This booklet tells you about oral contraceptives in general and about Microgynon 30 in detail. Please read it carefully to get the best from Microgynon 30. If you are in any doubt about these instructions contact your doctor, pharmacist or Family Planning clinic.
You and the pill
How your body gets ready for pregnancy
(the menstrual cycle)
You can usually become pregnant (conceive) from when you start to have periods, up until you are in your late 40s. Every menstrual cycle takes about 28 days. About halfway through this cycle an egg is released from one of your ovaries into a fallopian tube. This is called ovulation.
The egg travels down the fallopian tube towards your womb. When you make love, your partner's penis releases millions of sperm into your vagina. Some of these sperm travel up through your womb into your fallopian tubes. If there is an egg in one of these tubes, and a sperm reaches it, you can become pregnant. This is called 'conception'.
A fertilised egg gets embedded in the lining of your womb and takes 9 months to grow into a baby. As an egg can live for up to 2 days, and sperm for up to 5 days, you can become pregnant if you have made love up to 5 days before ovulation and for some time afterwards. If a sperm does not fertilise an egg, the egg is lost at the end of the menstrual cycle with the lining of your womb. This is called a 'period'.
How do natural hormones work?
Your menstrual cycle is controlled by two sex hormones made by your ovaries: one called oestrogen the other progesterone (a progestogen). Oestrogen increases during the first half of your menstrual cycle, and makes your womb develop a thick lining, ready to receive the egg if conception happens. Progesterone comes later in the cycle and changes the lining of the womb still further to prepare it for pregnancy.
If you do not become pregnant, you make less of these hormones and this causes the lining of your womb to break down and the lining leaves your body as a period. But during pregnancy, your ovaries, and then the placenta (this attaches the growing baby to the womb and gives it food), carry on making progesterone and oestrogen to stop any more eggs being released.
How does the pill work?
A pill such as Microgynon 30 contains hormones which are like those your body produces (oestrogen and progestogen). These help stop you from getting pregnant, just as your natural hormones would stop you conceiving again when you are already pregnant.
The combined contraceptive pill protects you against getting pregnant in 3 ways:
How effective is the pill?
The pill is one of the most effective contraceptives apart from sterilisation. But this can only be true when it is taken correctly. So you must follow your doctor's instructions and take the tablets exactly as it says in the next section of this leaflet.
The name of your medicine is: Microgynon 30
What does Microgynon 30 contain?
Each pack of Microgynon 30 contains 21 beige sugar-coated tablets containing 150 micrograms of the
progestogen levonorgestrel and 30 micrograms of the oestrogen ethinyloestradiol. Progestogen and oestrogen are both female types of hormone.
Microgynon 30 also contains the following inactive ingredients: lactose, maize starch, povidone, magnesium stearate (E572), sucrose, polyethylene glycol 6000, calcium carbonate (E170), talc, montan glycol wax, titanium dioxide (E171), glycerin (E422), ferric oxide pigment yellow (E172).
Each pack of Microgynon 30 contains 1 memo strip of 21 tablets. Packs containing 50 memo strips of 21 tablets are also available to Family Planning clinics.
Microgynon 30 is a combined oral contraceptive pill. Combined oral contraceptives contain two female types of hormone, oestrogen and progestogen.
The product licence is held by
Schering Health Care Ltd.
The Brow, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9NE
Product licence number 0053/0064
Microgynon 30 is manufactured by: Schering AG, Berlin, Germany.
Microgynon 30 is a low dose combined oral contraceptive. When used as instructed you are very unlikely to become pregnant.
Reasons for not taking Microgynon 30
Before taking Microgynon 30, tell your doctor if you have any of these:
Do not take Microgynon 30 if you have had any of
these conditions when you were pregnant:
What you should know before taking Microgynon 30
Before you start taking Microgynon 30 your pelvic
organs, breasts and blood pressure should be checked
by your doctor and these checks should be repeated
regularly. The doctor will also make sure you are not
If anyone in your family has had any illness caused
by blood clots, or a heart attack, or a stroke at a young
age, tell your doctor.
The following conditions need watching carefully
while you are taking the pill:
If you have:
- the movement disorder called Sydenham's chorea.
- breast problems, past or present.
If any of these conditions gets worse or you have them for the first time, this may be a sign that you should stop taking Microgynon 30.
When you stop taking Microgynon 30 it may take some time for your regular periods to return.
Taking other medicines with Microgynon 30
Some medicines may stop Microgynon 30 from working properly.
