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The Pill is the most popular form of contraception in the UK. It's also taken to make periods a little less troublesome. Find out more about the Pill here...
It's a tablet taken by women for one of two reasons:
So that she doesn't get pregnant. It is the most popular form of contraception in the UK.
So that her periods are less troublesome (lighter, less PMS, more predictable). So women who are not having sex also use the Pill.
There are two main types:
The combined pill (containing two hormones: oestrogen and progestogen)
This is more effective contraception. And makes our periods lighter and more regular. It is usually taken for 21 days then have 7 days off (but not all pills are the same - follow your instructions)
This is slightly less effective and it doesn't make periods easier. In fact, it can make them unreliable or disappear altogether. It is usually taken by women who can't take the combined pill for medical reasons. It is taken at the same time every day, with no break.
The pill may prevent pregnancy in three ways:
If you think you might want to go on the Pill, see your GP or Family Planning Clinic who'll talk you through it. If you decide to go ahead they'll prescribe the best Pill for you. Remember, all contraception is free.
Women on the combined pill have easier periods. Often, they also have less period pain and PMS. Some types can clear up spots.
Some women put on a little weight. It may be possible to switch to a different Pill if this happens.
Research also suggests that the combined Pill protects against ovarian and womb cancer, but slightly increases the risk of breast cancer. It also increases your chances of getting a blood clot. Your doctor will talk you through the pros and cons.
But remember - it's the most reliable form of contraception (after not having sex at all!)
When used properly, the Pill is over 99% effective. This means that out of 100 women using the combined pill every year, only one will get pregnant.
However, it might not work if the woman misses pills out, doesn't take them at the same time each day or gets sickness or diarrhoea.
Ask your GP or family planning clinic to explain what to do if this happens.
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