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Twelve Interesting Facts about POP (Mini-Pills)

Have you ever heard about being on POP? This is not to be crazy about pop-music as someone may think. This is to take mini-Pills as contraception for female. Before thinking of such an option it is better to know some facts about mini-Pills that in short and easy-to-read way open all the peculiarities of being on POP.

Fact № 1. 

Mini-Pill or POP is not a small version of the ordinary pill or the version of a smaller dose of hormones (as lots of women think).

Mini – Pill or Progestogen – Only Pill (POP) is different from ordinary pill or ‘combined pill’ as it is often called. What is the difference? An ordinary pill contains two hormones: a progestogen and an estrogen. Unlike the 'ordinary' Pill, the mini-Pill contains no estrogen at all.

Fact № 2.

Mini-Pill has much in common with the real pill.

Success in the function (in preventing the pregnancy) is based on the same rule – you should take the pill every day (at the same time) without any breaks for your periods or for bad mood days. Every other ‘Ups, I forgot!’ increases the chances to get ‘Ups, I’m pregnant!’.

Fact № 3. 

Principle of working of POP is a little bit different from the real pills.

POP stops you from getting pregnant by the following things: it thickens the secretions round the neck of your womb (sperm can not get through it to the target); it makes the lining of the womb thinner (and less ‘receptive’ to eggs); it stops your ovulation

Fact № 4. 

POP has much less health risks than those of the combined pill.

Estrogen is the hormone which is responsible for many of side effects of the birth control pills. As it does not contain estrogen it really lowers the disadvantages of using birth control pill as contraception.

Fact № 5. 
POP is not so POPular. Yet.

Yes, mini-Pill is not used as often as ordinary pills. For every one woman taking the mini-Pill, there are more than 30 who use the ‘real’ Pill. It explains by the facts of gradual expansion of the market and some of the peculiarities of using.

Fact № 6. 

POP is less effective as the ‘real’ Pill.

The effectiveness of the mini-Pills is 96-99 %. The combined pills give 99%.

Fact № 7. 
POP does not control your periods.

Regulating your periods is one of the reason women choose oral contraceptives, but this benefit is not in the list of the mini-Pills’ advantages. But mini-Pills may also (as combined pills) in less way reduce the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers and may ease the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.

Fact № 8. 

POPs are under constant improving of their advantages.

New versions of mini-Pills have quality and effectiveness not much below than the combined Pills. They provide efficient results in preventing pregnancy, some of them have even better results than the ordinary pills. The new POPs are working by preventing ovulation mainly, which increases the effectiveness.

Fact№ 9. 

POP is irreplaceable for certain group of women.

Do you remember all that list of women who should not take the ordinary pill in the pill’s instruction for usage? Mini-Pill is a good alternative for such a group. Also for those who consider taking a real pill a little bit risky. The group includes:

- breast-feeding mums (the main reason is because the real pills tends to stop milk production)

- women who smoke (taking combined pills and smoking is a very dangerous duet, as it may cause heart attacks or clots; in case you can not give up smoking – POP gives you desired contraception and less risk of mentioned above)

- women in age (or women over 35 to 40 years of age)

- diabetics

- women whose blood pressure has gone up on the Pill

- women who cannot take estrogens

- women who experience extreme migraine headaches

Fact № 10. 
POP likes structure and organizing.

Like with combined pills mini-Pills need to be taken regularly at the same time (though the new versions of it allow 12 hours delay in taking the pill).So, if you are not able to organize your taking the pill every day at the same time or you just having a job where working hours are disrupted or irregular – you should rather choose another method of contraception.

Fact № 11. 

POP is not very much suited for overweight women.

POP may not be effective enough for you if you’re significantly overweight (and particularly if you’re over 70 kg).  Do not try mini-Pills at all if you are over 105 kg. The risk of falling pregnant is too great.

 Fact № 12. 
POP has some side effects.

Let’s ignore the fact that long-term effects of the birth control pill are still under the studies. Of course if there are such effects they are comparatively much smaller with the mini-Pill. The known side effects of mini-Pills are:

- irregular periods (could be rather irritating for you)

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- absence of periods (of course you can worry and it is advisable for you to check with the pregnancy test )

- in case of pregnancy while taking mini-Pills the pregnancy might be ectopic (the pregnancy that is outside the womb)

- some physical bode responses: spots in your skin, breasts get tender, headaches and nausea

- small risk of cysts in the ovaries

It seems to me that POP as another option in the world of contraception is rather attempting for using. If it suits you the only question is what brand to choose – and you are welcome to read it in the next article.

Valentyna Ant.

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