Oral Contraceptive Pill
How to get the Pill without a prescription
If you are currently taking the pill (oral contraceptive pill), Lynnmall Pharmacy can supply up to six months’ worth of your current pill. We can supply all the commonly used contraceptive pills.
Our service is available to:
- Women who are aged 16-52 yr
- Not Pregnant
- Who has visited a Doctor for the Pill in the last 3 years
Our pharmacists will assess whether or not our service is suitable for you from the answers you provide in a short consultation.
No Appointment is required. This service is only available instore.
Types of Oral Contraceptive available without a prescription
The Pill (Combined Contraceptive Pill)
- Ava 20 & 30
- Microgynon 20 & 30
The Mini Pill (Progesterone Only Contraceptive Pill)
The Pill (Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill) FAQ
What is the Combined Pill?
The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill, commonly called the birth control Pill, or simply “the Pill”, is a type of female birth control taken orally.
The Combined Pill is a pill you take every day to prevent pregnancy. It contains a combination of the hormones oestrogen and progestogen.
The Combined Pill is different to the progestogen only Pill (also an oral birth control Pill). The information below is relevant to the Combined Pill only.
How to take the Pill
It is best to take the Pill at the same time every day. Some people find it helpful to set an alarm on their phone, or to time taking their Pill with a daily task, such as before your morning shower or straight after breakfast.
There are two different ways to take the Pill:
Option 1: The period option
Take one of the 21 hormone Pills each day for 21 days, and then take one of the seven non-hormone Pills for the following 7 days. Your period will start while you’re taking the seven non-hormone Pills.
You may find that your period is lighter and less crampy than before you started the Pill.
The effectiveness of the Pill lessens if you miss or forget to take the hormone pills. If you miss two or more pills in a week, you’re not protected from pregnancy.
Option 2: The no-period option
Take one of the hormone Pills every day, continuously. Miss the seven non-hormone Pills and start a new packet once you finish taking the 21 hormone Pills. You will not get your period as you skip the non-hormone Pills.
This option protects you from getting pregnant unless you forget to take more than eight Pills in a row.
You can do this option (taking 21 hormone Pills and skipping the seven non-hormone Pills), for as many packets as you like. If you want to get your period, you can then take the non-hormone Pills.
With this option, you might initially notice some bleeding and spotting. However, this usually goes away with time or you can take the seven non-hormone Pills to have a period.
Who can use the Pill?
If you’re healthy and don’t smoke you can keep taking the Pill safely for many years, or until you decide you want to get pregnant.
Who should not use the Combined Pill?
The Combined Pill remains the most popular form of female contraception, but it is not suitable for some women because it contains oestrogen. Women who are breastfeeding, over 35 years old and smoke, or are very overweight, cannot take the Combined Pill. In addition, if you use some types of medications or herbal remedies, or have your leg in plaster or use a wheelchair.
Some medical conditions also render the Combined Pill unsuitable. If you have any of these conditions please discuss alternative contraception options with your pharmacist or doctor:
- blood clots
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- a family member has had a blood clot in their legs or lungs
- severe migraines
- breast cancer
- certain types of diabetes
- disease of the gallbladder or liver
Our pharmacists will carry out free blood pressure, height and weight checks when you come in for a consultation for the Pill. This is to make sure your Pill is safe for you to take.
Advantages of the Pill
The Combined Pill is a safe way to stop getting pregnant. It is:
- Up to 99% effective
- Easy to use
- Allows you to choose to have lighter, less crampy periods or no period at all
- Can be easily stopped if you decide you want to get pregnant
- It reduces your risk of ovarian and endometrial (lining of the uterus) cancer by 50%
- Some versions (Ginet, Yaz, Yasmin) of the Pill can help with pimples/acne. *These pill are only available at your Doctors.
Disadvantages of the Pill
The Combined Pill is a safe, effective form of contraception, but it:
- does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections or STIs. You need to use condoms (and lubricant) as well to protect against STIs.
