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This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.
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    Combined pill: Here's what we've got.


    Desogestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol

    Pill with a 'regular' oestrogen dose. Comes in a 21 pack. Very similar to Cimizt and Gedarel 30.

    • Starting from AUD76.00


    Drospirenone and Ethinyl Estradiol

    Well known pill that reduces PMS symptoms and can help to make your periods more regular.

    • Starting from AUD174.00


    Levonorgestrel, ethinyl estradiol

    The same active ingredients as Microgynon. A birth control pill you take every day.

    • Starting from AUD71.00


    Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol

    Safest category pill, helps with heavy menstrual bleeding. Very similar to Nordette and Microgynon.

    • Starting from AUD75.00


    Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol

    Safest category combined pill, with a lower risk of oestrogen side effects. Very similar to Levlen.

    • Starting from AUD71.00
    Triphasil 28


    Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol

    Triphasic pill. Similar to Microgynon, but with phased doses to match changes during your cycle.

    • Starting from AUD95.00


    Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol

    A triphasic pill giving you three different doses of hormones throughout the month.

    • Starting from AUD72.00
    Seasonique_blister (1)


    Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol

    Extended cycle pill that comes in a larger pack.

    • Starting from AUD134.00


    Drospirenone and Ethinyl Estradiol

    Like Yasmin but in a lower dose.

    • Starting from AUD174.00


    Nomegestrol and Estradiol

    Higher oestrogen dose pill, helps to make periods more regular.

    • Starting from AUD176.00

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    Mr Stephen Speirs

    Victorian Pharmacy Authority (AHPRA: 3000093-104124)

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    What are combined birth control pills? 

    They’re pills that combine two types of hormone: oestrogen and progesteroneThese hormones affect how and when your body prepares for pregnancy. 

    There are several different types of combined birth control pill and they’re all just about equally effective at preventing pregnancy. However, some contain higher doses of hormones than others, or use different types of progestin and oestrogen. This means one pill might be ideal for easing specific PMS symptoms, while another pill works great for women who are extra-sensitive to hormones. 

    It can feel a bit overwhelming, so we’re here to help. 

    How does the combination pill work?

    The combined pill works in three ways to prevent pregnancy. Here’s the big one: it stops ovulation. That’s when your ovary releases an egg, and it happens once a month. Each egg has the chance to become fertilised, leading to pregnancy. If fertilisation doesn’t happen, the lining of your womb breaks down and the whole thing happens again next cycle (lots of fun, we know). 

    Because the combined birth control pill stops ovulation, your chances of becoming pregnant are significantly reduced. 

    The combined birth control pill also protects you by making the mucus in your cervix thicker. “Thick mucus” isn’t something you normally want to hear but in this case, it’s great news. When it’s thicker, sperm have a much harder time reaching the egg. 

    The pill also makes your uterine lining thinner. This lining builds throughout the month and then breaks down during your period. When you’re using birth control, the lining doesn’t build in the same way. And so the period you have while taking the pill should be shorter, lighter and more predictable.

    Which contraceptive pills are combination pills?

    Any that contain two active ingredients, a progesterone and an oestrogen. To find out if your pill is a combined pill, just check the active ingredients. 

    In the leaflet that comes with your pill, the ingredients should be clearly listed at the top underneath the name of the drug. For combined pills you should see two ingredients, front and center, that are progestin and oestrogen. 

    With Loestrin, for example, the active ingredients are norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol. This pill is clearly stated as a progestin-oestrogen combination. 

    We offer a range of combined birth control pills, so there’s plenty of choice for you. But if you can’t take combination pills, for any reason, it’s important to share this with us for your safety.  

    Medically reviewed by
    Dr Daniel Atkinson
    GP Clinical Lead
    on August 02, 2022.
    Meet Daniel  
    This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

    How we source info.

    When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

    How effective are combined birth control pills?

