Femodene

Use Femodene birth control as a safeguard against unplanned pregnancies

As a popular combined oral contraceptive pill, Femodene effectively prevents pregnancy and can also reduce period pains. 

Our prices

Medicine Strength Quantity Price Stock
Femodene30mcg/75mcg63 tablets£13.95In Stock
Femodene ED30mcg/75mcg84 tablets£15.95In 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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Information

Dr Samantha Miller

Reviewed by Dr Samantha Miller MB ChB
(2017, University of Glasgow)
GMC number: 7561464

Information last reviewed 26/02/2021

About

What is Femodene?

Femodene is a brand of the combined contraceptive pill. As one of the most popular and convenient methods of contraception, it's over 99% effective at preventing unplanned pregnancies when used correctly.

How does Femodene work?

Femodene is a combined contraceptive pill that contains synthetic versions of both the oestrogen and progesterone sex hormones that exist in your natural cycle. These synthetic hormones act to prevent pregnancy in three ways: by preventing ovulation (where an egg is released from an ovary), thickening the mucus around the womb's entrance to make it difficult for sperm to enter and thinning the lining of the womb. 

How effective is Femodene?

When taken correctly Femodene is 99% effective. Its reliability depends upon several factors. This includes taking it at the same time each day and using additional methods of contraception while taking medications that interact with it or during periods of sickness. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen, and Femodene is around 91% effective with typical use.

When does Femodene start to work?

If you start Femodene on the first day of your period it will start to work right away. If you start it at another time in your cycle you will need to use additional methods of contraception, such as condoms, for the first seven days, and you must be sure you are not pregnant before starting Femodene.

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredients in Femodene are the progestogen gestodene and the oestrogen ethinylestradiol. Each tablet contains 75 micrograms of gestodene and 30 micrograms of ethinylestradiol.

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients are Lactose, maize starch, povidone, magnesium stearate (E572), sodium calcium edetate, sucrose, macrogol 6000, calcium carbonate (E170), talc, montan glycol wax.

Which ingredients can cause an allergic reaction?

Femodene has not been linked to allergic reactions in users. If you are taking the medication for the first time, look out for a severe allergic reaction such as facial swelling, a rash, dizziness, or trouble breathing. For those with a severe lactose intolerance, Femedone contains lactose which might cause some tummy troubles. As it is only present in small quantities, it should not cause discomfort in most people with lactose intolerance.

Dosage

Femodene dosage

Each pill contains 30mcg of ethinylestradiol and 75mcg of gestodene. You should take one pill each day for three weeks, before taking a seven-day break, then starting the process again.

Femodene ED contains seven placebo pills which you will take in place of a pill-free interval. This helps you get into the habit of remembering to take a pill at the same time each day. 

How to start Femodene?

You should start taking Femodene on the first of your natural period for immediate protection. If you start it later in your cycle then you'll need to use additional contraceptive methods for the first seven days.

How to take Femodene?

You should take one Femodene tablet at the same time each day.

In standard packs of Femodene, each pack will last for 21 days, when you reach the end of a pack, wait seven days before you start the next one. This is when you will have a bleed.

If you are taking Femodene ED, each pack contains 21 active tablets and 7 inactive placebo tablets. The placebo tablets are included to help you keep track of your pills. You will have your bleed when taking the placebo pills. Once you have finished a pack of Femodene ED, you start the next pack the following day. 

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

If it has been less than 12 hours then you do not need to worry, simply take your pill as soon as you remember. Your contraceptive cover won’t be affected. If it has been more than 12 hours since you were due to take it, then follow the below advice for what to do if you miss a pill. 

What should I do if I missed a pill?

If it's been less than 12 hours since you were due to take your pill then take it as soon as you remember and continue with the rest of your pack as usual. If it’s been more than 12 hours, or you don't remember until the next day, then take your missed pill as soon as possible, even if that means taking two at once. Continue taking the rest of your pills at the correct time and use additional contraception for the next seven days. If you have less than seven pills left in your pack then skip the seven-day break or placebo period, and start your next pack straight after your current one. 

Side Effects

Femodene side effects

Common side effects associated with taking Femodene are: 

  • Nausea
  • Stomach discomfort 
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Tenderness or pain in the breasts
  • Bleeding or spotting between periods 
  • Changes to your mood

These side effects often clear up after the first couple of months. If they don't, you may want to see your doctor who can prescribe you a different type of pill. 

