Use Noriday for oestrogen-free birth control

Noriday is a progestogen-only pill (also called mini pill), which means it doesn’t contain oestrogen. This is ideal for women who are prone to experiencing oestrogen-related side effects.

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Dr Samantha Miller

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

Information last reviewed 04/03/2021


What is Noriday?

Noriday is a type of contraceptive pill known as the mini pill, or progestogen-only pill (POP). It contains only one type of sex hormone, progestogen, as opposed to the combined pill which contains both oestrogen and progestogen. It is mainly used to prevent unplanned pregnancies but it can also be given to treat heavy, painful periods.

How does Noriday work?

Noriday works by having an effect on certain parts of the womb so that a pregnancy cannot take place. While the lining of the womb usually thickens in preparation for pregnancy, Noriday has the opposite effect of thinning the womb lining so a fertilised egg can’t implant. It also causes the mucus surrounding the entrance of the womb to become thicker, making it harder for sperm to get through and reach an egg. In some cases, Noriday also prevents ovulation from occurring.

How effective is Noriday?

Noriday is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy as long as it is taken correctly. The mini pill must be taken every day of the month and at the same time each day for it to be effective. Taking into account everyday factors that may cause you to forget or take the pill late, the efficiency rate is 91%. Setting an alarm or reminder on your phone can help you to remember to take your pill on time. 


What should I do if I missed a pill?

If you miss a pill (i.e. take it more than three hours late, or forget it altogether) then you may not be protected against pregnancy. Take the one you have missed as soon as possible, continuing with the rest of your pack as usual. This may mean you are taking two pills on the same day which is fine. For the next seven days, you will need to use additional contraception until Noriday becomes effective again. If you have had unprotected sex after missing your pill then visit a pharmacist as soon as you can for emergency contraception, informing them that you are taking Noriday. The sooner you take the morning after pill the more effective it is.

How to start Noriday?

Noriday should ideally be started on the first day of your menstrual cycle but can be safely started at any time. For the first seven days of your first pack, you should also use a condom to protect against pregnancy while Noriday comes into effect. 

How to take Noriday?

It's very important that Noriday is taken at the same time every day. Choose a time that is suitable for you to ensure you do not forget. The mini pill is taken continuously throughout the month and there is no break between packs. Noriday will only be effective if it is taken at the correct time, or within three hours of it, each day.

Side Effects

Noriday side effects

Noriday, like all progestogen-only pills, has fewer recorded side effects than a combined pill. The most common side effect is irregular bleeding, which often settles into a regular pattern after the first couple of months of pill-taking.

Possible side effects include: 

  • Irregular periods
  • Spotting or “breakthrough bleeding” between periods
  • Amenorrhoea (no bleeding at all)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Acne
  • Headaches including migraine headaches
  • Breast discomfort, tenderness or pain
  • Changes to mood including depression
  • Nervousness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight changes
  • Changes in libido (desire to have sex)
  • Tiredness
  • Ovarian cysts 
  • Rash
  • Non-cancerous liver tumours
  • Increased blood pressure

Side effects often subside within the first couple of months of taking Noriday. 


Noriday is suitable for most women and makes a safe option for those who cannot take the combined pill. Tell your doctor if: 

  • You have any unexplained vaginal bleeding 
  • You have a history of breast, genital or other hormone-dependent cancer
  • You have active, recent or severe liver problems, including liver tumours
  • You have a history of jaundice during pregnancy
  • You have a known disorder of fat metabolism
  • You are pregnant or could be, pregnant
  • You are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients in Noriday
  • You have a history of thrombophlebitis (swollen veins)
  • You have a thromboembolic disorder (problems with blood clots)
  • You have cerebrovascular disease (i.e. have had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack)
  • You have had a heart attack, or suffer from angina

It’s important to discuss your medical history with your doctor prior to starting any new medication, including Noriday. 

