Progestogen-only pill

Risks of the progestogen-only pill

The progestogen-only pill is very safe to take. However, as with the combined contraceptive pill, there are certain risks.

These risks are small. For most women, benefits of the progestogen-only contraceptive pill outweigh the risks.

Ovarian cysts

Some women can develop fluid-filled cysts on their ovaries. These are not dangerous and do not usually need to be removed. These cysts usually disappear without treatment.

In many cases the cysts do not cause ymptoms, although some women experience pelvic pain.

Breast cancer

Research is continuing into the link between breast cancer and the progestogen-only pill. Research suggests that users of all types of hormonal contraception have a slightly higher chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared with non-users of hormonal contraception. But 10 years after you stop taking the pill, your risk of breast cancer goes back to normal.

If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may feel that this increase in risk (however small it is) is not worth taking. However, doctors do not think that contraceptive pill use is likely to increase the risk present in women who already have close relatives with breast cancer.

Last updated: 07 September 2012