HomeContraceptive PillCilest



The combined contraceptive pill contains two female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. Versions of these hormones and synthetic substitutes vary depending on the brand of pill. Cilest contains ethinylestradiol and norgestimate: synthetic forms of oestrogen and progesterone. The hormones prevent ovulation each month and protect users from getting pregnant. There are many different brands of contraceptive pills to choose from and Cilest is one of the most popular.

Can I Buy Cilest Online?

Cilest was discontinued by the manufacturer, but there are alternatives available with the same active ingredient. Please click on the Free Consultation button to proceed. A doctor will recommend the alternative (if appropriate for you).

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What is in Cilest?

Cilest contains ethinylestradiol, which is a synthetic version of oestrogen, and norgestimate, a synthetic version of progesterone.

Cilest is taken every day for a period of 21 days followed by a 7 day break. Bleeding is experienced during this pill free week.

How does Cilest work?

Changes in hormone levels cause the release of an egg and when the egg is not fertilized, the level of hormones in the body drop, causing changes the womb environment, resulting in a period. Cilest makes the body think that ovulation has already occurred and so prevents the release of an egg each month.

When do I take Cilest?

Cilest should be commenced on the first day of a period. These tablets come in a calendar packet to help you remember to take the pill daily. You are still protected against pregnancy throughout the pill-free week.

What happens if I miss a pill?

If one pill is missed, this pill should be taken as soon as possible and the rest of the pack taken as normal. Barrier contraception does not need to be used. If two or more pills are missed, barrier contraception will need to be used for the following seven days as you will not be protected against pregnancy.

If you have experienced any diarrhoea or vomiting, this will make the pill less effective. Barrier contraception must be used at such times.

Are there side effects with Cilest?

Cilest can affect women in different ways and most will not experience side effects but common side effects include nausea, headache, breast growth, thrush, depression, weight gain, increases in blood pressure and gallstones. The full range of side effects is listed on the patient information leaflet that accompanies the medication but what is important to remember is that most women get no side effects whatsoever.

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Reviewed by: Dr Loraine Haslam MBBS, DRCOG, DFSRH, LoC SDI, LoC IUT, MRCGP
GMC registration number: 4524038
Date: 9 October 2023
Next review: 8 October 2025
All UK registered doctors can have their registration checked on
The Medical Register at the GMC website.

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