Microgynon 30 is a contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy. It is a combined pill which means that it contains both the female hormones ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel, which are synthetic versions of oestrogen and progestogen. There are two versions of Microgynon 30: Microgynon 30 and Microgynon 30 ED. Both work in the same way to prevent pregnancy. The difference between the two products is that when you take Microgynon 30 you have a break of seven days, but with Microgynon 30 ED you do not have a break. Microgynon 30 is only available with a prescription from a doctor.
What is Microgynon 30?
Microgynon 30 is a combined birth control pill and a popular choice for effective contraception by women throughout the world, as it is considered a reliable method of birth control. Microgynon 30 is easy to take: you take a Microgynon contraceptive pill at the same time every day to prevent pregnancy.
When a woman gets pregnant, the sperm (male reproductive cells) fertilises a woman’s egg if a couple has unprotected sex. A woman is more likely to fall pregnant at particular times during her reproductive cycle, when the egg is released from one of the ovaries which is typically 12–14 days before a woman’s period begins. This time period is when a woman is usually most fertile. Once the egg is released, it can remain in the female reproductive system for 12–24 hours. It is important to be aware that sperm can live for up to 5-7 days in the vagina after ejaculation by the male. During ejaculation, approximately 200 million sperm cells are released but only one is required to get a woman pregnant.
Microgynon 30 can prevent pregnancy by causing a change in the lining of the womb and preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg via the hormones oestrogen and progestogen. These hormones, contained in Microgynon 30, also cause the mucus at the neck of the womb to thicken, which makes it more difficult for a sperm cell to enter and cause a pregnancy.
If a woman takes the Microgynon 30 contraceptive pill to prevent pregnancy, it is important to take it at the same time every day to reduce the risk of becoming pregnant. Microgynon 30 is also sometimes used for the treatment of painful, heavy and irregular periods, as it can make them much lighter and therefore more manageable. Note that Microgynon 30 does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
When is Microgynon 30 used?
Microgynon 30 is used by a woman to prevent pregnancy if she does not want to use any other form of birth control (for example condoms or the intrauterine coil). The Microgynon contraceptive pill is taken daily at the same time. Microgynon 30 is taken for 21 days with a seven-day break (when a bleed similar to a period usually occurs), while Microgynon 30 ED is taken every day with no break (a very light or no period is likely). Microgynon 30 contains synthetic forms of the female sex hormones oestrogen and progestogen, in the form of ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel. Microgynon 30 is not a mini-pill, which only contains progestogen. It can also be used to treat heavy or painful periods.
How do you use Microgynon 30?
It is recommended to start taking Microgynon 30 on the first day of your period. You will not be fully protected against getting pregnant until you have taken the pill for at least seven days. Continue to take the Microgynon contraceptive pill for 21 days and then take a break for seven days. During this time, you are likely to have a bleed similar to a period as your hormone levels will drop. You are protected from getting pregnant during these seven days even though you are not taking a contraceptive pill every day. Then start taking the pill again after a seven-day break on the same day as you started the pill. This process continues until you wish to stop taking Microgynon 30.
It is important to take the Microgynon contraceptive pill at the same time every day for maximum effectiveness. If you are taking Microgynon 30 and do not have a period during the seven-day break for two consecutive months, it is advisable to do a pregnancy test.
If you are taking Microgynon 30 ED, start in the same way as above and continue to take the pill every day without a break. This contraceptive pill is useful for women who may have difficulty remembering to start the pill again after a seven-day break, or for those who want the convenience of taking a pill consistently every day.
If you have had a miscarriage or abortion or recently had a baby, your doctor will advise you when it is best for your individual circumstances to start taking Microgynon 30. If you forget to take a pill, you should take it as soon as you remember and take the next one as normal. This may mean you take two Microgynon contraceptive pills at the same time. If this situation occurs, you are still protected against pregnancy and you should continue to take the rest of the pack as usual. However, if you miss two or more Microgynon contraceptive pills, you will not be protected against getting pregnant. Take the pill you missed as soon as you remember, which may mean taking two pills at the same time. Do not take more than two Microgynon contraceptive pills at the same time but continue the pack as normal and use another contraceptive method such as a condom for the seven days.
