Rigevidon is a type of combined oral contraceptive pill. It contains synthetic oestrogen and progestogen hormones and is prescribed to prevent pregnancy and to treat irregular, heavy periods.
Rigevidon contains synthetic versions of the hormones oestrogen (ethinylestradiol) and progesterone (levonorgestrel). These hormones over-ride your natural menstrual cycle and work in three ways: by preventing the release of an egg from the ovaries (ovulation), thickening the mucus surrounding the womb entrance to make it harder for sperm to get through, and thinning the womb lining to reduce the likelihood of a fertilised egg being implanted.
When taken correctly, Rigevidon is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. With typical use, the effectiveness is closer to 91%. Like all other hormonal contraceptives, Rigevidon does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
If you start the pill on the first day of your period you will be protected from pregnancy immediately. If you start it at any other time in your cycle, you will need to use condoms to protect against pregnancy for 7 days. It is best to start the pill at the start of your period to avoid unwanted breakthrough bleeding.
1 pill, taken daily at the same time each day
|Type of medicine||Combined oral contraceptive pill (COC)|
Prevents ovulation, thickens mucus to make it harder for sperm to reach eggs, and prevents egg attachment to the uterus
Levonorgestrel & ethinylestradiol
From 20p per tablet
Can include altered sex drive, nausea, vomiting, diziness, irregular bleeding
The active ingredients in Rigevidon are 30 micrograms of ethinylestradiol and 150 micrograms of levonorgestrel.
The inactive ingredients in Rigevidon are colloidal anhydrous silica, magnesium stearate, talc, maize starch, lactose monohydrate, sucrose, calcium carbonate, titanium dioxide (E171), copovidone, macrogol 6000, and povidone carmellose sodium.
Each pill contains 150 micrograms of levonorgestrel and 30 micrograms of ethinylestradiol. Take 1 pill per day for 21 days, take a 7-day pill-free break and then start again.
Always start taking Rigevidon as instructed by a doctor or pharmacist. If you are not taking any other oral contraceptive already, start taking Rigevidon on the first day of your period. If you are switching from a different combined contraceptive pill, start taking Rigevidon the day after you take the last pill of the strip from your previous contraception without leaving a gap. If you are switching from a progestogen-only pill, you can stop taking it at any time and start Rigevidon the next day, but you’ll need to have additional contraceptive cover in the form of condoms for 7 days.
If you are switching to Rigevidon from the contraceptive injection or implant, start taking Rigevidon on the day your injection is due, or on the day after you have your implant removed. You will need to use an additional form of contraception for the first seven days of taking Rigevidon.
Try and take Rigevidon at the same time each day. To help you remember, try and make this a part of your routine, for example, take your pill first thing in the morning, or before you go to bed each night. Each pack of 21 Rigevidon pills is marked with a calendar which you should follow, taking each pill on the marked day. When you finish the pack, you will have 7 days when you do not take a pill, during which time you will have a bleed simulating a natural period. You should start your next pack immediately after the 7-day gap, even if you are still bleeding.
If you forget to take a pill, take it as soon as you remember. If you take it within 12 hours of your normal time, you will still be protected against pregnancy and can take your next pill at the normal time. If 12 hours or more have passed since the time you should have taken your pill, you may not be protected against pregnancy and must use additional contraception for 7 days. If you have had sex at the time of a missed pill, the possibility of pregnancy should be considered. If you missed a pill in the last 7 days of your pack, continue straight onto the next pack without taking a break. You are protected from pregnancy after 7 consecutive days of pill-taking.
If you miss more than one pill, use additional precautions and contact your doctor for advice.
Although you are recommended to take your pill at the same time each day, however as long as you take it within 12 hours of your scheduled time, your contraceptive cover will be effective. If you are more than 12 hours late in taking your pill, you should follow the instructions below for ‘what should I do if I missed a pill?’
