Norgeston is a type of contraceptive known as the mini pill, or progestogen-only pill (POP). It differs from the combined pill as it only contains progestogen hormones rather than both oestrogen and progestogen. If it's taken correctly it is just as effective and provides a convenient option for preventing pregnancy for women who are unable to take the combined pill or are sensitive to oestrogen.
Norgeston contains a synthetic version of the progesterone hormone called levonorgestrel. It works by thickening the cervical mucus to make it difficult for sperm to enter the womb and thinning the uterus lining to prevent an egg from attaching itself to the wall. In some women, it also prevents ovulation.
Norgeston will provide immediate protection from pregnancy if you start taking it on the very first day of a natural menstrual period. If you begin the pill at any other time during your cycle you'll need to use another method of contraception for the first seven days.
Norgeston is over 99% effective when it is taken regularly and correctly, but it must be taken on time every day for it to be effective. It's thought that the real efficiency rate is 91% taking into account day to day factors that may prevent you from taking your pill on time.
The active ingredient in Norgeston is 30 micrograms of levonorgestrel.
The other ingredients contained in Norgeston are lactose, maize starch, povidone, macrogol 6000, calcium carbonate (E170), talc, magnesium stearate (E 572), sucrose, glycol montanate.
Norgeston does not commonly cause a severe allergic reaction in people taking the medication. You should look out for facial swelling, a rash, dizziness, or difficulty breathing which might point to you having a severe allergic reaction which warrants urgent medical attention. Norgeston contains lactose in small quantities which will not cause uncomfortable side effects to those with lactose intolerance.
You can start taking Norgeston at any time during your cycle but it's recommended to start taking it on the first day of your period as when started in this way, you will be protected from pregnancy right away. If you begin the pill after the first day of your cycle you'll need to use condoms, or your preferred method of alternative contraception, for the first seven days. Choose a time of the day which is convenient for you to take the pill as it must be taken at the same time each day for it to be effective.
Norgeston must be taken at the same time every day. It's taken every day without a break, and you continue to take it during your period. Each pack of pills has the days of the week printed on them so you can keep track of your pills and ensure you are taking them regularly. Once you reach the end of a pack, start the next one the day after at your usual time. There is no break between packs.
Norgeston must be taken at the same time each day. If you take it within 3 hours of your scheduled time then you are still protected against pregnancy and do not need to worry. If you take it more than three hours late you may not be protected against pregnancy. In this case, you'll need to use another method of contraception, such as condoms, for the next 7 days and continue to take the rest of your pills on time.
If you miss a pill (you’ve forgotten it completely, or remembered more than 3 hours after your scheduled time), take it as soon as you remember and then take the next one at your usual time. You will need to use an additional method of contraception for the next seven days as you won't be fully protected from pregnancy. If you have unprotected sex after having missed your pill then you should seek emergency contraception as soon as possible. Inform your GP or pharmacist that you are taking Norgeston to ensure they prescribe you a suitable morning after pill.
Possible side effects include:
There is a small increased risk of developing breast cancer when taking oral contraceptives.
Norgeston may not be suitable if you:
Let your doctor know if any of these circumstances apply to you.
Certain medications interfere with Norgeston and stop it from working properly. These include:
Drinking alcohol does not have an effect on Norgeston.
Cerazette, Cerelle and Noriday are alternative brands of the mini pill available in the UK. The combined pill is one of the most popular methods of contraception although it is not suitable for all women. While the pill is a convenient method of preventing unwanted pregnancy, there are other long term options available. These include the injection, implant, copper coil and hormonal coil. The contraceptive injection lasts for up to 13 weeks, the implant for 3 years and coils can provide protection for 3–10 years.
Norgeston can be taken by women who are unable to take the combined pill which makes it suitable for women over the age of 35 who smoke or women who can't take oestrogen. The mini pill usually produces fewer side effects too. However, it has less flexibility as it needs to be taken within the same three-hour window every day, and it cannot be used to control your period.
Taking Norgeston can also help to ease periods that are painful, heavy or irregular and reduce the symptoms of PMS.
Unlike the combined pill, Norgeston cannot be used to delay your period. The mini pill is taken every day of the month and does not allow you to control your menstrual flow. Other methods such as norethisterone or the combined contraceptive pill can be used for period delay.
Switching contraceptive pills is a straightforward process. You may want to wait until you have finished your previous pack of pills, before starting Norgeston. But, if you prefer, you can simply stop taking your current pill and start taking Norgeston right away. This can be done at any time during your menstrual cycle. If you are switching from a combined pill or another progestogen-only pill, you can finish your current pill and start Norgeston the next day, your contraceptive cover will not be affected. If you take a pill that contains non-active (placebo) pills, omit the placebo pills and take your first Norgeston after your last active pill. It's best to read over the instructions provided for guidance on switching pills as it may vary depending on the type of pill you are taking.
If you vomit within 2 hours of taking Norgeston then it may not work as your body may not have had a chance to absorb the hormones. If it has been less than three hours since your scheduled pill time, take another pill as soon as possible. If it’s been more than three hours since your scheduled pill time, you should use condoms, or an alternative barrier method of contraception, for the next seven days. If you keep vomiting, then use condoms for the whole duration of illness, and for seven days after you’ve recovered.
You can get pregnant as soon as you stop taking Norgeston. Missing a pill, or taking it too late also means you may fall pregnant. For some women, it may take longer to conceive, but everyone is different and there are many factors that can affect your fertility.
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