Try the Cerelle pill for reliable estrogen-free birth control

Cerelle is a progesterone-only pill (or mini-pill) that’s free of oestrogen and its associated side effects. It’s just as effective at preventing pregnancy as a combined pill.

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Strength Quantity Price Stock
75mcg84 tablets£11.95In Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. This treatment requires a quick online consultation,
which a doctor will review to determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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What is Cerelle?

Cerelle is a type of progestogen-only pill or mini-pill. The active ingredient in Cerelle is desogestrel, which is a type of synthetic progestogen. Cerelle is prescribed to prevent pregnancy. 

How does Cerelle work?

Cerelle is a brand of the mini contraceptive pill, or progesterone only pill. It prevents pregnancy from occuring 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. 

How effective is Cerelle?

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.

Cerelle for non-contraceptive purposes

Cerelle may help reduce heavy and painful periods and the symptoms of PMS. Cerelle cannot be used for period delay.


Active ingredients

Desogestrel -a synthetic version of progestogen - is the active ingredient in Cerelle.

Inactive ingredients

The other ingredients in Cerelle are lactose, potato starch, povidone K-30, silica, colloidal anhydrous, stearic acid and all-rac-α-tocopherol.


Cerelle dosage

Each tablet contains 75mg of desogestrel (the synthetic version of progesterone).

How to start Cerelle

You can start taking Cerelle at any time during your cycle but if you start it after days 1-5 of your period you won’t be protected from pregnancy right away. 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. 

How to take Cerelle

Cerelle should be taken daily at the same time everyday. It is taken continuously so when you reach the end of a pack, start the next one right away. 

Is it essential that I take Cerelle at exactly the same time every day?

It’s important to take Cerelle at your scheduled time everyday. 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. Otherwise it’s impossible to calculate if you’re taking it correctly within the twelve hour window. Sticking to an exact time makes it as effective as possible. 

What should I do if I missed a pill?

If you miss a pill then take your 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. You will need to use an additional contraceptive such as condoms for the next two days as you will not 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 progesterone only pill so that they can prescribe you with a suitable treatment.

Side Effects

Cerelle side effects

Possible side effects associated with Cerelle are: 

  • Spotting or irregular vaginal bleeding 
  • Mood changes
  • Low libido
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Depression 
  • Acne
  • Tender breasts
  • Weight gain 

Less common side effects include:

  • Vomiting
  • Painful periods
  • Vaginal infection 
  • Cysts in the ovaries
  • Feeling tired
  • Hair loss
  • Interference with contact lenses
  • Painful lumps on the skin
  • A rash or hives

Swelling in the facial area and difficulty breathing is a sign of an allergic reaction and requires immediate medical attention. 


Cerelle should not be taken if any of the following apply to you:

  • Thrombosis (a blot clot)
  • If you have an allergy to desogestrel 
  • If you have ever experienced jaundice or liver problems
  • Cancer which is affected by the progesterone hormone
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding 

Caution should be taken in the following circumstances:

  • If you have breast or liver cancer or have had it in the past
  • If you have ever experienced a blood clot or high blood pressure
  • If you are diabetic or have epilepsy 
  • If you have tuberculosis 

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.

Drug interactions

Certain medicines can interact with the way with Cerelle works, making it less effective at preventing pregnancy. These include:

  • Antibiotics
  • HIV medication 
  • Epilepsy medication 
  • Treatment for hepatitis C
  • Medicine for high blood pressure
  • Treatment for fungal infections 
  • The herbal remedy St. John’s Wort

Cerelle and alcohol

You can drink alcohol while taking Cerelle.

Breastfeeding whilst taking Cerelle

Cerelle is safe to use while breastfeeding and won’t cause harm to your baby. 

Treatment Options

Switching contraceptive pill

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 without taking a break between the two but depending on which type of pill you are switching to and from will impact your protection. It may be necessary to use condoms or your preferred barrier method of contraception at first. To be on the safe side, it’s best to do this until you’ve had one complete cycle on your new pill. 

Alternatives to Cerelle

There are several different types of the mini pill.  Levonorgestrel and Norethisterone are two other varieties- these are the generic names for the pills and may be available under different brand names. Cerelle differs from other varieties as it allows you to take it within a twelve hour window whereas more traditional progesterone only pills must be taken within three hours of your scheduled time. 

Cerelle vs the combined pill

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 less side effects but it doesn’t give you as much control over your menstruation cycle as the combined pill. 


When can I get pregnant after taking Cerelle?

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 which may affect your fertility. 

If I have vomited, will Cerelle still work?

Cerelle may still work even if you get sick. If you vomit less than two hours after taking your pill, take another one right away. This means your protection will not be affected. If you continue to vomit then you should use a barrier method of contraception for seven days after your symptoms disappear. 

What should I do if I took a pill too late?

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 two days, continuing the rest of your pack as usual.

Can you use Cerelle for period delay?

Cerelle can’t be used to delay your period as it works differently from the combined pill. Progesterone only pills are taken every day of the month 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.

When does Cerelle start to work?

Depending on the length of your normal menstrual cycle, you can start Cerelle anytime between the first and fifth day of your period and it will start to work right away. If your cycle is shorter and you usually have your period every 23 days then Cerelle may not be effective right away if you take it on days 2-5 of your period. If you begin taking Cerelle outside of these times then you’ll need to wait 2-7 days until you’re fully protected. 

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