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Progestogen-only pill

A hand holding a pill packet

How it works

The hormone in it:
  • changes the mucus near the woman's cervix (neck of her utuerus or womb) to stop sperm getting through.
  • stops the fertilized egg from bedding down in the uterus.

The 'oops' factor

Less reliable than combined pill, but still very good. Failure rate varies but when taken correctly can be less than 1%.

Advantages

  • It's free if you get it from your doctor.
  • Doesn't get in the way of sex.
  • It stops you getting pregnant.
  • Doesn't increase your risk of clots or strokes like combined pill.

Disadvantages

  • You have to remember to take the damn thing regularly (pill).
  • Sometimes affects your bleeding pattern.
  • Offers absolutely no protection against AIDS, chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections.
  • Can affect your mood and and give you acne.