We don’t offer Triadene through Zava services any more, but there are other contraceptive pills that could be an alternative option if you were taking Triadene.
These alternatives include:
During your menstrual cycle, your hormone levels go up and down. Most other pills only use a single dosage of hormones but Triadene uses three different dosages to match the natural rhythm of your period.
Triadene common side effects
As with all medication, Triadene can cause side effects.
The most common side effects people get are:
- Feeling sick (nausea).
- Weight change.
- Mood swings.
- Tender breasts.
These affect between 1 and 10 in every 100 users.
Triadene is a combined oral contraceptive pill (a CHC), otherwise known as “the Pill”. You usually take it if you are sexually active and want to avoid getting pregnant.
CHCs like Triadene contain a combination of two types of sex hormone, gestodene and ethinylestradiol, which are lab-made versions of oestrogen and progestogen. Together, they stop you getting pregnant in three ways:
- By stopping your ovaries from releasing their monthly egg (ovulation)
- By thickening the fluid (mucus) of your cervix, so it’s difficult for sperm to travel through towards the womb
- By stopping the lining of your womb getting thicker, so a fertilised egg can’t grow there
CHC pills are either monophasic or phasic. Monophasic pills will all contain the same amount and type of hormone, meaning that each pill in your strip or packet will be exactly the same. Phasic pills are a combination of different pills in the same pack, containing different amounts of each hormone.
Triadene is a triphasic form of birth control, which means that you take three different dosages of pill across 21 days. Each set of pill dosages will come in a different colour on the strip, and will contain a different amount of hormones.
Some people prefer triphasic forms of contraceptive pill, as it’s thought to be closer to your usual monthly cycle than monophasic pills.
It’s important that you take phasic pills in the right order, as directed by the days of the week marked on the pill strip, or they won’t work and you could get pregnant. You should take one pill per day for 21 days in a row, and then 7 days of no pills.
There are several advantages to taking Triadene:
- It’s easy to use
- The Pill is one of the most reliable and reversible methods of contraception, when you use it correctly
- If you have heavy or painful periods, Triadene can make them lighter, less painful, and more regular
- Triadene can also help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- It doesn’t interrupt sex
Triadene has been discontinued in the UK. However, there are other combined pills that may suit you as well.
There are other types of Pill that contain the same hormone as Triadene (gestodene). These are Millinette 20, Millinette 30, Femodene, Femodene ED, Femodette and Sunya. They are slightly different from Triadene because they’re monophasic and they contain a different amount of hormones.
Millinette 30, Femodene, and Femodene ED all contain 30 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 75 mcg of Gestodene.
Millinette 20, Femodette and Sunya contain 20 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 75 mcg of Gestodene.
The dose of these hormones in Triadene varies during the cycle:
- the first six tablets contain 30 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 50 mcg of Gestodene
- the next five tablets contain 40 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 70 mcg of Gestodene
- and the last ten tablets contain 30 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 100 mcg of Gestodene.
The difference in the hormones dosages doesn’t change how effective Triadene is at preventing pregnancy, when used correctly. However, some women may find that they experience less frequent side effects from using lower dose hormonal contraceptives.
These pills are available from most local pharmacies, and via online doctors’ services.
Other triphasic pills will work in a similar way to Triadene. These include: Logynon and Synphase. Like Triadene, Synphase and Logynon contain two types of hormone, in three different doses, which prevent you from getting pregnant. However, the progestogen contained in Synphase and Logynon is different from the one contained in Triadene. This is important to take into account when changing pills, as the different hormonal composition might cause different side effects.
Ask your GP for more information about the different types of contraceptive pill available in the UK. If you’re considering using a contraceptive method for a long time, you can also consider other types of contraceptives that last longer: these are called Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC). The hormonal implant, the contraceptive injection, the intrauterine device (or coil), and the intrauterine system (hormonal coil) are all LARC. You can discuss these contraceptive methods with your GP or at a sexual health clinic where they will also be able to place them.
Triadene won’t be right for everyone. Taking the Pill can involve an amount of trial and error before you find one that suits you best.
Some disadvantages of Triadene are that:
- It can affect your mood, so it might not be right for you if you have depression, mood swings, or problems with anxiety
- Some people will notice that their skin is worse, when taking it
- It can lead to a lower desire for sex or a decreased libido
- You need to be extra careful when taking triphasic pills like Triadene, that you’re not late or that you don’t miss pills
With all types of contraception, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of taking it. Some types of Pill will work better for some people rather than others.
As with all medication, Triadene can cause side effects.
Some less common side effects (affecting between 1 and 10 in every 1,000 users) are:
- A loss of interest in sex.
- An itchy skin rash.
- Stomach upset.
If you ever experience any severe or particularly unpleasant side effects, you should seek medical attention right away. You may have to stop taking Triadene.
A full list of potential side effects will come in the leaflet with your Triadene pills. If you have any side effects that aren’t listed in this leaflet, you can report them via the Yellow Card Scheme (www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard) to help improve understanding of its effects.
Triadene is only suitable for you if a licensed doctor or nurse has approved it for your use and issued you with a prescription for it. You should not take Triadene if it has not been prescribed directly to you, because it could be unsafe.
Don't take Triadene if you:
- have a history of, or are at risk of a blood clot (like thrombosis)
- are at risk of having a heart attack or stroke
- have very high blood pressure
- get ‘migraines with aura'
- have a history, or are at risk of breast or liver cancer
- are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of its ingredients
Taking Triadene at the same time as certain other medicines can stop it from working properly. Ask your doctor before taking it if you're currently taking:
- certain medicines used to treat epilepsy, HIV and Hepatitis C
- an anti-fungal medicine called griseofulvin
- certain antibiotics
- a herbal remedy called St. John’s Wort
Dr Laura Joigneau Prieto
Dr Laura Joigneau Prieto joined Zava in April 2018 as a clinical doctor. She studied medicine at the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid, Spain, and at the Pierre and Marie Curie Faculty in Paris, France. She did a Master’s Degree in clinical medicine in 2009 at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 11 Mar 2019
Bayer plc (2017) Triadene®. [online] EMC. Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/PIL.2550.latest.pdf [Accessed 24th August 2017].
Contracept Technol Update (1981). New triphasic pill mimics hormone patterns of menses. Contracept Technol Update, Jun; 2(5): 73-4.
Electronic Medical Compendium (2015). Triadene. [online] EMC. Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/1847 [Accessed 24th August 2017].
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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