Combined oral contraceptives

This CPD module aims to help pharmacy technicians update their knowledge on combined oral contraceptives.

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, pharmacy technicians will be able to:    

  • Describe the role the pharmacy team can play in improving access to contraception
  • Explain the differences between COCs and LARCs
  • Provide useful information regarding usage and possible adverse events.

Key points

  • Community pharmacy’s involvement in improving access to contraception continues to increase
  • Combined oral contraceptives compare favourably in terms of effectiveness to some other birth control methods but this efficacy is reduced if COCs are not used correctly and consistently
  • Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is more effective than COCs and less impacted by user error. The NHS is keen to ensure that patients are aware of this option.