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Mini-Pill

The Mini-Pill

The mini-pill, the progestogen only Pill (POP) is not a low dose Pill, but one containing a single hormone, progestogen which thickens the secretions in the cervix making it difficult for sperm to pass. The combined Pill is far more popular than the mini-Pill. Progestogen is an artificially manufactured hormone very like progesterone, one of the female hormones the body produces. The mini-Pill does not contains any estrogen which is responsible for many of the combined Pill’s side effects.

The Mini-Pill should be taken at the same time of day every day, even when you are menstruating. You may easily get pregnant if you do not take it every day. Even if you are more than three hours late in taking it you could fall pregnant. Set yourself a fixed time of day to take the mini-Pill, maybe suppertime or bedtime. The mini-Pill would probably not be suitable for you if:

  • you are unreliable at taking tablets regularly
  • you work shift work or in a job such as on an an airline where hours are irregular and disrupted

The Mini-Pill is suitable for women:

  • who are at special risk of heart disease or strokes (DO NOT TAKE the mini-Pill without consulting a specialist)
  • who are breast-feeding mums
  • who are over 40 who have been medically advised not to take the Pill
  • who are heavy smokers
  • who cannot take estrogen

Doctors may refuse to prescribe the mini-Pill if you:

  • are too obese as the mini-Pill may not provide a big enough dose
  • have an abnormally high cholesterol or other blood fats
  • have breast cancer
  • have ever had an ectopic pregnancy
  • have unexplained vaginal bleeding

Some brands of the mini-Pill include:

  • Femulen
  • Micronor
  • Microval
  • Neogest
  • Norgeston
  • Noriday
AdvantagesDisadvantages
no interruption between foreplay and intercourseSide effects*
can be used when breast feeding as it does not suppress lactation like the combined Pill.has to be taken every single day of the year with no breaks at all, even during your period.
less side effects than Combined Pillnot quite as effective as the ordinary Pill (about as effective as an IUD)
if you become pregnant while taking the mini-Pill the pregnancy might be ectopic (that is outside the womb)

*The side effects are:

  • headaches
  • irregular periods
  • nausea
  • ovarian cysts
  • periods may stop
  • skin spots
  • tender breasts

As mentioned above, if you would like to use the contraceptive pill please visit your local health care provider. The pill is available in most countries throughout the world, if you live in the US or surrounding Islands it can also be purchased online. Click here for information.

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