Cerelle is a type of hormonal contraceptive pill sometimes called the mini pill or progestogen-only pill (POP). To place your order, fill in our brief questionnaire. One of our doctors will review your request and issue your prescription, provided Cerelle is suitable for you.
If you need emergency contraception, you can order the morning after pill here.
What's the difference between Cerelle and Cerazette?
Nothing significant at all. Both contraceptive pills contain exactly the same active ingredients and in the same quantities, although the inactive ingredients do differ slightly. They have different names because they are made by different manufacturers.
How to take Cerelle
Take one pill every day. It doesn’t matter if you take it with or without food. You need to take Cerelle continuously, so don’t have a break between pill packs.
Cerelle tablets need to be taken at the same time every day. If you forget to take the pill and are more than 12 hours late, take the last pill (even if this means taking 2 pills in one day) then you’ll need to use another method of contraception along with your pill because you won’t be protected against getting pregnant if you have sex. Carry on taking your pills as usual, at your normal time after this and use condoms for 2 days.
Side effects of Cerelle
All medicines can potentially have side effects, although these don’t affect everyone. Some of the commonly reported side effects of Cerelle (affecting between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 women) include:
- changes in bleeding pattern
- a decreased sex drive
- feeling sick
- breast tenderness
Weight gain and changes in mood, including depression, are listed as potential common side effects of Cerelle. But it’s not proven that Cerelle causes these side effects.
A link between progestogen-only pills (POPs) and the development of breast cancer has not been disproven due to limited studies.
Always read the information leaflet to find out about less common side effects of Cerelle.
If you do become pregnant while using this pill, you might be at a greater risk of the pregnancy occurring outside the womb (ectopic pregnancy). If you experience any sudden or unusual abdominal pain, dizziness, diarrhoea, vomiting, changes to your urine, or abnormal bleeding while you’re taking Cerelle, and you have a positive pregnancy test, seek medical help immediately.
Cerelle is a progestogen-only pill (POP) which contains the synthetic sex hormone, desogestrel. Unlike combined contraceptive pills, Cerelle doesn’t contain any oestrogen type hormones.
Cerelle prevents you from getting pregnant by increasing the thickness of the mucus at the neck of your womb (cervix) which makes it harder for the sperm to get through. In contrast to traditional progestogen-only pills, the contraceptive effect of Cerelle is achieved primarily by inhibition of ovulation.
It’s thought that Cerelle (and Cerazette) may be more effective than traditional 3-hour window POPs at preventing pregnancy. It’s more than 99% effective (less than 1 in 100 women will become pregnant in the first year) when taken correctly. However, this is lower (91% effective) in real life when Cerelle is not always taken perfectly.
It’s more effective than condoms or diaphragms, but longer-acting reversible methods of contraception like the progesterone-only implant, progesterone-only injection, copper intrauterine device, and levonorgestrel intrauterine system are more effective with typical day to day use.
In women who wish to get pregnant, fertility returns as soon as you stop using the POP.
Cerelle is mainly used by women who are sexually active but don’t want to become pregnant. It doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections, and condoms should be worn to protect against STIs.
If you’ve ever experienced any of the following, you shouldn’t take Cerelle.
- Any unexplained or unusual vaginal bleeding
- Breast cancer, or a history of breast cancer or sex steroid sensitive cancers
- Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the inactive ingredients, including lactose
- Presence or history of severe liver disease, including liver cancer, as long as liver function values have not returned to normal
- You’re currently pregnant
- You’re taking a POP and have a stroke or heart attack
There are other conditions which might mean that you’ll need to be cautious if you take Cerelle.
You should talk to your doctor about taking Cerelle if you’re under 16, over 50, have a venous thromboembolism, poorly controlled hypertension, diabetes, or chloasma, or suffer from depression.
For the full list of potential conditions, see the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine, or speak to your doctor. You may still be able to take Cerelle, but have more regular check ups.
You should also tell your doctor about any medications you take or have finished within the last month, even over-the-counter treatments and herbal remedies. Some of these may affect the ability of Cerelle to prevent pregnancy, or affect how well your body absorbs the pill. Please see the patient information leaflet for a full list of medications which may interact with your pill, or speak with your doctor.
