Progesterone only / Mini pill

What the packet says

What is it?

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

Similar to

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 318 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 combined 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 go 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

- Zelleta

I’ve only been on it a week. In that time I’ve had a headache every day. The last couple of days I’m overly emotional &#0…

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

I was massively impaired using the mini pill, my irrational moods were really appalling and I struggled to keep myself overtly …

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Desogestrel

I went on the progesterone only pill to stop my period and control my moods. It has effectively done both of those things. Howe…

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

Mood feels very up and down. Feeling depressed a lot more and seem to be having endless periods.

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

I’m taking cerrelle for peri menopause and more specifically to try and make my periods less regular. I’m now about to star…

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

acne is very bad 1.5 months after using this pill and I have headaches every day

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Desogestrel

I feel like it’s made me a lot moodier and i’m not loving it. my breasts were very sore and enlarged for a few months which…

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Cerelle

Felt this pill was fine at the beginning aside from lots of bleeding irregularly and for longer amounts of time however that se…

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Progesterone only / Mini pill

- Noriday

I started this about a month and a half ago and have been bleeding quite a lot. Only had 3-4 days of no bleeding. However, I&#8…

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