What is progestin?

Progestin is a form of progesterone, a hormone which plays a role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Progestin is used in combination with another hormone called estrogen in a combined hormonal birth control pills, the vaginal ring, and skin patch. It can be used by itself in progestin-only pills and the birth control injection. The birth control implant and the hormonal intrauterine device are progestin-only forms of birth control.

How effective are progestin only pills and birth control injection in preventing pregnancy?

Progestin-only pills and the injection have about the same effectiveness as combination estrogen and progestin pills, vaginal rings, and patches.

What are progestin-only pills ?

  • Progestin-only pills contain progestin. They are available only by prescription .

How do progestin-only pills work?

Progestin-only pills, which are also called as mini-pills, have several effects in the body that help prevent pregnancy:

  • The mucus in the cervix thickens which makes it difficult for the sperm to enter the uterus and fertilize an egg.
  • They stop ovulation, but they do not do it consistently. About 40% of women who use progestin-only pills will continue to ovulate.
  • The pills thin the lining of the uterus, making it less likely that a fertilized egg can attach to the uterus.

What are the benefits of progestin-only pills?

  • These pills may reduce menstrual bleeding or stop your period altogether.
  • They do not interfere with having sex.
  • They are not associated with an increasing the risk of high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease and can even be taken if you have already have certain health conditions that prevents you from taking combination of pills, when you have a history of deep vein thrombosis or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
    They can be used immediately after childbirth when you are breastfeeding.

What are the possible risks of progestin-only pills?

Progestin-only pills may not be a good choice for women who already have certain medical conditions, such as some forms of lupus. Women who have breast cancer or have a history of breast cancer should not take progestin-only pills.

How do I take progestin-only pills?

The progestin-only pill comes in packs of 28 pills. All the pills in the pack contain progestin. Take one pill at the same time each day for 28 days and It is important to take the progestin-only pill at the exact same time each day for its maximum effectiveness. Do not skip pills even if you bleed between periods or feel sick.

What happens if I forget to take a pill?

If a pill is missed by longer than 3 hours, you should take a pill as soon as possible and use a another method of contraception (such as condoms) for the next 2 days. If vomiting or severe diarrhea occurs within 3 hours after taking a pill that means progestin may not be absorbed completely by your body. Keep taking your pills, while using a backup method until 2 days after your vomiting or diarrhea stops.

What are the possible side effects of progestin-only pills?

Bleeding may be very unpredictable. You may have short cycles of bleeding, spotting, or heavy bleeding or no bleeding . Other side effects include headaches, nausea, and breast tenderness.