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Contraceptive Pills

Contraceptive pills are the most common method for avoiding pregnancy. Especially young women use contraceptive pill.

Contraceptive pills contain the two hormones oestrogen and progestin. The composition of hormones varies with brands. Some contraceptive pills have a very low content of hormones without it affecting the safety. In all packages there are instructions. Read them thoroughly before you take contraceptive pills.

How does it work?

The hormones in the contraceptive pill affects the body in such a way that ovulation does not take place and without an egg, no pregnancy. As extra safety, contraceptive pills affect the mucous membrane in such a way that if an egg became fertilised, it could not attach and finally contraceptive pills also make the mucous in the uterine cervix so viscous that the sperm cannot enter the uterus. Thus, contraceptive pills works in three different ways whereby safety is very good.

Most packets contain 21 pills. When you begin you take the first pill on the day your menstruation begins and hereafter once a day until the packet is empty. Then you take a week-long break from the pills where you usually have your menstruation and then you start on a new packet. The pills already work from when you take your first.

Some packets contain 28 pills with 21 normal pills and 7 ‘break’-pills. Some women find it easier to remember to begin a packet when they do not take the break from taking the pill.

To remember the contraceptive pill it is smart to take it the same time every day for example in the morning when you brush your teeth.


If the woman takes a contraceptive pill every day there is almost 100% certainty that she does not become pregnant. If a pill is forgotten you should take it as fast as possible – also if that means taking 2 pills the same day. If it has been more than 36 hours from the last pill you cannot count on being protected from pregnancy up to the next menstruation. Then you need to use another kind of protection.

If the woman vomits less than 3 hours after she has taken her pill, she must take another.


  • Women may have an elevated blood pressure from using contraceptive pills, but it is very rare. If the woman has an elevated blood pressure she only needs to stop taking the pills then the blood pressure resumes to normal again.
  • A small number experience a light increase in weight. The increase in weight is not caused by fat but water and should disappear again when the woman stops taking the pills.
  • Studies have shown that there is a connection between contraceptive pills and blood clots in the brain, heart, lungs and legs. The risk is insignificant with young women but rises with age. A few women experience mood swings when using some types of pills, but not all types.
  • Spotting, nausea, tightness across the chest and headache occur. Normally, the nuisances disappear after taking the pills for 2-3 months.
  • Contraceptive pills do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. If the woman has changing partners it is necessary to use a condom together with contraceptive pills.
  • The risk of breast cancer is lightly increased. This is without significance for younger women where breast cancer occurs very rarely.


  • Almost 100% safe.
  • Effective from the first pill.
  • Menstrual bleedings become weaker and less painful.
  • The risk of cancer in the uterus and ovarian cancer is significantly reduced.

Further reading on Mini-Pills