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Progestin-Only Hormonal Birth Control

Progestin is a form of progesterone, a hormone that plays a role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Progestins used in combination with another hormone called estrogen in a combined hormonal birth control pills, vaginal ring and skin patch.

It can also be used by itself in a progestin-only pill and birth control injection. The KB implants and hormonal contraception (IUD) are also a form of progestin-only birth control.

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

Progestin-only pills and injection had about the same effectiveness as a combination of estrogen and progestin pills, rings, and patches.

What are progestin-only pills?

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

How do progestin-only pills work?

The progestin-only pill sometimes called “mini-pills,” have some effect in the body that helps prevent pregnancy:

  • Thickens the mucus in the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and fertilize the egg.
  • They stop ovulation, but they do not do it consistently. About 40% of women using progestin-only pill will continue to ovulate.
  • They thin the uterine lining.

Skyla IUD Birth Control Information

What are the benefits of progestin-only pills?

  • They do not interfere with sex.
  • They can reduce menstrual bleeding or stop menstruating altogether.
  • They are not associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease and can be taken even if you have certain health conditions that prevent you from taking the pill combinations, such as a history of deep vein thrombosis or high blood pressure that is uncontrolled.
  • They can be used immediately after delivery, even if you are breastfeeding.