Desogestrel, a third-generation progestin, has high progestational selectivity and minimizing androgenic effects and estrogenic activity. The level of progestational selectivity refers to how successful the progestin is at preventing ovulation and lessening menstrual bleeding, the higher the better. The level of the androgenic effect refers to the chance of unwanted side effects such as weight gain, acne and other side effects, which increase as the androgenic level increases.
Third-generation progestin tends to be highly selective, which means they are better at preventing ovulation and lessening menstrual bleeding. They also possess minimal androgenic properties, which means they may have fewer side effects such as acne and hirsutism (female unwanted hair growth). Desogestrel is also shown to have less negative impact on metabolism and weight gain. Some studies have shown that desogestrel promotes the rise of HDL cholesterol.
Some research shows that oral contraceptives containing desogestrel leads to a nearly doubled risk of life-threatening blood clots in women.