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THE PROGESTOGEN   The progestogen only pill is similar to the combined pill but only contains one of the hormones used in it. It is therefore, in some cases, prescribed to women who cannot use the combined pill. The progestogen pill works in the same way as the pill by preventing the release of an egg in some women. It will also thicken cervical mucus to help prevent sperm getting through. As will the combined pill you should take the progestogen only around the same time every day.  

A 7 day break is generally taken between packets of 21 pills unless the packet caters for this (some contain 7 placebos to help maintain the routine of taking them and so contain 28 pills) during this time the woman will menstruate. Packets can be taken back to back for up to a 3 month period, but it is best not to do this unless you need to delay your period for a special holiday or event. This type of pill is around 98% effective when used properly but you need to be aware that some medicines and supplements will prevent it from working, so it is always best to consult your doctor before taking anything new.  

The progestogen only pill has to be prescribed by your doctor and is usually not given unless there is a specific reason you cannot take the combined pill, or else you have tried this first. There are generally less side effects with this type of pill but it is slightly less effective and may also make periods irregular. Make sure you know your family medical history when enquiring about the pill as you may be advised not to take it in case it puts you at risk of a disease. The pill does not protect against STIs/STD's
 

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