Mercilon is a low oestrogen combined pill that contains a type of progestogen called desogestrel - which is also in most mini pills. Mercilon might be a good option if you are suffering from side effects related to oestrogen with other combined pills, like nausea and sore boobs.
What is in the Mercilon pill?
Alternative to Mercilon pill
This contraceptive sits in Group 2 and has the same hormonal ingredient as:
If you start taking Mercilon within the first 5 days of starting your period, you will be protected from pregnancy straight away. At any other time in your menstrual cycle you will need to use condoms or alternative contraception for the first 7 days before you are protected against pregnancy. If you are switching to the combined pill from another method, check out our blog on changing your contraception.
Does the Mercilon pill cause acne?
Many women who leave reviews at The Lowdown report that taking the combined pill helps to improve their acne. The oestrogen in the combined pill can impact the way the skin glands work, and reduce sebum (oil) production. However it's important to know that that Mercilon is not guaranteed to help with acne and can worsen acne initially. Make sure to check out our guide to the contraceptive pill and acne as well as our user-generated reviews to see how our community report Mercilon affects their complexion.
Does Mercilon cause weight gain?
Most women do not report side effects to their weight when taking Mercilon and there is no evidence that Mercilon (or other brands of the combined pill) can cause weight gain or loss. The pill may however impact how the body retains water and stores fat, as well as appetite levels. Take a look our guide to contraception and weight to get more information on how Mercilon affects weight.
Can Mercilon cause depression or anxiety?
Whilst some women experience mood changes whilst taking the combined pill, there is no definitive clinical evidence that proves it causes depression, anxiety or mood swings. Take a look at our guide to contraception and mood to find out more as well as our users' reviews of how Mercilon has impacted their moods.
Can Mercilon affect libido?
There is no clear evidence as to whether Mercilon or other combined pills impact libido or sex drive. Every woman is different and some women may find that their contraception impacts on their libido. Combined pills may also cause vaginal dryness, and be related to other issues such as changes in mood which may play a role here. Check our user-generated reviews at The Lowdown to see how people have reported changes to their sex drive on Mercilon. It might also be helpful to read our guide to contraception and sex drive.
How the Mercilon pill works:
Mercilon is a type of combined pill that contains the hormones oestrogen and progestogen. It is a small tablet that is swallowed daily to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation, by making the fluid in your cervix thicker, and by preventing the lining of your womb from thickening enough for a fertilised egg to implant into it. Mercilon is around 93% effective with typical use which means that 7 in 100 women fall pregnant whilst taking the pill 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 Mercilon pill:
You should take your Mercilon 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. Mercilon 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 against pregnancy straight away. Find out more by reading our complete guide to the combined pill.
Coming off Mercilon 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 Mercilon pill:
Mercilon 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.