If you are taking any other medicine while you are taking Microgynon 30, be sure to tell your doctor (or dentist). Your doctor (or dentist) can tell you whether you should use extra contraceptive precautions and for how long.
Medicines which can sometimes stop Microgynon 30 from working properly are antibiotics (such as ampicillin and rifampicin);griseofulvin(which is used to treat fungal infections); phenylbutazone (which is used as an anti-inflammatory drug to treat some types of joint diseases); phenytoin, primidone, phenobarbitone and some other medicines used in people with epilepsy, and carbamazepine (which can be used to treat epilepsy or other illnesses).
If you are taking any of these medicines you might still be able to use Microgynon 30, but you will also need to use an extra contraceptive method (condoms or cap plus spermicide) while you are taking the other medicine and for 7 days after you stop taking it. If your present pack ends before these 7 days, start the next pack the next day without a break. This means taking a pill every day during your normal 7 pill-free days.
If you run two packs together you may not have a period until the end of two packs, but this is not harmful. If you do not have a period after the second pack, you must talk to your doctor before you start the next pack.
If you are taking rifampicin you will need to use another method of contraception as well as Microgynon 30. You should do this while you are taking the rifampicin and for 4 weeks after you stop.
If you are diabetic your doctor may alter the dose of medicine required to treat your diabetes.
If you are in doubt check with your doctor, pharmacist or Family Planning clinic.
Being sick or having very bad diarrhoea may stop Microgynon 30 from working properly and make it less effective. Carry on taking Microgynon 30 as usual, and also use another method of contraception, (condom or cap plus spermicide) until 7 days after you have recovered from the stomach upset. If you finish your pack before these 7 days, start the next pack the next day without a break. This means taking a pill every day during your normal 7 pill-free days. If you run two packs together you may not have a period until the end of two packs, but this is not harmful. If you do not have a period after the second pack, you must talk to your doctor before starting the next pack.If your stomach upset continues for some time, consult your doctor who may consider another form of contraception.
It has been suggested, on the basis of statistical evidence, that the risk of developing various disorders of the circulation of the blood is slightly greater in women who take the combined pill than in those who do not. This can lead to, for example, deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg), strokes (blood clots and haemorrhages from the blood vessels of the brain), heart attacks or pulmonary embolism (blood clots blocking the arteries of the lungs). People do not always fully recover from these disorders, and, very rarely, they are fatal. Studies suggest that these disorders occur less often with modern low-dose oral contraceptives than with older pills.
Certain conditions increase the risk of thrombosis. They include:
If any of these conditions apply to you before you decide to take Microgynon 30 or while you are taking Microgynon 30 you must discuss them with your doctor.
The risk of arterial thrombosis (e.g. heart attack and stroke) associated with the pill increases with age, and this risk is increased by cigarette smoking. For this reason, the use of combined pills by women in the older age-group, especially those who also smoke, is discouraged.
Signs and symptoms of blood clots are given in the section "Reasons for stopping Microgynon 30 immediately".
The pill does give a substantial degree of protection against cancers of the ovary and the lining of the womb. An increased risk of cervical cancer in long-term users of the pill has been reported in some studies. It is uncertain whether this increased risk is caused by the pill as it could be due to the effects of sexual behaviour and other factors.
The evidence linking use of the pill and breast cancer is unclear. Some studies suggest an increased risk of breast cancer in women below the age of 35, the risk increasing the longer the pill is used. Any possible increased risk of breast cancer with combined pills is, however, likely to be small.
On rare occasions, the use of the pill has led to liver diseases such as jaundice and benign liver tumours, and, very rarely, it has been associated with some forms of malignant liver tumours (cancer) in long-term users. Liver tumours may lead to life-threatening intra-abdominal haemorrhage (bleeding in the abdomen). Therefore, if you have pain in the upper abdomen that does not soon clear up, tell your doctor. Also, if your skin becomes yellow (jaundice) you must tell your doctor.
If you think you might be pregnant, stop taking Microgynon 30 and consult your doctor immediately. Use another method of contraception such as a condom until you see your doctor.
Certain conditions may sometimes get worse during use of the pill. The diseases are those listed under "What you should know before taking Microgynon 30".
Reasons for stopping Microgynon 30 immediately
If you experience any of the following conditions, take no further tablets of Microgynon 30 and consult your doctor immediately. In the meantime use another method of contraception such as a condom.
