Desogestrel, ethinyl estradiol

Marvelon®

Marvelon

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Desogestrel, ethinyl estradiol

Marvelon ®

Marvelon is a combined hormonal birth control pill that prevents unexpected pregnancy and helps with acne.

Subscribe to EveAdam to buy Marvelon online, and have your pill delivered to you regularly from a UK pharmacy.

Treatments from only £6.99 per month

Buy Marvelon online: the 21-day combined birth control pill.

Marvelon is a birth control pill that combines two hormones, which is why it’s called a ‘combined oral contraceptive pill’ or ‘COCP’. When used right, Marvelon is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It’s also helpful for treating acne.

With an EveAdam subscription, you can buy Marvelon online and have it delivered as often as you need. It’s easy to get started — after a quick consultation with a licensed doctor, you’ll select the pill you want and how often you want it. We’ll tell our preferred pharmacy, and they’ll pop your prescription in the mail. It’ll arrive in discreet packaging in one working day and keep coming for as long as you’re subscribed (no doctor’s visits or long pharmacy lines necessary, but we will check in with you online after 12 months, just to make sure you’re still happy with Marvelon). And if you want to try another pill, well, we make that easy too.

What is Marvelon?

Marvelon is primarily prescribed to prevent pregnancy, but it’s also used to help with acne and to regulate periods.

Marvelon birth control pills are manufactured by MSD. They contain an oestrogen and a progestogen, the two hormones needed to make a combined pill (desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol, in this case). You need to take Apri every day at the same time for it to work as well as it should.

Each pack of Marvelon comes with strips of 21 pills. These are all active pills, meaning they contain the ingredients you need to protect against pregnancy. So that’s one pill every day for the first three weeks of your cycle, then seven days off, before starting the next lot of 21 (and repeat).

Marvelon is also known as…

Gedarel 30, Cimizt and Munalea 30.

These pills come in different packaging and are sometimes made by other companies. They’re all ‘bioequivalent’ to Marvelon, which is a fancy way of saying the active ingredients and concentrations are the same. That means there shouldn’t be any differences in how they work. Marvelon protects against pregnancy just as well, and the way it helps with menstrual side effects like acne is the same, too.

Can Marvelon be used as Plan B?

No. Levonelle and EllaOne are types of emergency contraception, sometimes also called the “morning-after pill”. Think of birth control pills like Marvelon as your Plan A. When taken as directed every day, without missing any pills, Marvelon is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

If you do miss one or more pills, or if you are worried about being fully protected, we recommend using a back-up method of birth control when you have sex, like condoms or a diaphragm. If you think you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test and get in touch with your doctor.

Page reviewed by:
Dr Daniel Atkinson
Dr Daniel Atkinson
GP Clinical Lead
Visit author profile
Last updated 12/02/2021

What you need to know about Marvelon

How does Marvelon work?

In order to protect you from becoming pregnant, Marvelon works in three ways.

The birth control pill affects ovulation. Ovulation is when an egg is released from the ovary. The pill might stop ovulation completely but it’s not a guarantee.

Marvelon has an effect on the mucus in your cervix too. When you’re using the pill, it thickens the mucus so it’s harder for sperm to get through, and then reach an egg.

The hormones in Marvelon also impact the uterine lining. This lining, when you aren’t using hormonal birth control, builds up naturally over the month. When the lining comes away, this is when you have your period. But when you’re using Marvelon birth control pills, this lining doesn’t build up as normal. As a result, your lining is much thinner and your bleed tends to be a lot lighter than it normally would be.

How effective is Marvelon?

Can I take Marvelon for acne?

Do you need a prescription for Marvelon?

How to buy Marvelon online

How to take Marvelon

Marvelon needs to be taken at the same time each day to make it as effective as possible. You can take it with food if you like, but it isn’t necessary.

You might want to set a reminder or alarm to remember to take Marvelon at the same time each day. Some women find it easy to slot into their routines when they take it first thing in the morning, for example — but that might not be the best option for you.

When you first start taking Marvelon, you should use a back-up birth control method (like condoms or a diaphragm) for the first 7 days, until your body becomes used to Marvelon and it becomes effective.

When can I start taking Marvelon?

What happens if I miss a pill?

What if I’m sick when taking Marvelon?

What do Marvelon pills look like?

How long does it take Marvelon to become effective?

Can you take Marvelon when you’re breastfeeding?

What Marvelon generics are there?

Marvelon is known by several other names, including Gedarel 30, Cimizt and Munalea 30. 

The way each of these works in the body is the same, because they contain the same hormones, in the same amounts. The only differences are the way the pills look, and the packaging they come in.

What if I’m not happy with Marvelon?

What other pills can I switch to from Marvelon?

What should I do if I want to switch from Marvelon?

What are the most common side effects of Marvelon?

Side effects are a potential outcome of using any kind of medication. So whether you use Marvelon or another form of birth control, there is a chance that you’ll experience some kind of side effect as a result.

Some side effects are quite low key, and normally go away after you’ve been using Marvelon for a few weeks, or a couple of months. These side effects should not impact your day to day life, although they can be annoying.

The most common side effects women have found when using Marvelon are: nausea (this might happen when you first start using Marvelon as your body adjusts to the birth control), being sick, experiencing headaches, stomach cramps, feeling bloated, dizziness, vaginal itching, increased discharge, tender or swollen boobs, discharge from your nipples, increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair, changes to your appetite or your weight, changes to your sex drive, acne may get worse (it could improve), spotting in between periods, missed periods.

What should I do if I get side effects when taking Marvelon?

Are there serious side effects of using Marvelon?

What if I can’t take Cilique?

Marvelon safety information

Always read the patient information leaflet before taking this pill. If you develop any side effects that concern you or cause you discomfort, speak to your doctor. If you get any serious side effects, go straight to hospital to get urgent medical help.

Can Marvelon interfere with other medications?

Yes, it’s a possibility - which is why it is important to tell the licensed doctor if you’re currently taking medication. Let the doctor know if you’re taking:
  • Antibiotics;
  • Medication for Hepatitis C; 
  • St John’s Wort treatment;
  • Medicines for seizures; 
  • HIV medicines;
  • Barbiturates; 
  • Phenylbutazone.
Read more about combined pill interactions.

Can any woman take Marvelon?