Levest is a very common type of 'starter' pill that is often prescribed because it contains a standard dose of oestrogen and a progestogen with a lower risk of blood clots than some other combined pills. It contains the same ingredients as Microgynon and Rigevidon, which have been around and researched for years.
What is in the Levest pill?
Alternative to Levest pill
This contraceptive sits in Group 5 and has the same hormonal ingredient as:
Yes. Levest, Rigevidon and Microgynon are brands of the combined pill that contain exactly the same dose and type of two synthetic (man made) hormones - oestrogen and progestogen. They just have different brand names!
Does Levest stop your period?
Combined pills such as Levest are traditionally taken for 21 days followed by a 7 day break, during which you may have a withdrawal bleed. This technically isn't a period but may have the same symptoms, or you may experience very light bleeding or no bleeding at all. Some women also experience breakthrough bleeding during pill-taking weeks, this can be normal in the first 6 months of taking the pill and can have many causes (find out more about spotting ). You can avoid having a bleed altogether by taking the combined pill continuously , without a break. If you're at risk of pregnancy and your bleeding pattern changes whilst taking the combined pill, you should take a pregnancy test.
Does the Levest combined pill cause weight gain?
There's no evidence that suggests weight is affected by the combined pill, however the combined pill contains both oestrogen and progestogen which can have an effect on how the body stores fat and retains water. More research is needed to take a deeper look at the link, but in the meantime you can check our our complete guide to contraception and weight.
Can the Levest pill cause depression?
Hormonal methods of contraception may affect your mood but there is no definitive answer as to whether the Levest pill causes depression, anxiety or mood swings. You can read our user-generated reviews to see how our community reports the impact Levest has had on their moods and emotions, as well as read our guide to contraception and mood for more information on the topic.
Does Levest help acne?
Levest is a combined pill which contains both oestrogen and progestogen and can help improve acne in some people. If you look at our review data, you'll see that most women who take Levest see an improvement in their acne. Find out more in our guide to the contraceptive pill and acne.
What happens if I miss a Levest pill?
You have missed a Levest pill when it is more than 24 hours after you should have taken it. What to do next depends on where you are in your pack and how many pills you have missed, so make sure you read the instructions in the patient information leaflet carefully or use our Missed Pill Calculator to find out what to do next!
How the Levest pill works:
Levest is a combined pill that is taken daily to prevent pregnancy. It makes the fluid in your cervix thicker (which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb) whilst also stopping ovulation. The combined pill also prevents the lining of your womb from thickening enough for a fertilised egg to implant into it. Levest is around 93% effective with typical use, which means that 7 in 100 women fall pregnant whilst taking it each year. Find out more about how clinical effectiveness is determined.
There are a few things that can stop the combined pill from working properly including vomiting, some antibiotics, or missing a pill. Take a look at our complete guide to the combined pill to find out more. You can also use our Missed pill calculator to help you understand what to do if you miss a pill.
How to use the Levest pill:
You should take your Levest pill around the same time every day. We recommend keeping your pill packet somewhere you look at everyday (like your makeup bag) to remind you to take it, or set an alarm on your phone. Levest is designed to be taken for 21 days followed by a 7 day break during which you'll experience a withdrawal bleed (like a period). If you want to, you can choose to shorten this break or miss it out altogether (check out our blog on taking your pill back to back). Depending on where you are in your cycle when you start the pill, you might not be protected straight away. Check out our blog about the combined pill for more info.
Coming off Levest is easy - you just stop taking it. When you do, you’re no longer protected from pregnancy. If you want to stop the pill but do not wish to become pregnant then you should complete your current packet before stopping and consider switching to another form of contraception before you stop taking your pill. If you have unprotected sex and stop your pill before the packet is finished you may ovulate (release an egg from the ovary) and could become pregnant. You can use our Missed pill calculator if you have missed any pills from your packet. Read our complete guide to coming off the pill for more advice.
How safe is the Levest pill:
Levest is safe to take. There are however some small risks associated with taking the pill. With any combined type of hormonal contraception that contains oestrogen, there is a slightly increased risk of developing blood clots in your veins and arteries. The combined pill may also increase your blood pressure. Your doctor will check your individual risk before prescribing the pill. Use of the combined pill is also associated with small increased risks of breast cancer and cervical cancer. These reduce with time after stopping. It's also important to remember that the combined pills does not protect you from STIs.