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 or abortion, she can start the progestin-only pills any time.  However, she will need a back-up method for the first two days of taking  the pills. She can use condoms as back-up method.

If a woman has given birth and is breastfeeding she can start taking the progestin-only pill 6 weeks after giving birth. If she isn’t breastfeeding, she can begin taking progestin-only pills anytime up to 4 weeks after giving birth without the need for any other contraception. If it has been more than 4 weeks since giving birth then she will need to use a backup method such as condoms for at least 2 days. 46 

If the woman continues to breastfeed, she can change to the combined pill when the baby is 6 months old; at this point the combined pill does not interfere with its ability to breast feed. For women who breastfeed and the baby is less than six months, the progestogen pill is the recommended pill, women should not use a combined contraceptive pill.46,47