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  • Pack of 63 Cilest ethinylestradiol/norgestimate oral contraceptive tablets
  • Blister pack of Cilest oral contraceptive tablets front and back
  • Box of Cilest contraceptive tablets with blister packs

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Note: You must complete a short online consultation so that our doctor can ensure that the treatment is suitable for you. The above pricing should only be used as a reference. The final decision to issue this treatment lies with the prescribing doctor.

What is Cilest?

Cilest is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, but it must be taken daily for 21 days to ensure you are covered from pregnancy. Cilest is taken orally in the form of a 250mcg / 35mcg tablet. This highly effective successfully prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation and by stopping sperm from reaching the womb. This hormonal contraceptive medication provides immediate protection from pregnancy, but also alleviates pain associated with periods, making them lighter.

Cilest's main purpose is to prevent pregnancy and it does this with a high level of effectiveness, however, Cilest also has a number of other advantages.

  • As Cilest thins the lining of your womb, it means your periods are likely to become lighter and any associated PMS symptoms may reduce. Many women take the combined pill for this reason alone.
  • It is safe to continue taking your pill without a break for up to three months if you want to skip your period. You simply start the next pack without a seven-day break. You may experience some spotting or bloating if you take Cilest or any other combined pill straight through.
  • You will always know when your period is due. Your period will start a few days after you stop taking the pill for your seven-day break. This is not a real period but a breakthrough bleed. You may be bleeding when it's time to start the next packet - this is normal and you should stick to the timetable even if your period has not finished. Many women with irregular periods appreciate the certainty of knowing when their period will arrive.
  • If you have endometriosis the combined pill can manage the symptoms. Endometriosis is when the womb lining grows in places it shouldn't, for example on the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It's a painful condition that has no cure, but the combined pill can lessen symptoms and allow women a better quality of life.
  • The combined pill can manage acne and other skin problems. It regulates hormones and therefore flare-ups of acne in teens and adults are often reduced.  
  • The combined pill may reduce your chances of developing womb and ovarian cancers if you use it long term.
  • Using the combined pill doesn't interrupt sex. Therefore taking Cilest also reduces your chances of unwanted pregnancy because you don't need to stop and fit barrier contraception.
  • It significantly reduces the amount of worry and stress women feel over the potential to accidentally fall pregnant. Using the combined pill alongside barrier methods provides efficient contraception against both pregnancy and STIs, and allows women to relax during sex.

The Different Types of Combined Pill and Mini Pill

Combined pills have two hormones that reduce a woman's fertility. Available brands alongside Cilest are Yasmin and Microgynon. All combined pills use a combination of oestrogen and progesterone to prevent pregnancy. Mini pills are also available, which are more suitable for some women who are unable to take the combined pill because oestrogen affects them negatively. Mini pills, such as Micronor or Cerazette contain only progesterone and are also known as POP or progesterone only pills. They work in the same way as combined pills.

Emergency contraception, often called the morning after pill, is available for contraception after unprotected sex. EllaOne can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex has taken place whilst Levonelle can also be taken up to five days after, but the effectiveness diminishes when taken quickly. You shouldn't rely on emergency contraception and limit its use to just once every menstrual cycle. If you're having regular sex it's best to arrange some more permanent contraception such as the combined pill.

The combined contraceptive pills Yasmin, Microgynon and Cilest all work in the same way, but the ingredients are slightly different. This means if you have side effects or find Cilest doesn't suit you, there are other combined pill options. Speak to your doctor if you feel Cilest is affecting you adversely.

How Is Cilest Different From Other Contraceptives

Cilest is easily recognisable as the pills are blue, round and have 0 250 printed on one side and 35 printed on the reverse. They are presented in blister strips of 21 tablets that make up one month's supply.

Cilest active ingredients are ethinylestradiol, a synthetic version of oestrogen, and norgestimate, a synthetic version of progesterone. The combined contraceptive pill Yasmin contains drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol hormones, and Microgynon contains ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel. These ingredients are still synthetic oestrogen and progesterone doses but because they differ, one may suit you better than the other. Another contraceptive that contains the same active ingredients - Lizinna.