How to take Microgynon 30
This pack is designed to help you remember to take
When to start
If you are new to the pill or are starting the pill again after a break, take your first Microgynon 30 tablet on the first day of bleeding of your next period. For other users, follow instructions for "Changing from another type of oral contraceptive", "Starting Microgynon 30 after having a baby" or "Starting Microgynon 30 after a miscarriage or an abortion".
Start with a pill marked with the correct day of the week. For instance, if your period starts on a Wednesday, start with a pill marked "Wed".
Taking your first pack of Microgynon 30
After taking your first pill, take one pill each day, following the direction of the arrows, until you have finished all 21 pills in the pack.
You should try to take the pill at the same time every day, for example, after breakfast.
Swallow each pill whole, with water if necessary.
By starting in this way you will have contraceptive protection at once.
Your seven pill-free days
After you have taken all 21 tablets, you have 7 days when you take no tablets. A few days after you have taken the last pill from each pack, you will have a period. Your periods will be regular probably lighter than before and almost always painless. The feelings that often make the last days before a period unpleasant (called premenstrual syndrome) usually disappear. You will not have to take extra contraceptive precautions during the 7-day break from taking the pill as long as you have taken your pills correctly and start the next pack on time.Taking your next pack of Microgynon 30
Start taking your next pack of Microgynon 30 after 7 pill-free days. Each new pack will begin on the same day of the week as the one before, so it is easy to remember when to start again. You should start taking your next pack of Microgynon 30 after 7 days, even if you are still bleeding. The table "How to take Microgynon 30" should help you to take the pills properly (see figure).
Changing from another type of oral contraceptive
If you are taking a 21-day contraceptive pill finish that pack and then start taking Microgynon 30 the next day. Do not leave a gap between packs. Start with a pill marked with the correct day of the week. Then follow the instructions as described before (see "Taking your first pack of Microgynon 30") . By starting in this way you will have contraceptive protection at once. You may not have a period until the end of the first Microgynon 30 pack, but this is not harmful. You may have some bleeding on pill-taking days, but do not worry.
Every-Day (ED) combined pill (28-day pill)
Microgynon 30 should be started after taking the last active tablet from the Every-Day pill pack. If you are not sure which tablets are the active ones, ask your doctor of pharmacist. The first Microgynon 30 tablet is taken the next day which means that you do not leave a gap between packs. Start with a pill marked with the correct day of the week. Return to your pharmacist any remaining inactive tablets from your old Every Day pack. Then follow the instructions as before (see "Taking your first pack of Microgynon 30"). By starting in this way you will have contraceptive protection at once. You may not have a period until the end of the first Microgynon 30 pack but this is not harmful. You may have some bleeding on pill-taking days, but do not worry.
Mini pill (progestogen-only pill)
The first Microgynon 30 tablet should be taken on the first day of the period, even if you have already taken a mini pill on that day. Return to your pharmacist any mini pills left in your old pack. Start with a pill marked with the correct day of the week. Follow the instructions as before (see "Taking your first pack of Microgynon 30"). By starting in this way you will have contraceptive protection at once.
Starting Microgynon 30 after having a baby
If you have just had a baby, your doctor may advise you to start taking Microgynon 30 21 days after delivery. You do not have to wait for a period. You will need to use another method of contraception, such as a condom, until you start Microgynon 30 and for the first 7 days of pill-taking. Follow the instructions as before (see "Taking your first pack of Microgynon 30").
The use of Microgynon 30 during breast feeding may reduce the amount of milk that you produce.
Very small amounts of the active ingredients of Microgynon 30 are found in breast milk. If you are breast feeding and want to take Microgynon 30 you should discuss this with your doctor. Your doctor may decide to give you the mini pill instead.
Starting Microgynon 30 after a miscarriage or an abortion
If you have just had a miscarriage or an abortion your doctor may advise you to start using Microgynon 30 immediately. Follow the instructions as before (see "Taking your first pack of Microgynon 30").
While you are taking Microgynon 30
What to do if you miss a period
Occasionally, you may miss a period. While this can
mean you are pregnant, it is most unlikely if you have
taken your pills correctly. Take your next pack as
normal. If you think that you might have put yourself
at risk (e.g. missed pills, taking other medicines) or if
you miss a second period, see your doctor at once.
The bleeding you have after each pack (including the last pack) is not a true period. Your doctor relies on the date of your last true period before you get pregnant to tell you when your baby will be born. So, if you stop taking Microgynon 30 to have a baby, use