Male condom vs Combined pill

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Male condom

Want to switch contraception?

Combined pill

£From £0.16/day

Overview

Rated 4.1

64 reviews

During or before sex

Frequency

82% - 98%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 2.8

2365 reviews

Daily

Frequency

91% - 99+%

Effectiveness

Increased

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Male condom ingredients

Male condoms are thin latex or polyurethane sheaths that are worn on the penis during sexual intercourse.

Combined pill ingredients

Main hormones in Combined pill

progestogen

oestrogen

What Lowdown reviewers say

Benefits: What this contraceptive can help with

Protects against STIs

Acne or bad skin

Heavy periods

PMS and PMDD

PCOS symptoms

Period pain

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£From £0.16/day

Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Male condom reviews

64 reviews

Used for 8+ yr
56 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  12th Mar 24

  •  Stopped using

Potentially safe

Read more

Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  8th Mar 24

  •  Still using

You would need a lot of lube as it is not naturally liberated.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 5 - 8 yr
45 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  23rd Feb 24

  •  Still using

I have no problem apart from feeling friction more quicker then using without a condom.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
56 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  12th Mar 24

  •  Stopped using

Potentially safe


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  8th Mar 24

  •  Still using

You would need a lot of lube as it is not naturally liberated.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 5 - 8 yr
45 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  23rd Feb 24

  •  Still using

I have no problem apart from feeling friction more quicker then using without a condom.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments


Combined pill reviews

2365 reviews

Used for 3 - 6 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Still using

Been taking yacella for 6 months after not being on any contraception in years due to fears of side effects. Previously been on Loestrin 20 and Rigevidon both of which gave me horrible cystic acne and low mood. Dr recommended yacella as it has anti-androgenic progesterone and I have mild PCOS. So far it has been pretty good! I think my mood is unaffected, skin is great, sex drive unaffected. I have had some slight weight gain in more 'womanly' areas but nothing crazy. My breasts definitely have grown a lot and for the first few months they were quite sore but this has reduced to mild tenderness now. I do experience pain, especially lower back/pelvic, and am emotional during my 7 day break, however I suffered a lot with cramps prior to taking the pill so this is still an improvement for me. Would recommend, especially for anyone with hormonal imbalances like me.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

Having been on this pill for a year, I noticed that I hadn't felt like myself for a while. I found myself with persistently lower moods. Even during times of joy, the feeling felt dampened. This is the primary reason I decided to stop taking this pill; no contraception is worth losing yourself to! I am still in the early stages of being off this pill, but I feel relieved to have made the choice. It did make my withdrawal bleeds ("periods") very light. However, I do also think it completely suppressed my libido. I (being naive) thought that being on a low dosage pill, I might have fewer symptoms, but it just hasn't worked for me. I just wish there were more non-hormonal options out there.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 5 - 8 yr
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

I was prescribed this pill as I struggled to gain weight therefore, I didn’t have a regular period. I never had any awful experiences with this pill other than after 3 years I started to experience reoccurring thrush. Once it was treated it usually went away until recently, I have been experiencing thrush almost every month always during the week before my break. It has become unbearable leading me to change to a different lower dose birth control instead.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Still using

Been taking yacella for 6 months after not being on any contraception in years due to fears of side effects. Previously been on Loestrin 20 and Rigevidon both of which gave me horrible cystic acne and low mood. Dr recommended yacella as it has anti-androgenic progesterone and I have mild PCOS. So far it has been pretty good! I think my mood is unaffected, skin is great, sex drive unaffected. I have had some slight weight gain in more 'womanly' areas but nothing crazy. My breasts definitely have grown a lot and for the first few months they were quite sore but this has reduced to mild tenderness now. I do experience pain, especially lower back/pelvic, and am emotional during my 7 day break, however I suffered a lot with cramps prior to taking the pill so this is still an improvement for me. Would recommend, especially for anyone with hormonal imbalances like me.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

