Femodene is a combined contraceptive pill, referred to as such because it contains two types of hormones – progestogen and estrogen. The versions of these hormones in Femodene are synthetic but work the same way in your body as the natural hormones, stopping your body from ovulating so that you do not get pregnant. Femodene can also help to prevent pregnancy in other ways, for instance by stopping the lining of the womb from supporting a fertilized egg and increasing the mucus in the cervix. When taken properly, combined contraceptives such as Femodene are a very effective way to protect against pregnancy. Femodene is a form of hormonal contraceptive frequently referred to as the combined contraceptive pill, or the combined oral contraceptive (COC). They are called the combined pill because they contain two active ingredients – gestodene and ethinylestradiol.
What is Femodene?
Femodene is a combined contraceptive pill, referred to as such because it contains two types of hormones – progestogen and estrogen. The versions of these hormones in Femodene are synthetic but work the same way in your body as the natural hormones, stopping your body from ovulating so that you do not get pregnant. Femodene can also help to prevent pregnancy in other ways, for instance by stopping the lining of the womb from supporting a fertilized egg and increasing the mucus in the cervix.
When taken properly, combined contraceptives such as Femodene are a very effective way to protect against pregnancy. You can also stop taking the Femodene contraceptive pill at any time if you decide that you do want to try and have a baby. However, it is important to keep in mind that the Femodene pill will not protect you from a sexually transmitted infection or disease. You will need to seek other forms of contraception if you believe that you are at risk.
When is Femodene used?
Femodene is most commonly used to help women protect themselves against the risk of an unwanted pregnancy. Combined pills such as Femodene are also occasionally prescribed for women who have issues with particularly painful or heavy periods. Taking this medication regularly will usually result in less painful and lighter periods, as well as more regular bleeding.
How do you use Femodene?
Femodene is different from most combined pills, which requires a seven-day period without any medication at all. When you take the Femodene contraceptive pill, you will need to use it every day without a break. There are seven pills included in your strip which do not include any active ingredients or hormones. These are to be followed immediately by the active pills when you have finished your monthly strip.
When taking the Femodene contraceptive pill, it is important to follow the instructions provided on the packet carefully, or you may not be fully protected against pregnancy. Take each Femodene contraceptive pill with a glass of water and try to set a routine that allows you to take your pill at the same time each day.
Taking the pill at the same time every day will keep your hormone levels consistent and reduce your risk of side effects. If you begin using Femodene in the first five days of your menstrual cycle, you will be protected from pregnancy immediately. If you begin using it at any other point in your menstrual cycle, you will need to use a different form of contraceptive for seven days.
What dosages are there?
The Femodene contraceptive pill comes in a packet with a monthly dose of 21 active tablets, followed by seven placebo tablets. You need to take a pill every day at the same time to protect yourself against pregnancy. It is important to follow the markings on the packets to ensure that you do not accidentally take a placebo pill when you are supposed to be using an active pill, and vice versa.
Follow the instructions provided by your consultant and ask for advice if you are concerned. Remember that you may experience a withdrawal bleed similar to a regular period during the week when you are not taking the Femodene contraceptive pill. However during this time, you should still be protected against pregnancy.
The Femodene contraceptive pill must be taken at the same time every day. If you forget to take a pill, you can take it as soon as you remember, unless you are due your next dose. If you miss one pill, you may not be protected against pregnancy and it may be a good idea to use other barrier forms of protection until you have taken seven active days of pill. It is also important to speak to your doctor about whether you are still protected from pregnancy if you suffer from diarrhoea or sickness. These problems can prevent the Femodene contraceptive pill from being fully absorbed into your system.
What are the side effects of Femodene?
Femodene and other forms of the combined pill rarely cause any severe side effects. However, different people respond to medications in different ways. You will need to make sure that you read the patient leaflet carefully to ensure that you are taking the Femodene contraceptive pill correctly, and that you are aware of the side effects that you might encounter.
The most common side effects associated with the Femodene contraceptive pill often happen when you are in the first few months of taking your medication. This can happen because your body is getting used to the new dose of hormones, and the side effects should settle on their own.
