What is desogestrel?

Desogestrel is an artificial progestogen hormone, similar to the natural progesterone hormone produced by the body. It is the active ingredient in most of the commonly used progestogen only pills (also known as the ‘mini-pill’).

Desogestrel prevents pregnancy by:

  • thickening the mucus in the neck of the womb, so it is harder for sperm to penetrate the womb and reach an egg

  • in some people, it stops the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation)

  • thinning the lining of the womb, so there is less chance of a fertilised egg implanting into the womb.

Last updated at: 29 March 2022


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