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What Are the Different Types of Progestin-Only Birth Control?

There are four main types of progestin-only birth control methods, including:

  • The progestin-only birth control pill (mini-pill).
  • The progestin IUD.
  • The progestin implant.
  • The progestin shot.

Each of these methods works by providing you with a dose of progestin, a hormone that thickens your cervical mucus so sperm can’t enter the uterus and prevents you from ovulating. These methods don’t contain any estrogen, which is good for women over 35 or women who experience side effects from combination pills.

Progestin-Only Birth Control Pill

The progestin-only birth control pill includes brand names like Errin and Norethindrone. Each pack includes 28 pills, which you must take at the same time every day. All the pills are active, meaning they all have a small dose of progestin. This is different from the combination pill, which often includes a week of inactive pills.

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Progestin IUD

The progestin IUD includes brand names like Kyleena. It’s a small T-shaped device that’s inserted into your uterus by a medical professional. This is a longer-lasting, lower-maintenance contraceptive than the progestin-only pill, and it can last for up to seven years at a time depending on which brand you select.

Progestin Implant

The progestin implant is available under only one brand name — Nexplanon. Unlike an IUD, which is inserted into the uterus, Nexplanon is inserted beneath the skin of the upper arm. It remains there for up to four years and gradually secretes doses of progestin to prevent pregnancy.

Progestin Shot

The progestin shot is also available under a single brand name — Depo-Provera. A healthcare professional administers Depo-Provera by injecting it into your upper arm. This releases a dose of progestin into your bloodstream that can prevent pregnancy for three months.

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