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 aware that changes in bleeding patterns with progestogen-only pill use are common: 2 in 10 women have no bleeding and 4 in 10 women have irregular bleeding when using progestin-only pills.. 50

Some women might notice headaches, dizziness, mood changes, breast tenderness, abdominal pain, and nausea, but these aren’t a sign of illness 46 Normally these side effects decrease or stop after a few months of using the pills. If the side-effects continue a woman can consider changing her contraceptive method.  However, it is important not to stop taking the pills until another method is begun as she can become pregnant right away.

There is no evidence that progestinn-only pills directly cause weight change, depression, headache, cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, venous thromboembolism and stroke) or breast cancer.50