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Cerelle ®

Cerelle is a mini pill that contains only one hormone, desogestrel, that protects you from getting pregnant. You take it every day without having a pill-free break.

With an EveAdam subscription, you can get your pill delivered to you regularly when you need it, without worrying about your prescription running out.

Treatments from only £6.33 per month

Buy Cerelle online and get clockwork deliveries with EveAdam.

Cerelle is a prescription-only mini pill you can get delivered to you on a regular basis with an EveAdam plan. Start your consultation with one of our registered prescribers and they can advise you on which contraceptive pills are most suitable for you.

Once you’ve chosen your pill, you can select how often you’d like to receive it: every 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. Our clinician will issue a prescription for you and our pharmacy will dispense it. You’ll get your first parcel by secure courier the next working day.


What is the Cerelle pill?

Cerelle is a contraceptive pill with only one hormone in it: desogestrel.


Bit of a mouthful isn’t it? It’s just a type of progesterone that prevents pregnancy by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg. Without an egg, there’s nothing for a sperm to fertilise.

It also makes the fluid in the cervix thicker, which makes it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg.

Cerelle is a pill of many names. Sometimes it’s referred to as the mini pill. Sometimes it’s referred to as the progesterone only pill. And sometimes it’s referred to as the progestogen-only pill, or POP.

The combined contraceptive pill is used more widely than the mini pill, but the combined pill, which has oestrogen in it too, isn’t suitable for all women, as some women are sensitive to oestrogen.

How do Cerelle pills stop you getting pregnant?

Your body prepares itself for pregnancy each month. When you ovulate, the ovary releases an egg which moves through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. If the egg is fertilised by sperm, it embeds itself in the uterine wall, and starts to develop. If the egg isn’t fertilised, you don’t fall pregnant.

Ovulation is triggered by hormones fluctuating in the body. Hormones cause other things to happen during this time too, such as making the uterine wall thicker, creating a better environment for a fertilised egg to grow there.

The body contains the naturally occurring hormones progesterone and oestrogen. Adding desogestrel, the hormone in Cerelle, to these existing hormones changes the hormonal balance slightly. Cerelle stops ovulation from happening, and thickens the mucus in the cervix, preventing sperm from being able to reach an egg very easily.

Cerelle in a nutshell.

Page reviewed by:
Dr Daniel Atkinson
Dr Daniel Atkinson
GP Clinical Lead
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Last updated 24/06/2021

What you need to know about Cerelle

Cerelle effectiveness: what are the numbers?

If you take it properly, over 99%.[1] So out of 100 women taking Cerelle over the course of 1 year, less than 1 will get pregnant. This is called ‘perfect use’.

But if you forget a pill from time to time or don’t take it when you should, it’s not quite as effective. Around 91%. So for every 100 women taking it over a 12-month period, 9 will become pregnant. This is what’s known as ‘typical use’.

In short - the less mistakes you make with it, the lower your pregnancy risk.

Can you get pregnant on Cerelle?

Can you get Cerelle without a prescription?

How to get the Cerelle pill online

How to take Cerelle

Cerelle comes in strips of 28 pills, each pill marked with the day of the week alongside it and arrows which you should follow. Take 1 pill at the same time every day, with no breaks between one strip and the next.

Swallow each pill whole with water.

If you take your first Cerelle pill on the first day of your period, you’ll get immediate protection from pregnancy. You can start taking Cerelle on days 2-5 of your cycle, but you’ll need to use additional contraception such as condoms for the first 7 days.

You may experience some bleeding when you’re using Cerelle, but just keep taking the pills as normal.

When you’ve reached the end of a strip, start a new strip the following day, without waiting for a bleed.

Missed pill on Cerelle: what to do

Cerelle and periods

Coming off Cerelle

Common Cerelle side effects

Headache, feeling sick, pain in the breasts and irregular (or no periods) are common side effects with Cerelle. These side effects usually disappear within a few months of taking the pill, but if they persist or if you’re concerned about your period, let our clinician know. They may advise you to try a different pill.

When to see a doctor

Does Cerelle cause weight gain?

Will Cerelle give me acne?

Cerelle and Cerazette: which is better?

Like Cerelle, Cerazette is a progesterone only pill, and it contains the same hormone, desogestrel. Both pills work in the body in the same way to prevent pregnancy.

But because the two pills are made by different manufacturers, the pills themselves may look different, and the packaging isn’t the same.

Cerazette is also a branded pill, and it’s slightly more expensive than Cerelle, which is a generic product.

Is Noriday the same as Cerelle?

What’s the difference between Cerelle and Feanolla?

Other Cerelle safety information

You should always read the patient information leaflet that comes with Cerelle before you take it.

Can Cerelle interfere with other medications?

It’s important to let our clinician know about any medications you’re currently taking, or have recently taken, during your consultation.

Medicines for the treatment of epilepsy, HIV, Hepatitis C, high blood pressure in the lungs, depressive moods, some bacterial and fungal infections, high blood pressure, angina or certain heart rhythm disorders can interact with Cerelle and impact on its effectiveness.

Read more mini pill safety info.

Can any woman take Cerelle?


[1] Korver, T. 2009. A double-blind study comparing the contraceptive efficacy, acceptability and safety of two progestogen-only pills containing desogestrel 75 μg/day or levonorgestrel 30 μg/day: Collaborative Study Group on the Desogestrel-containing Progestogen-only Pill. Taylor and Francis Online, Volume 3, 1998 Issue 4. [Accessed May 6th 2021].

[2] Lopez, L.M. Et al. Effects of progestogin-only birth control in weight. U.S.A. Cochrane. [Accessed May 6th 2021].