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What is Norgeston?

Norgeston is a contraceptive pill that contains the synthetic progesterone levonorgestrel. It's known as a mini pill or progesterone only 'pop' pill because it doesn't contain the oestrogen found in combined contraceptive pills, the patch or the vaginal ring.

Norgeston is over 99% effective when taken correctly and it can be used as a long term contraceptive to protect against pregnancy.

Benefits of Norgeston

Norgeston is an easily reversible mini pill with a high effectiveness rate. It doesn't interrupt sex as barrier methods do, and begins to work quickly.

Alongside its contraceptive benefits Norgeston can help manage hormone induced acne and reduce the effects of PMS in some women by lightening flow and regulating periods.

Norgeston may also help women struggling with the symptoms of endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome as it reduces the amount of endometrium. Some women will not experience a regular period on Norgeston.

Because Norgeston does not contain oestrogen it can be used by women who are sensitive to oestrogen based contraceptives.

How do Norgeston pills work?

Without hormonal contraception your body responds to the natural flow of sex hormones you produce. These hormones tell your ovaries when it is time to release an egg and prepare the womb lining. They also indicate to your body that the time for fertilisation has passed, and it should discard the womb-lining as a menstrual period.

Hormonal contraception changes this process so that your body responds to the hormones you take in a Norgeston pill instead.

Norgeston's active ingredient levonorgestrel prevents pregnancy by increasing the thickness of naturally occurring cervical mucus so that sperm cannot enter the womb to fertilise an egg. It also thins the womb lining so an egg cannot implant there. It may also prevent ovaries releasing eggs in some women.

Taken every day Norgeston provides one of the most effective contraception rates.

How to take Norgeston

Norgeston pills contain 30 micrograms of the synthetic progestogen levonorgestrel. You need to take just one pill a day to prevent pregnancy.

Mini pill are small enough to swallow whole without a drink, but you can take it with food or water if it suits you better. Don't chew or cut a contraceptive pill as you will not receive the full dose and its efficiency is reduced.

Each strip of Norgeston holds 35 pills which are each labelled with the day of the week. Take the correctly labelled pill at the same time each day following the directional arrows until you reach the end of the packet.

Whereas the combined contraceptive pill is taken for 21 days with a seven-day break, or seven dummy pills, Norgeston is designed to take every day without a break between strips. This can be helpful for women who are busy, or forget to re-start a new strip after seven days.

When to start taking Norgeston

It's easiest to start Norgeston pills on the first day of your period as it provides immediate contraceptive cover if you continue to take it correctly. You can start at another point in your cycle, but be sure to use barrier contraception for seven days to allow Norgeston time to influence your cycle. If you have unprotected sex during this seven-day period, you should take a test to rule out pregnancy.

If you are swapping from another form of hormonal contraception, such as combined pill, another mini pill, the vaginal ring or the patch, take your first Norgeston pill immediately after finishing your current contraception. Don't have a seven day break or take dummy pills, simply continue with Norgeston tablets. There is no need for extra contraception.

If you have recently given birth Norgeston can be started immediately on the advice of your doctor. If you've had a pill free period of time since giving birth, use barrier contraception for seven days following the first pill. There is no research to show that Norgeston has an effect on breastfeeding or developing infants.

After a miscarriage or abortion in the first three months of pregnancy you can take Norgeston straight away.

What to do if you miss a pill

It's important to take Norgeston each day at the same time to ensure continuous contraceptive cover, but forgotten pills are common. If you forget your pill, follow these instructions:

  • Less than three hours late: Take your pill straight away - no other contraception is required. A missed pill is one that's more than three hours late.
  • More than three hours late: Norgeston's effectiveness may be reduced if you are more than three hours late. You should take your pill when you remember, continue to take the rest of your pills as usual, and also use barrier contraception for the next seven days.

If you've missed a pill and you've had sex, its best to take a test to rule out pregnancy.

Vomiting or diarrhoea

Being sick or having severe diarrhoea may mean your pill is less effective because there wasn't enough time for your body to absorb all of the hormones.

If you are sick within two hours of taking Norgeston take another pill straight away. If you continue to be sick or have diarrhoea keep taking your pills at the correct time and use barrier contraception during the period of sickness and for seven days after recovery.

Diarrhoea can be triggered for many reasons - it isn't simply a bug that can cause an upset stomach. Alcohol, stress, undercooked food, medicines, and some weight loss medications can cause diarrhoea too.

Norgeston Side Effects

All prescription medications, and over the counter medicines, have the potential to cause side effects. Some of these are welcome, such as Norgeston's beneficial effects on relief from PMS, endometriosis and acne, but other side effects are not so desirable.

Common side effects of Norgeston include headaches, changes to your menstrual pattern, spotting between periods, skin changes such as spots, nausea, and dizziness. These mild symptoms often go away after a few months as your body adjusts to the new dose of hormones. Some women find Norgeston benefits outweigh the temporary discomfort of non-serious side effects, but if they persist speak to your doctor who may suggest a different brand of mini pill or another form of contraception.

Less common but more serious side effects can include migraine that is new or worse than usual, and problems with your eyesight. Speak to your doctor if you experience these.

Few women have an allergic reaction to Norgeston, but the signs are difficulty breathing, an itchy swollen mouth, tongue and lips, or hives. If you experience an allergic reaction stop taking Norgeston and seek immediate medical help.

Blood Clots

The mini pill may raise the risk of experiencing a blood clot. This is very rare in healthy women, but women who are over 35 and smoke, have diabetes, varicose veins or are obese are at higher risk.

The signs of a blood clot or thrombosis are a pain or swelling in the leg, chest pain, weakness or numbness and sudden changes to your vision. Your doctor will discuss the suitability of Norgeston before you can begin.

A full list of Norgeston's side effects can be found on the patient leaflet. Bear in mind that women may react differently depending on their health and sensitivities, and some women will experience no side effects at all.

Norgeston Interactions

Norgeston is widely tolerated and suitable for many women, but there are some medicines it should not be taken alongside. This is because Norgeston may decrease its effectiveness, or because the medicine may prevent Norgeston from working properly.

It's important to tell your doctor about any medicines you currently take or have recently taken. This includes over-the-counter therapies as well as prescription medications and recreational drugs.

Medicines that can stop Norgeston from working properly include epilepsy medicines, HIV medicines, high blood pressure treatments, medicines to treat vomiting, griseofulvin used to treat fungal infections, some antibiotics, sedatives and the complimentary herbal treatment St John's Wort.

Norgeston may not be suitable if you take these medicines. If you are prescribed courses of any medication tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are currently taking Norgeston.

Norgeston Contraindications

There are some health conditions and lifestyle choices that mean you will need an alternative contraception to Norgeston. Tell your doctor about any ill health or conditions you currently have or have experienced in the past.

These include severe liver disease or liver tumour, some cancers including breast and liver cancer, unexplained vaginal bleeding, a heart attack or stroke, and severe diabetes with blood vessel damage.

You may be able to take Norgeston if your doctor believes the benefits outweigh the risks if you have diabetes, an ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cysts, if you've ever had jaundice or pruritus, or if you've ever developed chloasma.

How to buy Norgeston online

Norgeston can be bought online from HealthExpress without the need to attend a face-to-face doctor's appointment. Complete some quick health questions and have your preferred contraceptive delivered straight to your doorstep. Our delivery across the UK is included in the price.

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