If you take Cerelle correctly is it over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Everyday factors can cause it to be less effective, including remembering to take it daily and on time, stomach upsets and interactions with other medications. For these reasons the POP is around 91% effective with typical use.
Cerelle is a brand of the mini contraceptive pill, or progestogen-only pill. It prevents pregnancy primarily by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg each month. It also works to thin the lining of the womb and thicken the mucus which surrounds the entrance to the womb. This makes it difficult for sperm to get through, and for a fertilised egg to attach to the womb.
Cerelle may help reduce heavy and painful periods and the symptoms of PMS. Cerelle cannot be used for period delay.
One pill, every day at the same time
|Type of medicine||Progesterone-only contraceptive pill (mini-pill)|
Prevents ovulation, thickens mucus to make it harder for sperm to reach the egg
Desogestrel (synthetic progestogen)
Can include changes to your period (irregular bleeding, more or less frequent periods), headache, acne, changes to your sex drive, weight gain, nausea
The active ingredient in Cerelle is desogestrel – a synthetic progestogen.
The other ingredients in Cerelle are lactose monohydrate, potato starch, povidone K-30, silica, colloidal anhydrous, stearic acid and all-rac-α-tocopherol, poly[vinyl alcohol], titanium dioxide (E171), macrogol 3000, talc
You can start taking Cerelle at any time during your cycle but if you start it on the first day of a natural period, you will be protected from pregnancy right away. If you start it at any other time in your cycle, you must be sure you’re not pregnant, and you won’t be protected from pregnancy right away. Therefore you should use barrier contraception for the first seven days of pill-taking. Choose a suitable time of the day where you are most likely to remember to take it. You may be advised to wait until your period starts to make sure you are not pregnant.
If you miss a pill, then take the missed one as soon as you remember, and your next one at the correct time. It’s okay if this means you are taking more than one in the same day. If you take the missed pill within 12 hours of the scheduled time, your contraception won’t be affected. However, if you are more than 12 hours late, you will need to use an additional contraceptive such as condoms for the next seven days to be protected against pregnancy. If you have already had unprotected sex and have missed a pill then you should seek out emergency contraception. In this case, let your pharmacist know that you are on the progestogen-only pill so that they can prescribe you a suitable treatment.
It’s important to take Cerelle at your scheduled time every day. This helps you to remember to take it and it’s essential in case you forget or something happens to prevent you from taking it on time. Sticking to an exact time makes it as effective as possible.
Cerelle should be taken daily at the same time everyday. It is taken continuously, every day, without a break, so when you reach the end of a pack, start the next one right away.
Each tablet contains 75 micrograms (mcg) of desogestrel (a synthetic version of progesterone).
Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):
Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people):
Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people):
Cerelle should not be taken if any of the following apply to you:
Caution should be taken in the following circumstances:
In these situations, inform your doctor who will assess whether Cerelle is suitable for you or not. They may need to monitor your symptoms to ensure the pill does not have a negative effect.
Certain medicines can interact with the way Cerelle works, making it less effective at preventing pregnancy. These include:
Speak with your prescriber if you’re on any other medications.
You can drink alcohol while taking Cerelle.
Cerelle is safe to use while breastfeeding and won’t cause harm to your baby or affect your milk supply.
You may want to switch to a different contraceptive pill if you experience unpleasant side effects. Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you on the best way to do this. Generally, you’ll be able to stop taking your current pill and start your new one the next day. Typically you’ll be advised to use condoms for a period of seven days while your contraceptive cover becomes effective.
Cerelle is a good option for women who cannot take oestrogen or experience unwanted side effects with the combined pill. Cerelle may be preferred as it usually causes fewer side effects but it doesn’t give you as much control over your menstruation cycle as the combined pill, as it often doesn’t produce a predictable bleed.
There are several different brands of the mini pill, containing various forms of progestogen. Cerelle contains desogestrel as its active ingredient, however, there are other mini pills available that contain levonorgestrel or norethisterone as their progestogen. Alternatives to the progestogen-only pill are a combined pill, patch or ring; an intrauterine device or system (a coil), the contraceptive implant or the injection. Speak to your local sexual health service for advice.
If started on day one of your natural cycle (i.e. the first day of menstrual bleeding), Cerelle will work as a contraceptive right away. If you start it at any other time in your cycle, it will take 7 days of pill-taking to be effective as a contraceptive. You should be sure to use condoms or abstain from intercourse during these 7 days.
Cerelle can’t be used to delay your period as it works differently from the combined pill. Progestogen-only pills are taken every day, without a break, whereas the combined pill can delay your period if you were to run two packs together and skip the seven day break. Some women find that their periods stop altogether when taking Cerelle but others may experience irregularity.
You can take your pill up to twelve hours after your scheduled time and your protection won’t be affected. For example, if you usually take your pill at 8am then you have until 8pm to take it if you have forgotten or an unforeseen circumstance occurs. If you take your pill later than this then you will not be protected against pregnancy and should use condoms for the next seven days, continuing the rest of your pack as usual.
If you vomit within 3 - 4 hours after taking Cerelle or you have severe diarrhoea, the active substance may not have been completely absorbed. Follow the advice for a missed pill above. If you continue to vomit then you should use a barrier method of contraception for seven days after your symptoms disappear.
It’s possible to get pregnant right away if you stop taking Cerelle. For some women, it may take a couple of months or longer but everyone is different and there are many factors that may affect your fertility.
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