Desogestrel contains (would you believe it) desogestrel and is a form of the mini pill (progestogen-only pill). It is really safe for nearly every woman, but like all desogestrel pills, some of us have issues with breakthrough bleeding as there is no oestrogen in the mini pill to help with cycle control.
What is in the Desogestrel pill?
Alternative to Desogestrel pill
This contraceptive sits in Group 1 and has the same hormonal ingredient as:
Bleeding patterns are very unpredictable in the first 3 months of progestogen only pill use such as Desogestrel. Science isn't quite sure why this happens, although we think it's that the vessels in the womb lining become more fragile and the womb lining becomes thinner over time. After using the progestogen only pill for 12 months, 5 in 10 women may have very infrequent or even no periods at all. For some women this is disconcerting, others love it! But it is a normal side effect. If your bleeding pattern suddenly changes, consider doing a pregnancy test.
Does Desogestrel cause weight gain or loss?
Not enough research has been done to provide a definitive answer as to whether Desogestrel causes weight gain or loss. However, changes in your weight can be impacted by a number of factors that may be related to hormones and the menstrual cycle, such as water retention. We'd recommend taking a look at our user reviews above to see how our community reports Desogestrel's impact on weight. You can also find out more in our complete guide to contraception and weight.
Does Desogestrel cause acne?
The progestogen-only pill can increase the amount of sebum (oil) produced in the sebaceous glands of the skin leading to more spots. This affects women in varying amounts and many women don't notice a difference at all. If you suffer from acne it may be worth considering stopping progestogen-only contraception and switching to a combined method (combined hormonal contraception containing oestrogen is used as a treatment for acne) or non-hormonal method. Your doctor can also discuss medical treatments for acne with you. Take a look at our user reviews or head to our guide on acne and the pill to find out more.
Can Desogestrel cause depression or mood swings?
There is no definitive link between hormonal contraception and depression or mood swings, although they may be related. This is in part due to the lack of research in the field, and also because hormones affect people differently. You can find more information on what our community reports as side effects above or check out our guide to contraception and mood.
Is Desogestrel the same as Cerazette?
Desogestrel and Cerazette are the same type of progestogen-only pill, both containing 75 micrograms of the hormone desogestrel (yes, the hormone has the same name as the brand - confusing we know!). Cerelle and Zelleta are also the same type of mini pill as Desogestrel.
How long after stopping Desogestrel can I get pregnant?
It is possible to get pregnant as soon as you stop taking Desogestrel. When you stop Desogestrel your fertility will return to whatever is normal for you. Find out more in our guide to contraception and return to fertility.
Can I buy Desogestrel online?
You can order Desogestrel online at The Lowdown from £7 per month (including delivery). Head to our Pill Prescriptions service to fill in a short questionnaire about you and your medical history. Your request will then be reviewed by our pharmacy. We'll post a 3 month supply of your chosen pill directly to your door in discreet packaging.
How the Desogestrel pill works:
Desogestrel is a small tablet you swallow daily that (unlike the combined pill) only contains one hormone – progestogen. It prevents pregnancy by making the fluid in your cervix thicker (which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb), and preventing the lining of your womb thickening enough for a fertilised egg to implant in it. Desogestrel can also stop ovulation.
There are a few things that can stop the progestogen-only pill from working properly including vomiting, some medicines, or missing a pill. Take a look at our complete guide to the progestogen-only pill.
How to use the Desogestrel pill:
Desogestrel contains the hormone desogestrel and must be taken within 12 hours of the same time everyday. We recommend keeping your pill packet somewhere you look at everyday (like your makeup bag) to remind you to take it, or set an alarm on your phone. Most types of progestogen-only pills are designed to be taken for 28 days with no break between packs. Some specific pill brands may have different instructions so always check the packet. Depending on where you are in your cycle, you might not be protected straight away. Find out more about the progesterone only pill.
Coming off the pill is easy - you just stop taking it. When you do, you're no longer protected from pregnancy. If you want to stop the pill but do not wish to become pregnant then you might want to consider switching to another form of contraception before you stop taking your pill. Read our complete guide to coming off the pill.
How safe is the Desogestrel pill:
Desogestrel is very safe for most women. The development of small fluid-filled sacs (cysts) on your ovaries is a possible side effect but they are usually harmless and disappear without treatment. If you do become pregnant while you’re using the progestogen-only pill, there may be a small risk of an ectopic pregnancy. It's also important to remember that the pill does not protect you from STIs.