The mini pill contains only progesterone, which is the main difference. However, it is also taken over the full 28 days as well. Other hormonal contraceptives are taken in different ways, The Nuvaring, for example, is a ring placed inside the vagina to release its hormones. The Evra patch is stuck to your skin, the implant is a thin flexible rod placed in your upper arm and the Intrauterine System is a small T-shaped device that's implanted in your womb. Hormonal-based contraceptives have an excellent effectiveness rate when they are used correctly. Most hormone based techniques have over a 99% effectiveness rate.

Hormone free options include the Intrauterine Device (IUD) which uses copper to prevent a fertilised egg implanting in the womb. Male and female condoms and the diaphragm (used with spermicide) work by preventing sperm from entering the vagina.

How Does Cilest Work?

Pregnancy occurs when a man's sperm fertilises the woman's egg; contraception works by preventing the sperm and egg from meeting. Cilest does this through the use of hormones.

Cilest is a monophasic combined pill which means every pill contains the same amount of hormone. Other combined pills, called phasic pills, need to be taken in a specific order as their hormone levels differ however Cilest is the same daily dose with a seven-day break after three weeks, making it easier to monitor.

Cilest contains two hormones:

  • A synthetic version of oestrogen - specifically ethinylestradiol
  • A synthetic version of progesterone - specifically norgestimate

All combined contraceptives work the same way as Cilest. Their hormones prevent ovulation, thicken the cervical mucus and thin the womb lining. This prevents pregnancy because without a released egg there is nothing for sperm to fertilise. If your ovaries do release an egg, the thickened cervical mucus prevents sperm from entering your womb, and lastly, a fertilised egg cannot survive in a thin womb lining.

However, you must take Cilest at the same time each day to achieve the over 99% effectiveness rate. Forgotten pills and using Cilest incorrectly can result in pregnancy.

How To Take Cilest

Cilest is designed to be taken at the same time each day. It's recommended you take them at the same time to reduce the chances of forgetting the dose. The strip packets are printed with the days of the week to help you remember.

Cilest pills are small easily swallowed tablets that cause few problems. You are able to swallow them without water. Don't break or cut any pills as this reduces the amount of hormone you will ingest. If you have difficulty swallowing the pills you can take them with food but be careful not to crush the pill.

After 21 days your current strip of pills will run out. You take a seven-day break at this point and will experience a withdrawal bleed. If you want to skip a period, continue straight to the next packet without a break.

Make sure you obtain another prescription or refill your pills in plenty of time. If you run out you will need to start the process again.

How To Start Cilest

For immediate cover you should start taking the pill on the first day of your period. You are then immediately covered against pregnancy. It's recommended you begin Cilest on the first day of your period.

If in the likely scenario you want to start Cilest mid-cycle, then you will need to use barrier contraception until you've taken them correctly for seven days. This gives the pill time to start working. If you've had an abortion or miscarriage before 24 weeks gestation, you can start taking Cilest right away.

If you are swapping from another hormonal form of contraception, and you have used it correctly, you can swap immediately to Cilest and be covered against pregnancy. Otherwise follow the instruction for starting the pill at any point in your cycle and use barrier contraception for the following seven days.

What To Do If You Miss A Dose

The reliability of Cilest is reduced if you miss a dose, but it's easy to forget. If you do, follow these guidelines:

  • One missed tablet: take it as soon as you remember and take the next at your usual time. This might mean taking two in one day. You don't need any additional precautions; you are still fully protected.
  • Two or more missed tablets: take the most recently missed pill but leave out the others. Take the rest of the pills as usual and use barrier contraception for the following seven days.
  • If there are less than six pills in your pack and you have missed a dose, skip the seven-day break and continue immediately to the next packet.
  • This does include if you vomit and/or experience diarrhoea. You should treat vomiting and diarrhoea as if you have missed a day's dose. Take another pill if you are sick within two hours. If you continue to be sick or have severe diarrhoea follow the missed pill procedure.

