There are many different female contraceptive methods available; the choice leaves many people feeling overwhelmed! This guide will take you through the most popular contraceptive pills, helping you to find the best one for your body.

Is There A ‘Best’ Contraceptive Pill?

Let’s get this out of the way first. Is there really a “best” pill? The short answer is, no. All bodies react differently to treatments, meaning you need to make a decision on what is best for you rather than anyone else. This guide will help you to do exactly that.

There Are Different Types Of Contraceptive Pills

The most popular contraceptive pills are usually classed as either ‘combined’ or ‘mini’.

1. Combined Pill

The combined pill is the most common. It contains a combination of synthetic progesterone and oestrogen - two hormones that are produced by your ovaries. Combined pills work in different ways. Some prevent the sperm from reaching the egg while others keep the lining of your uterus thick so that the egg can’t implant itself and grow.

In the UK, the most commonly prescribed combination pills are Cilest, Yasmin, and Microgynon. You can buy Microgynon online from Express Pharmacy, as well as the Cilest and Yasmin pill.

2. Mini Pill

The mini pill doesn’t contain any oestrogen. It is only made up of progesterone. Women who are breastfeeding, smoking, or suffering from high blood pressure are usually given mini pills. These contraceptive pills are just as effective as combined pills.

How To Choose The Best Contraceptive Pill

You need to consider several factors when choosing the best contraceptive pill for your needs. Because it is mostly a matter of preference, choosing the right pill may involve some trial and error until you find the one that works best for you. Here are some questions to consider:

Do I want extra benefits from my pill?

Aside from stopping pregnancy, some pills can also help lessen heavy periods and acne outbreaks.

Do I have the discipline to stick to a regular schedule?

Contraceptive packs follow a routine which must be followed every day.

Am I ok with the side effects?

Because contraceptive pills are formulated differently, some brands may cause some severe side effects.

Comparing The Best Contraceptive Pills

Looking to compare contraceptive pills? The below table will help. It takes a look at the three most common pills (Yasmin, Microgynon and Cilest).

Brand Active Ingredients How To Take How It Works Benefits
Yasmin (combined pill) Ethinylestradiol & Drospirenone

The Yasmin pill comes in a 21-day pack. You have a 7-day break for a period.

If you want to further delay your period, you can continue taking Yasmin for up to 9 weeks. A 7-day break follows afterwards.

t thickens your cervical mucus to stop the sperm from reaching the egg.

This pill also thins down the lining of your uterus to prevent the egg from implanting itself.

  • Stop pregnancy
  • Regularise your period
  • Reduce abdominal cramps
  • Prevent hormonal acne
  • Little side effects
Microgynon (combined pill) Levonorgestrel & Ethinylestradiol This contraceptive pill comes in a 21-day pack. You have a 7-day break for a period.

If you want to further delay your period, you can continue taking Yasmin for up to 9 weeks. A 7-day break follows afterwards

It thickens your cervical mucus to stop the sperm from reaching the egg.

This pill also thins down the lining of your uterus to prevent the egg from implanting itself.

  • Stop pregnancy
  • Regularise your period
  • Reduce abdominal cramps
Cilest (combined pill) Ethinylestradiol & Norgestimate

This contraceptive pill comes in a 21-day pack. You have a 7-day break for a period.

If you want to further delay your period, you can continue taking Yasmin for up to 9 weeks. A 7-day break follows afterwards.

It thickens your cervical mucus to stop the sperm from reaching the egg.

This pill also thins down the lining of your uterus to prevent the egg from implanting itself.

  • Stop pregnancy
  • Regularise your period
  • Reduce abdominal cramps

Remember that while contraceptive pills can protect you from unwanted pregnancy, they can’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. If you have multiple sex partners, it’s best to use the pills alongside other contraceptive methods (i.e. condoms, etc.).

Alternative Contraceptive Methods

Aside from condoms, there are several contraceptive methods that you can use to reduce your chances of getting pregnant and contracting sexually transmitted illnesses. If a pill isn’t right for you, Express Pharmacy stocks EVRA patches which are applied directly on the skin instead.

EVRA patches contain two hormones, norelgestromin and ethinylestradiol, wrapped in a foil-lined sachet. Sometimes referred to as a combined hormonal contraceptive, these patches are immediately effective once you use them, provided they are stuck onto the body on the first day your period begins and you follow the right routine.

How To Use EVRA Patches

The EVRA patch should be applied directly on a clean, dry, and hairless area of the skin. This allows your body to efficiently absorb the medication. Apply the patch on areas where it will not be rubbed by clothing (buttocks, abdomen, upper torso, outer arm, etc.)

Apply one patch, once a week for three weeks. The first patch is applied on the first day of your cycle. Further applications should be on the 8th and 15th day of your cycle. Remove the third patch on day 22. Like pills, you also undergo a 7-day break when removing the patch on day 22.

These hormone patches are perfect for women who tend to forget to take their pill on a regular schedule or who have difficulty swallowing pills.