Microgynon

Microgynon 30 is a combined oral contraceptive pill produced by Bayer, also known as 'the Pill'. It is used to prevent pregnancy.

Microgynon 30 is a 21-day Pill – you take one tablet each day for 21 days, followed by 7 days when you take no tablets.
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  • It is one of the most reliable reversible methods of contraception if used correctly
  • It doesn’t interrupt sex
  • It usually makes your periods regular, lighter and less painful
  • It may help with pre-menstrual symptoms.

Like any other prescription medication you must consult a doctor before using it.

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How Microgynon helps prevent pregnancy

Microgynon contraceptive pill contains two types of female sex hormones, oestrogen and progestogen.

These hormones stop you getting pregnant by working in three ways:

  • by preventing an egg being released from your ovaries;
  • by making the fluid (mucus) in your cervix thicker, which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb;
  • by preventing the lining of your womb thickening enough for an egg to grow in it.

Read the Patient Information Leaflet

Possible Side Effects

The Pill may slightly increase your risk of having a blood clot (called a thrombosis),especially in the first year of taking it. A clot in a leg vein – a deep vein thrombosis (or DVT) – is not always serious. However, if it moves up the veins and blocks an artery in the lungs, it can cause chest pain, breathlessness, collapse or even death. This is called a pulmonary embolism and is very rare. Your chances of having a blood clot are only increased slightly by taking the Pill.

  • Of 100,000 women who are not on the Pill and not pregnant, about 5 will have a blood clot in a year.
  • Of 100,000 women taking a Pill such as Microgynon 30, about 15 will have a blood clot in a year.
  • Of 100,000 women who are pregnant, around 60 will have a blood clot in a year.

Very rarely, blood clots can also form in the blood vessels of the heart (causing a heart attack) or the brain (causing a stroke). In healthy young women the chance of having a heart attack or stroke is extremely small.

You are more at risk of having a blood clot:

  • as you get older
  • if you smoke
  • if you or any of your close family have had blood clots
  • if you are seriously overweight
  • if you have a disorder of blood fat (lipid) metabolism, or some other very rare blood disorders
  • if you have high blood pressure
  • if you suffer from migraines
  • if you have a heart valve disorder or a particular type of irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)
  • if you have recently had a baby
  • if you have diabetes
  • if you have certain rare medical conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus, sickle cell disease, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • if you’re off your feet for a long time because of major surgery, injury or illness.

Tell your doctor if any of these apply to you. Taking the Pill may add to this risk so

Microgynon 30 may not be suitable for you.

Signs of a blood clot include:

  • a migraine for the first time, a migraine that is worse than normal or unusually frequent or severe headaches
  • any sudden changes to your eyesight (such as loss of vision or blurred vision)
  • any sudden changes to your hearing, speech, sense of smell, taste or touch
  • pain or swelling in your leg
  • stabbing pain when you breathe
  • coughing for no apparent reason
  • pain and tightness in the chest
  • sudden weakness or numbness in one side or part of your body
  • dizziness or fainting.

See a doctor as soon as possible. Do not take any more Microgynon 30 until your doctor says you can. Use another method of contraception, such as condoms, in the meantime.

The Pill and cancer

While high dose Pills reduce your risk of cancer of the ovary and womb if used in the long term, it is not clear whether lower dose Pills like Microgynon 30 also provide the same protective effects.

However, it also seems that taking the Pill slightly increases your risk of cancer of the cervix – although this may be due to having sex without a condom, rather than the Pill. All women should have regular smear tests.

If you have breast cancer, or have had it in the past, you should not take the Pill. The Pill slightly increases your risk of breast cancer. This risk goes up the longer you’re on the Pill, but returns to normal within about 10 years of stopping it. Because breast cancer is rare in women under the age of 40, the extra cases of breast cancer in current and recent Pill users is small. For example:

  • Of 10,000 women who have never taken the Pill, about 16 will have breast cancer by the time they are 35 years old.
  • Of 10,000 women who take the Pill for 5 years in their early twenties, about 17–18 will have breast cancer by the time they are 35 years old.
  • Of 10,000 women who have never taken the Pill, about 100 will have breast cancer by the time they are 45 years old.
  • Of 10,000 women who take the Pill for 5 years in their early thirties, about 110 will have breast cancer by the time they are 45 years old.

