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Can I get pregnant while on progesterone-only birth control?
Q: I have a 3-month-old baby girl. After delivery I was advised to take a progesterone oral contraceptive. I have taken two packets and have not gotten my period yet. Can I get pregnant again? I’m exclusively breastfeeding my daughter.
A: I hope you’re enjoying motherhood, Michelle. As for your concerns about your periods, the progesterone-only pill—what we call “mini dose” contraception—doesn’t trigger menstruation. This pill, the only FDA-approved oral contraception during nursing, contains just progesterone, not the combination of estrogen and progesterone found in standard oral contraceptives. It’s very effective while nursing, so if you continue using it you won’t get pregnant. You can still use these pills once you stop nursing, though many women find that they cause slight weight gain and irregular vaginal spotting. Most of my patients prefer to go back to traditional pills when they’re done nursing.