Contraceptive Pill with Levonorgestrel and Ethinylestradiol
Microlite is a contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy in women. To place a prescription order for the contraceptive pill, fill in our brief questionnaire. You can choose a preferred treatment, such as Microlite or Cerazette.
One of our doctors will check if your chosen pill is suitable for you and issue your prescription to a local pharmacy in Ireland or your home address. If you’d like, you can also choose to have your medication delivered directly to your door. A consultation for the contraceptive pill prescription costs €21.50.
Microlite is a combined oral contraceptive pill used by women to prevent pregnancy. It contains 2 different hormones, levonorgestrel and ethinylestradiol, which are synthetic versions of the natural hormones produced by your body, oestrogen and progesterone. When taken correctly, Microlite is up to 99 % effective in preventing pregnancy.
Microlite is a low-dose contraceptive pill containing less amounts of oestrogen and progesterone compared to other combined contraceptive pills, making it suitable for women who experience hormone related side effects.
Microlite is taken at the same time every day for 21 consecutive days, with a 7-day pill-free 'break' period, during which you will experience a 'withdrawal' bleed, like a monthly period. You can safely use Microlite pills to delay your monthly bleeding by skipping this 7-day 'break' period, although you may experience some spotting or breakthrough bleeding in this case.
Microlite can be taken by sexually active women as a form of contraception to prevent pregnancy.
- are or may be pregnant
- are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of the listed ingredients
- have had thrombosis (blood clot in your leg) or an embolus (blood clot in the lung)
- have had a stroke or heart attack
- have damaged blood vessels due to diabetes
- have had migraines with focal neurological symptoms or an aura
- have had a liver tumour or any severe liver disease
- have kidney problems
- have genital or breast cancer
- have unexplained vaginal bleeding
- have not started to have your monthly period (i.e. children and adolescents)
Microlite should be swallowed whole, with or without food or water.
Always follow the directions for dosage given to you by your nurse, pharmacist or doctor.
Each packet of Microlite contains a strip of 21 tablets marked with a day of the week. You should take 1 tablet per day for 21 days in a row. If you start your packet on a Monday, press the first tablet through the blister foil section marked 'MON' and take 1 tablet per day around the same time every day (e.g. just before you go to bed) in the order shown by the arrows.
After 21 days of taking the pill, you will have a 7-day 'break' period, without taking any pills. You will have a 'withdrawal' bleed during the pill free 7 days which acts like a usual monthly period. Start your next 21-day packet of Microlite on the 8th day after the 7-day break, even if you are still having your withdrawal bleed.
If you have not taken hormonal contraceptives in the last month, start taking Microlite on the first day of your cycle and you will be immediately protected against pregnancy. If you take it more than 5 days after your cycle starts, you will need to use extra preventative measures (e.g. condoms) for the first 7 days of using Microlite.
If you are changing hormonal contraceptives to Microlite, start on the day of your last active tablet of your previous pill (if you are changing from another combined contraceptive), or on any day (if you are changing from a progestogen-only method) but use extra preventative methods (e.g. condoms) for the first 7 days.
In case you forgot to take your pill, your next steps depend on when you notice this. If it’s been less than 24 hours since you were supposed to take your pill, you will still be protected. Just take the tablet as soon as you remember.
If it’s been more than 1 day, you should take the pill you missed plus your next pill. As Microlite might not work to prevent a pregnancy as usual you should use a condom for the next 7 days.
Whenever you have missed one or more pills you should check Microlite’s leaflet for instructions and speak to a doctor or pharmacist, as you may need emergency contraception, like the morning after pill or a copper intrauterine device (copper IUD).
The active ingredients in Microlite tablets are 20 mg ethinylestradiol and 100 mg levonorgestrel.
The other ingredients in Microlite are maize starch, lactose monohydrate, pregelatinised starch, magnesium stearate (E470b), povidone, sucrose, macrogols, talc (E553b), calcium carbonate, glycerol 85%, yellow ferric oxide (E172), titanium dioxide (E171), montan glycol wax, and red ferric oxide (E171).
- spotting or bleeding between periods, which will usually settle after the first 3 months of taking Microlite – speak to your doctor if this is prolonged, or begins after months of using the pill
- mood imbalance, anxiety, depression
- headaches or pain in the abdomen
- tender or sore breasts
- weight gain
As with all medications, you may experience some side effects when taking Microlite. You should speak to your doctor to weigh up the risks and benefits of taking this combined contraceptive pill.
- loss of libido (less interest in sex)
- rash, itching or bumps on the skin
- swollen breasts and fluid retention
- vomiting or diarrhoea
- allergic reaction
- intolerance to contact lenses
- increased libido
- vaginal or breast discharge
- red or blotchy skin, or nodules/ lesions on the skin
- signs of an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing or swallowing, fever, swelling of the lips, tongue or face)
- possible symptoms of a blood clot (venous thrombosis, arterial thrombosis, or a blood clot in another part of the body) e.g. severe pain/swelling in one of your legs, sudden severe pain in the chest, breathlessness or fainting, seizure or unconsciousness
You should always discuss your medical history and any medicines you are currently taking before taking Microlite. Certain medicines, if taken alongside, can make Microlite less effective and cause irregular bleeding. These include:
- medicines for epilepsy (e.g. lamotrigine, carbamazepine, primidone, barbiturates, phenytoin, topiramate, oxcarbazepine, felbamate)
- medicines for TB (e.g. rifampicin)
- medicines for HIV infection (e.g. ritonavir or nevirapine)
- antibiotics such as griseofulvin, tetracycline, or penicillin
- herbal remedies with St. John's Wort
- medicines including the ingredient cyclosporine
Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medications before taking Microlite.
Do not take Microlite if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant. Microlite should also be avoided when breastfeeding or delayed until 6 months after birth, but you should discuss this with a doctor.
Like other forms of the contraceptive pill, Microlite will not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. You should use a barrier form of contraception (such as condoms) in order to properly protect yourself against STIs.
Taking Microlite can increase the risk of developing thrombosis – venous thrombosis (a blood clot in a vein) as well as arterial thrombosis (a blood clot in an artery).
In long-term users of Microlite, cervical cancer, breast cancer and liver tumours have been reported, but this is incredibly rare, and it is currently not known whether this is caused by the pill itself.
If you need your medication urgently, choose ZAVA's Pharmacy Collect service. This service is available between 9am and 4pm Monday - Friday. Our doctors will then review your treatment and approve if appropriate. We will send an advanced notification of your prescription to a pharmacy of your choice. We aim to do this within an hour. If your chosen pharmacy is unable to fulfil your prescription, we will get in touch with you to arrange alternative collection arrangements.
Orders placed outside of these hours will be processed the next working day.
You can choose for your paper prescription to be delivered to your address. This usually takes 3-5 working days.
If you have a question about this service, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the question, and one of our doctors will get back to you within 24 hours.
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 06 Jun 2023