5 of the most frequently asked questions about the contraceptive pill answered
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Here's everything you need to know about the contraceptive pill.
Navigating the world of contraception is no easy task.
With so many factors to consider, it can be hard to wrap your head around how exactly the pill works and the key facts you need to be clued up on.
That's why we've broken down some FAQs surrounding the pill and how it works, to help you get your contraception facts straight.
Covering everything from its effectiveness to the steps you should take if you miss a pill, here's what you need to know...
What's the difference between the combined pill and the mini pill?
The combined pill contains both oestrogen and progesterone, where as the mini pill just contains progesterone. How you take each kind of pill also differs, as you usually take a seven-day break every month on the combined pill, where as there's no break needed on the mini pill.
Is the contraceptive pill effective from the day you start taking it?
If you're on the pill, the IFPA says its effectiveness depends on when you start taking it, and the kind of pill you're on.
With the progesterone-only pill, the IFPA says it doesn't matter when you start it, but you should use another form of contraception for the first 48 hours of use.
For the combined pill, the IFPA says no extra precautions need to be taken if you start the pill on the first or second day of your menstrual cycle. If you start taking the pill between day 2 and 5 of your cycle and if you have short or irregular periods, you may need to use additional contraception.
Is there a limit to how long you can be on the pill for?
We've all heard the urban legends about long-term use of the pill impacting fertility, but this simply isn't true. There's no research to say you can't be on the pill for a number of years consecutively. However, contraception is usually only needed until the age of 55, and the combined pill isn't recommended for women aged 50 or over.
Do you have to visit a GP to get the pill?
Not anymore, thanks to Lloyds Online Doctor.
If you're someone who struggles to fit appointments into your busy schedule, Lloyds Online Doctor is all about convenient, discreet, low-cost healthcare. The service cuts out the need for face-to-face appointments, and it's a fraction of the cost of a GP visit. They're currently running an offer on their consultations too - down to €12.50 from €25.
So how does it work? All you have to do is go through a simple online consultation and doctor review. Then, you can either collect and pay for your medication at your nearest LloydsPharmacy, or get your prescription posted straight to your doorstep and bring it into the pharmacy yourself. Sounds pretty handy!
What should I do if I forget to take the contraceptive pill?
If you forget to take a pill, read the product information leaflet to find out what to do if you miss a pill.
If you're within 12 hours of when you should have taken the combined pill, the IFPA recommends you take the pill when you remember and continue the pack as normal, without any extra precautions needed. If it's been over 12 hours, the IFPA says to take the pill when you remember, continue the pack as normal and use another contraception method for 7 days.
If you're on the mini pill, the IFPA recommends you take it as soon as you remember and take the next pill at the correct time, even if it means you're taking two in the one day. You should also use another contraceptive method for 48 hours just in case.
Our simple, discreet and convenient service is back. And right now, consultations are half price - just €12.50. So when you need a prescription, but don’t want the hassle or expense of seeing a GP face-to-face, simply log in or register and answer a few simple questions to get started. Prescriptions approved before 4pm weekdays, are available for same-day collection.
For more information on Lloyds Online Doctor, click here.
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