Progestogen only pill

The progestogen only pill, also called the mini-pill or POP, is a pill you take every day. It contains only one hormone – progestogen. When you take it correctly, it’s a very effective method of contraception.

  • frequency: daily

  • effectiveness: 91%

  • STI protection? no

  • periods: changes are hard to predict

What you need to know about the progestogen only pill

It’s a pill you take every day that contains just one hormone, progestogen. It’s very effective and has few health risks, which means most people can use it. The main drawbacks are that you have to remember to take it every day and it can cause irregular bleeding.

How does the progestogen only pill work?

The progestogen only pill thickens the mucus at the entrance of the womb so that sperm can’t get through.

It also thins the lining of the womb so that a fertilised egg can’t implant and grow. In some people, it also stops eggs from being released (ovulation) so that there’s no egg to be fertilised.

How to take the progestogen only pill

You can start taking the progestogen only pill at any time. If you’ve had a pregnancy risk since your last period then you should do a pregnancy test 3 weeks later. You then continue to take it at the same time every day, without breaks.

Health benefits, risks and side effects of using the progestogen only pill

It doesn’t increase the risk of thrombosis, so even if you’re over 35 years and smoke you can still safely use it. The main side effect is irregular bleeding.

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