    There are two ways of measuring how effective pills are at preventing pregnancy. One way is according to perfect use. This means you take the pill exactly as you should, every day, without making a mistake. The level of effectiveness of the combined oral contraceptive pill when taken like this is over 99%. So in a whole year, fewer than 1 in 100 women taking the combined birth control in that time will become pregnant.

    The other way is typical use. This is when you take the pill but make realistic errors, such as forgetting the occasional pill or taking it late. It’s 91% effective when taken like this, which means about 9 in 100 women taking it over a year will become pregnant.

    The best way to make sure the pill is effective then is to follow the instructions as closely as you can when you take it.

    When to start taking the combined pill

    It depends on whether you’re taking the pill for the first time, coming back after a break, or switching from a different type of birth control. If you’re using the pill for the first time, you can start on any day.

    When you start using the pill on the first day of your period, you’re protected from becoming pregnant immediately — so you don’t need to worry about using a condom. You’ll also be protected immediately if you start taking the pill before the fifth day of your period. 

    If you start using the pill after the fifth day of your cycle, you won’t be protected right away. Use a back-up birth control method (like condoms) for seven days while the pill starts to work.

    Another option is the Sunday start approach. If you start taking the pill on the first Sunday after your period begins, you avoid withdrawal bleeding on a weekend (if you want to skip having your period on a weekend, this is the way to go).

    When to start the combined pill if you’re already on birth control

    You shouldn’t leave a gap when you’re switching from one birth control method to the combined pill. If you’re already taking a hormonal birth control pill, start your new prescription the day after you finish your last pill.

    If you’re using the vaginal ring, start the pill a day before you’re set to take out the ring.

    If you normally have the Depo-Provera injection, you can start taking your pill up to 15 weeks after your last shot.

    And if you have an IUD (copper or hormonal), you should begin your combined birth control pill pack a week before having your IUD removed.

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    Are all combination pills the same?

    No. Whilst all contraceptive pills have the same effectiveness (so over 99% when they’re used correctly), some pills contain variations of the same hormone, or higher or lower doses of hormones than others. It may be that you’re more sensitive to progestin (or oestrogen) in the combined pill for instance, and so you’ll be better off taking a particular pill that restricts the number of side effects you get. 

    If you’re more sensitive to progestin for example, combined pills like Microgynon, Levest and Ovranette are the safest, and the least likely to trigger side effects. And if you’re more sensitive to oestrogen, combination pills such as Lucette, Yasmin and Yacella should offer you the best protection from side effects. 

    How do I know which is the best combined pill for me?

    Unless you’ve tried a few different pills and found one that works well for you, there’s a good chance that you won’t know which is the best option. Finding the right combination pill for you can involve some trial and error. And our bodies can change over time, so what was effective before might not suit you as well now. A consultation with our clinician will help you to narrow down your options. 

    Besides your sensitivity to hormones in pills and whether you’re prone to certain side effects, there are other factors that may play a role in identifying the right pill for you too. If you’re looking for a pill that can also help with acne, for example, the likes of Yasmin (or the generic version, Lucette) are thought to be particularly strong choices. But at the same time, you may be at a slightly higher risk of getting a blood clot with these treatments, so the pros and cons of specific pills also need to be taken into account.

    In short then, we can help you to pick out the best (and safest) combination pills for you by weighing these things up, using your health background as the basis. 

    FAQ: Combined pills

    Have something specific you want to know about Combined pills? Search our info below, or ask our experts a question if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

    Femme-Tab vs Microgynon: how are they different?

    Femme-Tab is another medication that has the same active ingredients, in the same amounts, as Microgynon (although Femme-Tab doesn’t have a 50 ED version). This means it works the same and has the same possible side effects and interactions with other treatments.

    Because the inactive ingredients are different, it’s possible you’ll react better to one pill than the other. Let us know if you get any side effects on either pill, and we’ll go through some alternatives with you.

    How does Logynon work?

    There are three ways in which Logynon gives you protection from pregnancy.

    The two hormones in it stop the ovaries from releasing an egg during ovulation, and thicken the mucus in the neck of the womb, which makes it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg.

