How effective is the progestin-only pill?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

The progestin-only pill is very effective for women who can take the pill at exactly the same time every day. With perfect use, the rate of pregnancy is less than 1%. But the actual rate may be as high as 13%, because some women do not take the pill as directed.

Progestin-only pills can reduce menstrual bleeding, cramps, and other menstrual symptoms.

Progestin-only pills do not protect against sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV or herpes. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.