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Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (‘the pill’)

What is it?

The combined oral contraception pill (COCP) is often simply called ‘the pill’. It contains artificial oestrogen and progesterone hormones which prevent pregnancy.

How it works

The hormones in the pill stop the ovaries from releasing an egg. They also thicken the cervical mucus to prevent the sperm meeting an egg, and thin the lining of the womb to stop eggs implanting.

For the pill to work properly you need to take it every day at the same time for 21 days in a row, then have a seven-day break, before staring another pack for 21 days. Women usually bleed during the seven -day break.

The combined pill is over 99% effective if used correctly, but if you forget to take it or don’t take it at the same time every day, this falls to around 92%.

If you are someone who may struggle to remember to take the pill every day exactly as directed, there may be better methods of contraception for you to try.

How do I get this contraception?

In clinic

Call us on 01582 497070 to book a telephone consultation to discuss your needs. We can discuss the range of contraception methods available to find the one that would be best for you, and provide whichever option is required. You would then come to clinic to collect your pills on the date and time we arrange with you.


Clients living within Luton Borough now have the option of registering for our online contraception service. You order online and your contraception is sent out by post to your home address. Please click here to access the service.

This service is provided by SH.UK, so if you already have an account for our home STI testing service you can use your same log in details, or create an account if you do not already have one. You will complete an online questionnaire to assess your suitability. If you are not eligible for the online service, please contact us on 01582 497070 to book a telephone consultation to discuss alternative contraception options.