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a 3 x 21 tablets pack of Marvelon
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Free standard delivery
We dispatch orders from Monday to Friday. If placed before 4pm, your order will be dispatched the same day. Orders placed after 4pm will be sent the next working day.
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Collect your order from any Royal Mail post office. You will receive an email or SMS when your order is ready for collection. It will be available to collect for up to 18 days. Proof of Identification will be required.
Next Day Express Delivery
If placed before 4pm, your order will be delivered by 1pm on the next working day. Orders placed after 4pm will sent out the next day and delivered the day after.
+ £3.99
Saturday delivery
If placed before 4pm, your order will be delivered by 1pm on Saturday.
+ £7.99

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may vary depending on the pack size and dosage chosen.

Marvelon is a birth control pill which contains two hormones, oestrogen (ethinyl-estradiol) and progesterone (desogestrel).

To order Marvelon online, fill in our brief online questionnaire. Our London-based doctors will use your answers to confirm whether you can continue contraception with Marvelon. This service is only suitable for women who have been taking the contraceptive pill for at least 3 months. You can choose between a 3 and 6 month course.

3 month supply £24.99
6 month supply £29.99

Prices include delivery and prescription.

What does Marvelon do?

Marvelon is a low oestrogen dose combined oral contraceptive (COC) which is taken to prevent pregnancy. It contains two synthetic hormones, ethinylestradiol and desogestrel.

How does Marvelon birth control work?

Essentially, Marvelon tricks the body into thinking it has already ovulated. This means that no eggs will be released from the ovaries, and so there is no chance of fertilisation. Marvelon also increases the thickness of the cervical mucus and this can help act as a barrier to sperm. Marvelon also thins the womb lining, which means it is difficult for an egg to implant in the womb, were one released from the ovaries then fertilised.

How effective is Marvelon?

The contraceptive pill is over 99% effective when taken correctly.

In fact, large studies on Marvelon have demonstrated zero pregnancies in 98,000 menstrual cycles, i.e. the chance of pregnancy is less than one per year in a group of 8000 women.

How is Marvelon different from the other oral contraceptives?

All the combined contraceptive pills contain synthetic hormones of oestrogen and progesterone, but different versions. Marvelon contains synthetic oestrogen (ethinylestradiol) and synthetic progesterone (desogestrel). Mercilon contains the same synthetic hormones, but the ethinylestradiol is at a different dosage in the pills. There are 30mg of ethinylestradiol in Marvelon, and 20mg in Mercilon.

What are the other benefits of Marvelon?

Like many of the other combined contraceptives, Marvelon can help regulate the menstrual cycle and make periods more predictable. It can also relieve any pain involved whilst menstruating. The pill might even reduce the risk of cancer of the ovaries and womb.

Can I still get pregnant in the long run?

If you are taking the pill as the instructions state, you are virtually completely protected from becoming pregnant. As the treatment is only hormonal, you can get pregnant again once you stop taking the treatment. The treatment is very reliable and reversible.

Who usually takes Marvelon?

You can buy and take Marvelon if you are over 18 and do not want to become pregnant. Marvelon needs to be taken almost every day (every day for 21 days, starting on the first day of your period). To make the treatment work, you need to be consistent with taking the pill: some women may find this inconvenient. You should check the warnings tab to ensure that it is suitable for you to take Marvelon in conjunction with any health problems or medication you might have.

Are there any disadvantages to Marvelon? 

One disadvantage might be that you need to take the pill every day for 21 days, which may be inconvenient. However, the treatment is highly effective if you consistently take the pill.

However, Mercilon is not recommended for smokers over 35 years old, and women with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35 kg/m2.

Am I at risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE)? 

Any contraception containing oestrogen increases the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Studies suggest that for women who do not use contraception the risk of VTE is 5 to 50 women per year in 100,000. This risk rises two to fivefold for women who use low dose oestrogen combined oral contraceptives (COCs), to 25 to 100 women per year in 100,000. Progesterone only pills (POPs) do not increase the risk of VTE.

Am I at risk of a heart attack? 

No. There is no increased risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction) due to using low dose oestrogen combined contraceptives such as Marvelon.

Will my weight increase? 