Common side effects include:
- Sore or painful stomach;
- Bleeding or spotting between periods;
- Weight gain or water retention;
- Tender or uncomfortable breasts;
- Mood swings;
The Femodene contraceptive pill may occasionally cause some less common side effects, such as nausea, stomach pains, migraines or severe headaches. It can also cause problems with your libido. If you concerned about these side effects, it is best to speak to a doctor about whether you should continue to take Femodene.
Additionally, you should see a doctor if you experience signs of:
- An allergic reaction, such as swelling around the lips, tongue, mouth, throat or hands, and difficulty swallowing or breathing;
- Blood clots in your artery or vein. This could present in the form of swelling in the leg, changes in the colour of your legs, unexpected problems with breathlessness, or chest pains and dizziness;
- Breast changes such as lumps or dimpling of the skin, or changes in your nipples;
- Cervical cancer, including unusual and unexplained vaginal bleeding and discharge, or pain in your pelvis;
- Liver issues, such as pain in the upper abdomen, yellowing of the eyes or skin, and inflammation of the liver.
Femodene can cause some withdrawal bleeding during the seven days when you are not taking any of the active ingredient tablets. It can also cause your bleeding to be lighter, less painful and more regular.
When should you not use Femodene?
Though many women will respond well to the combined contraceptive pill such as Femodene, it is important to note that this medication will not be suitable for everyone. When you are having your consultation, it is important to answer any questions that your consultant might have and ensure that you provide them with information about your medical history.
Generally, the Femodene contraceptive pill should not be given to women who are over the age of 35 and smokers. Additionally, you will not be prescribed this medication if you are very overweight, and you have ever suffered with blood clots in your legs or your lungs.
Others who may not be able to take Femodene include people:
- Who have had a heart attack, stroke or angina;
- With very high blood pressure or vascular disease;
- With heart valve issues or an irregular heartbeat;
- With blood disorders that increase their risk of blood clots;
- With severe diabetes including complications that affect the eyes;
- Who suffer from migraines with aura;
- With breast cancer or who have had breast cancer in the last five years;
- With liver disease or liver cancer;
- With gall bladder disease;
- With jaundice or a hearing disorder;
- With porphyria.
There are cases where your consultant or doctor may need to carefully consider the risks and benefits of giving you the Femodene contraceptive pill if you have certain conditions. For instance, you may still be able to take Femodene if you have diabetes, but you will need to monitor your blood sugar levels carefully. You can also continue to take this medication in some cases if you have high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure, as long as you monitor the issue carefully.
In some cases, the Femodene contraceptive pill will need to be prescribed on a basis where your doctor regularly requests appointments with you to check how well you are responding to the medication. This is usually the case if you haver issues that have affected your blood flow or your menstrual cycle in the past. Because the Femodene contraceptive pill can increase your risk of blood clots, you will need to be vigilant about protecting against blood clots. If you travel frequently, you will need to speak to a doctor about improving your circulation while you travel.
Does Femodene interact with other medications?
Femodene is not the right method of contraception for all women. You will need to speak to your consultant about your condition, as well as any other medications that you are using with the Femodene contraceptive pill. Some medications, including prescription pills, over-the-counter drugs and even herbal remedies can affect the way that your body responds to Femodene. Sometimes, these medications will make your contraceptive less effective.
Some examples of medications that have an impact on the effectiveness of Femodene are:
- Anti-epileptic medications such as perampanel and primidone;
- Medicines for HIV such as nevirapine or cobicistat;
- Antifungal treatments such as griseofulvin;
- Medications intended for narcolepsy treatment such as modafinil;
- Antibiotics such as rifampicin and rifabutin for tuberculosis;
- Herbal remedies such as St John’s Wort.
If you are given a short course of any of the medications above, then your doctor may allow you to continue to take Femodene, although you may need to use another form of contraceptive at the same time. Most antibiotics will not affect the way that the combined contraceptive pill works. However, if you are taking a contraceptive pill with antibiotics and you are concerned, use other methods of protection.
Where can you buy Femodene?
The Femodene contraceptive pill is available to buy online after a consultation with one of our professionals, during which you will need to submit a recent blood pressure reading. We can send a prescription for you to a local pharmacy within three working days.
Can I get Femodene without a prescription?
Femodene and other combined contraceptive pills are currently not available without a prescription.
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