    They also make the lining of the uterus thinner, which reduces the chances of a fertilised egg latching on to the uterine wall, which it needs to do in order to grow.

    The combined pill tends to make your periods lighter, regular and less sore, so there are additional benefits to taking it too.

    What ingredients are in Logynon?

    Logynon consists of two active ingredients, ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel, which are artificial hormones that behave in the same way as oestrogen and progesterone in the body in preventing pregnancy.

    It’s these ingredients that control the menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancies from occurring.

    Can Logynon help treat acne?

    According to research, hormones in the combined pill can help to manage androgen levels in the body, which keeps the body’s production of sebum (an oily substance in the skin) in check. This in turn helps to keep the pores in the skin clearer, and reduces the number of spots you might get.

    But some people find that the combined pill doesn’t help with acne, and it’s unlikely to fully clear the skin of acne altogether.

    Logynon vs Microgynon: what’s the difference?

    Logynon and Microgynon are both combined hormonal contraceptive pills, and both pills contain the same two hormones, ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel. They also work in the same way in the body, and are even made by the same company: Bayer.

    The difference is that Logynon is a triphasic pill, whereas Microgynon is what’s called a monophasic pill, which just means that each pill has the same amount of hormones in it.

    Which pill is best for you depends on how your body reacts to higher, lower or mixed dosage hormones. Our prescriber can help to guide you on this during your consultation, taking your medical background and any symptoms or side effects you’ve experienced previously with combined pills into account.

    Is Triphasil the same as Logynon?

    The only difference between the Triphasil combined pill and Logynon is the manufacturer. Triphasil pills are made by Pfizer, rather than by Bayer, so the packaging and the appearance of the pills won’t be the same.

    But otherwise, both pills work in the same way, and you take them in the same way.

    Why should I buy Logynon online from Treated?

    When you start a subscription plan from Treated you control every aspect of service with the minimum of effort. Once you complete the online consultation our clinicians can offer the most suitable treatments for you to choose from. Once you’ve made your choice, it’s then up to you how often you want it delivered.

    You can then access our aftercare service to let us know how you’re getting on with the medication and if you have any other concerns regarding the condition or service.

    Why might Zoely be right for me?

    In clinical trials, Zoely offered lighter and less frequent withdrawal bleeding than Yasmin, a similar combination pill . Withdrawal bleeding is what we call periods when you’re taking hormonal contraceptives. So, if you don’t want to have as much of a period, Zoely might work for you better than Yasmin.

    The progestin in Zoely is closely related to the natural progesterone in your body, so it’s sometimes thought to cause lower levels of side effects. Because it shortens your period and makes the bleeding less intense, it can be a good choice if you have heavy periods. Zoely also has a less powerful amount of progestins than the mini pill, so it could be a good option if you’re sensitive to them.

    How effective is Zoely?

    Zoely is very effective at preventing pregnancy. One study on Zoely showed a 95% effectiveness rate, even though some of the women experienced events that made it not work as well, like being sick. You need to use Zoely as your clinician tells you to make it as effective as possible.

    Do I need a prescription for Zoely?

    Yes, you need a prescription for Zoely. Our clinicians will need to check that it’s the right method for you based on your health. You just have to answer a few questions about your health. We’ll offer you Zoely as an option to order if it’s safe for you.

    Why should I buy Zoely online with Treated?

    Our service makes contraception simple and tailored to your needs. If you’re interested in Zoely, just tell our clinicians some details about your health. Then, we’ll offer you some options for contraception that are suited to you. You can pick the one you want and we’ll deliver it right to your door.

    We offer flexible subscriptions. You don’t need to remember to reorder your prescription every month, or wait in queues at the pharmacy. Our experts are also on hand whenever you have questions. You just need to log into your account and send us a message. We’ll check in with you during treatment to make sure you’re enjoying Zoely.

    Yaz and Yasmin: what’s the difference?

