Progestogen-only pill

The progestogen-only pill contains the hormone progestogen but doesn't contain oestrogen.

The progestogen-only pill thickens the mucus in the cervix, which stops sperm reaching an egg. It can also stop ovulation, depending on the type of progestogen-only pill you take. 

What are the benefits of using the progestogen-only pill?

  • It can be more than 99 per cent effective if taken correclty.
  • You can take a pill every day, with no breaks.
  • It can be used by women who can't use contraception that contains oestrogen.
  • You can take it if you're over 35 and you smoke.
  • It does not interrupt sex.
  • You can use it when breastfeeding.
  • It can reduce the symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and painful periods.

Things to consider

  • It doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • You must take it at the same time each day.
  • If you’re sick (vomit) or have severe diarrhoea, it may not work.
  • Some medicines may affect its 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.

Where can I get more information?

The Family Planning Association provides a range of helpful information.

My contraception tool

The FPA has developed an interactive tool that can help you find out which methods of contraception may be best for you.

The tool asks questions about your health, lifestyle and contraceptive preferences. All your answers are completely confidential and can't be linked back to you. The tool is available on their website.

Find out more