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HealthInfo Canterbury

Progesterone-only pill (POP)

The progestogen-only pill (POP), often called the mini pill, contains a small amount of the hormone progestogen. It works by thickening your cervical mucus, which stops sperm from getting to the egg. It may also stop your ovaries releasing eggs.

You must take it every day, and within three to four hours of the same time each day.

The POP is very good at stopping pregnancy (at least 92% and up to 99% if taken correctly).

Most women can use the POP, including those who can't use the combined oral contraceptive pill. This can include women who are breastfeeding, who get migraines, who have a strong family history of DVT (blood clots), and older women.

The POP has very few side effects. Some women continue to have normal periods, some get irregular bleeding, and a small number get no bleeding.

See your GP or Family Planning Clinic to find out if POP is right for you.

Sexual health visits with your GP may be free. Ask your GP if you're eligible.

Appointments at Family Planning Clinics are free for New Zealand residents if you're under 22.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created February 2019. Last updated October 2019.

Page reference: 591132

Review key: HICAS-53138