The combined oral contraceptive pill, usually just called "the pill", contains artificial versions of female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which women produce naturally in their ovaries.
A woman can get pregnant if a man's sperm reaches one of her eggs (ova). Contraception tries to stop this happening usually by keeping the egg and sperm apart or by stopping the release of an egg (ovulation).
The pill is over 99% effective if used correctly. Some women find it difficult to take the pill at the same time every day, and it's less effective if not used correctly. Other methods of contraception are better at preventing pregnancy, such as the IUD, IUS, implant and injection.
If you have no symptoms and want a straightforward test you can:
This is a quick, easy and confidential way to screen for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis.
Call our appointments line for more information about sexual health services in Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth.
0333 300 2100 (Mon-Fri 8am-7pm).
Read more about the pill via the NHS Choices website
Find an NHS clinic near you
I've been raped or sexually assaulted
If you have been sexually assaulted and need an appointment please call 0333 300 2100 and ask to speak to a Health Adviser.
For further advice and information http://www.thehavens.org.uk.