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Levest tablets
Levest is a combined contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy that contains ethinylestradiol (oestrogen) and levonorgestrel (progesterone). It has the same hormones and strength as Microgynon and Rigevidon.
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What is Levest?

Levest is a combined oral contraceptive pill used to help protect against pregnancy. It contains synthetic versions of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone.

It can also offer additional benefits such as: lighter, less painful and more regular periods, and fewer premenstrual symptoms (PMS).

Find out more about our contraceptive pill service.

What is Levest used for?

Levest is a hormonal contraceptive pill. It’s used to help prevent pregnancy.

How does Levest work?

Levest is known as a combined pill because it contains synthetic versions of two naturally occurring female hormones, oestrogen (ethinylestradiol 30mcg) and progesterone (levonorgestrel 150mcg).

This combination of hormones helps prevent pregnancy by stopping your body from ovulating (releasing eggs). It also makes it harder for sperm to reach an egg, and for an egg to implant in the womb.

How to take Levest

To make sure Levest is as effective as possible, you need to take it consistently. Take one pill every day at the same time for 21 days, until you finish a pack of Levest.

Then, you should take a seven-day break before starting the next pack. During this break, you may experience some bleeding – typically 2-3 days after stopping.

After these seven days, start your next pack of Levest regardless of the timing of your withdrawal bleed. So if you finish one pack on a Sunday, start the next pack a week later on Monday.

Levest dosage

Each film-coated tablet contains 30 micrograms ethinylestradiol and 150 micrograms levonorgestrel.

Is Levest effective?

If Levest is used perfectly, without missing any pills, the chance of becoming pregnant is less than 1% (i.e. <1 pregnancy per 100 women in their first year of use). Typical failure rates are actually 5% in the first year. The chance you could become pregnant increases with each pill you miss during a menstrual cycle.

If you forget to take your pill, or have a sickness with diarrhoea or vomiting, you’re at risk of pregnancy. Find out more about what to do if you miss your pill.

Taking emergency contraception (the morning after pill) can also impact the effectiveness of Levest.

What are the main side effects of Levest?

Side effects are common with all contraceptive pills, but may vary from person to person.

Some possible side effects you may experience when taking Levest are:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea or stomach ache
  • Bloating
  • Mood changes
  • Breast tenderness
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding between periods

Any side effects should go away again once your body has adjusted to the pill. If they last longer than three months, please get in touch with us through your online patient record. We may be able to suggest a different contraceptive pill.

Please contact us or see your GP if you experience vaginal bleeding after sex or a significant change to your bleeding pattern that doesn’t settle within six weeks.

Blood clots, heart attack and stroke are rare but serious side effects of taking the combined contraceptive pill. To try and reduce these risks, you should aim to have a normal weight and your blood pressure should stay under 140/90. Make sure to check it annually.

For more information on side effects of Levest, please read the full Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your pill.

What else should I know about Levest?

Levest should not be taken during pregnancy; if you do fall pregnant while taking Levest, stop taking the pill immediately.

If you gave birth less than 6 weeks ago and are breastfeeding, you should not take Levest.

If you have a BMI above 35, are aged over 35 and smoke, or have certain medical conditions, we would not recommend Levest for you. When filling out your online questionnaire, it’s very important you let us know your full medical history as well as any medicines you take so we can make sure to only prescribe a contraceptive pill that’s suitable for you.

What are alternative oral contraceptive pills?

You may want to consider other combined oral contraceptive pills including those with different progesterone components or lower doses of oestrogen. For those who are not suitable for the combined pill, we also offer progesterone only contraceptive pills.

Find out more about contraceptive pills.

To discuss other, long acting contraception methods, such as coils, implants and injections, please contact your GP or local sexual health or family planning clinic.

What are the non-drug alternatives to Levest?

Barrier methods, such as condoms, might be an alternative contraception you wish to consider. These work by blocking sperm from reaching the egg to fertilise it. You can buy condoms from Boots or your local pharmacy, or speak to your regular GP or sexual health centre for more information.

Can I miss periods on Levest?

Depending on how you take Levest, you could delay or miss a period. Taking Levest packs back-to-back without a seven-day break in between will mean you skip the withdrawal bleed that usually comes during the break.

It’s possible to take three packs of Levest back-to-back without a break and then take a 4-day break. There’s a risk of breakthrough bleeding doing this, but it can be helpful for managing heavy or painful periods.

If you’re looking for something specifically to delay your period, find out what period delay treatments we can offer. These can be used as an alternative to the combined oral contraceptive pill but not together.

Can Levest cause mood swings?

Changes in mood have been reported as a side effect some women experience when taking Levest. This should improve as your body adjusts to the synthetic hormones in Levest. If you’re still experiencing mood swings after three months, let us know or speak to your regular GP. We may be able to suggest trying an alternative contraceptive pill.

When should I start Levest?

You can start taking Levest at any time. However, if you begin taking it during days 1-5 of your period, you should be protected from pregnancy immediately. If you start the pill at any other time in your menstrual cycle, use condoms as well for the first seven days to prevent pregnancy.

​​What if I miss a Levest pill?

If you forget to take Levest or have a diarrhoea or vomiting illness, it won’t be able to protect you from pregnancy as effectively. More information on what to do if you miss a pill.

If you take the morning after pill while you’re taking Levest, this can also affect how effectively it works.

Please note: contraceptive pills like Levest do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Have regular STI screenings and use condoms if you have more than one sexual partner. Get easy test-at-home STI kits and advice from us here.

Where can I buy Levest?

Levest is a prescription-only combined contraceptive pill.

At Boots Online Doctor, you can get a prescription for Levest if it’s suitable for you from one of our experienced clinicians. No appointment necessary and you won’t even need to talk to anyone directly. Fill out our quick online questionnaire and buy Levest online to get the contraception you need, when you need it.

Find out more.

This treatment is available as:
63 tablets
126 tablets

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