IMPORTANT: Thorough counseling about bleeding changes and other side effects is an important part of providing the method. Counseling about bleeding changes may be the most important help a woman needs to keep using the method without concern.

Describe the most common side effects
  • Breastfeeding women normally do not have monthly bleeding for several months after giving birth. POPs lengthen this period of time.
  • Women who are not breastfeeding may have frequent or irregular bleeding for the first several months, followed by regular bleeding or continued irregular bleeding.
  • Headaches, dizziness, breast tenderness, and possibly other side effects.
Explain about these side effects
  • Side effects are not signs of illness. Lack of bleeding does not mean pregnancy.
  • Usually become less or stop within the first few months of using POPs. Bleeding changes, however, usually persist.
  • Common, but some women do not have them.
Explain what to do in case of side effects
  • Keep taking POPs. Skipping pills risks pregnancy.
  • Try taking pills with food or at bedtime to help avoid nausea.
  • The client can come back for help if side effects bother her or if she has other concerns.

African provider and client talk about pills.