What is Microgynon?
Microgynon 30 is a combined oral contraceptive pill that helps prevent pregnancy. It can also be used to treat other issues like heavy periods or acne.
It’s known as a combined pill because it contains synthetic versions of two naturally occurring female hormones: oestrogen (ethinylestradiol 30mcg) and progesterone (levonorgestrel 150mcg). For the full list of Microgynon ingredients, please read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your birth control.
It’s a branded pill, so is more expensive than the non-branded alternative, Rigevidon. Find out more about Rigevidon.
What is Microgynon used for?
Microgynon is a hormonal contraceptive pill that is used to help prevent pregnancy.
How does Microgynon work?
Microgynon primarily works by preventing ovulation (eggs being released from the ovaries). This is due to the two active ingredients, which are synthetic versions of oestrogen and progesterone (ethinylestradiol 30mcg and levonorgestrel 150mcg).
It also makes it harder for sperm to reach any eggs to fertilise them, and makes the womb lining thinner to discourage any fertilised egg from implanting.
If you miss any pills or have a diarrhoea or vomiting illness, your pill may not be as effective. Taking the emergency contraceptive pill can also affect how your pill works.
Microgynon does not protect you from sexually transmitted infection (STI). To avoid catching STIs, please also use barrier contraception (condoms) and make sure to have regular STI checks. Order easy test-at-home STI kits.
How to take Microgynon
Microgynon 30 comes in packs of 21 pills. You should take one pill at the same time each day for 21 days until the pack is finished. You then take a break for seven days, during which time you may experience a withdrawal bleed similar to a period – typically 2-3 days after stopping.
Regardless of the timing of your withdrawal bleed, after the seven-day break start your next pack of 21 pills. So if you finished one pack of Microgynon on a Sunday, you’d start the next pack a week later on Monday.
You can take Microgynon packs back-to-back without taking a break if you want to delay your period, or reduce its frequency. However, we’d advise you only do this for a maximum of three months otherwise you might begin to experience problems with breakthrough bleeding.
Got more questions about how to take Microgynon? Feel free to contact us through your online patient record and one of our team will help you.
Each film-coated tablet contains 30 micrograms ethinylestradiol and 150 micrograms levonorgestrel.
Is Microgynon effective?
If Microgynon is used perfectly and without missing any pills, there is a less than 1% chance of becoming pregnant in the first year of use (i.e. <1 pregnancy per 100 women). However, with typical, less than perfect usage, failure rates are actually 5% in the first year. 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 Microgynon.
What are the main side effects of Microgynon?
When you first start taking Microgynon, it’s normal to experience some side effects. These should lessen or disappear after a few weeks as your body adjusts to the new hormone balance.
Common side effects are: nausea or stomach ache, mood changes, breast tenderness, and unusual vaginal bleeding between periods.
If any of these continue for more than three months or you have vaginal bleeding after sex or a significant change to your bleeding pattern that doesn’t settle within six weeks, please contact us or speak to your regular GP.
There are also some rare but serious side effects when taking Microgynon: blood clots, heart attack and stroke. To help reduce these risks, keep track of your blood pressure – it should stay under 140/90 – and aim to have a normal weight.
Please contact us if anything changes in your family or personal medical history while taking Microgynon.
For full side effects and further information on Microgynon, read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your oral contraceptive pill.
What else should I know about Microgynon?
Do not use Microgynon while pregnant. If you do become pregnant while taking Microgynon, stop taking the pills straight away.
Do not use Microgynon during the first 6 weeks of breastfeeding.
Microgynon is not recommended if you’re aged over 35 and smoke, have a BMI above 35 or if you have certain medical conditions.
Make sure to let us know details of any other medicines or supplements you’re taking and tell us your full medical history during the consultation. This allows us to make sure we can prescribe safely for you.
What are alternative oral contraceptive pills?
There are lots of options for oral contraceptive pills and you may also want to consider combined pills with different progesterone components or lower doses of oestrogen. For those who are not suitable for the combined pill, we can also offer progesterone only contraceptive pills.
There are also different non-pill forms of contraception, many of which are long acting, for example coils (hormonal or copper), injections and implants. Discuss these options with your GP or at your local family planning or sexual health clinic.
What are the non-drug alternatives to Microgynon?
You might want to consider barrier methods of contraception, such as male or female condoms. Speak to your GP or local sexual health clinic to find out more.
Where can I buy Microgynon?
You need a prescription to buy Microgynon 30. You can get this from your local GP or from us at Boots Online Doctor. No need to wait for an appointment, just fill out our quick online questionnaire and one of our friendly, experienced clinicians will prescribe Microgynon if it’s suitable for you.
Collect your birth control pill at your local Boots pharmacy or select to have it delivered to your door in discreet packaging in as little as two days.
How long does it take Microgynon to work?
If you start taking the Microgynon combined pill during days 1-5 of your period, you should be protected from pregnancy straight away. This could vary if you have particularly short or irregular periods.
If you start taking it at any other time in your cycle, or if you want to be extra safe, use additional protection (condoms) for the first seven days.
Will I gain weight on Microgynon?
Some women have said they notice weight gain while taking the contraceptive pill. However, the evidence is limited and doesn’t show any direct link between taking the pill and experiencing significant weight gain.
Most weight gain while taking Microgynon is likely to be temporary and related to water retention as a result of hormonal changes.
What if I miss a Microgynon pill?
If you miss a birth control tablet, there’s a greater chance you can get pregnant. You might be able to carry on taking the tablets as before but it depends on how many days you’ve missed.
If you’re using the pill to prevent pregnancy, you might need to use another form of contraception along with the pill for a while.
Coming off Microgynon
You can stop taking the combined pill Microgynon whenever you’d like. You’ll no longer be protected against pregnancy from the day you stop taking it so make sure to use another form of contraception straight away.
If you’d like to stop taking Microgynon because of side effects, get in touch with us and we may be able to suggest a more suitable contraceptive pill.
Microgynon vs Rigevidon
Microgynon and Rigevidon both work in exactly the same way and contain the exact same active ingredients in the same doses. The only difference between them is the branding.
Microgynon is more expensive and so Rigevidon could be better for you if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative of the same contraceptive pill.