Microgynon 30

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Pack of 63 Microgynon 30 levonorgestrel ethinylestradiol oral tablets
Front of blister pack of Microgynon-30 pills
Back of Microgynon-30 Blister pack
Close up of three yellow Microgynon-30 pills
Discreet packaging

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Microgynon 30 (3 x 21 tablets) - £14.00

Microgynon 30 (6 x 21 tablets) - £19.00

Microgynon ED (3 x 28 tablets) - £14.00

Microgynon ED (6 x 28 tablets) - £19.00

What is Microgynon 30?

Microgynon 30 is a contraceptive pill – like all other contraceptive pills, it is prescription-only medication. Microgynon 30 contains both oestrogen and progesterone and is a highly effective contraceptive when taken at the same time every day within a 24 hour window.

How does Microgynon 30 work? – all combined contraceptive pills essentially work in the same way, even if they contain different hormones. All types of hormones used naturally occur in the body. Taking a synthetic version of these hormones tricks your body into behaving as if you were already pregnant, triggering a mechanism that prevents pregnancy. The mucus at the opening of the uterus thickens, which decreases the chance of sperm making its way to the egg. In addition, ovulation is suppressed.

It’s a daily pill – when preventing pregnancy with Microgynon 30, you have to take a pill every day, ideally at the same time. Depending on whether your course consists of 21 or 28 tablets and what pill regime you have discussed with your healthcare provider, you may or may not need to take up to a maximum 7-day break between packs.

Is there an advantage to taking Microgynon 30?

It’s a tried and tested pill – both hormones in Microgynon 30 have been known and used for many years. Its safety has been established and its side-effects are known. Like many other combined hormonal contraceptives, Microgynan 30 can lessen period pain, heavy menstrual bleeding and PMS. In patients who need contraception and suffer from acne or PCOS, Microgynan 30 can also improve some of the symptoms associated with these conditions.

How come there are blister packs with 21 and 28 tablets?

The pack size determines whether you take a break or not – if you choose the 21 tablet option, you will take a pill every day for three weeks, usually followed by a 7-day break before starting the next pack.

If you prefer taking a pill every day without a break, you can opt for a pack with 28 pills (Microgynon 30 ED), in which case you will not need to take a break between packs.

Outside of the manufacturers license, but supported by the UK family planning organisation (FSRH) are tailored regimes where 21-day packs may be taken with no breaks, shorter breaks or with less frequent breaks. These regimes are discussed in more detail further down this page.

Although these tailored regimes may reduce the frequency of bleeding and any pill withdrawal symptoms, irregular bleeding may be more common. We would recommend discussing which regime may be best suited to your needs with your healthcare provider.

What are the 7 extra pills in the 28 pack? – the tablets to be taken during the fourth week of your pack will be placebos, so they won’t contain any hormones. The idea is you’re still taking pills during the 7 day break so you don’t have to plan when to start taking pills again.

Why do people go for the 28 pack? – some women find it helpful to take a tablet daily because they worry about forgetting to restart the pill after the 7-day break. Missing pills can increase your risk of getting pregnant so it’s important you don’t forget.

Is it true that taking a contraceptive pill increases the risk of blood clots and cancer?

Risk of blood clots – all combined contraceptive pills, Microgynon 30 included, are associated with a slight increase in the risk of thrombosis (e.g. blood clots in the limbs, lungs, heart or brain). This risk is slightly higher in pills containing a hormone called drospirenone. A pill with a lower ethinylestradiol content (e.g. Loestrin 20) can be chosen to minimise the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Women who are already at risk of blood clots, due to illness or previous medical conditions, should choose an alternative method of contraception. This is the case if you:

  • Have a personal or family history of thrombosis
  • Are obese
  • Are over 35 and smoke
  • Are over the age of 50
  • Gave birth less than 6 weeks ago
  • Have a genetic condition that makes your blood more likely to clot
  • Are suffering from hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, or atrial fibrillation
  • Have ever had a stroke
  • Have ever suffered from migraines with aura, or severe migraines
  • Have ever had breast cancer or are at high risk of breast cancer
  • Are breastfeeding a baby less than 6 weeks old or have given birth recently
  • Are allergic to any of the ingredients in Microgynan 30

Women may be advised not to take Microgynon 30 if they suffer from:

  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Liver problems
  • Valvular or congenital heart disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Immobility
  • or have had an organ transplant, or major surgery, or weight loss surgery

For further information, please read the patient leaflet or speak to your healthcare provider.

