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The progestogen-only pill

The progestogen-only pill

How to

how do I take the progestogen-only pill?

There are 2 different types of progestogen-only pill. Both types have 28 pills in a pack and one pill should be taken each day, without a break between packs of pills. However, the time you take the pill differs:


    (Traditional progestogen-only pill) – Must be taken within 3 hours of the same time each day.



    (Desogestrel progestogen-only pill) – Must be taken within 12 hours of the same time each day.


    Follow the instructions that come with your packet. If you have any questions, ask a doctor, nurse or pharmacist. It's important to take the pills as instructed, because missing pills or taking them at the same time as certain medicines may make them less effective.

      The mini pill can be prescribed to you free of charge by a doctor or nurse or you can purchase it yourself.


      When you first start the progestogen-only pill you will usually be given a three-month supply. Follow up appointments and reviews are then usually every 6-12 months providing there are no issues.

      You can get contraception for free, even if you're under 16, from:


      • Contraception clinics


      • Sexual health clinics


      • Some GP surgeries


      • Some young people's services


      • Pharmacies


      You can also purchase the mini pill at a pharmacy after speaking to a pharmacist or from an online pharmacy after filling out an online questionnaire.

      GP visit

      Talking to your doctor

      Get the information you need for an informed discussion with your doctor.


      Learn more

      PP-UN-WHC-GB-0078 September 2023


      The health information on this site has been reviewed and approved by Bayer by an appropriately qualified medical reviewer. It is intended as general information only. It is not intended to replace a consultation with a healthcare professional, to provide specific medical advice or replace the patient information leaflet provided with your medicine. Treatments discussed here should be initiated under medical supervision. For full information including side effects and eligibility for treatment, please consult your healthcare professional. Always speak to your doctor or nurse for personal medical advice.


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      Reporting side effects

      If you get any side effects whilst taking a medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the yellow card scheme at By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of medicines.