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When used correctly, the Marvelon pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It’s also helpful for treating acne.
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Marvelon is a birth control pill that combines two hormones, which is why it’s called a ‘combined oral contraceptive pill’ or ‘COCP.’ It is primarily prescribed to prevent pregnancy but it’s also used to help with acne and to regulate periods.
Marvelon works in three ways to protect you from becoming pregnant.
The birth control pill affects ovulation. Ovulation is when an egg is released from the ovary. The pill might stop ovulation completely but it’s not a guarantee.
Marvelon has an effect on the mucus in your cervix too. When you’re using the pill, it thickens the mucus so it’s harder for sperm to get through, and then reach an egg.
The hormones in Marvelon also impact the uterine lining. This lining, when you aren’t using hormonal birth control, builds up naturally over the month. When the lining comes away, this is when you have your period. But when you’re using Marvelon birth control pills, this lining doesn’t build up as normal. As a result, your lining is much thinner and your bleed tends to be a lot lighter than it normally would be.
If you use it exactly as instructed, Marvelon is over 99% effective. This means that fewer than one in 100 women using it over a whole year will get pregnant.
The effectiveness of Marvelon will drop when the pill is taken typically like if you missed to take it or there was a delay in taking it. In such a case, its effectiveness drops to around 91% (so nine in 100 women per year using the pill typically will get pregnant).
The best way to make sure Marvelon works as well as possible is to follow the instructions as closely as you can.
When you first start taking Marvelon as your method of birth control, it can take around seven days for the pill to become effective (unless you take it on day 1 of your period).
So when you first start taking Marvelon, you should use another method of birth control whenever you have sex. This shouldn’t be another hormonal method (like the patch or the ring) because there are specific amounts of hormones in each product that make it safe to use.
Using multiple methods and having more hormones in your system can have a harmful impact on your health. Instead, use condoms or a diaphragm whenever you have sex.
Combined oral contraceptive pills for treatment of acne. Pubmed.gov. U.S.A. N.I.H.
Oral Contraceptive Pills. Stat Pearls. U.S.A. NCBI
Marvelon needs to be taken at the same time each day to make it as effective as possible. You can take it with food if you like, but it isn’t necessary.
You might want to set a reminder or alarm to remember to take Marvelon at the same time each day.
When you first start taking Marvelon, you should use a back-up birth control method (like condoms or a diaphragm) for the first seven days, until your body becomes used to Marvelon and it becomes effective.
When you start using Marvelon, you can either take it on the first day of your period and be protected against pregnancy right away; or start on another day of the month, but use condoms for the first seven days of use.
If you’re switching from another pill, you can start Marvelon the day after your last pill in your previous pack.
If more than 12 hours have passed since you missed a pill, or if you miss more than one pill, take the pill you missed most recently immediately. Leave any pills you missed earlier than this in the strip. And take any pills that follow as normal (this may mean taking two pills in one day). Use condoms or another back-up birth control when you have sex for a week to make sure you’re as protected as possible.
You should also check to see how many pills are left in your strip. If there are less than seven pills remaining, use additional protection for the next seven days. When you get to the end of your strip, start the next strip the following day without taking a break. If you don’t get a withdrawal bleed once you’ve finished the second strip, take a pregnancy test before you start the next strip.
If you miss one or more pills from week one of your strip and you had sex during that week, you may be pregnant. You should get in touch with your clinician or pharmacist prescriber as soon as possible so you can discuss what to do next.
If you find that there are seven or more pills left in your strip, you should use additional protection for the next seven days. Once you’ve finished your strip, take your seven-day break as normal before starting the next strip. If you’ve missed one or more pills during the first week of your strip (days 1 to 7) and you had sex during that week, you may be pregnant. You should get in touch with your clinician or pharmacist prescriber as soon as you can to see if you need to use emergency contraception.
If you miss any pills in a strip, and you don’t bleed during your first pill-free break, you could be pregnant. You should contact your clinician or perform a pregnancy test. And if you start a new strip of pills late, or make your ‘week off’ more than seven days, you may not be protected from pregnancy either.
If you experience vomiting or diarrhoea while taking your pill, it could impact how effective it is. This is because your body doesn’t have the opportunity to absorb the pill properly. Just use a back-up contraceptive method like condoms until you’re feeling better.
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.
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