Zava checks its treatment prices against competitors on a regular basis to ensure it is always competitive. We’re convinced you won’t find the same quality treatment and comparable service for less, but if you do within 14 days of purchase, we’ll refund the difference. All you need to do is contact us and tell us where you found the cheaper price.
Cerelle isn’t designed to be taken while you’re pregnant. If you’ve fallen pregnant while taking Cerelle, stop taking it and see your doctor.
Cerelle doesn’t affect the production of breast milk, and there’s no evidence to suggest that taking it while you’re breastfeeding can harm your baby.
It’s taken by women who are sexually active but don’t want to get pregnant. Cerelle may be suitable for women who can’t take the combined pill because of problems tolerating synthetic oestrogens.
Women over the age of 35 and who smoke, have high blood pressure, have had previous blood clots, have suffered from migraine with aura, have certain heart conditions, or are overweight can also usually take this type of pill, in situations where doctors may not want to prescribe a combined contraceptive pill.
Cerelle and other POPs can sometimes cause irregular periods. They can also cause you to miss periods or your periods may also stop or become lighter. Cerelle is more likely than traditional POPs to cause bleeding more often, bleeding for longer, or bleeding less often in the first 3 months.
In women who have been taking Cerelle longer term, 5 in 10 may have fewer or no periods, 4 in 10 may have regular light bleeding or bleeding episodes, 1 in 10 may have frequent bleeding episodes, and 2 in 10 may have bleeding episodes that last longer than 14 days.
Speak to your doctor if your periods don’t settle down after a few months, if you notice a new change in your bleeding pattern after 3 months, if you have bleeding after sex or pain during sex, or if you have changes to your vaginal discharge. It’s unlikely that you’re pregnant if you’ve taken your pill properly, but you might want to take a pregnancy test too.
If you experience any side effects that you think might be related to taking Cerelle, even if they’re not mentioned in the patient information leaflet, tell your doctor. You can also report side effects directly via the MHRA YellowCard website.
For a full list of reported side effects, see the patient information leaflet that comes with your pills. If you experience any side effects that you think might be related to taking Cerelle, even if they aren’t mentioned in the leaflet, tell your doctor. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellowcard website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard
If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember. It’s OK to take two pills on the same day if you have to.
If you’re less than 12 hours late taking your pill, you should still be protected against getting pregnant so carry on with your pills as usual. There’s no need to use any other form of contraception.
If you’re more 12 hours late taking the pill, you’re not protected against pregnancy, so you’ll need to use extra contraception if you have sex for the first 2 days once you’ve re-started Cerelle.
If you’re sick within two hours of taking a pill, take another pill as soon as you can keep it down. As long as the replacement pill is taken within the 12-hour window, you’ll still be protected against pregnancy.
If you keep being sick, your pill might not work so well, and so you’ll need to use extra contraception during the stomach upset and for another two days afterwards.
Severe diarrhoea can also affect the absorption of Cerelle so use extra contraception during the stomach upset and for two days after it’s cleared up. Take your pill as you normally would.
When to start
If you have regular periods, it’s best to start taking Cerelle on days 1 to 5 of your period. This means you’ll be protected from pregnancy straight away.
If you know that you’re not pregnant, you can start taking Cerelle at any time in your cycle, although you’ll also need to use another type of contraception for the first two days.
If you’ve just had a baby you should start taking Cerelle on day 21 after giving birth to be fully protected from the first day of taking it. There’s no need to start taking it any earlier. If you start taking it more than 21 days after having your baby, you’ll need to use extra contraception for the first two days you take the pill, if you intend to have sex.
Talk with your doctor about the best time to start Cerelle if you’re not having regular periods, have recently had an abortion or miscarriage, or have taken emergency contraception.
Active ingredients: desogestrel 75 microgram
- Lactose monohydrate
- Potato starch
- Povidone K-30
- Silica colloidal anhydrous
- Stearic acid
- Poly[vinyl alcohol]
- Titanium dioxide (E171)
- Macrogol 3000
Always take your pill exactly as your doctor tells you. If you’re not sure about anything, ask your healthcare professional for advice.
Each strip contains 28 tablets. There are arrows and the days of the week printed on the front of every strip as a reminder.
Swallow each pill whole. You may find it easier to remember to take it first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
Contraceptive pills are a reliable way of reducing your risk of getting pregnant from sex. Zava offers most common brands of pill, so you can order your preferred brand by visiting our contraceptive pill service page.
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