• Combined contraceptive pill
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What is Femodene?

Femodene is a combined oral contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy.

This contraceptive is taken for 21 days each month. After this, you will have seven pill-free days, during which time you will get a normal withdrawal bleed.

When you take this medication as instructed, it is one of the most reliable forms of reversible contraception, providing almost 100% effective protection against pregnancy.

When taken correctly, Femodene is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

How does Femodene work?

Femodene is a monophasic combined pill, which means that each pill contains the same amount of hormones.

Femodene contains two different synthetic sex hormones, oestrogen (ethinylestradiol) and progestogen (gestodene), and works to prevent pregnancy in three different ways:

  • It prevents your ovaries from releasing an egg.
  • It thickens the mucus in your cervix, making it harder for sperm to enter the womb.
  • It prevents the lining of your womb from thickening enough for an egg to grow within it.

Using this combined pill will often make your periods more regular, lighter and less painful, as well as possibly helping with pre-menstrual symptoms.

However, taking contraceptive pills such as Femodene will not protect you from catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Only condoms can work to protect against STIs.

Can you buy Femodene over the counter?

You can only buy Femodene when a doctor has prescribed it for you. It is not available for sale over the counter.

Can you buy Femodene online?

Femodene is a prescription-only medication. You can buy Femodene online from Medicine Direct following a confidential online consultation with one of our registered doctors.

It is important to ensure that you are buying medicine online from a UK fully regulated pharmacy such as Medicine Direct. To learn more about our company, team, medical professionals, and the licenses we hold, visit our about us page.

Femodene alternatives

There are many alternatives if Femodene is not suitable for you to take.

Many women prefer to take Femodene ED (Every Day), which is useful if you fear you might lose track of days while taking a contraceptive pill that requires a seven-day break. A pack of Femodene ED contains 28 tablets: 21 ‘active’ tablets and 7 ‘inactive’ tablets.

This medicine works in the same way as normal Femodene, but instead of taking a seven-day break, you will take one inactive tablet each day instead. You will still have a bleed during this time, but you won’t need to worry about stopping and restarting the tablets.

Alternative brands of combined pills you could also try include:

  • Yasmin
  • Ovranette
  • Synphase
  • Noriday
  • Gedarel
  • Logynon

There are also progestogen-only pills (POPs), which do not contain any oestrogen. Some women find these pills are better for them. Medicine Direct stocks POP brands such as Cerazette and Norgeston.

If you wish to switch from one contraceptive pill to another, you should speak to your doctor first.

If you would rather not take any pills, you could instead try one of the following forms of contraception:

  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • The patch
  • The injection
  • Condoms
  • The implant

For more information on different types of contraception that may be suitable for you, we recommend visiting the Contraception Choices website.

How to take Femodene

For immediate contraceptive protection, start to take Femodene on the first day of your period.

Swallow Femodene pills whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them.

Each strip of Femodene contains 21 pills. You will take one pill each day for 21 days; take them around the same time each day.

After taking the pills for 21 days, take a break of 7 days where you do not take any. You will get a bleed during these 7 days, similar to a period.

After your 7 day break, begin taking the pills in the next strip for a further 21 days.

Always read the patient information leaflet for a detailed list of instructions.

Femodene side effects

Common side effects of Femodene include:

  • Headaches
  • Depression or mood swings
  • Feeling sick
  • Stomach aches
  • Sore or painful breasts
  • Weight gain

Less common Femodene reactions include:

  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Fluid retention
  • Migraine
  • Skin rash
  • Breast enlargement
  • Vomiting or upset stomach

Speak to your doctor if any of these effects bother you or do not go away. This list is not exhaustive; please read the Side Effects tab for more information.


Femodene Combined Pill - What you need to know

Tell your doctor or nurse if you are currently taking any other form of medicine. Femodene may interact with other medicinal products. Check all the leaflets that come with any other medicines you are taking, to see if they can be taken alongside oral contraceptives like Femodene.

Femodene Ingredients

The main active ingredients within this medicine are: Gestodene and Ethinylestradiol

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

Medically Reviewed byHussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Updated on: 25/06/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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