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Marvelon

 

Introduction

There are several means of preventing a pregnancy. One of these is by taking the pill. Compared to other methods of contraception, the pill provides several important advantages:

 

It is one of the most reliable methods. Once you stop taking the pill you will again be able to become pregnant.

You can have sex without having to take preventive measures directly beforehand.

Period pains may become less frequent or may completely disappear.

Some disorders appear less frequently in pill users: e.g. anaemia, abdominal infections, pregnancies occurring outside the womb, certain disorders of the womb, ovaries and breasts.

An advantage of Marvelon is that its hormonal content is low; although a low-dose pill, it still protects you against pregnancy from the first day of tablet-taking.

How Marvelon works

Marvelon is used for 21-day periods, and during this time a small amount of female sex hormone is taken each day. These hormones are intended to prevent the monthly release of an egg from the ovaries. If an egg is not released pregnancy will not occur. Each 21-day period is followed by 7 tablet-free days. During these tablet-free days the regular 'monthly period' occurs. However, this period may be lighter and shorter than usual.

 

How to take Marvelon

The Marvelon pack contains 21 white tablets. At the back of the strip each tablet is marked with the corresponding day of the week. Tablets should be taken as instructed below, at the same time each day. Each tablet should be swallowed whole with the help of some water, if necessary. If you find it easier you may chew the tablet instead.

Starting your first Marvelon Pack

If you are not taking the pill at present

1. Wait for your next period to begin. On the first day of this period take your first Marvelon tablet from the upper row of the pack marked with the day when your period began. For example, if it started on a Wednesday, take the tablet marked Wednesday on the upper row of the pack. Following the direction of the arrows continue taking one tablet each day until the pack is empty - that is for 21 days in all. Provided you remember to take your first Marvelon tablet on the first day of your period and do not forget any other tablets in the pack you do not need to take any additional contraceptive precautions.

2. If your period has already started within the past 5 days, count the first day of your period as day 1 and take your first tablet on day 5 regardless of whether bleeding has stopped or not. Following the direction of the arrows, continue tablet taking until the pack is empty (as described in point 1). However, your partner must use an additional method of contraception, such as a sheath, for the first 14 days of tablettaking.

3. If your period started more than 5 days ago, wait until next month before starting to take Marvelon.

When you change from other pills

1. Changing to Marvelon from another 21 or 22-day pill. Finish all the tablets in your old pack. During the next few days your period should begin. Take your first Marvelon tablet on the first day of this period. Continue taking Marvelon as instructed (see 'Starting your first pack point 1). Additional contraceptive precautions are not required.

2. Changing from a combined every-day pill (28 tablets) to Marvelon. Your period should begin while you are still taking the inactive tablets. Start taking Marvelon on the first day of this period. Discard the remaining tablets from the every-day pack. Continue taking Marvelon as instructed (see 'Starting your first pack' point 1). Additional contraceptive precautions are not required.

3. Changing from a Progestagen-only pill (POP or mini-pill) to Marvelon. Take your first Marvelon tablet on the first day of your period, even if you have already taken a mini-pill on that day. Discard all the remaining pills in the mini-pill pack. Continue taking Marvelon as instructed (see 'Starting Your first pack' point 1). Additional contraceptive precautions are not required.

If you are taking a mini-pill, you may not always have a period, especially when you are breast-feeding. Take your first Marvelon tablet on the day after you stop the mini-pill. Discard all the remaining pills in the mini-pill pack. Take additional contraceptive precautions for the first 14 days.

After a baby

If you have just had a baby your doctor may advise you to start taking Marvelon soon after delivery, or to wait until the first day of your first menstrual period before starting. However, if you are breast-feeding, your doctor may advise you not to use the pill, since it may reduce the amount of breast-milk which you produce, in particular if you start taking it shortly after delivery. Anyway, if you start before your first menstrual period additional contraceptive precautions are necessary for the first 14 days of tablet-taking.

 

After a miscarriage or abortion

If you have just had a miscarriage or an abortion you should start taking Marvelon immediately. You are then fully protected against pregnancy and no additional contraceptive precautions are required.

 

Your next packs

Leave a break of 7 tablet-free days after finishing your first pack of Marvelon. Your period should begin during this interval and when 7 tablet-free days are over start a new pack. Take the tablets in the second pack, and every pack of Marvelon thereafter, in exactly the same way as the first pack following the direction of the arrows see 'Starting your first pack' Point 1). Even though your period may not be completely over at the end of the 7 tablet-free days you must begin a new pack on the eighth day. Provided you take each pack correctly you will also have contraceptive protection during the tablet-free days.

 

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