Forgetting to take your pill is not uncommon. You will be covered against pregnancy if you follow the missed pill instructions and use barrier methods for seven days. If you have sex before realising you have forgotten your pill you should consider emergency contraception.

Cilest Side Effects

There are some side effects associated with Cilest. They range from very common to rare. It's important to note that if you begin a contraceptive pill, these side effects are slightly more likely. If they are manageable, stick with your chosen contraceptive option for three months and consult a doctor if they don't improve or worsen after this time.

Very common side effects (affects more than 1 in 10 patients):

  • Headache (but if severe, unusual or long lasting, see a doctor as soon as possible)
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Breakthrough bleeding. This is when you have an unexpected bleed. It usually only happens in the first few months of taking a combined contraceptive pill, but if it continues for three months speak to your doctor.

Common side effects (affects more than 1 in 100 patients):

  • Migraine (see a doctor as soon as possible if this is your first migraine or it's worse than usual)
  • Swollen hands, ankles or feet
  • Depression and mood changes
  • Feeling nervous or dizzy
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Stomach ache, bloating, constipation
  • Acne or rash
  • Muscle spasms, pain in the legs, arms and back
  • Painful breasts
  • Urinary tract infections (pain on passing urine)
  • Vaginal infections such as thrush or increased vaginal discharge
  • No menstrual periods
  • Feeling weak
  • Weight gain

Uncommon side effects (affects fewer than 1 in 100 patients)

  • Breast problems
  • Abnormal cells in the cervix (identified by a smear test)
  • Feeling anxious or faint
  • Changes in skin colour
  • Skin problems such as redness and itchiness
  • Hair thinning
  • Changes in appetite
  • Change in sex drive
  • Dry eyes  or changes in vision
  • Palpitations (feeling your heartbeat)
  • Hot flushes
  • Muscle pain
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Ovarian cysts

Rare side effects (affects less than 1 in 1000 patients)

  • Lumpy breasts
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Feeling giddy
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Pancreatitis
  • Increased sweating

If Cilest doesn't agree with you and you experience unwanted side effects, you can try a different combined pill that contains a different dosage of norgestimate and ethinylestradiol. There are also other combined pills containing different synthetic hormones that may suit you better.

Some women find that the milder side effects wear off as their bodies adjust to the hormones. It can be worth riding out minor symptoms until your body settles, but if you can't manage them, or they affect you badly, then switch to a different type of combined pill.

It's important to remember that Cilest and any hormonal-based contraceptive does not provide protection against sexually transmitted infections. Only male and female condoms can offer the best protection when it comes to keeping you STI free. If you are having casual sex then always use a condom or you run the risk of contracting infections like chlamydia and syphilis. If you've had unprotected sex then it's advisable to have a checkup at your local GUM clinic as some STIs are symptomless and can cause infertility.

Cilest Precautions

Who Can Use Cilest

Cilest is used by many women who experience no side effects and remain pregnancy free. It's well tolerated and easy to obtain but there are some women who are advised against taking Cilest.

These include:

  • If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Cilest
  • If you've ever had a blood clot
  • If you have blood clotting disorder such as protein C deficiency
  • If you need an operation and will be 'off your feet' for a while
  • If you've ever had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • If you've ever had a heart attack
  • If you have severe diabetes
  • If you have high blood pressure
  • If you have high levels of fat in your blood
  • If you experience migraines with aura (light disturbances)
  • If you have breast or liver cancer
  • If you have liver disease
  • If you are over 35 and smoke
  • If you may be pregnant
  • If you are breastfeeding
  • If you have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • If you have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Check with your doctor and read the enclosed information leaflet for all the information on Cilest.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you have given birth and you're looking for hormonal birth control, your doctor may recommend you don't take the combined pill immediately. This is because you are at more risk of blood clots. If you start taking Cilest more than 21 days after a birth, you should use barrier methods for seven days. If it's before 21 days then you will be covered against pregnancy.

