cilique help my acne?
Cilique can help improve acne in some people. The synthetic female hormones in the combined contraceptive pill tend to reduce the number of androgens in the body (male sex hormones). In turn, this lowers the production of sebum and can result in fewer spots.
Pills that contain drospirenone, such as Yasmin, have proven to be especially helpful in improving acne. Find out more about our Acne treatment service.
Does Cilique stop periods?
As Cilique stops your body from ovulating, you won’t have real periods while you’re taking it. However, during each seven-day break you’ll likely experience a ‘withdrawal bleed’ which is essentially the same as a period.
If you want to delay or miss out a period, you can take Cilique packs back-to-back. You can take three packs of Cilique back-to-back and then take a 4-day break. You may experience some breakthrough bleeding if you do this, but it can be helpful if you have heavy or painful periods.
Can I buy Cilique online?
Yes, you can buy Cilique online but you’ll need a prescription first. At Boots Online Doctor, one of our experienced clinicians can prescribe Cilique, if suitable for you, quickly and easily. No need to make an appointment or speak to anyone directly. Just answer a few questions on our online questionnaire and get the contraception you need.
What if I miss a Cilique pill?
If you forget to take your pill, you’ll be at greater risk of pregnancy. Depending on how many tablets you’ve missed, you may need to take additional precautions to help prevent pregnancy.
I want to stop taking Cilique
It’s OK to stop taking Cilique whenever you want to. Make sure to use another form of contraception from the day you stop taking your pill as you’ll no longer be protected against pregnancy.
If ongoing side effects are bothering you, please contact us and we can discuss alternative contraceptive pills that may be more suitable.
Cilique and Cilest
Cilique is the same as Cilest. Both are combined contraceptive pills containing the same active ingredients and working in the same way. Cilest has been discontinued by the manufacturer now. If you were previously taking Cilest, Cilique should be a safe and suitable alternative for you.