- Daily mini pill
- 99% effective when taken correctly
- Suitable for smokers over 35
How to take Desogestrel
Like with all progestogen-only mini pills you should take Desogestrel at the same time each day. You have one each day and take the packs of 28 back-to-back, without a break.
How does Desogestrel work?
Desogestrel is the name of the active ingredient in this mini pill. Desogestrel works by thickening the mucus in the cervix to stop sperm reaching an egg to fertilise it. It can also stop ovulation – other mini pills that don’t contain the active ingredient desogestrel don’t do this.
If you start taking Desogestrel during the first 5 days of your period, it’ll work straight away. If your menstrual cycle is short or you start the pill on any other day of your cycle, you won’t be protected from pregnancy. You’ll need to use condoms for the first 2 days of taking the pill.
When taken correctly Desogestrel is 99% effective, meaning out of 100 women, one will get pregnant in a year. With ‘typical use’ it’s thought that around nine in 100 women will get pregnant.
Who can take Desogestrel?
The mini pill is suitable for lots of women and is often appropriate for more women than the combined pill. For example, unlike the combined pill, it’s usually suitable for smokers over 35 or experience migraines with aura.
- You have or have had heart disease, a stroke, liver disease or breast cancer
- You’re taking certain medications (e.g., some treatments for epilepsy and HIV)
- There’s a chance you might already be pregnant
Potential Desogestrel side effects
Like with all medications, there’s a chance you might experience some side effects with Desogestrel, but these tend to be mild.
Some women also experience changes to their periods or experience irregular bleeding. Your periods may become more or less frequent or stop all together. This also tends to settle down with time.
When coming off Desogestrel you may also experience side effects as your body goes back to the way it was before. It can take your body a while to get used to not being on the pill.
Will Desogestrel stop my periods?
Taking the Desogestrel pill stop periods for many women. This is because it stops you ovulating (releasing an egg) in 97 out of 100 menstrual cycles. However, not everyone finds that their periods stop when they take Desogestrel.