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Mini Contraceptive Pill

 Quick Facts

  • You have to take a pill daily, with no break between subsequent packs.
  • Have the mini pill if you are over 35 years old and smoke.
  • You may take it if you cannot use estrogen.


Ideally, if taken correctly, it’s more than 99% effective. It means fewer than 1 in 100 who use the progestogen-only pill as only contraception may get pregnant in 1 year. With its “typical use” of the progestogen-only pill by women in real life, it’s only about 91% effective.

Mini Pill 99%

Key Benefits 

  • It is better than regular birth control pills if you are breastfeeding.
  • The mini-pill can be safer for some women who smoke, have hypertension, are overweight, or have a previous blood clot history.

What is a mini contraceptive pill?

Combined contraceptive pills contain two hormones- estrogen and progestin (the synthetic version of the natural hormone progesterone). The mini-pill or progesterone-only pill has only progestin. Due to estrogen’s absence, it may not cause as many side effects as the regular “pill.”
This pill works in multiple ways to prevent pregnancy:
• it thickens the secretions between your uterus and your vagina. It makes it challenging for the sperm to reach the egg.
• It may also affect the release of ovum from ovaries in some females.
• The mini-pill changes your uterus, making it difficult to implant a fertilized egg.

There are two different kinds of mini pills:
 3-hour progestogen-only pill (traditional progestogen-only pill) – you must take it within 3 hours of the same time daily.
 12-hour progestogen-only pill (desogestrel progestogen-only pill) – you must take it within 12 hours of the same time daily.

mini contraceptive pill
You can use the mini contraceptive pilleven if you are breastfeeding your baby.

How to use it correctly?

  • A pack of progestogen-only pills has 28 pills. You have to take one tablet daily. It should be taken within a time gap of either 3 or 12 hours each day, depending on the pill you are taking. Decide  a convenient time in the day to take your first pill and continue to take a pill at the same time daily until the pack is finished
  • There should not be any break between subsequent packs of pills.  If you finish a pack, you must start the next one the next day.
  • Strictly follow the directions that come with your pill packet. Please understand that missing pills or having the tablet alongside other medications can reduce effectiveness.
  • You can start the mini pill anytime during your menstrual cycle, but it is better to talk with your healthcare provider.
  • If you start taking it within the first five days of your menstrual cycle (the first five days of the start of bleeding), it’ll work immediately, and you will be safe against pregnancy. You do not need any additional contraception.
  • If your menstrual cycle is short, you’ll need backup contraception, like condoms, until you have taken the pill for two days.
  • If you start taking the mini pill on any other day of your cycle, you will not be protected from pregnancy at once and will need backup contraception until you’ve taken the pill for two days.
  • If you switch from another contraceptive, you may stop using the other method and start taking the mini pills. If it has been more than five days since your period started, use a backup contraceptive method for the next two days.


  • Your periods and associated cramps might lighten up
  • You may use the mini-pill even if you are breastfeeding
  • Easy to use
  • It doesn’t interfere with sex as with condom use
  • You can use it at any age
  • There are very few side effects.


  • Rarely, some side effects like weight gain, acne, tender breasts, bleeding between your periods, mood changes, headache, migraine, nausea, and vomiting may occur. They usually go away when you stop taking the pill.
  • Possibility of a decrease in sex drive.
  • You may have spotting between the periods
  • Does not guard you against HIV (AIDS) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • You have to be careful about the timing of the pill intake.
  • The body hair might grow differently.

Essential Tips

  • Ensure to take the mini-pill on time. The effectiveness decreases if you have it daily at the same time of day.
  • If you miss taking the 3-hour or 12-hour pill on time for more than 3 or 12 hours, respectively, take your missed dose immediately and use another contraception for the next two days.
  • There may be bleeding between your periods for several months. It is generally not a health risk and may go away alone.
  • Do not take a break between two packs.
  • Some medicines, like antibiotics, may make them less effective.
  • You must not smoke if you are taking this medication.

Recommended to use if

  • You breastfeed. Mini-pill is safe for breastfeeding mothers.
  • You are aged over 35 years and smoke, have hypertension, or have a history of blood clots. The mini-pill may be a safer option than combination birth control pills.
  • Have skin inflammation. The skin condition dermatitis is associated with irritation and redness of the skin. The mini-pill may help in this condition. 
  • You have to avoid estrogen as it may interact with other medications you take. Sometimes, it may cause side effects such as stomach aches or headaches.

Not Recommended if

  • You find it difficult to remember to take a pill daily
  • There is a chance that  you are pregnant
  • If you had medicines that may interact with the pill ,talk with your doctor regarding it.
  • There is unexpected bleeding in between periods or after intercourse
  • You are suffering from a disease of the heart arteries or had a stroke.
  • You suffer from hepatic disease, liver cirrhosis, or tumors or have had conditions like lupus or breast cancer.

In Short

The progestin-only mini-pill doesn’t contain estrogen and may be beneficial if you cannot use estrogen. Your fertility will return as soon as you stop taking the pill. If you get pregnant while taking the pill and want to continue your pregnancy, there are nil chances of adverse effects of previously taken pills on your baby.




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