  • Less common side effects include: 
  • Vomiting or stomach upset
  • Fluid retention
  • Migraine
  • Changes to sex drive 
  • Breast enlargement
  • Rash

Rarer side effects include:

  • Not being able to tolerate contact lenses
  • Weight loss
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Breast discharge
  • Chloasma (yellow-brown patches on the skin)
  • Ulcerative colitis (bowel upset)
  • Blood clots

Femodene also may make the following conditions worse:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
  • Pruritus (itching)
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Gallstones
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Crohn's disease

Serious side effects associated with the pill include: 

  • Blood clots
  • Breast cancer 
  • Cervical cancer
  • Liver problems 
  • Allergic reaction 

If you experience pain in your leg or any other sign of a blood clot then seek immediate medical attention. 

Contraindications

The pill is not suitable for everyone and there are risk factors involved in taking it. Do not take Femodene if you: 

  • Have ever experienced a blood clot in your legs, lungs or any other organ
  • Have a known disorder that can affect your blood clotting e.g. Factor V Leiden or antiphospholipid antibodies
  • Need an operation or if you’ll be immobile for a period of time
  • Have ever had angina pectoris (chest pain) or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA, mini-stroke)
  • Have ever had a heart attack or stroke
  • Have any of the following diseases that increase your risk of blood clots:
    • Severe diabetes with blood vessel damage
    • Very high blood pressure 
    • Very high cholesterol or fat in the blood
    • Hyperhomocysteinaemia (high levels of a chemical called homocysteine in the blood)
  • Have ever experienced a migraine with aura 
  • Have ever had breast cancer
  • Have ever had severe liver disease or have abnormal liver function tests
  • Are allergic to any of the ingredients in Femodene
  • Are a smoker over the age of 35

Drug interactions

Certain medications can interact with Femodene, causing it to stop working properly.  These include: 

  • Some types of epilepsy medication 
  • Some types of HIV and Hepatitis C medications
  • Some antifungals
  • Some antibiotics 
  • St. John's Wort

Inform your doctor that you wish to take Femodene, to make sure it won’t interact with any of your regular medications.

Femodene and alcohol

Drinking alcohol will not affect Femodene. 

Treatment Options

Femodene vs Femodene ED

Femodene and Femodene ED contain the same active ingredients and they work in the same way. The only difference is that a pack of Femodene ED contains 7 placebo pills, as well as the 21 active pills that you would find in a standard pack of Femodene. The placebo pills should be taken after the 21 active pills, instead of taking a 7-day break between each pack. Some women find that taking placebo pills helps them to remember when to start their new pack.

Alternatives to Femodene

There are many brands and formulations of the combined contraceptive pill such as Microgynon, Rigevidon, and Cilest. Aside from the combined pill and mini pill, there are a variety of different long-acting reversible contraceptives such as the IUD and IUS (known as the coil), the contraceptive implant, injection or patch.

Femodene vs mini pill

The mini pill is also known as the progestogen-only pill. It differs from Femodene by containing only progestogen hormones, whereas the combined pill contains both oestrogen and progestogen. The mini pill may be suitable for women who cannot take oestrogen. It differs from the combined pill as it must be taken at the same time every day of the month.

Switching contraceptive pill

If you are switching from another combined contraceptive pill you should begin Femodene immediately once you get to the end of your current pack. In this case, you will have your next period after completing your first pack of Femodene. Your contraceptive cover will be continuous. If you are changing from the progestogen-only pill then start Femodene at any time, but ensure you use additional barrier contraception if you’re having sex within the first seven days of taking Femodene.

Femodene for non-contraceptive purposes

Femodene has some additional benefits outside of its main function as a contraceptive. It can be used to help acne and also to make your periods lighter, regular and less painful. It can also ease the symptoms of PMS.

Q&A

Can you use Femodene for period delay?

Femodene can be used for period delay. Simply skip the seven-day break or seven placebo pills, and start your next pack right away. If you intend to do this repeatedly, you should consult your doctor first. 

If I have vomited, will Femodene still work?

If you vomit within 4 hours of taking Femodene then the hormones may not have been absorbed by your body. If this happens, take another pill once you feel better and continue taking the rest of your pack as usual. Your cycle will be one day shorter than usual. If you keep vomiting or have diarrhoea then you should use additional methods of contraception for seven days after you feel better. 

When can I get pregnant after taking Femodene?

It can take a couple of months for your cycle to return to normal after coming off Femodene but it is possible to get pregnant right away. It's different for everyone so allow plenty of time for your body to adjust.

Can Femodene cause high blood pressure?

If you already have high blood pressure or a family history of heart-related illnesses, then you may be more prone to developing high blood pressure while taking Femodene. The risk is also greater for women over 35, those who are overweight and those who smoke. You will have your blood pressure checked before being prescribed Femodene, and at least every year while you take it.

Can Femodene stop your periods?

Femodene does not stop your periods. It effectively gives you an artificial cycle. The pill is taken for 21 days and then you have a break between packs where menstrual bleeding occurs. 

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