progestin only pill


  • What is progestin only pill?

    The progestin only pill (also called the “minipill”, POP and progestin-only contraceptive) contains very low doses of a progestin that is like the natural hormone progesterone in a woman’s body. Progestion only pills can be composed either of norethisterone, levonorgestrel, etynodiol diacetate or… Read more »

  • How does the progestin only pill work?

    The progestin only pill thickens cervical mucus (this blocks the sperm from meeting an egg) The progestin only pill also disrupts the menstrual cycle, including preventing the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation) in 97% (of desogestrel) and 60% (other progestin) of women. 49 If used… Read more »

  • How should I take a progestin only pill?

    Normally, progestin-only pills come in packages of 28 pills, although in some cases it comes in packages of 35 pills.  The woman should take 1 pill every day at the same hour with no breaks between packs. If she starts package on a Tuesday then she should start the next package on a Tuesday after… Read more »

  • When can I start the progestin only pill?

    The progestin-only pill can be initiated at any time. If a woman starts within 5 days after the start of her monthly bleeding or 5 days after an abortion, there is no need for a backup method; she will be immediately protected. If more than 5 days have passed after the start of her monthly bleeding… Read more »

  • What if I miss a progestin only pill?

    Progestin-only pills are more sensitive to timing than combined pills. In order for the pill to be most effective it is important to take it every day at the same hour. If a progestin-only pill is taken 3 hours or more after the chosen time (or 12 hours if the pill contains desogestrel (Cerazette… Read more »

  • What if I vomit or have diarrhea after taking the progestin only pill?

    If a woman vomits within 2 hours of taking the pill she should take another pill as soon as possible if she feels well enough. As long as she  is not sick again, the efficacy of the pill will not be affected. She should continue to take the following pills on the next day at the usual hour. For… Read more »

  • What medicines can affect the efficacy of the progestin pill?

    If a woman is given medicines by a doctor, nurse or at the hospital she should always say she is taking the progestin-only pill (or the name brand of the pill). Once she receives the medicine she should also check the directions on the packaging to see if there is any reference to its effect on… Read more »

  • What are the advantages of the progestin only pill?

    With the progestin only pill, it is possible to continue to breastfeed. It is useful for women that cannot take estrogens, like those found in the combined pill, contraceptive patch or contraceptive vaginal ring. It can be used at any age, but it is especially useful if a woman smokes and is 35 or… Read more »

  • What are the disadvantages of the progestin only pill?

    Women may not have regular periods while they are taking progestin-only pills. Periods may become irregular, light, or more frequent or may stop altogether. This usually improves within the first 6 months of use, and is not harmful, but some women may find it annoying. Changing to a different brand… Read more »

  • What are the side-effects of the progestin only pill?

    Some women may experience temporary side effects when beginning to take the progestin-only pill, but most stop within a few months. Side effects might include nausea, dizziness, spotty skin, breast tenderness, weight change and headaches. Bleeding changes are common but not harmful. Women should be… Read more »

  • What are the contra-indications to using the progestin only pill?

    Progestin Only pills should NOT be used by women who: 46 Are breastfeeding and have given birth within the last  6 weeks Who are taking barbiturates, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate, rifampicin, rifabutin, or ritonavir or ritonavir- boosted protease inhibitors. Read more »

  • When can I get pregnant after using progestin only pills?

    Once a woman stops taking Progestin-only pills her fertility will return immediately and she can get pregnant in the first menstrual cycle. Some doctors may suggest that women use condoms once they stop taking these pills until they get their first menstruation. This is not because it can affect… Read more »