Norgeston is a type of contraceptive known as the mini pill, or progesterone only pill (POP). It differs from the combined pill as it only contains progesterone hormones rather than oestrogen and progesterone. 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. It can also prevent ovulation from occurring but this may not happen in all women who take it.
Norgeston will provide immediate protection from pregnancy if you start taking it on days 1-5 of your 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 two days.
Norgeston is over 99% effective when it is taken regularly but it must be taken on time everyday for it to be effective. It's thought that the real efficiency rate is 92% taking into account day to day factors which may prevent you from taking your pill on time.
The active ingredient in Norgeston is 30mg of levonorgestrel.
The other ingredients contained in Norgeston are lactose, maize starch, povidone, polyethylene glycol 6000, calcium carbonate (E170), talc, magnesium stearate (E 572), sucrose, montan glycol wax.
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 you will be protected from pregnancy right away. If you begin the pill after the fifth day of your cycle you'll need to use condoms, or your preferred method of alternative contraception, for the first two 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 will not be protected against pregnancy. In this case, you'll need to use another method of contraception, such as condoms, for the next 2 days and continue to take the rest of your pills on time.
If you miss a pill, 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 48 hours as you won't be 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 with a suitable morning after pill.
Possible side effects include:
There is a small risk of developing breast cancer and cysts on the ovaries which are not harmful.
Norgeston may not be suitable if:
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 medicines to treat:
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 the coil provides protection for 5-10 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 less side effects too. However, it is deemed less effective than the combined pill as it must be taken on time so there is less flexibility and it cannot be used to control your period.
Taking Norgeston can also help to ease periods which are painful, heavy or irregular and reduce the symptoms of PMS. It provides some protection against pelvic inflammatory disease and endometrial cancer.
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. If you wish you delay your period for an important occasion you may be able to take Norethisterone for period delay. It is available on prescription and must be taken 3 days before your period is due.
Switching contraceptive pill is a straightforward process. Simply stop taking your current pill and start taking Norgeston right away. This can be done at any time during your menstrual cycle. 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 after 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 two hours since you've taken it, then take another pill as soon as possible. If this means you take the additional pill after the three hour window then you'll need to use condoms, or an alternative barrier method of contraception, for the next two days. If you keep vomiting, then use condoms until you have been symptom free for 48 hours.
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 but everyone is different and there are many factors which can affect your fertility.