Provided by You Health

Progestin-Only Pills (POPs) Norethindrone 0.35 mg

Consumer information use and disclaimer.

**This is a general medication overview that reviews the risks and benefits of Progestin-Only Pills (POPs) for the prevention of pregnancy. Please make sure to read it in addition to the manufacturer’s pamphlet that comes with your POP pill pack.
Through the Hers platform, birth control pills are available to women between the ages of 18-50, if deemed appropriate by the healthcare provider. **

Progestin-Only Pills (POPs) Norethindrone 0.35 mg

Brand names

Errin, Sharobel, Jolivette, Camila, Nora-BE

What are POPs?:

A birth control pill (often referred to as the “minipill”) taken by mouth that contains the hormone progestin. In the United States, POP’s are available by prescription only.

How effective are POPs at preventing pregnancy?:

If POPs are taken perfectly (i.e., as prescribed), then they are 99% effective. However, most people don’t take their POPs perfectly. With typical use of POPs, they are 91% effective in preventing pregnancy.

How do POPs reduce the risk of pregnancy?:

  • They thicken the cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and fertilize an egg.
  • They can prevent ovulation, but not consistently. Approximately 40% of women who use POPs will continue to ovulate.
  • They thin the lining of the uterus

Other benefits of POPs include:

  • They may reduce menstrual bleeding or stop your period altogether.
  • Reduction in endometrial cancer risk
  • They are not associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease and can be taken even if you have certain health conditions that prevent you from taking combined oral contraceptives (COCs), such as a history of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • They can be used as soon as 3 days following childbirth, even if you are breastfeeding.

When should I start taking my POPs?:

POPs can be started at any time during the menstrual cycle. However, when started on the first day of your menses, no backup contraception is needed. If POPs are started on any other day, use back-up contraception (e.g., male or female latex condom) for 2 days.

How do I take my POPs?:

  • It is important to take your pill by mouth at the same time each day. If you take the POP more than 3 hours late, the risk of pregnancy increases.
  • There is no placebo week when taking POPs. Each pill in the 28-day pill pack contains active hormone. When you finish your pill pack, start a new pack the following day. Remember to always have your next pill pack ready to go!

What do I do if I forget to take my POP or take my POP too late?

  • Your POP may not be as effective if you forget to take a pill(s) or take a pill too late. This can increase your risk of getting pregnant. For maximum effectiveness, you must take your POP at the same time each day.
  • If you take the POP more than 3 hours outside of your usual time, it may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. It is recommended that you:
  • Take one pill as soon as possible.
  • Continue taking pills daily, one each day, at the same time each day, even if it means taking two pills on the same day.
  • Use back-up contraception (e.g., male or female latex condoms) or avoid sexual intercourse for 2 consecutive days.
  • If vomiting or severe diarrhea occurs within 3 hours after taking a pill, the progestin may not be absorbed completely by your body. Keep taking your pills, but use a backup method of birth control until 2 days after your vomiting or diarrhea stops.

What are the common side effects of POPs?:

  • Menstrual irregularities (short cycles of bleeding, spotting, heavy bleeding, or no periods at all)
  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Acne
  • Hirsutism (excess unwanted hair growth)
  • Weight gain

What are some of the risks associated with taking POPs?:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Irregular menstrual patterns
  • Carcinoma of the breast and reproductive organs
  • Hepatic neoplasia

Certain medications can interact with POPs and should be avoided. This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Carbamazepine
  • Felbamate
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Phenytoin
  • Primidone
  • Rufinamide
  • Topiramate > 200mg/day
  • Rifampin or Rifabutin
  • Barbiturates
  • Bosentan
  • St. John’s Wort

Please make sure to review all of the medicines that you are currently taking with your healthcare provider.

How soon after I give birth can I start using POPs:

POP’s should be started no sooner than 3 days after giving birth

Can I use POP’s while I am breastfeeding?:

Yes. Breastfeeding women can use POPs at any time during the postpartum period. However, it is recommended that they do not start POPs any sooner than 3 days after giving birth.

Will POPs protect me against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?:

POPs DO NOT protect against STIs. In order to prevent STIs, additional barrier contraception (e.g., male or female latex condom) should be used.

How do I store my POPs?:

Store your POPs at room temperature (between 68℉ and 77℉) in the packaging provided by the pharmacy until you need it, away from heat and moisture. Keep out of reach of children.

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