Femodette

Order Femodette contraceptive pill to help you avoid accidental pregnancy

Femodette is a combined oral contraceptive pill that is up to 99% effective at preventing unplanned pregnancy. Our doctors can prescribe a convenient 3–6 month supply.

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Strength Quantity Price Stock
20mcg/75mcg63 tablets£16.95Out of 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 Femodette?

Femodette is a type of oral contraceptive, known as the combined pill. It contains two active ingredients – ethinylestradiol and gestodene – which are synthetic versions of the female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. Femodette is prescribed primarily as a contraceptive, but some doctors may also prescribe Femodette for period delay, alleviation of period pains and to help mood swings associated with the menstrual cycle.

How does Femodette work?

Femodette is a type of the combined contraceptive pill used to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It works by releasing synthetic versions of progesterone and oestrogen, which stop an egg from being released from the ovary each month. It also prevents sperm from entering through the cervix by thickening cervical mucus, and also thins the womb lining to make it difficult for an egg to attach itself should fertilisation occur.

When does Femodette start to work?

The best time to start taking Femodette is on the first day of your period where it will start to work straight away. If you start taking it on days 1-5 of your cycle then you'll have immediate protection. You can start taking Femodette at any time during your cycle but if it's after day five then you'll need to use an additional method of contraception, like condoms or a diaphragm, for seven days.

How effective is Femodette?

Femodette is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy if it is taken correctly.

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredients in Femodette are progestogen gestodene and oestrogen ethinylestradiol.

Inactive ingredients

The other ingredients include lactose, maize starch, povidone, magnesium stearate (E572), sucrose, macrogol 6000, calcium carbonate (E170), talc, montan glycol wax. 

Which ingredients can cause an allergic reaction?

Femodette is not linked to severe allergic reaction cases in users before and is deemed safe for consumption. The pill contains lactose as one of its inactive ingredients. It is only present in small quantities and is safe for consumption for those with mild lactose intolerance. If you notice signs like severe itching, swelling of the face or trouble breathing after taking the birth control medication, make sure to get medical help right away.

Dosage

How to start Femodette?

You should ideally start taking Femodette on the first day of your period as this ensures you will have protection right away. You can also begin taking the pill at any point in your cycle as long as there is no chance that you are pregnant. If you start taking it after the first day of your period you'll need to use additional contraception like condoms for the first seven days to ensure you are protected from pregnancy.

How to take Femodette?

Femodette is taken once a day at the same time each day. The pill packs have the days of the week marked on each one to help you remember to take them. One pack lasts for 21 days. After this, you take a seven-day break before starting the next pack which is when you'll likely have a withdrawal bleed, similar to a period.

Femodette dosage

Each pill contains 75 micrograms of gestodene, a progestogen and 20 micrograms of ethinylestradiol, an oestrogen. One pill should be taken daily for 21 days, before taking a 7-day pill-free break.

What should I do if I missed a pill?

If it's been more than 12 hours since you were due to take your pill then this counts as a missed pill. You should take it as soon as you remember and take your next one at the correct time. It's fine to take more than one pill on the same day. After missing a pill you should use additional contraception, such as condoms, for the next seven days to ensure that you are protected from pregnancy. If you have missed more than one pill, and have had unprotected sex during this period, you may require emergency contraception and should contact your pharmacy or doctor.

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

If you take your pill later than your scheduled time then this won't affect your protection, provided it’s taken within 12 hours of the usual time. Take the pill as soon as you remember and continue to take the rest as usual.

Side Effects

Femodette side effects

Common side effects that may occur when taking Femodette include: 

  • Nausea
  • Stomach discomfort 
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Breast tenderness or pain
  • Bleeding or spotting between periods 
  • Mood changes including depression 

Uncommon side effects that may occur when taking Femodette include: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Retention of fluid
  • Migraines
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Breast swelling or enlargement
  • Rash

Rare side effects that may occur when taking Femodette include: 

  • Being unable to tolerate contact lenses
  • Hypersensitivity reactions such as itching
  • Weight loss
  • Blood clots
  • Increased sex drive
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Breast discharge
  • Erythema nodosum (a bumpy skin condition)
  • Erythema multiforme (a red rash)

Other undesirable effects may include:

  • Exacerbation of hereditary angioedema
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Changes in glucose tolerance
  • Disturbance in liver function
  • Chloasma (a discolouration of the skin)
  • Liver tumours
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Allergic reaction

The most serious side effect of combined hormonal contraception is a blood clot. If you experience any signs of a blood clot, such as pain in the leg or chest, then seek immediate advice from a doctor.

