Mercilon is a popular combined contraceptive pill. Its active ingredients are ethinylestradiol and desogestrel.
Mercilon comes in a 21-pack, which means you take one pill a day for 21 days, then have a 7-day break from it before starting the next pack.
If you take your Mercilon perfectly, it gives over 99% protection from pregnancy.
You can order Mercilon from Zava if you’ve been taking the contraceptive pill for at least three months. You can choose between a 3 or 6 month course of Mercilon.
What is in a Mercilon tablet?
Mercilon can be used if you:
- are over 18 years old
- aren’t pregnant
- can stick to taking your pills regularly at the right time
- don’t have any health conditions or other medications that make Mercilon unsuitable
Mercilon isn’t recommended if you:
- are a smoker and are over 35 years old
- have a body mass index (BMI) higher than 35
How to order Mercilon online
- Fill out a short online assessment about things like your health and lifestyle
- Place an order for Mercilon
- One of the doctors at Zava will check your assessment answers to see if your order is suitable for you
- If the doctor thinks the order is right for you, then it can be posted to your preferred address or you can collect it from a local post office instead
Side effects of Mercilon
The most common side effects of Mercilon are:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach (abdominal) pain
- Sore or tender breasts
- Slight bleeding, or spotting, between periods when you first start your pill
- Lighter periods
- Your periods stopping
- Mood changes
Mercilon is a combined contraceptive pill. This means it’s one of many different pills that are called ‘the pill’.
Mercilon contains lab-made versions of both the oestrogen and progesterone hormones that women naturally have in their bodies.
Mercilon tablets also contain some other ingredients, including:
- potato starch
- stearic acid
If you’re allergic to any of these ingredients, then you should let your doctor know, since you won’t be able to take Mercilon.
When you hear ‘Mercilon 21’, it’s means that Mercilon is a 21-day pill. So you’ll take the pill once each day for 21 days, and then you’ll have a 7-day break.
Mercilon can also come in a 28-day packet, where 21 of the pills are your medication and 7 are inactive pills. These don’t contain the active ingredients of your medication – they’re there to help you keep track of your cycle.
With Mercilon 21, your pack has 21 pills. Remember to:
- Take your pill at the same time every day for 21 days – each pill is marked with a day of the week to help you keep track of this
- Follow the direction of the arrows on the strip, which show you the order to take your pills in
- Swallow each pill whole, and don’t chew it
- After you’ve taken your 21 pills, you have 7 days when you take no pills. You don’t need to use extra contraception during these seven days, as long as you’ve taken your pills correctly and you start the next strip of 21 pills on time
If you’re less than 24 hours late to take one pill, or have only missed one pill:
- Take your late pill straight away and keep taking the rest of your pills as usual, even if this means taking two pills in one day
- You should be protected from pregnancy
If you miss 2 or more pills:
- Take the most recently missed pill straight away, but not any others which you might have missed before this
- Take your following pills as usual, even if this means you take two pills in one day
- Use extra contraception for the next 7 days
- Check how many pills are left in the strip after the most recently missed pill. Depending on how many are left, you might need to skip your 7-day break and start your next pack of pills instead
Mercilon has been used in the UK since 1986, so there’s a lot of clinical evidence that it works well as a contraceptive.
Mercilon has been reviewed in studies of healthy women from different countries. Results have been positive, and examples include:
Most doctors now accept that older, ‘first generation’ contraceptive pills might have caused weight gain in some women. These earlier pills had very high hormone levels (oestrogen and progestogen) that could cause fluid build-up, increased appetite, and then weight gain.
The more recent contraceptive pills, like Mercilon, contain a lot less progestogen, and the NHS has published a lot of papers to show that these types of pills don’t cause weight gain in women.
In some cases, though, you might have temporary fluid build-up, but this will pass in about 2 or 3 months.
Despite this, everyone reacts differently to medication, so you might find a small amount of weight gain is possible in the short-term. As you get older too, you naturally put on a little weight each year, so it’s worth bearing this in mind.
The most important factors in maintaining a healthy weight is to have a balance diet and regularly exercise. Changes to your weight while taking the pill can be managed by keeping these general points in mind.
Akerlund, M. et al (1994). Oral contraceptive tablets containing 20 and 30 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol with 150 micrograms desogestrel. Their influence on lipids, lipoproteins, sex hormone binding globulin and testosterone. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand, Feb; 73(2): 136-43.
Coenen, C. M. (1996). Changes in androgens during treatment with four low-dose contraceptives. Contraception, Mar; 53(3): 171-6.
Kirkman, R. J. (1994). Clinical comparison of two low-dose oral contraceptives, Minulet and Mercilon, in women over 30 years of age. Contraception, Jan; 49(1): 33-46.
Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (2018). Mercilon. EMC. [online] Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/1360/pil [accessed 4 December 2018].
Contraceptive pills are a reliable way of reducing your risk of getting pregnant from sex. Zava offers most common brands of pill, so you can order your preferred brand by visiting our contraceptive pill service page.
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