- can be easily forgotten (if you forget to take 2 or more Pills, you’re not protected from getting pregnant and will have to use barrier methods during sex)
- can be affected by vomiting or diarrhoea
- you have to take it daily – regardless of whether you have sex that day
- you might have irregular bleeding in the first month or two. If the bleeding continues, keep taking your Pill but make an appointment to see a doctor.
What are the side effects of taking the Pill?
If you have just started taking the Pill, you might:
- feel sick or queasy (especially if you take the Pill on an empty stomach),
- have sore or tender breasts
- have unexpected vaginal bleeding or spotting.
In most cases, these usually get better with time, but if you’re at all worried, we recommend that you keep taking the Pill and call your pharmacist or doctor for advice.
Mini Pill (Progesterone Only Pill) FAQ
What is the Mini Pill?
The mini-Pill is an oral pill you take every day to prevent pregnancy. Each mini-Pill contains a small amount of progestin, the synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. The mini Pill comes in packs of 28. You take one Pill every day so that you’re getting a steady dose of the hormone progesterone.
The mini-Pill is unlike Combined Pills that contain a combination of oestrogen and progestogen. The information below is relevant to the mini-Pill only.
How to take the mini-Pill
The mini-Pill should be taken daily at the same time. Some people find it helpful to set an alarm on their phone, or to time taking their Pill with a daily task, such as before your morning shower or straight after breakfast.
You must take Noriday and Microlut within three hours of the same time every day.
You must take Cerazette within 12 hours of the same time every day.
Start taking your first mini-Pill on the first day of your next period – this will give you immediate protection. If you’re sure that you’re not pregnant, you can alternatively start taking the mini-Pill on any day of your cycle – but you may not be protected immediately.
Will I get my period when taking the mini-Pill?
You may notice your period or bleeding pattern change while on the mini-Pill. About 40% of women continue to have regular bleeding, 40% have irregular bleeding, and 20% have no bleeding at all.
If you have concerns about whether you’re bleeding or not, or how much you’re bleeding, please speak to your pharmacist or doctor.
Who can use the Mini Pill?
Most females can take the mini-Pill, but traditionally two groups in particular have been prescribed it:
- Those who have recently given birth – because unlike the ordinary or Combined Pill, the mini-Pill does not stop the flow of a mother’s milk.
- Those who have certain risk factors or health conditions where the Combined Pill is not recommended.
Advantages of the Mini Pill
The great advantage of the mini-Pill is that its health risks are less than those of the Combined Pill and therefore suitable to a wide range of women. It also:
- Is easy to use – it is simple and convenient.
- Doesn’t interfere with sexual intercourse.
- Does not affect breastfeeding.
- Can be taken at any age (unlike the Combined Pill which is generally not taken after the age of 35 years)
- Has very few side effects.
Disadvantages of the Mini Pill
The mini-Pill is a safe, effective oral contraceptive that most females can take. There are however some disadvantages or drawbacks.
- The mini-Pill is not recommended for women who have had breast cancer or for women who are taking some medications, over-the-counter preparations or herbal remedies. Check with your pharmacist or doctor if you take regular medicine.
- You have to take the mini-Pill daily – regardless of whether you have sex that day.
- The mini-Pill does not control your period in the same way as the Combined Pill and may change your bleeding pattern or periods. Some irregular bleeding may occur for a few months after starting the Pill. This does not mean the Pill is less effective, as long as you have not missed Pills. If the bleeding continues, keep taking your Pill but check with your pharmacist or doctor.
- Oral contraceptives do not protect you from sexually transmitted infections or STIs. You need to use condoms (and lubricant) as well to protect against STIs.
- The mini-Pill is not quite as effective against pregnancy as the Combined Pill, but at 92% effective it’s pretty good.
- Vomiting or diarrhoea can prevent the mini-Pill from working effectively.
What are the side effects of Mini Pill?
Many women don’t experience any side effects from taking the mini-Pill. However, the following side effects can sometimes occur:
- sore or tender breasts