If you did not take the missed Microgynon contraceptive pills during the last week of your pack, you should complete the pack and not take a break – start a new pack as soon as you finish the old one. This will ensure you have adequate contraceptive cover. If you are sick or have severe diarrhoea, it is possible that your Microgynon contraceptive pill may be less effective as the hormones may not have been retained by your body. If you are sick or have diarrhoea within two hours of taking a Microgynon contraceptive pill, take another as soon as possible. If you continue to be sick or have diarrhoea for 24 hours or more, you should follow the instructions for taking more than two missed pills and remember that your contraceptive cover is reduced so you should use another method of protection.
If you wish to delay your period due to a holiday, sports or for another reason, you can take two packs of Microgynon 30 back to back. This means there will be no bleed in between the packs. You should then leave the usual seven-day break when you finish the second pack and continue taking the pill as normal. Do not leave a 14-day break just because you have taken two packs, as this will affect your contraceptive cover.
What dosages are there?
Mycrogynon 30 comes in packs of 21 tablets, and you take these for 21 consecutive days. You then take a break for seven days during which time a bleed similar to a period is likely to occur. This may not be as heavy as the periods you experienced before taking the contraceptive pill as Mycrogynon 30 affects your hormones. Mycrogynon 30 ED comes in packs of 28 tablets and you take a pill every day with no break. This means you are unlikely to have a bleed or if you do it will be very light.
What are the side effects of Microgynon 30?
As with all medicines, there is a possibility of side effects when taking Microgynon 30.
The most common side effects are:
- Feeling sick;
- Breast tenderness;
- Changes in mood;
- Irregular menstrual bleeding.
Microgynon 30 can also cause your blood pressure to rise, so it is important that your blood pressure is checked before starting to take the Microgynon contraceptive pill and three months after commencing it. If you continue to take Microgynon 30 for the long term, you should have your blood pressure checked annually. Always inform your doctor of any side effects you experience while taking Microgynon 30.
When should you not use Microgynon 30?
There are certain situations when it is not advisable to take the contraceptive pill Microgynon 30. It is very important that you talk to your doctor if you are considering taking Microgynon 30 if you:
- Are allergic to ethinyl estradiol or levonorgestrel;
- Are aged 35 or older;
- Have diabetes;
- Have high blood pressure;
- Have frequent migraines;
- Have high cholesterol;
- Are overweight;
- Have a family history of heart problems, strokes or blood clots;
- Have Crohn’s disease;
- Have ulcerative colitis;
- Have or have had breast cancer.
It is essential to inform your doctor of any medicines you are taking before taking Microgynon 30, including herbal medicines.
Does Microgynon 30 interact with other medication?
Microgynon 30 can interact with other medicines, so it is important to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication. If you are taking other medicines, it is possible that they could make your contraceptive pill less effective.
Where can you buy Microgynon 30?
You can only buy Microgynon 30 at a pharmacy with a prescription.
Can I get Microgynon 30 without a prescription?
No, Microgynon 30 is a prescription-only medication.
Combined pill. (n.d.) Retrieved 30 April 2019 from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/combined-contraceptive-pill/
Marshall, H. (2019, February 2). Microgynon 30 (ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel): a contraceptive pill. Retrieved 30 April 2019 from https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/sexual/a7097/microgynon-30-ethinylestradiol-and-levonorgestrel/
Package leaflet: Information for the user. Microgynon ® 30. (April 2008). Retrieved 30 April 2019 from https://downloads.dokteronline.com/leaflets/en/patient_information_leaflet-2765-microgynon-30-uk.pdf-1510756508.pdf?_ga=2.19375032.1442913771.1601361456-2071352208.1599043266