Avoid getting pregnant with the Norimin pill

Norimin is a combined contraceptive pill. It is usually prescribed for birth control purposes, but may also be used for period delay or reducing menstrual pains.

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What is Norimin?

Norimin is a type of contraceptive known as the combined pill. It's more commonly referred to as ‘the pill’ and it contains two types of female sex hormones: oestrogen and progesterone. The pill is a very common and convenient method of preventing unwanted pregnancy. 

How does Norimin work?

Norimin prevents ovulation from taking place, essentially overriding your natural menstrual cycle. It contains norethisterone and ethinylestradiol, synthetic versions of progesterone and oestrogen. These are hormones which are naturally produced by the body. The hormones contained in Norimin stop your ovaries from releasing an egg, thicken the mucus lining the womb's entrance and alters the womb lining to make it thinner. All of these actions prevent sperm from being able to fertilise an egg. 

How effective is Norimin?

Norimin is over 99% effective when taken as directed. Forgetting pills, having sickness and diarrhea or taking medication which interferes with it are all factors which can render it less effective. Ensure that you read the instructions carefully before starting Norimin so that you are aware of what to do in these circumstances. 

When does Norimin start to work?

Norimin will start to work right away if you take it at the beginning of your menstrual cycle, on days 1-5 of your period. If you are switching from a different type of pill you can start taking Norimin at any time and it will protect you from pregnancy immediately. Otherwise you can start taking Norimin at any time during your cycle but it won't start to work for 7 days. You should use condoms, or another additional contraceptive, during this time. 


Active ingredients

The active ingredients in Norimin are ethinylestradiol and norethisterone.

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients are magnesium stearate, povidone, maize starch, lactose monohydrate and indigo carmine CI 73015.


How to start Norimin

The best time to start taking Norimin is on the first day of your period. It will start to work right away if you start taking it on days 1-5 of your period. It can be taken up to the fifth day unless your cycle is shorter than average in which case you need to take it on days 1-3. You can switch from a different type of pill at any time.

How to take Norimin

Norimin should be taken at around the same time everyday. It is taken daily for three weeks and then you have a 7 day break before starting your next pack. Your period will happen during the pill free week. Choose a time of the day that's best for you to take the pill, preferably at a time when you're most likely to remember. 

Side Effects

Norimin side effects

Possible side effects include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Breakthrough bleeding 
  • Spotting between periods 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Breast tenderness 
  • Fluid retention 
  • Mood changes 
  • Depression 
  • Decreased sex drive 
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Irritation when wearing contact lenses 
  • Blood clots 
  • Breast cancer
  • Gallstones 
  • Liver problems 


Norimin is not suitable if: 

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding 
  • You have, or have had, breast cancer 
  • You have a blood clot or are prone to developing them
  • You have ever had a heart attack or stroke 
  • You have angina 
  • You have high blood pressure 
  • You are prone to migraines 
  • You are over the age of 35 and smoke 
  • You have liver disease 
  • You have unexplained vaginal bleeding 
  • You have systemic lupus erythematosus
  • You have porphyria 
  • You have jaundice 
  • You have Gallstones 

Extra care should be taken if: 

  • You have a family history of blood clots
  • You smoke
  • You are obese 
  • You are diabetic 
  • You have heart failure 
  • You have sickle cell anaemia 
  • You have a history of depression 
  • You have a history of migraines 
  • You have Crohn's disease 
  • You have ulcerative colitis 
  • You have hyperprolactinaemia
  • You have Chloasma 

Drug interactions

Certain medications can interfere with the way Norimin works. These include: 

  • HIV medications 
  • Epilepsy medications 
  • Certain types of antifungals
  • Certain types of antibiotics 
  • St John's wort 

Norimin and alcohol

Drinking alcohol does not interfere with Norimin. 

Treatment Options

Norimin vs the mini pill

Norimin is a type of the combined contraceptive pill. It contains both progesterone and estrogen hormones whereas the mini pill only contains progesterone. The mini pill is suitable for most women who cannot take the combined pill, for example those with a history of blood clots, liver problems or breast cancer. The mini pill has less side effects associated with it but it can be less reliable and it cannot be used to control your period. 

Alternatives to Norimin

There are 23 different types of the pill available in the UK. It can take trying a few different ones to find the pill that works best for you. Some of the most common types of the combined pill are Microgynon, Ovranette, Cilest and Rigevidon. The mini pill is a good alternative for women who are sensitive to oestrogen as it only contains the progesterone hormone. Long term reversible Contraceptives provide greater convenience as you don't need to remember to take the pill everyday. These options include the implant, injection and copper or hormonal coil. 

Norimin for non-contraceptive purposes

Norimin is mainly used to prevent unwanted pregnancy but it does have additional benefits. It can also regulate and relieve irregular, painful periods and the symptoms of PMS. 

Can you use Norimin for period delay?

Norimin can be used to delay your period if it is due to arrive at an inconvenient time. This is simple to do, just skip the pill free week between packs and start your new one the day after finishing your current one. This means you will not have a period until the following month. 

Switching contraceptive pill

Switching contraceptive pill is usually a straightforward process. In most cases you can simply stop taking your current pill and start Norimin the next day. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before doing so as this advice may not apply to all types of the pill. For example, if you are switching from the progesterone only pill you may need to do this on the first day of your period. 


What should I do if I missed a pill?

If you have only missed one pill then your contraception will not be affected. Make sure you take your missed pill as soon as possible, even if it's at the same time as your next one. If you have missed more than one pill then take the most recent missed pill, continuing with the rest of the pack as usual. You will be at risk of getting pregnant so you should use an additional form of contraception for the next 7 days. If you have less than 7 pills left then skip the seven day break between packs. Seek emergency contraception as soon as possible if you have had unprotected sex after having missed a pill as there is a chance you could be pregnant. 

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

While you should aim to take your pill at the same time each day, taking it late will not affect your contraception. If you regularly take your pill late then this can make it difficult to determine when you have missed a pill. Setting an alarm or reminder on your phone might help you to remember to take it. 

If I have vomited, will Norimin still work?

Normin may not work if you vomit within two hours of taking it. In this case, you should take another pill right away. This means that your cycle will be one day shorter than usual. If you continue to vomit then your contraception is likely to be affected. You should use condoms in addition to Norimin until you have felt better for 7 days. 

When can I get pregnant after taking Norimin?

When you stop taking Norimin it usually takes a couple of months for your periods to return to normal as your body adjusts to the change. However, it is possible to get pregnant as soon as you stop taking the pill. There is no definite time scale as fertility will be a different journey for every woman. While some women get pregnant in the first month, others may take six months or more. 

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