1. What is a progesterone only pill (POP)?
It is a type of birth control pill that contains only the progesterone hormone.
2. How does POP prevent pregnancy?
- It thickens the cervical mucus that prevents the sperm from entering the womb and fertilizing an egg.
- It prevents implantation by thinning out the lining of the womb.
3. How effective is the POP in preventing pregnancy?
If taken correctly, the POP is 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy.
4. What are the advantages of POP?
- You can use it if you want to fully breast feed your baby
- You could use it if you have some contraindications in taking the hormone estrogen contained in the combined oral contraceptive pill
- There is no interference with sex
5. What are the disadvantages of POP?
- Changes in your menses. It may be irregular, lighter or more frequent.
- Spotty skin, breast tenderness, weight change and headache.
- You have to take the pill at the same time or no more than 3 hours late every day unless you are taking Cerazette no more than 12 hours late.
6. What are the risks of taking POP?
In general, POP is very safe to take. However, there is a small risk of developing little cysts in your ovaries. Usually these cysts resolve on their own.
7. How do I start taking POP?
You could start taking the POP on the first day of your menses of which you would be protected immediately from pregnancy. However, if you take it at any other time during your menses, you will need to use other mode of contraception e.g condom or abstinence for the next 2 days.
8. Can I use the POP after a miscarriage or abortion?
Yes, you could start taking the POP immediately after a miscarriage or an abortion if you are less than 24 weeks pregnant and you would be protected immediately from pregnancy.
9. I have just had a baby, could I take the POP?
Yes, you could take the POP immediately after giving birth. If you start after 21 days after birth you will need to use extra precaution the first 2 days after starting the pill. A tiny amount of hormone will enter your breast milk but this will not harm your baby.
10. What should I do if I forgot to take the POP?
- If you are more than 3 hours late (12 hours if you are taking Cerazette), take a pill as soon as you remember and take the next pill at the usual time. This may mean that you will be taking 2 pills a day. Don’t worry it won’t harm you. You will need to use other forms of contraception for the next 2 days.
- If you are less than 3 hours late (12 hours if you are taking Cerazette), take a pill as soon as you remember and take the next pill at the usual time. You are still protected from pregnancy and do not need to use other forms of contraception.
Family Planning Association www.fpa.org.uk