HomeContraceptive PillZoely


Zoely is a combined oral contraceptive used by women for the prevention of pregnancy.

Can I buy Zoely online?

You can get Zoely prescribed through The Online Clinic so long as you have used a combined oral contraceptive previously. Just complete a quick consultation form on the website and this will be reviewed by a GP before prescribing.

Free Online Assessment Quick and Without Obligation

What is Zoely?

The contraceptive Zoely is known as a combined oral contraceptive because it contains two different active ingredients. These are female hormones that are produced by a woman's ovaries, in fluctuating amounts during the course of the menstrual cycle. The hormones are an oestrogen called estradiol, and a progesterone called nomegestrol acetate. The estradiol is exactly the same as the oestrogen produced by the ovaries while the nomegestrol acetate is synthesised from progesterone.

Women who take Zoely do not wish to become pregnant. This medicine works by stopping the ovaries from releasing eggs, and by thickening cervical mucus and thinning the uterus lining, thus preventing sperm getting to the egg.

How to use Zoely

The blister packet of tablets taken each month contains 28 numbered tablets; the 24 white tablets (numbered 1 to 24) contain both the oestrogen and the progesterone, and the 4 yellow tablets (numbered 25 to 28) contain only inactive ingredients. One pill is taken every day, in order and at the same time each day, starting with number 1. You usually have a period, termed a ‘withdrawal bleed', starting during the time you take the yellow tablets. However, not all women have a period each month. Once you have finished all 28 tablets start the first of the next blister pack regardless of whether you still have a period or not. You can stop this medicine at any time but you will be at risk of conceiving. If this is what you want and you wish to calculate the baby's birth date, then wait for your periods to begin naturally before trying for a baby.

The time to start your first Zoely blister pack will depend on your circumstances. If you are at all unsure, your doctor will confirm what you should do:

  • No hormone-based contraceptive during the past 4 weeks: Start the first pill on the day that your period starts. You do not require other methods of contraception.
  • Switching to Zoely from another hormone-based combined contraceptive: Start the first Zoely pill on the day following the last pill or last hormone-containing pill from the previous contraceptive pack (at latest, the day after the last pill or pill-free day of the previous contraceptive pack). If you are using a transdermal patch or vaginal ring, start Zoely on the day these are removed (at latest, the day a new patch or ring would have been fitted). If this information is followed exactly, you do not require other methods of contraception.
  • Switching to Zoely from a pill that contains progestogen only (mini-pill): Stop the mini-pill when you want to and start the first Zoely pill on the next day. A barrier contraceptive method must also be used on the first 7 Zoely-pill days.
  • Switching to Zoely from an injectable or implant or intrauterine system (IUS) that contains progestogen only: Start the first Zoely pill on the due date of the next injection or day of implant/IUS removal. A barrier contraceptive method must also be used on the first 7 Zoely-pill days.
  • After giving birth: Start the first Zoely pill between 21 and 28 days after your baby is born. After 28 days, then barrier contraceptive method must also be used on the first 7 Zoely-pill days. Check that you are not pregnant before taking Zoley, and seek a doctor's advice if you want to breast feed.
  • After miscarriage/abortion: Speak with your doctor before using Zoely.

Read the blister packet leaflet if you wish to delay or change the start day of your period.

Taking too many tablets is not serious; you may feel or be sick or have vaginal bleeding. However, missing a white tablet could result in pregnancy.

  • Under 24 hours late with a white tablet: take the pill immediately and continue as normal (no additional barrier contraception required).
  • Over 24 hours late with a white tablet: take the pill immediately and continue as normal. There is a risk of pregnancy particularly if you have missed more than one pill, and if you do not take them at the start and end of the packet (additional barrier contraception may be required). Read the blister packet leaflet that details what you should do as this depends on the day(s) you forget to take your pill(s).
  • Missed yellow tablet: throw the missed pill(s) away and continue as normal (no additional barrier contraception required).

Vomiting (within 4 hours of taking a pill) and severe diarrhoea may also increase your risk of pregnancy, so follow the leaflet instructions given for when you do not remember to take your daily tablet.

