Cerazette is a contraceptive pill designed to prevent pregnancy. It’s a type of progestogen-only pill, often known as the mini pill. It only contains one type of hormone, and it’s often prescribed for women who encountered side effects with the combined pill or cannot take it for medical reasons. The combined pill contains synthetic versions of both progesterone and oestrogen.
Cerazette contains a synthetic version of the progesterone hormone. Progesterone is produced naturally by your body during your menstrual cycle. Cerazette works by stopping ovulation so that your ovaries do not release an egg into the womb. It also thins the lining of the womb and thickens the mucus surrounding the entrance to the womb so that sperm cannot enter through the cervix as easily.
If Cerazette is taken correctly, it has an efficiency of over 99%, but it’s estimated that the progestogen-only pill is actually around 91% effective, given other factors such as remembering to take it every day and at the correct time.
If you start Cerazette on day 1 of your period, then it will protect you against pregnancy right away. If you start taking it at any other time of the month, you’ll need to wait seven days before it starts to work.
Cerazette is primarily used to prevent pregnancy; it cannot be used for period delay. Cerazette often results in lighter, less painful periods and may also provide relief from premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
75 micrograms of desogestrel, a synthetic progestogen, is the active ingredient in Cerazette.
The other ingredients are colloidal anhydrous silica; all-rac-α-tocopherol; maize starch; povidone; stearic acid; hypromellose; macrogol 400; talc; titanium dioxide (E171) and lactose monohydrate.
The best time to start Cerazette is on the first day of your period. If you start it on day 1, then you’ll be protected from pregnancy right away. You can start Cerazette at any time, but if it’s at a different point in the month, you’ll need to use another method of contraception for the first seven days to ensure you are protected against pregnancy.
Once you start Cerazette, it should be taken every day, with no break between packs. The most effective time to begin taking Cerazette is the first day of your period, but you can start it at any time as long as there is no chance that you are pregnant. Choose a convenient time for you to take your pill, as you’ll need to take it at this time every day or within twelve hours of it for the pill to be effective.
Cerazette contains a 75 microgram dose of desogestrel in each pill. You should take one pill every day.
If you miss a pill, you may not be protected against pregnancy and should use additional contraception such as condoms or a diaphragm for seven days. You should take the missing pill as soon as you remember, even if that means taking two at once (but if you’ve missed more than one, take only the most recent missed pill.) Continue taking the rest of your pills at the correct time. If you had unprotected sex around this time, you should speak to a sexual health clinic or pharmacy as you may need emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy.
If you have taken a pill less than 12 hours late, take it as soon as you remember and continue pill-taking as usual. Your contraception will not be affected. If you have taken a pill more than 12 hours late, follow the same instructions as if you have missed a pill. You’ll need to use condoms, or another method of contraception, for the next seven days. If you realise that you have taken your pill more than 12 hours late or missed it completely and have already had unprotected sex, you may need to take emergency contraception.
Cerazette usually does not cause side effects, and many women find that it’s more compatible than the combined pill.
If you do experience side effects, these are likely to include:
Cerazette is not suitable for women who:
Certain types of medication can interact with Cerazette and cause it to become ineffective. These are:
You should speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines.
Yes, side effects often disappear after the first couple of months. If they don’t, then speak to your doctor for advice.
If you do experience side effects while taking Cerazette, they are usually short-lived. Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water and eat properly to reduce headaches and nausea. Painkillers can be taken if you are getting headaches, but these side effects usually disappear once your body gets used to Cerazette.
Drinking alcohol does not cause any adverse effects alongside Cerazette.
Some women may experience irregular bleeding, some will have a regular cycle, and some find that their periods stop altogether. There is no way to tell how it will affect each individual, so you should be prepared for all of these possibilities.
The progestogen hormone contained in Cerazette might cause the ligaments in the breast to stretch, enlarging the breast glands; this is what causes breast tenderness.
Taking Cerazette will not affect your fertility in the long run. It’s usually possible to get pregnant as soon as you stop taking the pill.
Cerazette can be taken safely alongside most antidepressants. Some, however, e.g. St. John’s Wort, are known to interact with Cerazette. If you are taking antidepressants, you should inform your doctor or pharmacist of this to ensure that they won’t be affected by Cerazette.
If you wish to switch the type of contraceptive pill you are taking, you should discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist, who will advise you what to do based on your circumstances. If changing from a combined pill where you usually take a break, you should omit the break and start taking Cerazette the day after you finish the pack. If changing from a combined pill where you take inactive or placebo pills, skip the placebo pills and start taking Cerazette the day after taking the last active pill. If you’re changing from another progestogen-only pill, you can switch at any time. Usually, your contraceptive cover is not affected. Depending on which pill you are currently taking and which one you are changing to, it may be necessary to use additional methods of contraception, like condoms, for the first week, so be sure to check with your doctor.
Cerazette only contains desogestrel, a synthetic progestogen, whereas the combined pill contains both a progestogen and an oestrogen hormone. Cerazette causes less side effects than the combined pill and has fewer health risks associated with it. It’s also a suitable option for women who are breastfeeding. However, the combined pill provides greater control over your period and can also have a more favourable effect on PMS and acne.
There are three different types of progestogen-only contraceptive pills available in the UK. These are desogestrel (which Cerazette is a brand of), levonorgestrel and norethisterone. Brands containing desogestrel may be more convenient as you have a 12-hour window to take it if you forget, whereas with other types, you usually only have a three-hour window. Aside from the contraceptive pill, other long-term contraception methods include the implant, injection IUS, IUD, and the patch.
Unlike the combined pill, Cerazette cannot be used to delay your period. The mini pill is taken continuously instead of having a seven-day break in between packs. If you wish to delay your period for an important occasion, discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist.
It may take a few months for your body to readjust after coming off Cerazette, so you should allow some time for your natural cycle to return. However, you can become pregnant as soon as you stop taking the pill. The time it takes will differ for every woman.
If you vomit within 3–4 hours of taking Cerazette, then the pill may not have taken effect. If this happens, take another pill either right away or within twelve hours of your usual time and continue to take the rest of your pills as usual. If you’re not able to take a new pill, treat it as a missed pill and use condoms for the time you’re sick and for seven days after you’ve recovered and keep taking the rest of your pills on time.