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Norgeston ®

Norgeston is a mini pill. It’s got one hormone in it, levonorgestrel, that stops you from becoming pregnant.

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Norgeston is a prescription-only mini pill. It’s a bit different to the combined pill in that there’s no oestrogen in there, so it’s more suitable for women with medical conditions like migraine, or who are breastfeeding.

At EveAdam we’re all about convenience. Consult online with a UK prescriber, and get pill recommendations that are tailor-made for you. You can then choose a pill and how often you want to get it.

And then? Hey presto. Your pill arrives at your door, in discreet packaging, regularly. So all the monthly or quarterly stress of picking up scripts from your surgery and dropping them in at the chemist is a distant memory.

What is the Norgeston pill?

Norgeston is a contraceptive pill that has just the one hormone in it: levonorgestrel.

It’s a word that seems to go on forever, and it sounds fancy, but it’s not really. It’s just a type of progesterone that stops you from getting pregnant in a few different ways.

Levonorgestrel thickens fluid in the cervix, making it harder for sperm to move through it and fertilise an egg.

Progesterone only pills like Norgeston (sometimes known as mini pills, or POPs) also prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg. No egg = nothing for sperm to fertilise.

The combined pill, which contains two hormones, a progesterone and an oestrogen, is more commonly used than the mini pill, but it’s not the best option for all women.[1] Some women are more sensitive to oestrogen, and its side effects, than others.

And that’s where the mini pill comes in.

How do Norgeston pills stop you getting pregnant?

Every month, your body gears itself up for pregnancy. Ovulation takes place, in which the ovary releases an egg that travels to the uterus to be fertilised by sperm. If the egg is fertilised, it latches on to the wall of the uterus, and begins to grow. If the egg isn’t fertilised, you don’t get pregnant.

Hormones in the body cause ovulation, and they give rise to other things too. They thicken the uterine wall, which creates the right conditions for a fertilised egg to attach itself to the wall and grow there.

The body already contains the naturally occurring hormones progesterone and oestrogen, and when the hormone in Norgeston, levonorgestrel, is added to the mix, it alters the hormonal balance slightly. Ovulation is prevented, and the mucus in the cervix is made thicker, making it a lot more difficult for sperm to reach an egg.

In essence – it’s got a lot of strings to its menstrual bow.

Page reviewed by:
Dr Daniel Atkinson
Dr Daniel Atkinson
GP Clinical Lead
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Last updated 18/11/2021

What you need to know about Norgeston

How effective is Norgeston?

If you take it correctly, very. Over 99%. So to put this into perspective, out of 100 women taking Norgeston over a 12-month period, less than 1 will get pregnant. This is known as ‘perfect use’ of the pill.

It’s not quite as effective if you miss pills here and there, or are late in taking it. Around 91%. So out of 100 women taking it for a year, 9 will become pregnant. This is called ‘typical use’ of the pill.

So if you want to get as much protection as you can from it, aim for ‘perfect use’.

Can you get pregnant on Norgeston?

Can you get Norgeston without a prescription?

How to buy Norgeston online

How to take Norgeston

There are 35 pills in every strip. Each pill has a day of the week printed next to it, and you should follow the direction of the arrows. Take 1 pill at the same time every day, without taking any breaks between one strip and the next.

If you need to, swallow each pill whole with water, but don’t chew the pills.

Start taking Norgeston on the first day of your period, as this gives you immediate protection from pregnancy. If you’re switching from a progesterone only pill to Norgeston, you can start taking Norgeston at any point without your protection from pregnancy being affected.

If you’re switching from the combined pill to Norgeston, start taking Norgeston the day after your last active pill. You don’t need to use any extra contraception, such as condoms.

Norgeston and missed pills

Does Norgeston stop periods?

Common Norgeston side effects

Common side effects with Norgeston are changes in your menstrual bleeding (irregular bleeding or no bleeding at all), nausea, vomiting, feeling dizzy, headaches and migraines, and tender breasts. These side effects usually disappear within a few months of taking Norgeston, but if you find that they continue or if you have any concerns about side effects, let our prescriber know. They may recommend that you try an alternative pill.

When to see a doctor

Does Norgeston make you gain weight?

Can Norgeston give me acne?

Norgeston or Cerazette: what’s the difference?

Cerazette is a progesterone only pill, like Norgeston, but it contains a different hormone (desogestrel). They work in the same way in the body, but some women are more sensitive to certain hormones in pills than others, so you may find that Cerazette is more suitable for you than Norgeston (and vice versa).

The two pills also have different missed pill windows. With Norgeston, the missed pill window is three hours, so if you’re more than three hours late in taking it, it counts as a missed pill. You have a bit more breathing space with Cerazette, as the missed pill window is 12 hours.

They’re both branded pills, but Norgeston is made by Bayer, while Cerazette is made by Merck Sharp and Dohme. So the pills themselves and the packaging may not look the same either.

Is the 30mcg dose of Norgeston the only dose available?

Is a 3-hour pill like Norgeston better than a 12-hour pill like Cerazette?

Other Norgeston safety information

Before you start taking Norgeston, you should always read the patient information leaflet that comes with your pill.

Norgeston leaflet

Can Norgeston interact with other medications?

If you’re currently taking, or have recently taken, any medications, let our prescriber know about these during your consultation.

Medicines for epilepsy, HIV, Hepatitis C, high blood pressure (in the lungs and heart-related high blood pressure) and certain heart diseases can interact with Norgeston, and interfere with how effective it is in the body.

Read more about taking the progestogen only pill with other medications.

Can any woman take Norgeston?


[1] Nilson, R. 2010. Estrogen-free oral hormonal contraception: Benefits of progestogen only pill. Women's Health. U.S.A. Sage Journals. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.2217/whe.10.36 [Accessed May 6th 2021].

[2] Lopez, L.M. Et al. Effects of progestogin-only birth control in weight. U.S.A. Cochrane. https://www.cochrane.org/CD008815/FERTILREG_effects-progestin-only-birth-control-weight [Accessed May 6th 2021].