Synphase is a type of oral contraceptive taken by women to prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring. It's a form of the pill known as the combined pill, containing two types of synthetic versions of the female sex hormones: oestrogen and progesterone.
Synphase works by releasing hormones into the womb to stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation). It also causes the womb lining to become thinner, preventing a fertilised egg from attaching should an egg be released, and thickening the mucus surrounding the entrance to the cervix to stop sperm from entering.
On average, Synphase is 91% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, when taken perfectly, Synphase is over 99% effective. You should make sure you take Synphase entirely according to the instructions to gain maximal protection from unintended pregnancy.
Synphase will start to work right away if you start taking it on the first day of your period. If you have missed the first day, you can take it on days 2–5 instead but the pill won't have an immediate effect. In this case, you should use condoms for the first 7 days.
Synphase has some non-contraceptive benefits. It is sometimes prescribed to treat acne and to ease heavy, painful and irregular periods. It can also be used to treat endometriosis.
For some women, trying a few different types of the pill before finding the one that works for them may be necessary. If you are currently taking a different brand of the combined pill, wait until you reach the end of your current pill strip before starting Synphase. Take your first Synphase pill the next day, skipping the usual 7-day break. Women who are using the progestogen-only pill (the mini pill) can begin Synphase at any time but will need to use condoms, or another barrier method of contraception, for the first 7 days.
Synphase is usually safe to take long term provided you do not have any underlying health conditions which put you at higher risk of adverse events such as a blood clot. It's important to read the information leaflet provided which will have details on what signs to watch out for. Your doctor will also examine your medical history to ensure the pill is suitable for you before prescribing it.
One pill, taken once per day, at the same time each day
|Type of Medicine||
Combined Contraceptive Pill
Prevents ovulation, thickens mucus to make it harder for sperm to reach eggs, and prevents egg attachment to the uterus
Norethisterone and ethinylestradiol
From 16p per tablet
Can include sore or tender breasts, decreased libido, nausea, vomiting, headaches, mood changes, fluid retention, weight gain, breakthrough bleeding or spotting
If you are allergic to norethisterone or ethinylestradiol, or any of the other ingredients of this medicine, let your prescribing doctor know and refrain from taking this medication as it can cause a severe allergic reaction. Generally, birth control medications are safe and rarely cause severe allergic reactions in users. The presence of a hive, difficulty breathing, dizziness and swelling of the face/throat/tongue are signs of a severe allergic reaction which needs immediate medical attention.
The active ingredients in Synphase are norethisterone and ethinylestradiol.
The other ingredients contained in Synphase are maize starch, polyvidone, lactose, magnesium stearate and E132.
If you miss a pill you may not be protected against pregnancy. If it has been more than 12 hours since your pill was due, take it as soon as you remember and continue with the rest of the strip as usual. You should use condoms for the next 7 days to ensure that you are protected against pregnancy. If you have less than 7 pills left in your current strip, skip the pill-free week and start the next pack right away.
If you take your pill 12 hours late or more, this may affect your protection. In this case, use condoms for 7 days as a precaution. If it has been less than 12 hours, your contraception won’t be affected and you can continue to take the rest of your pills at the usual time.
If you vomit less than 4 hours after taking Synphase then the pill may not work. Take another pill as soon as you can and then continue with the rest as scheduled. Your cycle will be one day shorter. If this is not possible, or if you continue to be sick, follow the instructions above for a missed pill.
Synphase should be started on the first day of your period. You can also start taking it on days 2–5 however you will need to use additional contraception, such as condoms, for the first 7 days. You will also need to do this if you are switching from the progestogen-only pill. After childbirth, you can start taking Synphase 21 days later but this is not advisable for women who are breastfeeding.
Synphase should be taken at the same time each day. It is taken every day for 21 days (from the start to the end of a pill strip) and then you have a 7-day break before starting your new pack. The tablets should be taken in the correct order; the first one is marked “start here.” Follow the arrows to indicate which order to take them in.
The blue tablets contain 500mg of norethisterone and 35mg of ethinylestradiol and the white tablets contain 1mg of norethisterone and 35mg of ethinylestradiol. You will take 7 blue ones, then 9 white ones, then 5 more blue ones before taking a 7-day break.
To use Synphase for period delay, run two strips of Synphase pills together, skipping the 7-day break. This means you won't have your period until the end of the second pill strip.
Possible side effects include:
If any of the following side effects occur stop taking Synphase right away and see your doctor:
These could be signs of a blood clot that needs immediate medical attention.
Do not take Synphase if:
If any of the following circumstances apply to you, speak to your doctor before taking Synphase:
The following medications interact with Synphase and may stop it from working properly:
Always tell your doctor about any medications you are currently taking, or planning to take so that they can ensure the combination is safe.
Synphase a type of the combined pill. This means it contains synthetic versions of both oestrogen and progesterone. The mini pill is also known as the progestogen-only pill, having just one hormone as the active ingredient. This makes it suitable for many women who are unable to take the combined pill or who suffer adverse side effects as a result of taking it. The mini pill has fewer side effects associated with it but it must be taken on time for it to be effective. It also cannot be used to control your period or treat acne.
There are a number of types of the combined pill available. If Synphase does not work for you, we stock all other available brands in the UK. The progestogen-only pill is an option if you are sensitive to oestrogen or experience ongoing side effects from the combined pill. Other methods of contraception include the implant, intrauterine contraception (coil) or injection. These can be accessed from your GP or local family planning clinic. Condoms are freely available from sexual health clinics and are the only form of contraception that protects against STIs.
Synphase can be used to delay your period by skipping the pill-free week in between pill strips. The combined pill is taken every day for 21 days then you wait 7 days before starting the next strip which is when you have your period. Skipping the 7-day break will delay your period until the end of the second pill strip.
Endometriosis is a condition that causes the womb lining tissue to grow outside of the womb, causing severe period pain and pelvic pain which can interfere with your daily life. Synphase can help to control it by suppressing menstruation, preventing the growth of this excess tissue and easing the discomfort caused. Speak to your doctor if you have symptoms of endometriosis.
If you stop taking Synphase then you are at risk of becoming pregnant right away. It's advisable to speak with your doctor or family planning clinic if you are planning to start a family. They can help to ensure you have a healthy conception.
When you stop taking Synphase, your period can take a month or two to return to normal. This is because your body is adjusting to the change in hormone levels and getting ready to ovulate naturally again.
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