The combined pill contains two hormones oestrogen and Progestogen. It stops ovulation, thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm meeting an egg and thins the lining of the womb to prevent an egg implanting. A pill is taken every day for 21 days until the pack is finished. There is then a 7-day break when you get a period. The next pack is started on the 8th day. You must remember to take the pill everyday, if you forget then you put yourself at risk of becoming pregnant.

99% effective if taken according to instructions. The combined pill will not protect you from STIs.

Very low risk but there may be temporary minor side effects such as nausea and tiredness which should disappear after the first 3 months. Rare serious side effects may include blood clots (deep vein thrombosis), the risk of which can be increased if you are a smoker. The combined pill can help. Find out more information about the combined pill.