asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what inquiries he has made into the birth control pill for women over 35 years of age being launched during the current week, known as Microval which is claimed to be safer for such women than existing brands; and if he will make a statement.
Microval is a progestogenonly oral contraceptive. A product licence was first granted in 1973 following consideration by the Committee on Safety of Medicines, although the product was not in fact marketed until recently. Progestogenonly oral contraceptives are generally regarded as being less likely to give rise to the thromboembolic side-effects of the pill, which are a particular problem in women over 35 years, than are combination products containing both progestogen and oestrogen. There is, however, evidence that the progestogen-only products may be less effective than the combination products as contraceptives.