Progestin-only pills (POPs)

POPs are appropriate and safe for young girls. But POPs must be taken daily at approximately the same time every day to be effective in preventing pregnancy, because the progestin levels in the blood peak about two hours after they are taken and then rapidly decline.

If a girl is three hours late taking the pill, she will not be protected and so she should use a back-up form of contraception. POPs may not be the best choice for young girls who cannot remember to take POPs at the same time every day.

POPs are a good choice for girls who cannot tolerate the oestrogen in COCs or have a medical contraindication to the use of COCs.

Stop reading for a moment and think about this. What are the medical contraindications to the use of COCs?

If it is necessary for a girl to switch from a COC to a POP, she should start taking the POP at the end of the active 21 COC tablets. Because POPs do not protect against STIs/HIV, you should encourage condom use in addition to POPs. Remember that this is known as dual protection.

Last modified: Thursday, 10 July 2014, 8:44 PM