    Yasmin contains the same active ingredients as Yaz but a slightly higher oestrogen dose. Isabelle and Petibelle have exactly the same dose of active ingredients as Yasmin. They should all work in exactly the same way in the body, and be just as effective at preventing pregnancy.

    Side effects on Yaz are less likely to occur when compared to these higher strength treatments, so that’s something to consider when choosing a treatment if you’re sensitive to oestrogen in particular.

    What are the hormones in Yaz?

    Yaz contains ethinylestradiol and drospirenone. These are synthetic or man-made versions of naturally occurring hormones. Developed in a laboratory, they’re used in many areas of medicine, not just contraception.

    Birth control pills have either a type of progesterone or synthetic versions of both progesterone and oestrogen. If they contain both, like Yaz, they’re known as combined pills.

    Can I take Yaz for acne?

    Some women find that Yaz helps with acne. If you often get acne when you’re about to have your period, let us know during your consultation so we can recommend a pill that could help.

    It’s important to note that Yaz, and contraceptive pills more generally, aren’t always effective at controlling acne. So if your acne becomes uncomfortable, it’s better to see a doctor about other treatments that may be able to help.

    Does Yaz cause weight gain?

    While there has never been a proven scientific link established between hormonal birth control and weight gain, it has been reported as a side effect. But there are a lot of factors that can influence a person’s weight, so this needn’t necessarily be down to the pill. Weight loss has also been recorded as a side effect of contraceptive pills like Yaz.

    If you do notice significant weight or appetite changes after taking Yaz, you can always talk to a clinician through our chat feature to explore what might be the cause and find a solution.

    Can I take Yaz for PMDD?

    Yaz is sometimes recommended for women who have premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). That’s when you feel depressed and irritable before your period starts and it impacts your quality of life. PMDD is a severe form of PMS.

    Yaz isn’t licensed for use in PMDD but evidence suggests that it is safe and effective to be used in this way, if you do, you may need to be monitored by your doctor, so be sure to mention the condition . This way you can be sure to have the best options to choose from.

    Why should I buy Yaz online with Treated?

    In short? It’s convenient and you’ll get unlimited access to our medical experts. We’re here to help you find the treatment that’s right for your life. And we also want the treatment you get to carry on being the right one for you.

    All you need to do is tell us about your health and the kind of pill you’re looking for. It’s easy with our online consultation. We’ll show you which treatments are safe: but you have the power to choose the treatment you prefer, how often you want to receive it and when. You’ll also get frequent, expert aftercare from our clinicians, to help you make sure the pill you’re using continues to be the best option for you.

    How is Seasonique different from other contraceptive pills?

    Seasonique is an extended cycle pill, meaning that all of the pills in the pack contain active ingredients, while most of the other contraception options have 7 inactive pills at the end of each month. Instead, Seasonique had 7 single hormone pills at the end of each three consecutive months.

    Studies have shown that extended cycle pills are slightly more effective, but the difference is minimal and not enough to place extended cycle pills above all others.

    Is Seasonique similar to any other contraceptive pills?

    Seasonique contains the same hormones as a lot of contraceptive pills, like Logynon, Levlen, Evelyn, Nordette and Trifeme.

    Although Seasonique contains the same hormones as all these pills, it’s the only extended cycle pill. So it’s the only option where you take pills everyday, but sometimes that will be an oestrogen-only pill.

    Seasonique is also made by a different manufacturer, so the appearance of the pills, the packaging and the price may be different for all of these options.

    How effective is Seasonique?

    Seasonique is a very effective form of contraception, with an effectiveness rate above 100% if taken correctly. But like with every contraceptive pill, the effectiveness can lower if you miss a pill or more during your cycle, or if you regularly take the pill later than you should, leaving the interval between pills higher than 24 hours.

    To make sure that you get the most out of your contraception, you should set an alarm on your phone to ring at the same time every day, and always carry the pills with you to make sure that you take them at the right time, even if you’re not at home when the alarm rings.
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