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Progestogen-only pill (mini pill or POP)

​The progestogen-only pill (sometimes called the “mini-pill” or the POP) is a type of female contraception that prevents pregnancy. The main ingredient in it, progestogen, is a hormone similar to that produced in women’s ovaries.

Here are some key facts:

  • It protects against pregnancy but not sexually transmitted infections (STIs). To protect against STIs you will also need to use a barrier method of contraception, such as condoms
  • It is over 96% effective if taken correctly
  • There are many different brands
  • You take the POP every day, with no break between packs
  • You need to take the POP around the same time every day (some types within 3 hours of the same time, and others within 12 hours of the same time)
  • When taking the POP your periods may become lighter, irregular, or they may stop altogether
  • There are things that can affect how effective it is (such as vomiting, diarrhoea and other medications)

You can get the contraceptive pill from Umbrella clinics and pharmacies, and GPs can prescribe the pill for you.

Not sure which type of contraception is right for you? Worried because you’ve had sex without a condom? Let us help you choose the right option.

For detailed information on the POP, please see the NHS website.

See the FPA website for a range of downloadable leaflets on contraception.