HomeContraceptive PillMarvelon


Marvelon is a combined oral contraceptive, also known as 'the Pill'. This contraceptive contains low doses of the female sex hormones, oestrogen (ethinylestradiol) and progestogen (desogestrel).

How to Buy Marvelon Online

The Online Clinic can prescribe Marvelon for you if you have already had this medication and you have not experienced any problems while taking the medication. We can have the Marvelon contraceptive pill prescribed and delivered to you in under 24 hours. Just click on the free consultation button to begin.

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How does Marvelon work?

Marvelon stops a woman from getting pregnant by preventing ovulation: the release of an egg from an ovary. It also alters the lining of the womb making it less likely for an egg to implant into the thickened womb wall. Marvelon also increases the thickness of the fluid (mucus) at the neck of the womb (cervix) making it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb and reach the egg.

How do I take Marvelon?

Marvelon should be started on the first day of your period so that protection from pregnancy begins immediately. One Marvelon pill must be taken at the same time every day for 21 days. If your period has already started, take your first Marvelon pill on the fifth day of your period. It is advisable to also use barrier contraceptives until you have taken the first seven pills correctly and know that you are protected.

Once all 21 pills in the strip have been taken, there are seven pill-free days. You should have a withdrawal bleed (similar to a period) a few days after taking the last of the 21 pills. Marvelon must be started again after seven pill-free days. Barrier contraception is not necessary on pill-free days if Marvelon has been taken correctly and a new strip is started at the right time.

What happens if I miss a pill?

If a forgotten pill is taken within 12 hours, then contraceptive protection is maintained. If you are more than 12 hours late in taking Marvelon, the forgotten pill must still be taken. Further pills must be taken at the normal time even if this means taking two pills in one day. Barrier contraception should also be used for the next seven days because there is a risk of pregnancy. If there are more than seven pills left in the strip, leave the usual seven-day break before starting the next strip. However, if there are fewer than seven pills left, the next strip should be started without a pill-free day gap.

If vomiting and diarrhoea occur after taking Marvelon, then you may not be protected. If the symptoms disappear within 12 hours of taking Marvelon, take another pill from a spare strip and continue the pills as normal. If the symptoms persist for more than 12 hours, follow the instructions for if you are more than 12 hours late in taking the pill. Barrier contraception should be used during the illness and for the following seven days because of the risk of pregnancy.

How effective is Marvelon?

Like most available combination oral contraceptives, Marvelon is about 99% effective in preventing pregnancy in women who follow the instructions on taking the medication and never miss any pills.

Bleeding while on Marvelon

Marvelon controls when you will have your period. This will occur a few days after taking the last of the 21 pills. Your period can be delayed by starting the next strip of pills without leaving seven pill-free days. After the second strip, leave seven pill-free days and start your next strip of pills as usual. There may be some unexpected bleeding or spotting while taking the second strip. Unexpected bleeding and spotting between periods may also occur during the first few months but should disappear after the first few strips.

What are the side effects?

Marvelon is well tolerated but, like all medicines, can cause side effects. The most common side effects include nausea and vomiting, tender or enlarged breasts, fluid retention, fluctuations in body weight, changes in sex drive and periods, depression or mood changes, headaches, and increased blood pressure. You should contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome as you may need to change to a different contraceptive.

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Reviewed by: Dr Loraine Haslam MBBS, DRCOG, DFSRH, LoC SDI, LoC IUT, MRCGP
GMC registration number: 4524038
Date: 23 October 2023
Next review: 22 October 2025
All UK registered doctors can have their registration checked on
The Medical Register at the GMC website.

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Source and further information

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