Contraindications

Do not take Femodette if you: 

  • Are allergic to any of the ingredients 
  • Have, or have ever, had a blood clot in the leg (deep vein thrombosis, DVT)
  • Have, or have ever, had a blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism, PE)
  • Have ever had a blood clot elsewhere in the body
  • Have a medical condition that can cause blood clotting 
  • Need an operation or if you are off your feet for a long time
  • Have ever had angina pectoris (chest pain)
  • Have ever had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA – temporary stroke-like symptoms)
  • Have ever had a heart attack or stroke

Have any of the following diseases that may increase your risk of a clot in the arteries:

  • Severe diabetes with blood vessel damage
  • Very high blood pressure
  • A very high level of fat in the blood (cholesterol or triglycerides)
  • Hyperhomocysteinaemia (high levels of a substance called homocystine in your blood)
  • Have severe diabetes which has caused damage to the blood vessels
  • Have problems with high blood pressure
  • Have high cholesterol 
  • Are prone to migraines with aura (unusual sensory or visual symptoms)
  • Have a history of breast cancer
  • Have a history of severe liver disease or liver tumours
  • Are over the age of 35 and you smoke

You should discuss any pre-existing medical conditions with your prescriber to make sure the pill is suitable for you.

Drug interactions

Medicines that interact with Femodette include: 

  • Some types of epilepsy medication 
  • Some types of HIV and Hepatitis C medications
  • Griseofulvin
  • Antibiotics 
  • Barbiturates
  • St. John's Wort

Femodette and Alcohol

Drinking alcohol will not affect Femodette. 

Treatment Options

Alternatives to Femodette

Microgynon 30, Levest, Ovranette and Rigevidon are the most commonly prescribed versions of the combined pill. Aside from the mini pill, other long term contraceptives include the contraceptive implant, patch or injection and the IUD or IUS. 

Femodette vs the Mini Pill

Femodette differs from the mini pill as it contains both an oestrogen and a progestogen. The mini-pill only contains a progestogen. Both contraceptive pills work in similar ways and the mini-pill may be a good option for women who are unable to take the combined pill.

Switching contraceptive pill

If you are looking to switch your contraceptive pill then discuss this with one of our doctors who can recommend the best one for you. The pill isn't suitable for everyone and sometimes you'll need to try a few different types to find the one that works for you. If you are switching to Femodette then start taking it as soon as you finish your current pack, skipping the seven day break. If you are taking the progesterone only pill then begin Femodette on the first day of your period, even if that means taking the two different pills at once. 

Q&A

Can you use Femodette for non-contraceptive purposes?

The combined pill is often prescribed to help treat acne, ease the symptoms of PMS and to make your periods lighter and less painful. 

Can you use Femodette for period delay?

You can delay your period by running two packs of Femodette back to back instead of taking the usual seven-day break. This will allow you to skip your period until you reach the end of the next pack. 

If I have vomited, will Femodette still work?

If you vomit within four hours of taking Femodette then it's likely the hormones have not been absorbed by your body. If this happens, take another pill right away and then continue with the rest of your pack as normal. If you continue to be ill then you should use additional contraception for the next seven days as your protection is likely to be affected.

When can I get pregnant after taking Femodette?

Your fertility should return as soon as you stop taking Femodette. For some women, it can take a few months to get pregnant but for others, pregnancy may occur right away. It usually takes a few months for your menstrual cycle to return to normal as your body adjusts to its natural hormone balance.

Are Femodette and Femodene the same?

Femodette and Femodene are two different brands of the combined contraceptive pill. They are similar but contain slightly different hormonal ingredients. Desogestrel is the name of the progestogen hormone in Femodette whereas Femodene contains gestodene. They both contain the oestrogen ethinylestradiol.

Can Femodette stop your periods?

Taking Femodette won't stop your periods unless you intentionally run two packs back to back in order to skip your period.  

Can Femodette cause high blood pressure?

If you are healthy and have no underlying issues with your blood pressure then this is unlikely to be an issue. Women with existing high blood pressure may find that Femodette exacerbates this. This is something your doctor will discuss with you before prescribing the pill to determine if it is suitable. If you are a smoker over the age of 35 then you are at particularly high risk. 

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