The progestogen-only pill (POP), also known as the ‘mini pill’, stops sperm cells entering the womb. Unlike other mini-pills on the market, Cerazette also stops the egg cell from ripening, which makes it a highly effective type of contraception.
The mini pill contains the active ingredient – desogestrel – which is a synthetic version of the female sex hormone, progesterone. Cerazette doesn’t contain oestrogen, so it’s safe for women who can’t take the combined pill, more often referred to as ‘the pill’.
How to take the Cerazette pill
For it to work effectively, you should take your first tablet on day one of your menstrual cycle. If you miss the first day of your period, you can start treatment on days two to five, but you will need to use additional contraception, such as condoms.
Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water at the same time each day. You should take one tablet every day with no break between packs. Most women do not have a period while taking Cerazette, but you might experience some light, irregular bleeding.
If you vomit or suffer from severe diarrhoea within three to four hours of taking the oral contraceptive pill, then follow the instructions for ‘missed pills’. You’ll find these details in our frequently asked questions section or the patient information leaflet.
As with all medicines, there is a risk of side effects when taking Cerazette. The most common side effects include:
- Skin reactions
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Mood swings
- Depressed mood
- Breast sensitivity
- Reduced sex drive
The oral contraceptive pill is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. For more information on this, and a full list of Cerazette side effects, we recommend reading the patient information leaflet that comes with the pack.
In rare cases, the mini pill can cause an allergic reaction (hypersensitivity), which can lead to swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat. It can also cause thrombosis (formation of blood clots), which could block a blood vessel. If you are worried about your symptoms, seek immediate help from a medical professional.
What is the difference between Cerazette and desogestrel?
Desogestrel is the active ingredient in the mini pill, Cerazette.
You can buy desogestrel in its generic, unbranded form, which is more cost-effective than buying a brand like Cerazette. Both tablets work in the same way, and neither one is more effective than the other.
Can you use Cerazette while breastfeeding?
You can take Cerazette while you are breastfeeding. Although a small amount of the active ingredient does pass over into the milk, this has not been shown to affect breast-fed children whose mothers took Cerazette while feeding.
Can you take Cerazette with other medication?
Some medicines can stop Cerazette from working effectively. It’s important you tell your doctor, pharmacist, or family planning nurse if you are taking (or have taken recently) any other medications or herbal remedies. Your doctor can tell you if you need to take other precautions to prevent pregnancy and for how long.
Likewise, Cerazette can stop other medicines from doing their job properly, so you should always declare it to healthcare professionals when asked.
Can Cerazette be used to stop your periods?
The mini pill does not completely stop ovulation. Most women do not have a period while taking it, but you may experience light, irregular bleeding.
If you suffer from prolonged or heavy bleeding, consult your doctor.
What should you do if you forget to take it?
If you forget to take the mini pill, you can still take it up to 12 hours after and still be protected from getting pregnant. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, then your next dose at the normal time – this may mean you take two doses in one day.
If you do not take the pill within 12 hours you will need to use another form of contraception, such as a condom, for the following two days. If you have unprotected sex during this time you may need to consider using emergency contraception.
What other contraception is available?
There are lots of other methods of contraception available. For advice on family planning, we recommend you start with the NHS guide to contraception.
You can also seek advice from your local sexual health clinic, your GP, or pharmacist. They can advise you on what would suit you best and signpost you to other agencies who can help.
Can I buy the mini pill online?
Cerazette and the unbranded version, desogestrel, are available to buy online from Post My Meds. We will ask you some questions before we process your order to check that you are suitable to take the mini pill.
You can buy Cerazette online in three easy steps:
- Start a consultation
- Choose your treatment
- Pay for your order
Order before 4pm on a weekday or 11am on a Saturday for free, same-day dispatch. Your order will be sent in unbranded, generic packaging to protect your privacy – the only thing on the envelope/box will be your name and address.
Post My Meds is a registered online pharmacy and everything we sell is approved by the UK’s regulator for medicines and healthcare products (MHRA).
For more information on how to take the mini pill and what to expect from Cerazette, browse our frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, contact our friendly team or download the patient information leaflet for Cerazette.