Common questions about the pill answered by our Pharmacist

Our pharmacist, Marta Stybowski, with 20 years of experience answers the two most common question she gets asked about the pill.  

How effective is the pill? Can I still get pregnant? 

The pill is 99.7 per cent effective1 – but it is important to take the pill regularly. Three common things that can reduce effectiveness include taking the pill irregularly, diarrhoea and vomiting.  Approximately 1 in 10 women may still get pregnant when taking the pill due to reduced effectiveness, therefore it is very important to take your pill regularly at the same time each day, not skip doses and speak with your pharmacist or GP if you take or start taking any other prescription or over the counter medications or have any other concerns. 

Are there any risks or side effects with taking the pill? 

Although health risks associated with taking the pill are rare, it may not be suitable for some women particularly if there is a history of; blood clotting, migraines, liver function problems or unusual vaginal bleeding – it is important to discuss these with your GP. Smoking has also been shown to increase the risk of health risks with the pill. 

Whilst some women find taking the pill may improve certain things such as acne and premenstrual syndrome, some may experience side effects such as tender breasts, nausea, weight gain or loss of libido.  

 

Reference: The Royal Women’s Hospital Victoria Australia. Contraceptive pills