Known as Mini pill
Medical names Progestogen Only Pill, POP
Effectiveness 93%
It lasts 1 day (needs to be taken daily to have ongoing effect)
Fertility No contraceptive effect if tablet is not taken
Who can use it? People with a vagina and uterus of any age from the first period till menopause 
Hormones Contains progestogen hormone
Visibility Discreet but you need to store the packets
STIs No protection
Side effects Unpredictable bleeding, headaches, acne, mood changes. Allow 6 months to adjust to the hormones
Cost Between $7 and $90 for a 3—4 month supply, depending on the brand and if you have a Healthcare card or private script
Where to get it Visit a reproductive and sexual health clinic or your local doctor. You may need to visit a pharmacy to pick up a prescription. You can also get the pill online (for example youly.com.au


Daily Progestogen Contraceptive Pill

Daily progestogen pills release a small amount of the progestogen hormone.




Daily Progestogen Contraceptive Pill

How does it work?

The progestogen only pill prevents pregnancy by thickening the mucus of the cervix, stopping any sperm from entering the womb. It can also prevent ovulation. There are 3 types of POP available in Australia.

The amount of progestogen in each pill depends on the brand and design. One version contains 30 micrograms of the progestogen hormone levonorgestrel. Another version contains 35 micrograms of the progestogen hormone norethisterone, and a new version contains 4mg of Drospirenone.

You will still need to consider the risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) every time you have sex. 


What’s it like to use?

Most people find the pill easy to swallow as it is smaller than other tablets and multivitamins. 

All packets have 28 pills. Pills need to be taken at the same time daily for the contraceptive to work. 

You will experience altered bleeding patterns when using the POP. Bleeding will feel similar to menstrual bleeding but the flow is usually lighter and bleeding patterns can be irregular or unpredictable.


What if I forget about it?

To be effective you need to remember to take it at the same time every day.  

If it has been more than 3 hours, take one pill as soon as possible, and then continue taking the pills as normal. You will need to use an alternative contraception method for at least 48 hours. If you have had unprotected penis in vagina (PIV) sex, you may need to consider emergency contraception. 


Who can use it?

People with a vagina and uterus of any age, from first period to menopause. 

This pill needs to be taken within the same three hour timeframe every day. If you are someone who is likely to forget, or if you do not have regular routine, consider a different contraceptive method. 

It is suitable for people who have never been pregnant and for use as contraception after pregnancy. 

If you experience polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the Combined Hormonal Contraceptive Pill is generally considered to be the best contraceptive option. However, the daily progestogen pill is also a suitable option for women with PCOS. It is best to discuss your exact situation with a doctor. 

It is not suitable for people who have breast cancer or have experienced breast cancer in the past. 


Side effects

During the first 6 months your body may take time to adjust to the hormones. 

The most common side effect of POP is altered bleeding patterns. You might experience irregular or unpredictable or prolonged bleeding, or you might have regular bleeding similar to a period, or no bleeding at all. If you are concerned about your bleeding, read more about uterine bleeding management and seek medical advice. Some people use one contraceptive choice to manage menstrual bleeding and another to prevent pregnancy. Learn more about your reproductive organs and sexual health and hormonal contraceptives. 

Other hormonal side effects such as headaches, acne, weight gain, breast tenderness or mood changes, but these are not common. 

If at any point you feel that this contraceptive method is making you feel uncomfortable or unwell, get advice from a doctor or medical professional. If it is an emergency, call an ambulance on 000. 


How and where to get it

A reproductive and sexual health clinician or your local doctor can undertake a health assessment and can supply the contraceptive pill. 

If the reproductive and sexual health clinic or your local doctor does not have the pills in stock you will need purchase from a pharmacy. 

The pill will cost between $7 and $90 for a 3-4 month supply. The price varies depending on the brand of pill and if you have a Health Care Card. There may also be consultation fees. You can ask for a quote when you book an appointment. 

If you are an International Student, your insurance provider can provide details on the health cover you will receive and your options for accessing care. This will depend on your policy and location.


What if you change your mind

You can stop using the pill at any time. Ovulation may begin within 3 hours. If you decide to stop taking it, visit a reproductive and sexual health clinic to discuss your contraceptive options. 


More about hormonesReproduction & Contraception Further Support & Advice