An online focus group study: Understanding the experiences of progestin-only pill users

What is the study about?

There is high interest for an over-the-counter (OTC) birth control pill and efforts are underway to make a progestin-only pill (also known as a POP or mini-pill) the first type of birth control pill available OTC in the United States. Although decades of research on POPs demonstrate that this type of pill is safe and effective, we are unaware of any research detailing the thoughts, perspectives, and experiences of POP users. This study will explore the experiences of people who have ever used a POP and their views on this type of birth control pill as an OTC product.

Why participate?

Information on the experiences and perspectives of POP users will highlight the needs and concerns of people who could benefit from an over-the-counter POP product in the United States and help inform the launch of an OTC POP product when available. Participants who answer all questions are eligible to receive a gift card of their choice for Amazon, Starbucks, or Target.

How is the study being conducted?

This study will gather information through online focus group discussions. Participants will log-in to an online discussion board from their computer, tablet, or smartphone to answer questions posted by the moderator. The moderator will post a small set of questions each day over the course of two days and will ask follow-up questions as needed. Participants can answer questions at their convenience but are encouraged to answer questions the day they are posted to foster a rich discussion. Participants will have access to the discussion board an additional day after the end of the focus group discussion to share any last comments or responses. Responses will be anonymous (participants will have a user name for the discussion board) and text-based (no video interaction). There will be 6-8 participants in each focus group and we plan on conducting a total of five online focus group discussions.

Who can participate in the study?

Anyone living in the US who is currently taking a POP or who has taken a POP in the last two years.

I’m interested in participating! What are the next steps?

If you’re interested in participating in our POP study, please fill out this brief questionnaire. 

If you are eligible, you will view a form informing you of your rights as a research participant and will be asked to electronically agree to participate in the study. We will then ask you to provide a first name and last initial and an email address. If selected, we will email you to schedule a phone screen to confirm your eligibility to participate in the study. If eligible and selected for the focus group discussion, we will email you more information about when the focus group will take place and instructions for accessing the online discussion board.

Other questions?

If you have any questions about the study, please contact Carmela Zuniga at