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Price: $21.95

Paperback 200 pp.
2-colour line drawings throughout, 129 mm x 196 mm



Publication date:
September 2009

Imprint: OUP UK

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The Pill and other forms of hormonal contraception

Seventh Edition

John Guillebaud and Dr. Anne MacGregor

Series : The Facts

Used by over 200 million women since the 1960s, the Pill is one of the most commonly prescribed medicines - and has repeatedly been established as one of the least harmful ever formulated. However, there are some risks, and a number of "Pill Scares" have been reported in the media - often causing women to give up the Pill without finding a satisfactory alternative.

More choices than ever are now available to users of hormonal contraception, and it can be difficult for doctors or family planning workers to find the time for detailed discussion with existing or new users.

Women of all ages, whether they are existing users of or new to hormonal contraception, will find realistic, practical, and trustworthy guidance in this book to help them to make their own informed decisions. It will also be indispensable to health professionals as a concise, balanced overview. This user-friendly book contains extensive and unbiased advice and information on the Pill, along with other hormonal alternatives such as implants, injections and patches.

Readership : People who use or are considering using hormonal contraception, parents of young women taking the Pill, health workers in family planning clinics, general practitioners and practice nurses.


  • Review from previous edition: "THE definitive book on pill use for the consumer... and the professional."

    --Family Planning Today
  • "A winner."

    --The Nursing Times
  • "This new book provides comprehensive information by discussing the facts, unpicking the myths and addressing the uncertainties around the pill. This is an important read for all women who want to know more and be confident about oral contraception."

    --Toni Belfield, Director of Information, Family Planning Association
  • "The facts as far as they are known about the "pill", are contained within this book, written in a clear understandable fashion for the interested reader whether she wants to clarify a single point of interest or concern or if she wants to increase her general knowledge around contraception. The language is readable and jargon free, but not light in detail. This is an excellent resource for women and should be highly recommended by Family Planning doctors."

    --Alison Bigrigg, President, Faculty of Family Planning, Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, London

Part 1 - Your choice of contraception
1. Why take the Pill?
2. What is the Pill?
3. What about other methods of contraception?
Part 2 - Keeping it safe
4. What causes the effects of the Pill?
5. What are the benefits?
6. What are the unwanted side-effects?
7. What about blood clots, hearts attacks, and strokes?
8. What about cancer?
9. Who can and who can't take the Pill?
Part 3 - Taking the Pill
10. How do I get the Pill?
11. How do I start the Pill?
12. How do I take the Pill?
13. What if I forget a Pill?
14. What else can make the Pill less effective?
15. What if I get side-effects?
16. Which Pill should I choose?
Part 4 - Other types of Pill
17. The progestogen-only Pill
18. Emergency contraception
19. The male Pill

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

John Guillebaud is Emeritus Professor of Family Planning and Reproductive Health, University College London. Until 2003 he was the Medical Director of the Margaret Pyke Centre for Family Planning and is currently a vasectomy surgeon at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford. He acts as a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other national and international bodies in the reproductive health field. He originated the Environment Time Capsule Project at www.ecotimecapsule.com, is Trustee of TASKwh (Towards African Solutions through Knowledge for Women's Health), Co-Chair of www.populationandsustainability.org, and Chair of Planet 21 (www.peopleandplanet.net <http://www.peopleandplanet.net>). Dr Anne MacGregor works in sexual and reproductive healthcare at St Bartholomew's Hospital and is an Instructing Doctor and CRQ Vice Convener for the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She is also Clinical Research Director at the City of London Migraine Clinic, an independent medical charity, and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Research Centre for Neuroscience within the Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, London.

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Special Features

  • Written by two leading experts in the field of Family Planning and Reproductive Health, with years of prescribing experience.
  • Contains practical and honest information on why, how and when to take hormonal contraception, as well as which to choose.
  • Frequently asked questions are interspersed throughout the text in boxes for readers to quickly identify the answers to common queries.
  • Includes many clear diagrams to show the biology behind the menstrual cycle and how hormonal contraception works.
  • Extensively updated for the seventh edition to incorporate new developments in the field, and a revised layout in order to help the reader navigate to the relevant sections quickly.
  • Includes Key Point boxes at the start of each chapter to quickly summarise important concepts covered in the text.