Cerazette is a so-called progesterone only birth control pill, commonly abbreviated to POP, and is a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. POP is an alternative to the more well-known birth control pill. As the name implies, this pill only contains one hormone compared to the two hormones of birth control pills.

Cerazette contains the active ingredient desogestrel, which is a synthetic version of the female sex hormone gestagen. It does not contain estrogen and is thus suitable for more people than the traditional pill since it has a lower risk of embolism.

What’s on this page?

How does Cerazette work?

The active ingredient in progesterone only pills prevents pregnancy in two ways. Firstly, it inhibits ovulation so that the egg cannot be fertilized and pregnancy is averted. Secondly, it will affect the mucous membrane of the uterus to become thicker, which makes it hard for the sperm to pass through and fertilize an egg.

Because of these two mechanisms, you will have double protection from pregnancy. You are required to take the drug approximately the same day every day. If you forget to take a pill and more than 12 hours has passed since you should have taken it, the protection will be lowered and the method if no longer efficient.

How safe is this method?

This contraceptive method har ha high level of success, but it is not quite matching the levels of other hormonal treatments with two hormones. It is impossible to be 100% protected, even if you use the contraception exactly as instructed. The mini-pill also needs to be taken at more exact times, and it is thus easier to forget a pill or taking it too late. Cerazette corresponds to the safety of a copper spiral, but the side effects are fewer.

Remember that this treatment doesn’t protect you from STIs. Only barrier protection such as a condom will protect you from diseases such as chlamydia or herpes.

How to take Cerazette

  1. Commence the treatment on the first day of menstruation
  2. Take a pill a day
  3. Make sure to take the pill at the same time every day. Decide on a time that is most suitable for you, for example before going to bed or when you wake up in the morning if you have a strong sleep routine
  4. If you forget a pill, and if more than 36 hours have passed between taking the pills, you are no longer protected
  5. If you have forgotten a pill, take the next one as soon as possible and continue your treatments as usual. For the upcoming week, you need to use barrier protection during sex

Side effects from Cerazette

The reactions on hormonal treatments vary greatly between individuals. Some side effects are to be expected when using POP. Compared to traditional birth control pills and contraceptive transdermal patches, POP does not increase the risk of embolism, but other side effects. The most common ones are:

  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Tender breasts
  • Headache
  • Acne
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle
  • Decreased libido

Besides this, severe skin problems and hair loss might be experienced, but it is very rare. Most of the side effects are mild and will disappear as soon as the body adapts to the treatment.

To a start, Cerazette is likely to give you bleedings. If they don’t disappear after a while or if you experience severe side effects, contact your GP:

Who can use desogestrel?

Most adult women can use POP as a contraceptive method. You should be aware of the fact that the certainty of these pills protecting you from pregnancy is slightly lower than birth control pills or transdermal patches, while the risk of blood clots is lower.

Some people are nonetheless not suitable for this treatment. This is true if you experience:

  • Breast cancer or uterine cancer
  • Have or have had a tendency of embolism
  • Vaginal bleeding without a known cause
  • Lowered liver function
  • Pregnancy
  • Take medicines that do not work together with the POP

Pros of progestin pills

Since POPs do not contain any estrogen, it is specifically suitable for women that for some reason cannot use contraception with oestrogen. This can be the case for women over 35 years of age with a smoking habit or people with a migraine triggered by hormonal changes.

Compared to condoms and some other forms of contraceptive methods, Cerazette will not be something you will have to think about during sexual intercourse. This is a great relief for some and the main reason of great popularity of birth control medications such as Cerazette or Cerelle, for example.

Cons with POP

One thing to think of when deciding on whether to use POP or not is that you need to take the pill within a short time span during the day, but with Cerazette it is only when 36 hours has passed that your protection fades. The treatment does not protect you from STIs.

Can I buy Cerazette over-the-counter? 

To start a treatment with Cerazette you need to have a prescription from a doctor. Cerazette is not available over-the-counter. The same is true if you want to renew your prescription. It is ideal to start this treatment on the first day of your period, which makes it as safe as possible for you.

Can I buy Cerazette online in the UK?

You can also choose to get a hold of a prescription in an online clinic, were a doctor will evaluate your suitability for this treatment. When you have your prescription, you can have the treatment sent to you via mail. Thus you can avoid going to both the GP and the pharmacy.