It seems from your questions and emails that many of you are interested in the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill, or “the Pill”.
The Pill is a small tablet that a female takes once a day.
There are a variety of Pills available in Australia, but a single packet generally contains 21 hormone pills and 7 sugar pills. The hormone pills contain two artificial hormones similar to the natural hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. The sugar pills don’t contain any hormones but help you remember to take a pill every day.
You have a monthly bleed (like a period) when you take the sugar pills. However, you can skip your period by not taking the sugar pills and continuing to take the hormone pills in the next packet.
You might need to try a few different types of Pill before you find the one that suits you best. Let’s look at the Pill in a bit more detail.
The Pill is more than 99% effective if it’s taken properly – that means remembering to take it at the same time, every day! But in real life, it can be less effective (91%), because Pills can easily be forgotten.
Most women have very few side effects. Those who do get side effects often find they settle down within the first two to three months. You may experience:
The Pill is available at the pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor or from a Family Planning NSW clinic.
I hope this has answered a few of your questions. But, if you want to know more, you can ring 1800 451 624 between 9.00am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday to talk with a sexual health nurse. It’s confidential and free if you call from a landline.
Until next time,