Drug interactions

Certain types of medication cause Noriday to become ineffective. If you are taking any of the following drugs you may need to consider a different type of contraception: 

  • Drugs used to treat epilepsy (e.g. carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone, topiramate)
  • Drugs used to treat HIV (e.g. nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir)
  • Drugs used to treat infection (e.g. rifampicin, rifabutin, griseofulvin, ampicillin, doxycycline)
  • Drugs used to treat narcolepsy (e.g. modafinil)
  • St John's wort (a herbal remedy)

Noriday and alcohol

You can drink alcohol with Noriday without experiencing any adverse effects. 

Treatment Options

Noriday for non-contraceptive purposes

The main purpose of Noriday is to prevent pregnancy but it can also be given to women who experience painful and heavy periods to help ease these symptoms and provide a more comfortable menstrual cycle.

Can you use Noriday for period delay?

Noriday cannot be used for period delay. If you are on the mini pill and wish to delay your period for an important event or milestone then speak to your doctor who may be able to prescribe you with a norethisterone pill, which is specifically designed to delay your period. Alternatively, the combined pill can be used for period delay so you may be able to switch to this if it is suitable for you.

Switching contraceptive pills

If you are switching to Noriday from a different type of progestogen-only contraceptive pill then you can usually just stop taking your current pill and start taking Noriday the next day. If you’re taking a combined pill, it’s often better to finish your current pack before starting Noriday. You’ll usually be required to use condoms for a period of seven days to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy. Always check the instructions provided with your pill and ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist before doing so as different types of the pill may have specific guidance attached to them.

Noriday vs the combined contraceptive pill

Noriday is a type of progestogen-only pill, commonly known as the mini pill. The combined pill differs as it contains both oestrogen and progestogen hormones. Noriday produces less potential long term side effects than the combined pill and is suitable for women who are unable to tolerate oestrogen or who cannot take the combined pill due to potential health risks. The combined pill has a little more flexibility as it doesn’t need to be taken within such a strict time frame each day, and can be used to delay your period.

Alternatives to Noriday

Noriday is one variety of the mini pill. There are several other brands available including Cerelle, Cerazette, and Norgeston. The combined pill is another alternative method of contraception although it is not suitable for everyone. Your doctor will be able to assess your health and medical history to determine which pill is right for you. Other long term methods of contraception include the IUD (copper coil), IUS (hormonal coil), contraceptive implant and injection. 


When does Noriday start to work?

Noriday takes seven days to work as a contraceptive. Use condoms, or another barrier method of contraception during this time to ensure you do not become pregnant.

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

Noriday must be taken within a three hour window each day. For example, if you usually take your pill at 8am then you must take it before 11am for it to be effective. If you take it too late then you may not be protected against pregnancy. If this happens, continue with the rest of your pack as usual and use additional contraception for the next seven days. If you have had unprotected sex before realising that you've taken your pill late then ask the advice of a pharmacist as soon as possible as you may need emergency contraception.

If I have vomited, will Noriday still work?

If you vomit after taking Noriday then your pill may not work as it's likely that the body has not had a chance to digest it yet. In this situation, take another pill right away. If you take a second pill within your three hour window then you do not need to do anything else, just continue to take the rest of your pills as normal. If you take the second pill after  three hours, you'll need to use additional contraception for seven days to prevent pregnancy. If you continue to be sick then use condoms until you have been symptom-free, and able to swallow your pill, for seven days.

When can I get pregnant after stopping Noriday?

You can get pregnant as soon as you stop taking Noriday. You are also at risk of falling pregnant if you miss a pill or take one too late. Noriday must be taken within a 3 hour time period in order to be effective.


Active ingredients

Noristherone is the active ingredient within Noriday.

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients are maize starch, povidone, magnesium stearate and lactose monohydrate.

Which ingredients can cause an allergic reaction?

None of the active or inactive ingredients in Noriday has been associated with cases of severe allergic reactions which present as dizziness, rash, swelling of the face and lips or difficulty breathing. You should get emergency medical attention right away if you experience any of these symptoms. Noriday does contain lactose monohydrate which is safe for those who are lactose intolerant, however, if you have a severe lactose allergy this medication might cause you some uncomfortable stomach issues.

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