Risk of cancer – research suggests, that women who are taking the combined pill have a small increased risk of breast or cervical cancer. These risks reduce with time after stopping the combined pill. Some studies suggest that there is a reduced risk of colorectal, endometrial, and ovarian cancer with use of the combined pill.

Can I take other medication with Microgynon 30?

It may not be suitable for you to take Microgynon 30 if you’re taking:

  • anti-epileptic medication
  • anti-retroviral medication
  • St John’s wort
  • enzyme inducers
  • laxatives or weight loss medication
  • or if you have an illness which may give you vomiting or diarrhoea

Microgynon 30 shouldn’t be started if you’ve taken ellaOne within the last 5 days.

Occasionally, other medications – including certain antibiotics or herbal remedies – may interact with Microgynon 30. We would recommend always checking the medication leaflet for a full list of medications which may interact with your pill. You can also ask your healthcare provider for advice.

Do combined pills like Microgynon 30 cause weight gain?

Although weight gain is listed as a side effect by the manufacturer, clinical trials have not shown a link between combined pills like Microgynon 30 and gaining weight.

Can Microgynon 30 affect weight in any way? – it might have some effect depending on the factors below:

  • Bloating – if you experience bloating as a side effects from Microgynon 30 you could confuse this with feeling like you’ve put on weight
  • Water retention – it’s possible that Microgynon 30 will cause you to retain water when you start taking it which may appear as weight gain
  • Polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS) – this can cause weight gain but the symptoms can be reduced by pills like Microgynon 30
  • Pregnancy-related weight gain – there is a chance you could get pregnant using Microgynon 30, especially if you’ve been using it incorrectly. If you think you might be gaining weight due to pregnancy, take a pregnancy test and speak to doctor as soon as you can

What to do if you’re worried about Microgynon 30-related weight gain – because it’s unlikely to have an affect on your weight, you should try to remember that Microgynon 30 is a safe and effective form of contraception for most people. Rather than stopping immediately, it’s best if you discuss your concerns with your doctor.

What can I do about my weight then? – you could address some of the other factors that could contribute to weight gain. Your appetite depends on a variety of factors other than sex hormones, including stress, sleep, exercise and other hormones such as leptin, ghrelin and orexin. Consider some of the following lifestyle changes:

  • A healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Limiting your alcohol intake to within normal limits
  • Getting at least 8 hours sleep a night
  • Relaxation – dealing with stress

How to make sure Microgynon 30 is most effective

Here are some tips and tricks for how to get the best results with your Microgynon 30:

  • Take Microgynon 30 exactly as directed by the manufacturer – this means every day, at the same time every day, with no late or missed pills. One pill every 24 hours.
  • If you miss a pill by more than 24 hours, take this as soon as you remember even if it means taking 2 pills on one day.
  • If you miss a pill by more than 24 hours, or miss a pill altogether, or have diarrhoea or vomiting, you may need emergency contraception and additional protection such as condoms for 7 days. This will depend on when this happens in the pill pack, so we recommend consulting your instruction leaflet or healthcare provider for more information.
  • Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to take every pill.
  • Think ahead and don’t let yourself run out of pills. You need to plan ahead. This is a common reason for people running into trouble.
  • Have a yearly contraceptive review with your healthcare provider
  • Always tell your healthcare provider about any other medication you’re taking. Drug interactions are not uncommon with hormonal contraception and may make it less effective.
  • Always tell your healthcare provider if you’re due to have surgery, trek at high altitude, or be immobile for a prolonged period, as these things may affect your contraceptive choice. Keep active when travelling to reduce the risk of blood clots.
  • Keep healthy and manage your weight. Combined pill users should have a BMI lower than 30. Once your BMI is higher than this, and certainly if your BMI is higher than 35, you won’t be able to take a combined pill.
  • Quit smoking if you currently smoke. All the medical risks of taking the combined pill are much more common in women who smoke than those who don’t. Because of this, if you smoke, once you reach the age of 35, the combined pill is no longer appropriate for you.
  • Continue to use condoms to protect against STIs.