Having been on this pill for a year, I noticed that I hadn't felt like myself for a while. I found myself with persistently lower moods. Even during times of joy, the feeling felt dampened. This is the primary reason I decided to stop taking this pill; no contraception is worth losing yourself to! I am still in the early stages of being off this pill, but I feel relieved to have made the choice. It did make my withdrawal bleeds ("periods") very light. However, I do also think it completely suppressed my libido. I (being naive) thought that being on a low dosage pill, I might have fewer symptoms, but it just hasn't worked for me. I just wish there were more non-hormonal options out there.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 5 - 8 yr
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

I was prescribed this pill as I struggled to gain weight therefore, I didn’t have a regular period. I never had any awful experiences with this pill other than after 3 years I started to experience reoccurring thrush. Once it was treated it usually went away until recently, I have been experiencing thrush almost every month always during the week before my break. It has become unbearable leading me to change to a different lower dose birth control instead.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
23 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

This pill had a severe negative effect on my mental health. Physically I felt better as it alleviated PCOS symptoms but worsened my depression.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

I don't like being menopause at 20's


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
43 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

Yasmin was the best pill for me. I have PCOS and it completely took care of my symptoms like acne. I also had very stable mood and positive mental state with this pill. My periods were light and I used to skip them 3 packets in a row and have only maybe 4 withdrawal bleeds per year. When I tried to extend it to 4 packs, I would often start to get light spotting so I think 3 packs non-stop was optimal for me.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
43 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

I'm 43 and was suggested Qlaira because it has a supposedly more safe estrogen component. I've always had slightly elevated sensitive CRP and during the use of Qlaira it did drop to nothing so that was a positive finding. I had no bloating or weight gain. I would get breakthru bleeding on the active pills usually a week before my actual withdrawal bleed, which would last approx. 5 days. So all in all I was bleeding approx 12 days per month. And because you can*t skip the placebo pills on Qlaira, I found it was too much bleeding days compared to non-bleeding days. Another major side effect and the reason I wanted to stop using Qlaira was complete loss of libido. I felt almost repulsed by the idea of sex and I had trouble getting aroused. Altho my natural libido is quite low to begin with, Qlaira took it to completely new levels of zero. Hence why I stopped it after 6 months.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
17 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

I have been taking the Eloine pill for 10 months now and it has been pretty good. Not much has really changed for me which is great. My periods are the same (if not lighter) , my skin has stayed clear and I haven’t lost or gained any weight. The only thing I have noticed a change in since taking Eloine is a slight increase in anxiety and being more emotional than I used to be. However, these aren’t too extreme and are manageable. Overall i’m very happy with the Eloine pill 😊


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
22 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

I was put on Rigevidon October 2023. I thought everything was fine until my boyfriend started to ask why I was constantly making arguments and being moody. I am never usually moody, so in my experience, I would say that my mood swings definitely came from this pill. I had a complete loss of sex drive also, didn’t want to do anything literally ever. However, a main reason for going on this pill was because I have always suffered from excruciating period pains. I have no faults when it comes to using this pill for period pain as my cramps became pretty much nonexistent. As someone who also suffers with extreme irregular periods, this pill made mine completely regular and light, which was so much more manageable. My advice is, if you’re looking for a pill to prevent pregnancy whilst you’re having sex, this one probably is not the greatest choice, just due to a decline in libido. However, I would absolutely recommend it for anyone who struggles with bad cramps/pains, it has been the only thing that has helped me.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

  •  Still using

I had terrible experiences (bouts of acne) around age 17/18 with higher dose pills like Yasmin. Eventually settled on Marvelon and was put onto Gedarel (higher dosage) when there were stock issues. After 2 years I moved to the lower dose of Gedarel, and had a relatively positive experience with it for around 5 years but things have worsened recently. Side effects have been; spots around chin around end of pill pack, some spotting when taking back-to-back, lower sex-drive. More significant side-effects have been water-retention/weight gain and boob size increase. I am now thinking about coming off Gedarel as I have noticed the side effects have become more dramatic and all other things are equal - my boobs change massively in size throughout the course of a pack of pills, they are tender, and my weight is also massively fluctuating (I assume from water retention - between 55 - 60kg within the month). I am very active and generally healthy, if anything I am less stressed and have a healthier lifestyle now than I did a few years ago, yet the frequent changes to my body are making me feel uncomfortable in my own skin.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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