Is Mercilon available over the counter?

Can you get Mercilon without a prescription?


What is Mercilon?

Mercilon is a type of contraceptive pill known as the combined contraceptive pill. It contains synthetic versions of both progesterone and oestrogen. It works in three ways:

  • Stopping an egg being released during ovulation
  • Thickening the mucous at the entrance to the uterus, to help prevent sperm from entering
  • Thinning the lining of the uterus, to reduce the chances that a fertilized egg could implant.


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Can you buy Mercilon over the counter in the UK?

Mercilon is not available over the counter in the UK. It is only available on prescription. This is because oestrogen can increase your risk of blood clots and certain cancers, so the doctor needs to be sure that you don’t have any additional risk factors for these conditions before prescribing you the pill. You can get a prescription from a family planning clinic, sexual health practice or your GP. Once you have been prescribed Mercilon once, you can request a repeat prescription from an online pharmacy such as Dr Felix. 


Alternative treatments

There are a wide range of different contraceptive pills, including combined oral contraceptives such as Mercilon and progesterone-only pills. Progesterone-only pills are used when the combined oral contraceptive pill would not be suitable i.e. for migraine sufferers. You can also get low-dose oestrogen pills which are a type of combined pill with a lower level of oestrogen. These pills are helpful for women who experience certain oestrogen-related side effects, such as mood swings and acne. 

There are also a number of other contraceptive options available. It is recommended that you take some time to look into these options, so you can decide what would work best for you and your partner. Other contraceptives include:

  • Condoms
  • The diaphragm
  • Contraceptive injection (Depo-provera)
  • The implant
  • Contraceptive patches (Evra)
  • Vaginal rings (NuvaRing)

Of those contraceptives listed above, only condoms protect against pregnancy and STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Therefore, if you are unsure of the sexual health status of your partner, condoms are always recommended.

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