Your risk of breast cancer is higher:

  • if you have a close relative (mother, sister or grandmother) who has had breast cancer
  • if you are seriously overweight

See a doctor as soon as possible if you notice any changes in your breasts, such as dimpling of the skin, changes in the nipple or any lumps you can see or feel.

Taking the Pill has also been linked to liver diseases, such as jaundice and non-cancer liver tumours, but this is rare. Very rarely, the Pill has also been linked with some forms of liver cancer in women who have taken it for a long time.

See a doctor as soon as possible if you get severe pain in your stomach, or yellow skin or eyes (jaundice). You may need to stop taking Microgynon 30.

Microgynon 30 should not be taken by some women

Tell your doctor or family planning nurse if you have any medical problems or illnesses.

Do not take Microgynon 30 if :

  • If you have or have ever had breast cancer
  • If you have ever had a problem with your blood circulation. This includes a blood clot (thrombosis) in the legs (deep vein thrombosis), lungs (pulmonary embolism), heart (heart attack), brain (stroke) or any other parts of the body
  • If you have any condition which makes you more at risk of a blood clot (thrombosis – see section 2.1, of the Patient Information Leaflet)
  • If you have very high or uncontrolled blood pressure
  • If you have any symptoms of a blood clot, such as chest pain (angina pectoris) or ‘ministroke’ (transient ischaemic attack)
  • If you have ever suffered from migraine with visual disturbances
  • If you have ever had a severe liver disease, and you have been told by your doctor that your liver function test results are not yet back to normal
  • If you have ever had liver tumours
  • If you have severe diabetes affecting your blood vessels
  • If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of the ingredients in Microgynon 30

If you suffer from any of these, or get them for the first time while taking Microgynon 30, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Do not take Microgynon 30.

Microgynon 30 can make some illnesses worse

Some of the conditions listed below can be made worse by taking the Pill. Or they may mean it is less suitable for you. You may still be able to take Microgynon 30 but you need to take special care and have check-ups more often.

  • If you have diabetes
  • If you or your close family have ever had problems with your heart, or circulation such as high blood pressure
  • If you or your close family have ever had problems with blood clotting
  • If you have the inherited disease called porphyria
  • If you are overweight (obese)
  • If you have migraines
  • If you have inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) or a history or family history of high levels of fat in your blood (hypertriglyceridemia), as you may be at risk of developing pancreatitis
  • If you have any illness that worsened during pregnancy or previous use of the Pill (see section 4.2) of the Patient Information Leaflet.

Read the Patient Information Leaflet

How to take Microgynon

To prevent pregnancy, always take Microgynon 30 as described below.

1) Take Microgynon 30 every day for 21 days

Microgynon 30 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 Microgynon 30 after the seven pill-free days – even if you are still bleeding. Always start the new strip on time.

As long as you take Microgynon 30 correctly, you will always start each new strip on the same day of the week.

Starting Microgynon 30

As a new user or starting the Pill again after a break

It is best to take your first Microgynon 30 pill on the first day of your next period. By starting in this way, you will have contraceptive protection with your first pill.

Changing to Microgynon 30 from another contraceptive Pill

  • If you are currently taking a 21-day Pill: start Microgynon 30 the next day after the end of the previous strip. You will have contraceptive protection with your first pill. You will not have a bleed until after your first strip of Microgynon 30.
  • If you are taking a 28-day Pill: start taking Microgynon 30 the day after your last active pill. You will have contraceptive protection with your first pill. You will not have a bleed until after your first strip of Microgynon 30.
  • Or, if you are taking a progestogen-only Pill (POP or ‘mini Pill’): start Microgynon 30 on the first day of bleeding, even if you have already taken the progestogen-only Pill for that day. You will have contraceptive cover straight away.

Starting Microgynon 30 after a miscarriage or abortion

If you have had a miscarriage or an abortion during the first three months of pregnancy, your doctor may tell you to start taking Microgynon 30 straight away. This means that you will have contraceptive protection with your first pill.

If you have had a miscarriage or an abortion after the third month of pregnancy, ask your doctor for advice. You may need to use extra contraception, such as condoms, for a short time.

Contraception after having a baby

If you have just had a baby, your doctor may advise you that Microgynon 30 should be started 21 days after delivery provided that you are fully mobile. You do not have to wait for a period. You will need to use another method of contraception, such as a condom, until you start Microgynon 30 and for the first 7 days of pill taking.

Read the Patient Information Leaflet