Cerelle is a contraceptive pill that is sometimes known as a mini pill. When taking it properly, it will stop you from becoming pregnant. Unlike the combined pill, Cerelle only contains one hormone, progesterone.
- Cerelle is a contraceptive pill that contains progesterone
- It is known as a progesterone only pill, or a mini pill
- The form of progesterone contained within it is called desogestrel
- Cerelle must be taken every day without a break to offer contraceptive cover
- Cerelle is sometimes taken by women who cannot take oestrogen containing contraceptives including the combined oral contraceptive pill
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Cerelle Work?
Progesterone is a hormone that a woman’s body naturally produces as part of her menstrual cycle. Cerelle contains desogestrel, a synthetic form of progesterone. Cerelle must be taken every day to ensure that you are protected against a pregnancy.
Fertilisation is prevented as Cerelle thickens the mucus at the cervix (neck of the womb). This stops sperm from being able to enter the uterus (womb). The desogestrel in Cerelle also prevents an egg from ripening and being released from the ovary. When combined with the thickened cervical mucus, this offers a very effective form of contraception.
Progesterone only contraception, such as Cerelle, may be a more appropriate form of contraception for women who are breastfeeding.
How is Cerelle Taken?
When you first start taking Cerelle, the first pill should be taken on day one of your period. You will have contraceptive cover immediately if you start in this way.
Unlike combined oral contraceptive pills, you do not need to remember to take a break from taking Cerelle. Cerelle must be taken every day at around the same time.
There is no break between packs, just start a new strip of pills the day after the old strip runs out.
If you forget to take a pill, or you take it late, you should seek medical advice to check if you still have contraceptive cover. Missing a pill, or only remembering about it later in the day can reduce the effectiveness of Cerelle. If you were to have unprotected sex, you could be at risk of becoming pregnant.
Each pill should be swallowed whole with some water.
Dosage of Cerelle
Each Cerelle tablet contains 75 micrograms of desogestrel. One tablet is taken every day at the same time, with a little water.
Each strip of tablets is labelled with the days of the week. Start with a pill on the top line labelled with the corresponding day, and then follow the arrows around until you have finished the strip of pills. At this point, you should start a new strip of pills the following day, so that no breaks in taking the pill occur.
Are there any Side Effects?
Like many contraceptives, Cerelle can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Low mood or depression
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Acne or spots
- Tender breasts
- Reduced sex drive
- Weight gain.
These will often settle, but if they persist or bother you then you should speak to a healthcare professional.
Rarely, more serious side effects can occur. These include:
- Possible increase in the risk of developing breast cancer
- Possible increase in the risk of developing a blood clot. This could affect the legs, lungs, or elsewhere in the body
- Very low mood with or without thoughts of suicide.
You should seek medical advice immediately if you are worried about any of the above.
If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Cerelle may not be suitable for everyone. This might include women who:
- Have ever had a blood clot such as a PE (blood clot in the lungs) or a DVT (blood clot in the leg)
- Have ever been jaundiced or have liver disease
- Have, or have a past diagnosis of, breast cancer
- Have unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Have had an allergic reaction to Cerelle or another medication in the past.
Cerelle may also not be suitable for women with high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, tuberculosis, or patchy changes to the skin called chloasma.
During the Consultation with Life Meds Pharmacy, you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire to check that Cerelle is suitable for you.
A prescriber from Life Meds Pharmacy will review your current medications, including any herbal remedies or supplements. Some medications can make Cerelle less effective in preventing a pregnancy. Your prescriber will check that Cerelle will not be affected by your current medications.