What are disadvantages of progestin-only oral contraceptives?

Updated: Dec 10, 2018
  • Author: Frances E Casey, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

Answer

The most significant disadvantage is the continuous need for compliance with usage. Users need to be counseled on the need for a backup method of contraception if a pill is missed or taken late. A pill is considered late if ingestion occurs 3 hours after the established time of administration. If a pill is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible; the next pill should be taken at the scheduled time. Backup contraception should be used for the next 48 hours. Unscheduled bleeding and spotting are common even with correct use. Other adverse effects include nausea, breast tenderness, headache, and amenorrhea.


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