What is it?
A pill containing the hormone progestogen that is similar to a hormone which the body produces naturally. Unlike the combined pill, this pill does not contain oestrogen. One pill is taken every day.
How does it work?
It works by making the secretions produced around the cervix thicker so that it is difficult for sperm to move through and reach an egg. In some women it may stop ovulation (the ovaries from releasing an egg). It makes the lining of the womb thinner so that it is less likely to accept a fertilised egg.
How effective is it?
If taken properly the progestogen only pill is 99% effective this means that out of 100 women taking it for one year 1 woman will get pregnant.
The progestogen only pill maybe less effective in younger women and women who are heavier than 11 stone.
The progestogen only pill has to be taken more carefully than the combined pill.
Remember – it is very important to take the pill properly or there may be a high risk of pregnancy.
- If you remember to take it properly you do not have to worry about contraception while you have sex
- It may help sort out period problems including heavy and painful periods and PMT.
- You can use it if you cannot take the combined pill (due to oestrogen) for any reason and also breast feeding or if you are a smoker aged 35 or over.
- The pattern of your period may change when you are taking the progestogen only pill – they stop altogether or may become irregular, more heavy or lighter. This is not dangerous in any way although you may find it annoying. It may settle down. Trying a different type of progestogen pill might help.
- For a short time you may get acne and/or tender breasts
- Occasionally women may develop cysts on their ovaries but usually do not require treatment. Most women are not aware of these although some women may have pelvic pain.
- Very occasional progestogen only pill can increase your risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy if you become pregnant while taking it.
- It does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections. So we would always advise you to use condoms as well.
Is the Progestogen Only Pill Suitable for all women?
This pill is not suitable for all women. At the clinic a detailed medical history will be taken t find out which method would be safer and suitable for you.
At the clinic a detailed medical history will be taken to find out which method would be safe and suitable for you.