Is Femodette available over the counter?

Can you get Femodette without a prescription?

What is Femodette?

Femodette is a type of combined oral contraceptive pill. This means that it uses both oestrogen and progesterone to help prevent pregnancy. Femodette is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy if taken correctly. Femodette can also be used to alleviate painful periods and to postpone your period for a holiday or special event. 

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Can you buy Femodette over the counter in the UK?

Femodette is not available over the counter in the UK. In the UK, all contraceptive pills require an initial prescription. This is because taking the pill can increase your chances of developing blood clots and certain forms of cancer. Therefore, the doctor needs to check that you do not have any additional risk factors for these conditions before prescribing. For most young women, the pill is safe to take, but it is important that the risks are weighed against the benefits for each individual. You can get your initial prescription from your GP, or a sexual health/family planning clinic. 

 

Alternative treatments

There is a huge variety of different contraceptive pills available. Most are combined oral contraceptive pills like Femodette, but you can also get progesterone-only pills which are mainly used by women who cannot take oestrogen-containing pills. There are also low-dose combined pills available like Millinette, which can be used by women who experience oestrogen related side effects such as acne or mood swings. 

Aside from pills, there’s a number of other contraceptive options available including:

  • Condoms - these are available from most chemists and supermarkets, but you can also get them for free from sexual health centres. Condoms are the only method of contraception that also protects against STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Therefore, if you are not sure of your partner’s sexual health status, it is recommended that you protect yourself with condoms - keep in mind that many STIs are symptomless, so you may not be able to tell without a test. 
  • The diaphragm - The diaphragm is a type of contraceptive that is inserted into the vagina before sex. It forms a physical barrier to stop sperm from reaching an egg to fertilise it.
  • The implant - The implant is a small metal rod containing synthetic progesterone. It is inserted under the skin of your arm by a doctor. It lasts for up to three years, so is a good option for women who want longer-term protection from pregnancy.
  • Contraceptive injections - Another long term contraception is available in the form of an injection. This will last for 8 to 13 weeks depending upon the type of injection you have.
  • The IUD - IUDs (intrauterine devices) are small T-shaped structures that are inserted inside your uterus. They must be fitted by a doctor. The IUD contains copper and is also known as the copper coil. It works to prevent pregnancy immediately and lasts for 5 to 10 years making it the longest acting contraceptive available. The IUD can also be used as emergency contraception following unprotected sex. 
  • The IUS - The IUS (intrauterine system) is similar to the IUD, but instead of containing copper it contains the progesterone hormone. It is a T-shaped device, inserted inside the uterus by a doctor. It lasts for 3-5 years depending on the brand that is used.
  • Vaginal rings - Vaginal rings, such as NuvaRing, are a relatively new contraceptive option. They are small plastic rings that are inserted into your vagina. They release oestrogen and progesterone over one month, then you replace it. Vaginal rings are a good option for women who want a longer-acting contraceptive, but who don’t want to have to go to the doctor to get it fitted.
  • Contraceptive patches - Contraceptive patches, such as Evra, are also quite new to the market. They contain oestrogen and progesterone, which is absorbed through your skin and into the bloodstream. You use one patch every week and typically will use patches for three weeks before taking a week off during which you will have your period. 
  • Natural family planning - Some women prefer to use natural family planning methods for religious or health reasons. This involves monitoring your daily temperature, vaginal fluids and monthly cycle so you can abstain from sex when you are at your most fertile. There are now various apps available to help you do this. Natural family planning can be up to 99% effective when done correctly, but it is easy to make errors and your monthly cycle/fertility can be affected by external factors such as stress and travel. Therefore, natural family planning is not generally recommended to women who have other options.

As you can see, there is a vast range of different contraceptive options available to you. It is worth taking the time and trying a few different options to work out what would work best for you.

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