Try out different pill-taking routines – you can find a way to make Microgynon 30 suit you best by changing the way you take it.

If you restart the combined pill after a more than 7-day break, use barrier protection such as condoms if you plan to be sexually active within the first 7 days.

If you have regular periods and the combined pill is started within the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle, then it is effective immediately. Please ensure you’re not pregnant before starting Microgynon 30. There are a few methods to choose from:

  • Standard use
  • Tailored use

Standard use

Traditionally you take your pill for 3 weeks and then have a 7-day break. This is because the pill was designed to mimic your monthly cycle. However, there is no biological need to have the 7-day break. In fact, if things go wrong with pill taking, it’s quite common for women to start their next pack late, and this is where an error might take place. Getting rid of the 7-day break may help maintain some of the non-contraceptive benefits of Microgynon 30, like reducing acne.

Tailored use

These can be more convenient without any additional risks.

The extended tricycling regime involves:

  • Take the pill every day for 3 packs (9 weeks)
  • Then have a pill break - often this is a 7 day break
  • Sometimes people shorten the pill break to only 4 days, and then restart the next pack
  • You may have a withdrawal bleed in the pill break
  • There is no need to use additional contraception after restarting

The shortened hormone-free interval regime involves:

  • You take the pill every day for 3 weeks then have a 4 day break before starting the next pack
  • You may have a withdrawal bleed in the pill break
  • There is no need to use additional contraception after restarting

The flexible extended use regime involves:

  • You take the pill every day continuously until breakthrough bleeding occurs for 3 to 4 days, then have a 4-day break before starting the next pack
  • There is no need to use additional contraception after restarting

The continuous use regime involves:

  • You take the pill every day continuously without any breaks (if a bleed occurs, you continue to take your pill)

Are there any alternatives to the combined contraceptive pill?

Combined hormonal patches and rings

Women may choose to use one combined hormonal contraceptive method over another due to personal preference and occasionally for certain medical reasons.

Progesterone only pill

Many women may choose to use a progesterone-only pill either due to personal preference or because it is medically more suitable than the combined pill in certain circumstances. E.g. in women with a BMI higher than 35.

Long acting contraception (LARC)

LARC could be right for women who prefer not to have to remember to take a pill every day, or who have certain medical conditions which exclude them from using a combined or oral progesterone only contraception method. LARC methods include:

  • the progesterone-only injection
  • a progesterone-only implant
  • an IUS (levonorgestrel releasing intrauterine system)
  • or an IUD (copper-bearing intrauterine device)

Although the combined pill is highly effective when taken perfectly, this can be difficult to maintain sometimes during day to day life. In which case, LARC is more effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy. LARC can be accessed through most GP surgeries or family planning clinics.

Microgynon 30 Contains

Every tablet contains 0.03mg ethinylestradiol (an estrogen) and 0.15mg levonorgestrel ( a type of progesterone). Microgynon tablets are small, round and can be of a white or yellow colour.

Common Microgynon 30 Side Effects

The following side-effects frequently occur when taking Microgynon 30 (which means that they affect more than 1 in 100 women who take this pill):

  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • headache
  • depression, mood swings
  • tender breasts

For further information on possible rare side-effects, please read the patient leaflet of your pill.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Clair Grainger

Dr Clair Grainger studied at The University of Edinburgh from 2004 to 2009. She's worked in hospitals throughout Edinburgh and London before completing her GP training in North Middlesex Hospital in 2017.

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Last reviewed: 22 Feb 2019

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trustpilot-ratings-5-star by , 20 Jun 2022
Very good
trustpilot-ratings-5-star by , 21 May 2022
Everything was easy and simple to do got delivered very quick. Thanks
trustpilot-ratings-5-star by , 28 Aug 2021
goood , no pain, no bad symptoms after using, i love it
trustpilot-ratings-5-star by , 08 Aug 2021
Fast delivery and always good tracking . The product is really good
trustpilot-ratings-5-star by , 30 Jul 2021
Very good!

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