If you are breastfeeding, you should not take any combined pill as it reduces milk production.

Other medication interactions

As with most prescription medicines there are some medicines that can interfere with how Cilest works. During your consultation you'll be asked questions about your family history and other medications to ensure Cilest is right for you.

Be sure to mention that you are taking Cilest if you develop an illness that requires medicines such as antibiotics as they can stop Cilest working correctly.

Here are some of the medicines that can reduce Cilest's effectiveness:

  • Antibiotics
  • Epilepsy medicines
  • Anti-HIV medicines
  • Fungal infection medicines
  • St John's Wort - a herbal medicine sometimes used to fight depression.
  • Metoclopramide
  • Arthritis pain and inflammation medications
  • Barbiturates such as sleeping tablets

If you take thyroid hormone for an underactive thyroid, the combined pill may reduce its effectiveness. You may need a higher dose of thyroid replacement. Ensure your levels are checked regularly.

Vomiting and experiencing severe diarrhoea can also prevent Cilest working. If you vomit within two hours of taking your pill you may not be covered against pregnancy. This is because the pill will not have enough time to absorb into your bloodstream. Take another pill and then the next at your usual time to provide continuous cover. If you vomit over a 24 hour period you won't be covered against pregnancy. Severe diarrhoea can have the same effect on Cilest as vomiting. If you have diarrhoea for 24 hours your pill may not work.

  • If you forget to take the pill then you may not be covered against pregnancy, so it's essential to remember your pill every day. If you are forgetful or busy another method of contraception such as the implant, patch or Nuvaring may suit you better.
  • Taking any combined pill raises the risk of a blood clot or thrombosis. Blood clots develop in the arteries and if they break free can travel to the heart or brain causing a heart attack or stroke. It's very rare but it's more likely in women who smoke or who are obese with a BMI of over 30.
  • It's unlikely you'll be prescribed Cilest if you fall into these categories, but your doctor is best placed to decide. Two out of 10,000 women who do not take the combined contraceptive pill develop a blood clot per year. Women who develop a blood clot whilst taking the combined pill number five to seven out of 10,000. The risk is very small and a blood clot is extremely rare.
  • The combined pill may slightly increase your chances of developing breast cancer. Every woman should examine her breasts regularly and report any lumps, bumps, skin changes or pain to their doctor immediately whether they take the combined pill or not. The increased risk of breast cancer disappears ten years after stopping the pill.
  • The combined pill may also raise your risk of developing cervical cancer, although this may be attributed to having sex without condoms.

Can you buy without a prescription?

No. All clinically proven medication requires a valid prescription and Cilest is available on prescription only in the UK. To obtain Cilest you'll need a prescription from your doctor. This is because your doctor needs to check your blood pressure and discuss your family history with you. This is to confirm the medication is perfectly safe and highly effective for you to use. The prescription process will involve a short consultation – this is the same in person as well as online – and involves medical and personal question to ensure this combined contraceptive is compatible with you.

How to buy Cilest?

Once you have been safely prescribed Cilest you can order it online ensuring that you give a full account of your medical history and current medications, both herbal and bought, during the online consultation. Cilest is used worldwide by many women. It's proven to be safe, effective and reliable when it's taken correctly. Hormonal birth control gives you freedom from pregnancy and a whole host of other benefits such as control over your menstruation, relief from endometriosis and an effective acne treatment.

Is it safe to order online?

When ordering from a certified online pharmacy, you can be ensured that your medication is safe. If the pharmacy doesn't ask you to complete essential health and medical question, however, this is a telltale sign that the website isn't certified. The website should also display clear signs that it is registered and approved by the relevant authorities. In the UK, this includes being registered by the MHRA and GMC

All medication will be delivered in tamper proof packaging complete with the full patient leaflet, which confirms that the medication is clinically proven and highly effective.

What is included in the price?

When ordering Cilest online here at Medilico, this is an all-inclusive price including the prescription, consultation, medication and delivery. There are no hidden costs. The price adjusts depending on the dosage and quantity you have ordered.

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