Progesterone only / Mini pill

Cerelle

What the packet says

What is it?

Inactive Ingredients

Lactose monohydrate, Potato starch, Povidone K-30, Silica, colloidal anhydrous, Stearic acid, all-rac-α-tocopherol, Tablet coat: Poly[vinyl alcohol], Titanium dioxide (E171), Macrogol 3000, Talc

How it works

The Progesterone only / Mini pill is a small tablet you swallow daily that (unlike the Combined pill) only contains one hormone - progesterone. It prevents pregnancy by making the fluid in your cervix thicker (which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb), and preventing the lining of your womb thickening enough for an embryo to grow in it. The Progestogen-only pills with desogestrel in them (so all of them except Micronor, Noriday and Norgeston) can also stop ovulation.

How does this compare?

Frequency

  • During intercourse
  • Daily
  • Monthly
  • 1 - 3 Months
  • 1 - 3 Years
  • 3 - 5 Years
  • Permanent

Clinical effectiveness

99% if used perfectly

What does this mean?

Contains hormones

  • Yes
  • No
What does this mean?

What you said

These stats are based on 71 reviews

Side Effects

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After Effects

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Moods & Emotions

Periods

Body Weight

Sex Drive

Reviewer data

Time Taken

Age of Reviewers

Reviewers had children

Reviewers currently using

Detailed information

How to get started

  • Your doctor or nurse will do some tests to make sure that you can take the pill. They check your medical history, make sure that you’re not pregnant and take your blood pressure.
  • Most women can start the pill at any time in their period cycle. However unless you start the pill on the first day of your period, you won’t be protected from pregnancy straight away. Make sure you read the packet carefully and use condoms or other methods until you’re covered.
  • There are special instructions for starting the pill if you have just had a baby, abortion or miscarriage.
  • There are normally 28 pills in a pack, and unlike the combined pill you don’t have a break between packs.
  • It’s really important you reliably take the progestogen pill at the same time every day (more important than with the combined pill). There are two different types of progestogen only pill:
    • Three hour traditional progestogen-only pills must be taken within three hours of the same time every day
    • Twelve hour desogestrel progestogen-only pills must be taken within twelve hours of the same time every day.
  • If it helps, keep your pill packet somewhere you use or look at everyday (like your makeup bag) to remind you to take it, or set an alarm on your phone.
  • You will normally be given a prescription for the pill for a couple of months, and will need to go back to your doctor for regular check ups (e.g. blood pressure tests).

How to stop

  • Stopping the pill is easy – you just stop taking it. As soon as you stop taking it, you’re no longer protected from pregnancy.
  • If you have periods, you may prefer to wait until you reach the end of your current pill packet before stopping, so you can keep your cycle more regular.
  • Check out our survey results to see how long it took most women’s cycles to return to their definition of ‘normal’, and read up about after effects they’ve experienced.

Things that can wrong

  • Missing or forgetting to take a pill has happened to all of us. Check out the NHS guide on what to do, depending on how many you’ve missed and where you are in your cycle. If you’re in any doubt, make sure you use a condom or don’t have sex until you’re protected.
  • There are a few things that can stop the pill from working properly – make sure you watch out for these and check your pill information leaflet or speak to your doctor if you have any questions:
    • Vomiting and diarrhea will impact on how the pill is absorbed into your body. If you’re sick within two hours of taking the pill you’ll need to take another pill straight away and the next pill at the usual time. If you’re sick or have severe diarrhea for longer than this, check your pill packet for what to do next – and use condoms or abstain if you have any doubts.
    • Some medicines and antibiotics (like rifampicin and rifabutin, St John’s wort and anti-epilepsy drugs) change the way your body digests the pill.
  • With any combined type of hormonal contraception there is a slightly increased risk of developing blood clots in your veins and arteries.We are developing a full guide to the medical research on the serious and potentially life threatening side effects of contraceptives here.

 

Reviews

Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

This contraception tied in with the time I was diagnosed with IBS. It also made me so anxious I didn’t want to leave the hous…

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

Started taking this pill and skin improved dramatically. Mood swings were awful to start and was v grumpy but v quickly got ove…

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

Have been lightly bleeding for nearly 2 months…

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

The pill hasn’t had too many side effects in terms of mood swings, headaches or changes to my body. However, my period has be…

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

This pill controlled my headaches and stopped my periods, really like it!

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

My skin reacted very badly, painful and noticeable break outs. It made me very emotional and snappy.

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

Overall Cerelle has worked well for me. I did have a very light period for about 6 weeks when I first began taking it but haven…

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

10 months after taking this pill I felt very low in mood. Lost sex drive and desire to do anything.

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

It made me break out when I began using it, then again when I missed a few pills. My periods stoped although at first but then …

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