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Progestogen-only Pill


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Image of Progestogen Only Pill Packaging

What is it? 

The progestogen-only pill is sometimes called the mini-pill or POP. It contains the hormone progestogen but doesn't contain oestrogen. The progestogen-only pill has to be taken every day within a specific three-hour period. Some Pills such as Cerazette need to be taken within a 12 hours period.

How does it work? 

The POP thickens the mucus in the cervix, which stops sperm getting to an egg. It also thins the lining of the womb so that an egg can't implant itself there. In some women, it stops ovulation.

How effective is it?

If taken correctly, it can be 99% effective. This means that one woman in 100 who use the POP will get pregnant in one year.

However, it may not work if:


Purple petal    The pill is not taken according to the instructions,    


Purple petal   It doesn't stay in the body long enough to work, for example, if you vomit, or have diarrhoea.


Purple petal   Other medications make it less effective so it is important that you inform the nurse or doctor of any other medicines or health supplements that you are taking.      


Purple petal   Missed pills or starting your new pack late, may make your Progestogen Only Pill less effective. It is important that your POP is taken at the same time every day. You have missed a pill if it is taken 3 hours late (or 12 hours if you are taking Cerazette) than the time you usually take it. –Click here for advice on what to do if you “miss a pill”      

Added benefits?


Purple petal    The POP is a safe alternative for women who can't use contraception that contains oestrogen, due to a history of high blood pressure, previous blood clots on the legs or lungs or being overweight.    


Purple petal   You can take the POP at any age and is safe for women who smoke AND are 35 or over.

What else should I know?


Purple petal   Your periods may stop or become lighter, irregular or more frequent. Some women may have regular periods.      


Purple petal   Side effects may include spotty skin, headaches and breast tenderness. These are usually short term side effects and should clear up within a few months.  

By using condoms as well as the progestogen-only pill, you'll help to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Progestogen-only Pills are freely available from Contraception Clinics. Use the Service Finder to find a clinic that’s most convenient for you. Or call our Central Booking line 01772 401140 for more information on this method or to book an appointment.







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