If you are taking Rigevidon and wish to delay your period, you can take your next pack the day after finishing your last pack without leaving a break. You can safely take 3 packs back-to-back in this way, although you may experience some breakthrough bleeding.
Like all medicines, Rigevidon can cause side effects in some patients. Sometimes side effects which appear in the first few months disappear once your body adjusts.
Common side effects, which may affect up to 1 in 10 people include:
The following uncommon side effects may affect up to 1 in 100 people:
Rare side effects (affecting up to 1 in 1,000 people) include:
Very rarely (1 in 10,000 cases) the following side effects may occur:
The frequency of the following side effect cannot be estimated from the available data:
Do NOT take Rigevidon if you:
Before taking Rigevidon, speak to your doctor. They may wish to keep you under strict medical supervision if you:
Rigevidon can interact with the following medications and concomitant use should be avoided:
You should inform your prescriber of all the medications you usually take, and they can check there are no interactions.
It is safe to drink alcohol while taking Rigevidon.
Rigevidon is sometimes prescribed to women who have irregular or very heavy periods, and can also be used to treat acne.
Rigevidon can be used for period delay, but only if you have already been taking it for several weeks. Instead of taking a 7-day break at the end of a pack, you can take up to 3 packs back-to-back without leaving a gap for a bleed, although you may experience some breakthrough bleeding. It is not possible to use Rigevidon for period delay if you are not already taking it. In this case, the best treatment for delaying your period is Norethisterone.
Different types of contraceptive pill are better suited to different women, and it is common to try a few before finding the one that is best for you. It can take a while for your body to adjust, and it is normally recommended to try taking a pill for at least 3 months before deciding to switch. In most cases, switching is as simple as starting your new pill the day after finishing a pack of your old pill without leaving a gap but you should check the package information and speak to a doctor if you are unsure.
While Rigevidon contains synthetic versions of both oestrogen and progestogen, the mini pill only contains progestogen. The mini pill has fewer health risks and side effects and may be suitable for women who can't take the combined pill due to other health complications. The mini pill is taken every day and often results in no bleeding or infrequent bleeding.
There are many different brands of combined oral contraceptives available in the UK, such as Microgynon, Cilest and Yasmin. Many women prefer a particular brand of contraceptive, and all available types can be found online at Dr Felix. It is not uncommon to try a few different brands of combined pill before finding one that is right for you.
Alternatively, the progestogen-only pill, or mini pill, is suitable for women who cannot take the combined contraceptive pill, or who are particularly sensitive to oestrogen.
If you struggle with remembering to take your pill every day, a long-term reversible option, such as the contraceptive coil, implant or injection may be better for you. You can always speak to a healthcare expert about the different options available and which one might be right for you.
If you vomit within 3–4 hours of taking your Rigevidon pill, it is unlikely to have been successfully absorbed by your body and may not work. You should take another pill as soon as your stomach has settled and carry on as befo665re, your cycle will be one day shorter. If 12 hours or more have passed since the time you usually take your dose, or you’re unable to swallow pills without vomiting, you should use additional means of contraception to prevent pregnancy until you have been able to take 7 consecutive pills. If you are unwell towards the end of your pack, continue straight onto the next pack without taking a 7-day break.
It can take a few months to get pregnant when you stop taking Rigevidon, as it takes a while for your hormones to adjust and your menstrual cycle to return to normal. However, you are at risk of pregnancy as soon as you stop taking Rigevidon.
If you have been taking Rigevidon for some time with no side effects, you should be able to continue using it for as long as you need with your doctor’s approval. Bear in mind that the safety of long-term use of contraceptive pills is different in women who smoke.
Rigevidon is an oral contraceptive that allows a break for a bleed, and when you stop taking it, you will experience what is known as a ‘withdrawal bleed’. Your next period after this is your first natural period, and most women experience this 2 to 4 weeks after stopping the pill. However, it can take longer for some women, and your periods may be irregular for a while.
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