Get safe, effective contraception online

Choose from the combined pill, mini pill, contraceptive patch or vaginal ring. With our online consultation, you’ll usually get clinician-approved contraception in a few simple steps. Get up to 12 months’ protection delivered to your door or pick it up the same day at your local LloydsPharmacy.  

Choose from the combined pill, mini pill, contraceptive patch or vaginal ring. With our online consultation, you’ll usually get clinician-approved contraception in a few simple steps. Get up to 12 months’ protection delivered to your door or pick it up the same day at your local LloydsPharmacy. 

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    Which type of contraception is right for you?

    On this page

    Combined pill

    Combined contraceptive pills, like Yasmin, Rigevidon, Lucette and Microgynon, contain two hormones: progestogen and oestrogen. They prevent you from releasing an egg (ovulating), which means you can’t get pregnant. You’ll need yearly blood pressure and BMI checks when taking this type of pill.

    How you take it 
    One pill a day and at the same time each day. With most combined pills, you take them for 21 days, followed by a 4 or 7-day break. During your break, you’ll probably have a withdrawal bleed. If you bleed heavily or painfully, have headaches or mood swings on pill-free days, you can skip the break.  

    You can also take the pill: 

    • Every day for 9 weeks, followed by a 4 or 7-break 
    • Everyday continuously 
    • Everyday for at least 21 days, followed by a 4 or 7-day break

    Find out more

    Possible side effects 
    These vary, but you may find your blood pressure increases. So you'll need to get this checked either at home or in-store before you can take this type of pill. After that you’ll need these checked at least yearly. There’s also a slightly higher risk of blood clots

    Low-dose combined

    Low-dose pills, such as Gedarel, also contain progestogen and oestrogen – but less oestrogen than regular combined pills. This means some side effects are reduced.

    How you take it
    One pill a day and at the same time each day. With most low-dose combined pills, you take them for 21 days, followed by a 4 or 7-day break. During your break, you’ll probably have a withdrawal bleed. If you bleed heavily or painfully or have headaches or mood swings on pill-free days, you can skip the break. 

    You can also take the pill:  

    • Every day for 9 weeks, followed by a 4 or 7-break  
    • Everyday continuously  
    • Everyday for at least 21 days, followed by a 4 or 7-day break 

    Find out more about taking the combined pill. 

    Possible side effects
    With a low-dose pill you’re more likely to experience irregular bleeding. Your blood pressure may also increase, so you'll need to have this checked before you take the pill, and at least once a year after that.  

    The mini pill (progestogen-only pill or POP)

    Mini pills, like Cerazette and Cerelle, only contain the progestogen hormone. If you can’t take the combined pill, are overweight, or have had blood clots or high blood pressure, they could be a good option.

    How you take it 
    You take one a day. And it’s very important that it’s at the same time, every day. Unlike with combined pills, there’s no pill-free break.

    Possible side effects
    The most likely one is that you bleed irregularly, but this should settle down within three months of starting the pill. There’s no need for blood pressure or BMI checks with the mini pill. 

    Contraceptive patch and vaginal ring

    Like the combined pill, both the patch and the ring contain progestogen and oestrogen hormones – they’re just delivered into your body differently. 

    How you use them
    You wear the contraceptive patch (Evra) on your skin – anywhere clean, dry and not too hairy. It’s about 5cm square and you change it once a week. 

    If you choose the vaginal ring (NuvaRing), you insert this into your vagina yourself. Don’t worry, it’s easy to do. You change it every 3 weeks, on the same day at the same time.

    Normally, you use patches or rings for 21 days, then take a break for 4 or 7 days. But you can also use them: 

    • For 9 weeks followed by a 4 or 7-day break 
    • Continuously with no break 
    • For at least 21 days, followed by a 4 or 7-day break

    How reliable are they? 
    Used properly, they’re 99% effective. Plus, they’re not affected by stomach upsets – and you don’t have to remember to take a pill each day!

    Of course, there’s a risk the patch might come unstuck or the ring dislodged. So it’s best to check it regularly. If you replace it straight away, you should still be protected. 

    Possible side effects 
    Most women don’t get any – but headaches, skin irritation, nausea and tender breasts are the most common ones. There’s also a slightly higher risk of blood clots

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