Who can use Zoely?

Zoely is for women over 18 years of age who wish to avoid pregnancy. However, there are a number of conditions that prevent Zoley from being taken. These include if you have/have previously had a blood clot in your blood vessels (particularly in your legs or lungs) or blood clotting disorder or are at risk of a blood clot (you are immobile or awaiting surgery; or have severe diabetes, high blood pressure, or high blood cholesterol or triglyceride or homocysteine levels); or if you have/have previously had a heart attack, angina, stroke or mini-stroke. Additionally, if you have/have previously had migraine (with aura), pancreatitis, severe liver disease, poor liver function, liver tumours, breast/genital organ cancer, or vaginal bleeding of unknown cause. You cannot take Zoely if you have an allergy to any of the constituents in the pill. Do not take Zoely if you are or may be pregnant, and stop Zoely immediately if you get pregnant; and Zoely is not generally recommended for women who are breast feeding

Your doctor will also want to know if you have inherited angioedema (swelling beneath the skin), superficial thrombophlebitis, (inflammation in veins beneath the skin), varicose veins, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, sickle cell anaemia, epilepsy or depression, or a family history of breast cancer or raised triglyceride levels. Mention all conditions that started or got worse during a pregnancy or when you have previously used hormone treatments.

All your other medicines, whether obtained with a prescription or not, must be discussed with your doctor. This is important because they could interfere with the protection against pregnancy (and you may need to use barrier contraceptive methods for a while) or because they could result in unscheduled bleeding. Those of particular concern are medicines treating epilepsy, tuberculosis, HIV and other infections high blood pressure and St. John's wort.

Zoely side effects

Any signs of hypersensitivity or the conditions stated under ‘Who can use Zoely’ should be reported immediately for medical attention. Notably, all women using Zoely and other combined hormonal contraceptives are at increased risk of blood clots in their blood vessels (thromboembolism). Most frequently, side effects include changes in menstrual bleeding (such as irregular or heavy periods), acne, breast or pelvic pain, mood swings and depression, migraine/headache, loss of libido, nausea, and weight gain. Women may also experience hot flushes and sweating, hair loss, changes in skin condition and appetite, fluid retention, swollen breasts and abdomen, breast lumps, milk discharge, premenstrual syndrome, painful intercourse, and vaginal dryness. Rarely, blood clots in blood vessels or other organs, heart attack, stroke/mini-stroke, dry eyes brown skin patches, vaginal odour, and gallbladder disease can occur. The vast majority of women who take Zoely experience no side effects whatsoever.

The Online Clinic will only prescribe Zoely if you have been initiated on this pill in a face to face environment and have not suffered side effects. Please complete a free consultation to get this oral contraceptive medication prescribed.

Free Online Assessment Quick and Without Obligation
Reviewed by: Dr Loraine Haslam MBBS, DRCOG, DFSRH, LoC SDI, LoC IUT, MRCGP
GMC registration number: 4524038
Date: 24 October 2023
Next review: 23 October 2025
All UK registered doctors can have their registration checked on
The Medical Register at the GMC website.

Information Leaflet

Source and further information

Womens Health News

  • World Contraception Day

    World Contraception Day World Contraception Day is an international campaign day launched ten years ago by the European Society of Contraception (ESC). The ESC was concerned that the high number of unplanned teenage pregnancies and the rate at which young people were being infected…

    Read full article >
  • Interstitial Cystitis: The Facts

    The term cystitis is used to describe a bladder inflammation, generally caused by a UTI or urinary tract infection. It's a common mistake to believe that only women can get cystitis; in fact, men are also able to develop it. The likelihood of cystitis in men is lower for one simple reason - the…

    Read full article >
  • HRT and Dementia Risk Reduction

    How does HRT affect dementia risk? Hormone replacement therapy (or HRT) has long been the subject of controversy. First made available in the 1940s, it was created as a means of tackling the unpleasant - and for some women, debilitating - symptoms caused by the menopause. In the 1990s and…

    Read full article >
We use cookies on this website. By using this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device. Find out more Close