The Combined Contraceptive Pill

Short Term Contraception

The Combined Contraceptive Pill

The combined contraceptive (COC) pill, more commonly known as “the Pill”, is a type of birth control that contains two hormones: estrogen and progestin. These hormones work together to prevent pregnancy by suppressing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus, and thinning the uterine lining.


Effectiveness: The combined pill is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy; however, the effectiveness of the pill decreases if it is not taken correctly.

The Procedure: The pill must be taken at the same time every day, even if you are not sexually active. If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember. Often, the COC pill is provided in a pack of 28 pills, including 24 active pills and 4 sugar pills for your period.

Other Benefits: The combined pill is also a good option for women who have heavy or painful periods. It can help to regulate your menstrual cycle, stabilise your hormones, and make your periods lighter and less painful. Endometriosis, PCOS, and premenstrual syndrome symptoms may also be reduced through the COC, as well as hormonal acne.

Side Effects: While the combined oral contraceptive pill is generally safe and well-tolerated, like any medication, it can have potential side effects, which may include nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, mood changes, irregular bleeding, and weight changes.

For individualised contraceptive guidance, contact the experienced team at The Butterfly Clinic to book an appointment.