No. Marvelon does not cause weight gain. Weight gain was a side effect of earlier contraceptives with higher progesterone doses. The modern combined oral contraceptives (COCs) such as Marvelon, Mercilon, and Cerazette offered by DrEd contain reduced levels of progesterone, and the type of progesterone used (Desogestrel) is more targeted and does not have the side effect of weight gain.

What can’t I eat whilst taking Marvelon? 

No particular food has been found to interact with Marvelon.

Do you need a prescription for Marvelon? 

No. DrEd will send Marvelon to you after a consultation, provided Marvelon is suitable for your needs.

When do I start treatment? 

To ensure maximum protection, you should start taking Marvelon on the first day of your period, and continue taking it for 21 days.

Do I still need to use a condom?

Yes. Taking a contraceptive like Marvelon does not protect you from STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Using a condom is the best way to provide STI protection, and it is a good back up precaution for preventing pregnancy.

Can I drink alcohol whilst taking Marvelon? 

Alcohol does not interact with this medication, and does not affect how Marvelon works. Therefore, it is medically acceptable to drink whilst on Marvelon. However, drinking too much alcohol can have very severe impacts on your general health and so should be avoided.

How will I know that Marvelon is working? 

There are 7 days in your cycle (the time between the 21st day after the first day of your period and the first day of your next period) when you do not take Marvelon. During this time, most women experience a “withdrawal” bleed. This is perfectly normal and just shows the contraceptive is working. If you miss one of these withdrawal bleeds but have taken your pills correctly, it is unlikely you are pregnant. However, if you miss two withdrawal bleeds in a row, there is a chance you are pregnant. If this applies to you, contact a medical professional as soon as possible; they will be able to confirm whether you are pregnant or not.

What dosage do I take?

A standard Marvelon tablet contains 150mg Desogestrel and 30mg Ethinylestradiol. You need to take one tablet per day and you should take this at a regular time each day to get maximum protection, and to help you remember all your doses. If you realise you have missed a dose too late, just resume your medication the next day: you will still be protected during this time. However, if you miss three or more treatments, the treatment will not work and you could get pregnant. It doesn’t matter if you take food or don’t take food with your treatment.

Vomiting or having diarrhoea 12 hours after taking Marvelon may mean you are not fully protected. In this case, just make sure you resume treatment the next day, and use other types of contraceptive precautions in the meantime.

You should take Marvelon for 21 days, with treatment starting on the first day of your period. During the last 7 days of your 28 day cycle, you do not take Marvelon. During this time, you may experience some vaginal bleeding: this is not a period but a “withdrawal” bleed and it just shows your body is responding to the contraceptive. The treatment is usually provided in “strips” of 21: this makes it easier for you to remember when to take your treatment.

Even if you are still having a withdrawal bleed but your 7 break days are over, you must resume taking Marvelon for the next 21 days to ensure full protection.

Overdosing does not improve the level of protection. It won’t harm you either, but may make you feel nauseous or experience vaginal bleeding, so is not advisable.

What does a Marvelon tablet contain?

Marvelon tablets contain the active ingredients ethinylestradiol (30mg) and desogestrel (150mg). Marvelon tablets also contain dl-alpha-tocopherol, potato starch, povidone, stearic acid, aerosil and lactose. If you are allergic to any of these ingredients you should not take Marvelon.

Marvelon Side Effects

Some side effects you may experience whilst taking Marvelon include:

  • Migraine/headache
  • Weight gain
  • Sore breasts/nipple discharge
  • Depression/mood changes
  • Increased blood pressure (swollen feet and hands). This is rare.
  • Gynaecological and vaginal problems: fibroids/endometriosis (womb disorders), fungal infections like thrush and changes in secretions
  • Withdrawal bleeds (do not worry about these so long as they do not last over 2 days)
  • Rashes/brown patches on the skin may occasionally occur
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Eye discomfort
  • Gall stones
  • Chorea (jerky movements)
  • Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (causes joint ache and tiredness)

The following side effects are severe and you must see a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Blood Clot (symptoms: painful swelling of the leg, chest pains, laboured breathing)
  • Heart attack/stroke (symptoms: severe migraine, blurred/loss of vision, dizziness, fainting, seizures, weakness or numbness on one side of the body, slurred speech, sharp chest or stomach pains)
  • Severe allergic reaction (symptoms: swollen face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat)
  • Breast cancer As with all oral hormonal contraceptives, there is a slight increase (0.3%) in the risk of breast cancer (symptoms: dimpling of the skin, changes to the nipple, visible or tangible lumps in the breast tissue).
  • Cervical cancer A possible slight increase in risk of cervical cancer is associated with all the combined contraceptives (symptoms: vaginal discharge containing blood, vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, painful sex).
  • Severe liver problems A possible slight increase in risk of liver problems is associated with all the combined contraceptives (symptoms: upper abdomen pain, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin))


