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Can I skip part of my progestin-only pill (POP) pack to skip my monthly period?

Susan Vachon

Medically reviewed by Susan Vachon, PA-C on January 13, 2020

Unfortunately, no you can’t. Progestin-only pills release a small amount of progestin every day of your pack. POP’s work in a few different ways. They thicken the mucous in the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and fertilize an egg. They stop ovulation, but they do not do so consistently. About 40% of women who use progestin-only pills will continue to ovulate. POP’s also thin the lining of the uterus, making it less likely that a fertilized egg can attach to it. Progestin-only pills have about the same effectiveness as combination birth control pills, rings, and the patch when used as directed. The biggest reason POP’s may not be as effective is because of user error in not taking them correctly. Because POP’s do not inhibit ovulation consistently, you would not be reliably protected from pregnancy during a hormone-free interval. Without a hormone-free interval during which you would have your period there are no pills to “skip” in order to avoid having a monthly period.

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