The combined pill is usually just called the pill. It contains two hormones – oestrogen and progestogen. These are similar to the natural hormones women produce in their ovaries. The hormones in the pill prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulating) thus preventing pregnancy.
If you want to learn more about the Pill, please download this leaflet.
The POP doesn’t contain any oestrogen and only releases progesterone similar to the natural progesterone produced by the ovaries. All POPs work to prevent pregnancy by thickening the mucus in the cervix to stop sperm reaching an egg. However the main action of desogestrel POPs is to stop your ovaries releasing an egg (ovulation). Both kinds of POP are effective for preventing pregnancy when taken effectively.
When taking the POP there’s no break between packs of pills – when you finish a pack, you start the next one the next day.
Some women choose the POP when other health conditions prevent them from taking the combined pill. If you want to learn more about the POP, please download this leaflet
If taken correctly, both the combined pill and progesterone only pill are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
The pill relies on you remembering to take it which is essential to prevent pregnancy. If you miss a pill you could be a risk. The pill is also less effective if you have vomiting or severe diarrhoea.
You can visit a Spectrum clinic to discuss your contraception options and clinics can be found on our find a clinic page. You can also get the contraceptive pill from your GP.
Spectrum Head Office
Wakefield Sexual Health
Barnsley Sexual Health
Wigan & Leigh Sexual Health