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Get safe, effective contraceptive pills & birth control online

Find out which method of birth control is right for you with our online consultation. You can get clinician-approved contraceptive pills (like the combined pill) or other birth control methods (like the patch or the vaginal ring) in a few simple steps. Get up to 12 months’ protection delivered to your door, collect at over 7000 convenient ParcelShops or collect at pharmacy. 

Find out which method of birth control is right for you with our online consultation. You can get clinician-approved contraceptive pills (like the combined pill) or other birth control methods (like the patch or the vaginal ring) in a few simple steps. Get up to 12 months’ protection delivered to your door, collect at over 7000 convenient ParcelShops or collect at pharmacy. 

On this page

    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 stop 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 

    With most combined pills (but not all), you take one pill every day for 21 days. Then you have a pill-free break of 4 or 7 days. During your pill-free week, you should have a withdrawal bleed or 'period'. If you have heavy or painful bleeding or get 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

    Side effects vary. Your blood pressure may go up. That's why you need a blood pressure check, at home or in a pharmacy, before you can take this type of pill. 

    After that you’ll need a blood pressure check at least once a year. There’s also a slightly increased 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

    With most low-dose combined pills, you take one pill every day for 21 days. Then you have a pill-free break of 4 or 7 days. During your pill-free days, you should have a withdrawal bleed or 'period'.  If you have heavy or painful bleeding, or get 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-day break

    • Everyday continuously, without a break   

    Find out more about taking the combined pill. 

    Possible side effects

    Side effects vary. With a low-dose pill you’re more likely to experience irregular bleeding. Your blood pressure may go up. That's why you need a blood pressure check, at home or in a pharmacy, before you can take this type of pill.  After that you’ll need a blood pressure check at least once a year. 

    The mini pill (progestogen-only pill or POP)

    Mini pills, like Cerazette and Cerelle (or the generic version Desogestrel), only contain the hormone progestogen. This can be a good option if you: 

    • can’t take the combined pill
    • are overweight
    • have had blood clots 
    • have high blood pressure 

    How you take it

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

    Possible side effects

    The most likely side effect is irregular bleeding. 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 the hormones progestogen and oestrogen. They are just delivered into your body differently.

    How you use them

    You wear the contraceptive patch (Evra) on your skin, anywhere clean and dry. It’s about 5cm square. 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 a patch or ring for 21 days, then take a break for 4 or 7 days. You should have a withdrawal bleed or ‘period’ during this week. 

    But you can also use them:

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

    How reliable are they?

    Used properly, the patch and ring are 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 people don’t get any side effects. But headaches, skin irritation, nausea and tender breasts are the most common ones. There’s also a slightly higher risk of​​​​​​​ blood clots

    Our contraception service

    1. Complete our simple, confidential online consultation

      5 mins

    2. Choose from recommended options

      In your Patient Record

    3. One of our NHS-experienced clinicians confirms your suitability

      You’ll be informed by email if your contraception has been approved and prescribed

    4. 3, 6 or 12 months of protection

      Delivery to your door

      Collect at 7000+ convenient ParcelShops

      Same-day pharmacy collection

    What our patients say

    Our range of contraceptives

    All the hormonal contraceptives below are 99% effective if used properly. Select filters to find a suitable option. Need emergency contraception? We can help with our morning-after pill service.  

    Here are your recommended treatments based on your answers
    Choose the filters relevant to you
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    Unless you want the mini pill you'll need recent (within the last 12 months) measurements of your height, weight and blood pressure.

    No matching treatments found
    On this page

      Important aftercare FAQs

      On this page

      What to do about side effects

      Most types of hormonal contraceptives can have side effects. These vary from person to person. If your contraceptive pill doesn’t suit you, try another. In the end, most women find a contraceptive that suits them.

      One possible side effect of hormonal contraception is an increase in blood pressure. This can be dangerous.

      Please call NHS 111 if you notice any of these side effects: 

      • Blurred vision
      • Nose bleeds
      • Dizziness
      • Chest pain
      • Headaches
      • Shortness of breath  

      If you think it’s urgent, go to your nearest A&E. 

      What to do if something goes wrong

      You might forget to take your pill. Your patch might come off, or your ring may be dislodged. What to do next depends on the contraceptive you’re using.

      Check the contraceptive information page on our site or the leaflet that came with it. Alternatively, message us from your Patient Record, or contact your GP or family planning or sexual health clinic.

      If you need emergency contraception, we can help with our morning-after pill service.  

      STIs (sexually transmitted infections)

      If you're taking contraception like the pill, patch or ring, they don't stop you catching STIs. You will still need to use condoms to protect yourself.

      If you've had unprotected sex, you might want to get an STI test. You can order at-home STI test kits from Online Doctor. We'll send the kit with everything you need to take the test and send it back to the lab for analysis. You'll usually get your results within three working days of the kit arriving in the lab.

      Doctors recommend that everyone gets tested every six months, or every time you have a new sexual partner. 

      Using our contraception service

      Watch the video to find out more about how the service works. Make the most of our discreet, convenient online contraception service. 

      Delivery & collection information

      • Standard delivery

        Free

        Delivered within 2-3 working days.

      • Next-day delivery

        £4.95

        Orders approved before 5pm Monday-Friday will arrive within 1-2 working days. Orders approved between 5pm Friday and 12pm Sunday will usually arrive on Monday or Tuesday.

      • Standard ParcelShop collection

        Free

        Collect from 7000+ convenient ParcelShops in 2-3 working days.

      • Next day ParcelShop collection

        £2.95

        Collect next day from 7000+ convenient ParcelShop locations, if approved before 5pm Monday-Friday. Saturday and Sunday orders, collect Monday if approved before 12pm Sunday or Tuesday if ordered after 12pm. 

      • London same-day collection

        Free

        Order before 5pm Monday-Friday to collect in pharmacy the same day. Subject to the availability of your treatment in your selected London pharmacy.

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