The oral contraceptive pill (OCP), or "the pill" for short, is one of the most popular methods of contraception used in Malta. Currently, it's only available for women, although a male pill is being developed.
The contraceptive pill contains one or two hormones that stop ovulation, or release of the egg, and prevents pregnancy. If taken properly, it prevents pregnancy in about 99% of women, but since accidents happen and sometimes pills are missed, it is about 91% effective in real life.
There are two main types of contraceptive pills.
Combined Oral Contraceptives (COCs) contain two hormones - an oestrogen and a progestogen - and include Adele, Yaz, Yasmin, Yasminelle, Mercilon, Nelya, Vreya, and Qlaria. These are taken every day but need a 7 or 4 day break every month.
Progestogen-Only Pills (POPs - also known as mini-pill) contain only one hormone - a progestogen (called desogestrel). Lamya is a mini-pill that is available in Malta, and abroad it is known as Cerazette. It is taken every day with no break. Mini-pills may be less effective than combined pills at preventing pregnancy, especially if a pill is taken late.