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Oral Contraception

Safe Prescriptions and Free advice – ask me today!

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By Dr Helen Webberley MBChB MRCGP MFSRH | GMC no. 3657058

I am an NHS GP and a sexual health and hormone specialist. I can give advice on any medical matter, and I offer safe access to medical advice, prescription medication, blood tests and x-rays, and specialist referrals to your local private hospital as needed.

ORAL CONTRACEPTION

There are 2 types available, combined pill and progesterone only pill (‘mini pill’)

Combined oral contraceptive pill (COC)

Features

  • 99% effective with perfect use
  • Combination of oestrogen and progesterone hormones
  • Stops ovulation, gives regular light monthly bleeds, can be used to delay periods
  • Taken for 21 consecutive days followed by a 7 day pill free interval
  • Microgynon is the most commonly prescribed pill but there are many others that can be prescribed
  • Dianette is a contraceptive pill and an acne treatment. Yasmin can help with acne

Restrictions

You may not be able to take CHC if you have existing medical problems including

  • Migraine with aura
  • High blood pressure
  • History of any blood clotting disease eg deep vein thrombosis, DVT
  • History of hormonal related cancer eg breast cancer
  • Immediate family member who has had a heart attack, stroke or DVT at 45 yrs of age or earlier
  • Existing heart, liver disease
  • Take medication that may prevent it working eg some epileptic drugs
  • Are very overweight
  • Are over the age of 35 and a smoker

Extras

Combined Hormonal Contraception is also available as

  • Patches. Changed weekly for 3 weeks followed by patch free week
  • Vaginal ring. Self inserted in the vagina and left for 3 weeks and then removed for a ring free week

Serious side-effects are rare with Combined Hormonal Contraception but a health professional will advise you of the possible risks prior to starting the method

Progesterone only pill, POP/mini pill

Features

  • 98-99% effective with perfect use
  • POP is taken daily, no breaks, some women find this easier to remember
  • Bleeding pattern is unpredictable. Periods may stop, become irregular, or very light.
  • Cerazette is the most commonly prescribed POP, others can be prescribed
  • Cerazette is the most effective POP as only one which works by stopping ovulation and has a 12 hour time frame to take it daily
  • Others include Micronor, Norgeston, must be taken within a 3 hours time frame daily
  • Micronor and Norgeston make a plug of mucus at the neck of the womb to prevent sperm fertilising an egg, also changes the lining of the womb so it would be difficult to support a pregnancy

Restrictions

You will not be suitable to take POP if you have

  • Current breast cancer
  • Severe cirrhosis of the liver, acute hepatitis or tumours of the liver
  • If you were to have a heart attack or a stroke when taking the POP you would need to stop it

(UK MEC)

Effects

Minor/nuisance side-effects can occur with any hormonal method and may include:

  • headaches,
  • skin changes,
  • nausea,
  • increased appetite which can lead to weight gain, tender breasts, bloating. 

Symptoms often settle within the first 2-3 months of use.

Assessments

A medical history is required before starting contraceptive methods and a risk assessment for sexually transmitted infections is usually discussed

We can offer three packages for sexual health screening

  1. Basic Chlamydia/gonorrhoea urine test
  2. Test for 7 infections- Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Mycoplasma Genitalium, Ureaplasma, Trichomonas vaginalis, Herpes Simplex 1/11 and Gardnerella vaginalis
  3. Blood tests- HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C

Safe, real prescriptions to help you

Whether you know what treatment works for you or you need advice on what you should take,

ask me here about safe prescriptions to help with your condition.

Tests

We can offer three packages for sexual health screening

Package 1

Basic Chlamydia/gonorrhoea urine test

Package 2

Test for 7 infections- Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Mycoplasma Genitalium, Ureaplasma, Trichomonas vaginalis, Herpes Simplex 1/11 and Gardnerella vaginalis

Package 3

Blood tests- HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C

Contact me now for advice, prescriptions, blood tests and referrals.

Please note that this service does not aim to replace advice given to you by your own doctor, it is meant to supplement your health knowledge and awareness.

It is never to be used in the case of a medical emergency.

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