The progestogen-only pill
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.
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.
* The POP can be used by women who can’t use contraception that contains oestrogen, for example, because of high blood pressure, previous blood clots or being overweight.
* You can take the POP if you’re over 35 and you smoke.
What else should I know?
* You must take it at the same time each day. If you take it more than three hours late (or 12 hours late if you take Cerazette), it may not be effective.
* If you’re sick or have severe diarrhoea, the POP may not work. Some medicines may affect the POP’s effectiveness. Ask your doctor for details.
* Your periods may stop or become lighter, irregular or more frequent.
* Side effects may include spotty skin and breast tenderness. These should clear up within a few months.