Contraceptive Pill : Combined & POP

There are two types of contraceptive pill, the combined pill - often referred to simply as "The Pill" and the Progestogen-only Pill or POP.
The Combined pill contains artificial versions of female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which women produce naturally in their ovaries. The POP contains only the artificial Progestogen.

The pills both work by thickening the mucus in the cervix / neck of the womb, so it is harder for sperm to penetrate the womb and reach an egg to fertilise. They also thin the lining of the womb, so there is less chance of a fertilised egg implanting into the womb and being able to grow.
The hormones in the combined pill stop ovulation, and in some women the POP also prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation)
No ovulation means there is no egg hanging around for sperm to fertilise, so pregnancy can’t happen.

With the Progestogen Only Pill, you must take one pill every day. You do not take a break between packs. With the Combined Pill you must take as advised; the most common are 21 day pills, where you take one for 21 days, and stop for 7 days.
Some combined pill packs come with dummy pills for the 7 off-days so that you do not get out of the habit of taking the pill regularly.


  • The combination pill may reduce the risk of fibroids, ovarian cysts and non-cancerous breast disease. It also reduces the risk of cancer of the ovary, uterus and colon.
  • You can use it when breastfeeding.
  • Both pills could help alleviate the symptoms of PMS, reduce pain during your periods.
  • It doesn't interrupt sex.
  • It can help with Acne in some women.


  • You need to remember to take your pill every day. If you find that you often forget to take your pill, there are other long lasting contraception options available such as The Coil or Implants.
  • Neither the combined pill nor the POP provide any protection from STIs. You should use a condom as well if you think you are at risk of an STI.
  • If you are sick or have diarrhoea within 2 hours of taking your pill, it may not have been absorbed into your bloodstream so could compromise its efficacy.
  • Some women report a loss of libido, changes to skin or weight gain when on the pill. Changes of mood can also be reported, these should be discussed with your gynaecologist if you have concerns.
  • There is also a small increased risk of some serious health conditions, such as thrombosis (blood clots) and breast cancer or cervical cancer. These risks reduce with time after stopping the pill.

(Perfect use means using the method correctly each time. Typical is when you do not always use it correctly)

As a fully qualified member of FMH, Gynäkologie Suisse, E.S.A.G. & ISCG
Dr Wagner is highly qualified and has many years of experience, allowing her to offer first-class advice and treatment of the highest standard in her boutique practice in the heart of Basel.

Don't hesitate to call +41 (0) 61 666 62 10 for an appointment, or book online today.