Using Progestin Only Birth Control Pills PDF

What are Progestin Only Birth Control Pills?

Progestin only birth control pills (sometimes called the “mini pill” or POPs), are oral pills that are taken daily and have 1 hormone (progestin).  Progestin only birth control pills prevent pregnancy.

How do Progesterone Only Birth Control Pills work?

  • They prevent pregnancy by stopping the release of an egg (ovulation) in some people.
  • They also decrease and thicken the vaginal fluid, and change the lining of the fallopian tubes and uterus to make pregnancy less likely.  

How effective are Progestin Only Birth Control Pills?

Progestin only pills are an effective method of birth control. They are 93% effective at preventing pregnancy. With typical use, 7 out of every 100 people using the pill will get pregnant in one year. But, with consistent and correct use, the pill can up to 99% + effective.

  • They are a good choice for people who cannot use estrogen.
  • Lighter or less bleeding during period.
  • May decrease symptoms and possibly treat endometriosis.
  • Does not impact future fertility.
  • Easy to discontinue without lasting effects.
  • Need to remember to take a pill every day
  • No protection against STIs
  • May cause spotting, prolonged bleeding or loss of bleeding.

There are some signs that all people using the birth control pill should be aware of as these may indicate a serious complication. Seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the following ACHES symptoms:

Abdominal pain, especially on the right side of your stomach, below your rib cage

Chest or arm pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood

Headaches, severe and not relieved by over the counter pain medications

Eye problems, blurred vision, flashing lights, double vision, blindness

Swelling, redness, numbness, tingling or pain in the legs

Seems confusing? We’re here for you!

We know it can be confusing to choose a method. We are here to help. Our Options for Sexual Health Clinics are staffed by health care professionals who are there to answer your questions.  They can help you learn how to use the method you choose and bring you back to check in on how the method is working for you.

Between visits or anytime, our Sex Sense team is there to answer any questions you might have by phone (1-800-739-7367) or by email at

This is general information and should not be used in place of individual consultation with a qualified healthcare provider.

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