Since Marvelon is made up of exactly the same ingredients as Mercilon, it shares all the same warnings. However, since Marvelon contains a higher dosage of synthetic oestrogen, there are some new warnings that are not associated with Mercilon. It is important that you note these (see ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease in “Tell your doctor if any of the following apply to you” and the last three points in “Do not take Marvelon if the following apply to you”).

What a doctor may do before you start taking Marvelon:

  • Take your blood pressure
  • Check your family’s medical history
  • Examine your breasts

While you are taking Marvelon you need to:

  • Have regular check-ups with your doctor
  • Have regular cervical smear tests
  • Check your breasts for changes, lumps and dimpling of the skin regularly
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking the pill and need a blood test
  • Tell your doctor if you are on the pill before an operation: you may need to stop your contraceptive treatment 4-6 weeks before an operation to reduce the risk of blood clots

How high is the risk of having a blood clot when taking Marvelon?

The Pill may slightly increase your risk of having a blood clot. This is particularly true during the first year of treatment. Deep vein thrombosis is a clot in a leg vein. This is not always serious, but if the clot moves into the lungs it can cause chest pains, breathlessness, collapse and even death.

Of 100,000 women who are not on Marvelon, about 5 to 50 will have a blood clot each year: this rises to 25 to 100 clots each year in every 100,000 women taking Marvelon. However, as you can see from the figures, the chance of a blood clot is quite rare. Your lifestyle and other factors of your health are more likely to determine your risk of blood clot.

Does it increase the risk of cancer?

Marvelon could increase the risk of cervical cancer but this is more likely to be due to having sex without a condom, rather than Marvelon interacting with your body. To avoid this, have regular smear tests, and still use a condom even while taking Marvelon.

Marvelon may increase the risk of breast cancer slightly. You should not take Marvelon if you have or have had breast cancer. If you do not have breast cancer, the risk increases with the length of time you take Marvelon, but returns to normal within ten years of stopping the medication.

You should see your doctor immediately if you notice any changes to your breasts.

Do not take Marvelon if the following apply to you:

  • You are pregnant/breast feeding
  • You have/have had breast cancer
  • You have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • You have/have had severe liver disease
  • You are allergic to any of the ingredients in Marvelon
  • You or anyone in your close family has had problems with their circulation (including blood clots, heart attacks or strokes)
  • You had the following issues whilst pregnant or on steroids: jaundice, blister-like rash, hearing problems or systemic lupus erythematosus
  • You are over 50
  • You are under 18
  • You are a heavy smoker (more than 40 a day)

You should not take Marvelon if any of the above apply to you. In addition, if you experience any of the above whilst on Marvelon, consult your doctor immediately.

Some health issues may mean that Marvelon is less suitable for you, but that you can still use it.

Tell your doctor if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have had heart or circulation problems (e.g. blood clotting)
  • You have inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis
  • You have sickle cell anaemia
  • You have diabetes
  • You have excessive thickening of the womb lining
  • You have had gynaecological problems like fibroids or endometriosis
  • You have had kidney/liver problems or gall stones
  • You have had severe depression
  • You have/ have had epilepsy/migraines
  • You have brown patches on your body/face (chloasma)
  • You smoke
  • You have taken sex steroids before
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have high blood cholesterol or a family history of this
  • You have gallstones

If you experience any of these after starting the pill, consult your doctor at once.

Some medicines can stop Marvelon from working properly:

  • Epilepsy treatments
  • Some antibiotics
  • Some sedatives (barbiturates)
  • St John’s Wort (herbal remedy)
  • Griseofulvin (antifungal)
  • Some laxatives/medical charcoal

Marvelon can also affect how well other medicines work. An example is diabetic medicine. You should consult your doctor if you are taking any other medication whilst taking Marvelon.

You should be over 18 if you use Marvelon.

There are no tests determining the safety of the drug in people under this age.

If you have a question about this service, please email info@dred.com with the question, and one of our doctors will get back to you within 24 hours.

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