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

Marvelon is an oral contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy. It is a combined pill, containing synthetic versions of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone. It can be used to treat other issues like heavy or irregular periods and acne.

You can buy Marvelon online from Boots Online Doctor.

Find out more about our contraceptive pill service.

What is Marvelon used for?

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

How does Marvelon work?

Marvelon is a combined contraceptive pill. This is because it contains a combination of two female hormones: synthetic oestrogen (30mcg ethinylestradiol) and synthetic progesterone (150mcg desogestrel).

Marvelon is an effective birth control pill if taken accurately. It protects you from 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 successfully implant in the womb.

How to take Marvelon

When starting the pack, take the pill labelled for that day of the week. Continue to take one pill at the same time each day for 21 days until you finish the pack. Setting an alarm on your phone can be a good idea to help remind you to take it.

Once you’ve finished the 21-pill strip, take a break for seven days. You’ll probably experience some withdrawal bleeding, typically around 2-3 days after you’ve stopped. After your 7-day break, no matter when you started your withdrawal bleed or whether it’s finished, start the next strip of 21 pills.Take care: If you miss pills, or have diarrhoea or vomiting, you’re at risk of pregnancy. If you miss a pill, take the pill you missed as soon as you can. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to use other forms of birth control. Find out more about what to do if you miss a pill.

Marvelon dosage

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

Is Marvelon effective?

When taking Marvelon perfectly without any missed pills, there’s less than 1% chance of falling pregnant (i.e. less than one woman out of 100 women will become pregnant in their first year of use). However, the typical failure rate is actually 5% in the first year. Please note that the chance of becoming pregnant increases with each missed pill 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 Marvelon.

What are the main side effects of Marvelon?

You may experience some side effects when taking the contraceptive pill. These should only last a short time as your body gets used to the new hormonal balance.

Some common side effects include:

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

If any of these side effects continue beyond three months, please contact us. We may suggest you try another contraceptive pill.

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

On very rare occasions, the combined pill can cause serious side effects. These include blood clots, heart attack and stroke. You should only take Marvelon if your blood pressure is within normal range – under 140/90 – and stays that way while you’re taking the pill. Make sure to check it annually. You should also aim to have a normal weight with a body mass index (BMI) under 35).

For more information on Marvelon’s side effects, please read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your pill.

What else should I know about Marvelon?

Contraceptive pills like Marvelon should not be taken during pregnancy. If you do fall pregnant while using Marvelon, you should stop taking it immediately.

Do not use Marvelon while breastfeeding in the first 6 weeks after giving birth.

Marvelon is not recommended if you’re over 35 and smoke, have a BMI above 35 or if you have certain medical conditions.

When you fill out your online questionnaire, you must let us know about your full medical history and any other medicines or supplements you’re taking so we can prescribe Marvelon if it’s safe and suitable for you.

What are alternative oral contraceptive pills?

We can prescribe a number of different contraceptive pills, both combined and progesterone-only (known as the mini pill). Each person may react differently to each contraceptive pill. So if you’re struggling with side effects or want to explore the different options available to you, get in touch. We’re here to help.

Find out more about oral contraceptive pills.

As well as the pill, there are several other contraceptive options you might want to consider. Long acting contraceptives like coils (hormonal or copper), injections or implants may be better suited to you and what you need. You can discuss these with your GP or local family planning clinic.

What are the non-drug alternatives to Marvelon?

You may prefer to use barrier methods of contraception, which work by blocking sperm and preventing it from reaching an egg. Condoms, both male and female, are examples of barrier contraception. You can buy condoms from Boots or another local pharmacy.

Will Marvelon delay my period?

Marvelon is not designed to delay your period. It’s a contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy.

However, if you’d like to delay a period – or ‘withdrawal bleed’ – or have them less frequently, you can take Marvelon packs back to back. We’d only recommend doing this for three packs in a row though as otherwise you may start to get breakthrough bleeding.

If you’re looking for a treatment specifically to delay your period, find out what treatments we offer.

How quickly does Marvelon work?

Marvelon should protect you from pregnancy immediately if you start taking it during the first five days of your period. If you start taking it at another time during your menstrual cycle, you’ll need to also use condoms or avoid sex for the first seven days. If you have any questions on this, get in touch via your online patient record.

Can I buy Marvelon online?

You need a prescription for all contraceptive pills, including Marvelon. You can get a prescription and buy Marvelon online through Boots Online Doctor. You’ll need to fill out our online questionnaire and then one of our clinicians can prescribe Marvelon if it’s suitable for you.

Quick and simple, with expert support and advice on hand, get the contraception you need without waiting for an appointment.

Find out more.

Will I put on weight on Marvelon?

Some women report they notice weight gain while taking Marvelon but there is only limited evidence, none of which shows that taking the contraceptive pill directly causes weight gain.

If you do notice weight gain while taking the pill, it’s likely to only be temporary and related to water retention from hormonal changes.

What else should I know?

Marvelon works with your body’s hormonal system to prevent pregnancy. It does not stop you catching sexually transmitted infections (STI). In order to prevent these, please consider barrier contraception like condoms.

Make sure to also have regular STI screening. You can do this from the comfort of your own home with our easy-to-use STI testing kits.

This treatment is available as:
63 tablets
126 tablets

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