Contraceptive pill

The pill

  • There is the pill containing oestrogen and progestogen. That is the combination pill.
  • There is also a pill containing only the hormone progestogen. This is called the mini-pill.
  • The combination pill is more suitable for most women.
  • Sometimes the pill is the better option.

The pill: the combination pill and the mini-pill
Taking the pill is one way of preventing pregnancy. The pill contains hormones. There are:

  • the pill containing oestrogen and progestogen. They are called combination pills.
  • pills containing only the hormone progestogen. This is called the mini-pill.

The combination pill and the mini-ill prevent pregnancy in the same way:

  • the ovum or egg cell is not released from the ovaries.
  • The mucus at the entrance to the uterus (cervical mucus) becomes impermeable for sperm.
  • The cervical mucus becomes unsuitable to host a fertilised egg cell (ovum).

The chance of falling pregnant if you take the pill correctly is very small.

How do I choose between the combination pill and the mini-pill?
If you want to take a contraceptive pill, you can first choose between the mini-pill and the combination pill. The one is as reliable as the other.

The mini-pill:

  • does not create any additional risk of thrombosis (local clotting of the blood in a part of the circulatory system) or of heart and vascular diseases;
  • is suited to breastfeeding;
  • is suited to the menopause;
  • may cause irregular blood loss during the first months.

The combination pill

  • has a slightly higher risk of thrombosis and heart and vascular diseases;
  • has a slightly higher risk of breast and cervical cancer.
  • There are many types. If you want to opt for taking a combination pill, it is best to choose a second-generation pill containing levonorgestrel (progestogen) and 30 micrograms of ethinylestradiol (oestrogen). This pill has the fewest side-effects.
  • You cannot take the pill in some cases of illness or disease, such as heart and vascular diseases, thromboses, breast, uterine or cervical cancer, serious liver dysfunction, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus and migraine with aura.
  • Neither is the combination pill preferred if you smoke or are seriously overweight, use certain medication or if there is a history of thrombosis in the family.

For more information, see https://www.thuisarts.nl/contraception