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Marvelon is a combined oral contraceptive pill, also known as ‘the Pill’, it is used to prevent pregnancy. Marvelon is a low-dose contraceptive tablet and contains two types of female sex hormones, oestrogen and progestogen.
These hormones prevent an egg being released from your ovaries so you can’t get pregnant. Marvelon also makes the fluid (mucus) in your cervix thicker which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb. Marvelon is a 21-day pill – you take one each day for 21 days, followed by 7 days when you take no pills.
It is one of the most reliable reversible methods of contraception if used correctly
How does Marvelon work?
Marvelon works by releasing oestrogen and progestogen preventing your body releasing an egg from your ovaries. Marvelon also prevents pregnancy by making the fluid in your cervix thicker making it harder for sperm to enter your womb.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, Marvelon can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Tell the doctor if you are worried about any side effects which you think may be due to Marvelon.Get Started
Serious side effects – see a doctor straight away
Signs of a blood clot include:
- painful swelling in your leg
- sudden chest pain
- difficulty breathing.
Signs of heart attack or stroke include:
- a migraine for the first time, or a migraine that is worse than normal
- any sudden changes to your eyesight (such as loss of vision or blurred vision)
- dizziness, fainting, collapse or seizures
- sudden weakness or numbness in one side or part of your body
- slurred speech or any other difficulties affecting your speech
- sudden sharp pains in your chest which may reach your left arm or sharp pains in your stomach.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction to Marvelon
- swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat.
Signs of breast cancer include:
- dimpling of the skin
- changes in the nipple
- any lumps you can see or feel.
Signs of cancer of the cervix include:
- vaginal discharge that smells and contains blood
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- pelvic pain
- painful sex.
Signs of severe liver problems include:
- severe pain in your upper abdomen
- yellow skin or eyes (jaundice).
If you think you may have any of these, see a doctor straight away. You may need to stop taking Marvelon.
Other possible side effects
- Migraine or headache (see a doctor as soon as possible if this is your first migraine or it’s worse than usual, or if the headache is severe, unusual or long lasting)
- Putting on weight or losing weight
- Problems with blood sugar
- Breast problems, such as sore or larger breasts; producing a milky fluid from the nipples
- Depression or mood changes
- Heart or circulation problems, such as increased blood pressure, swollen hands, ankles or feet)
- Gynaecological and vaginal problems, such as fibroids or endometriosis (disorders of the womb) may get worse; changes in secretions; fungal infection, such as thrush; delay in return to normal periods after stopping the pill
- Bleeding and spotting between your periods for the first few months (though this usually stops when your body adjusts to Marvelon) -see section 4.3, Bleeding between periods should not last long
- Skin problems, such as rash; brown patches on your face or body (chloasma); bruise-like swelling to the shins (erythema nodosom)
- Stomach problems, such as nausea; vomiting
- Discomfort of the eyes if you wear contact lenses
- Gall stones
- Chorea (a problem with the nervous system causing jerky movements that you can’t control)
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; when your immune system attacks your body causing, for example, joint ache and tiredness)
Read the Patient Information LeafletGet Started
How to take Marvelon
To prevent pregnancy, always take Marvelon exactly as described below. Check with your doctor or family planning nurse if you are not sure.
1) Take Marvelon every day for 21 days
Marvelon comes in strips of 21 pills, each marked with a day of the week.
- Take your pill at the same time every day.
- Start by taking a pill marked with the correct day of the week.
- Follow the direction of the arrows on the strip. Take one pill each day, until you have finished all 21 pills.
- Swallow each pill whole, with water if necessary.
- Do not chew the pill.
2) Then have seven pill-free days
After you have taken all 21 pills in the strip, you have seven days when you take no pills. So if you take the last pill of one pack on a Friday, you will take the first pill of your next pack on the Saturday of the following week.
Within a few days of taking the last pill from the strip, you should have a withdrawal bleed like a period. This bleed may not have finished when it is time to start your next strip of pills. You don’t need to use extra contraception during these seven pill-free days – as long as you have taken your pills correctly and start the next strip of pills on time.
3) Then start your next strip
Start taking your next strip of Marvelon after the seven pill-free days – even if you are still bleeding. Always start the new strip on time. As long as you take Marvelon correctly, you will always start each new strip on the same day of the week.
As a new user or starting the Pill again after a break
Either take your first Marvelon pill on the first day of your next period. By starting in this way, you will have contraceptive protection with your first pill.
Or if your period has already begun start taking Marvelon on day 5 (counting the first day of your period as day 1) whether or not your bleeding has stopped. You must also use extra contraception, such as condoms, until you have taken the first seven pills correctly.Get Started
Changing to Marvelon from another contraceptive Pill
- If you are currently on a 21-day Pill: start taking Marvelon the next day after the end of the previous strip. You will have contraceptive protection with your first pill but you will not have a bleed until after you finish your first strip of Marvelon.
- If you are currently on a 28-day Pill: start taking Marvelon the day after your last active pill. You will have contraceptive protection with your first pill. You will not have a bleed until after you finish your first strip of Marvelon.
- Or if you are taking a progestogen-only Pill (mini-Pill or POP): start Marvelon on the first day of bleeding, even if you have already taken the POP for that day. You will have contraceptive cover straight away. If you don’t usually have any bleeding while you are taking a progestogen-only Pill, you can stop taking it any day and start Marvelon the next day. You will need to use extra contraception, such as a condom, for seven days.
Starting Marvelon after a miscarriage or abortion
If you have had a miscarriage or an abortion, your doctor may tell you to start taking Marvelon straight away. This means that you will have contraceptive protection with your first pill.Get Started
Contraception after having a baby
If you have just had a baby, ask your doctor for advice about contraception.
If you are not breast-feeding:
- you can start taking Marvelon three weeks after the birth or,
- you can start taking Marvelon more than three weeks after the birth but you need to use extra contraception, such as a condom until you have taken the first seven pills correctly.
- If you have had sex since the birth there is a chance that you could be pregnant, you should therefore use another form of contraception, such as a condom. In this case, take your first Marvelon pill on the first day of your next period.