The progestin-only pill (also known as the “mini-pill”) is a daily tablet that contains one hormone. The hormone makes it harder for sperm to get into the uterus (womb) and may also change the lining of the uterus so an egg cannot develop in it. It sometimes prevents an egg from being released by the ovaries each month.
The progestin-only pill needs to be taken at the same time each day.
How well does the mini pill work?
- The pill works well at preventing pregnancy. However, its ability to stop a pregnancy largely depends on a person using it properly
- With typical use up to 7 out of 100 users will become pregnant
- If you do not have a routine and think you will not be able to take a pill at the same time each day, it may not be the right method for you
What are the advantages of the mini pill?
- It can be used when you are breast feeding.
- Your fertility will return to normal immediately after the you stop using the pill
- You can start it straight after childbirth, abortion or miscarriage
- It is not used during sex so will not affect spontaneity
- Your period may become lighter or stop altogether
- There are less risks associated with its use than with the combined pill
What are the disadvantages of the mini pill?
- The pill has to be taken once per day at the same time. Forgetting to take the pill on a daily basis could make it fail. If you do not have a routine and think you will not be able to take the pill at the same time each day, it may not be the right method for you.
- Some users develop more frequent or irregular bleeding while taking the mini pill.
- Some users may experience headaches, breast tenderness and acne, but these symptoms generally get better within the first few months of using the pill.
- The pill may not work if you have vomiting and diarrhoea.
Use of some medications, such as those for seizures (fits), HIV or for tuberculosis, can make the pill less effective. Check with your medical provider if your medications are compatible with use of the pill.
- Condoms are the only contraceptive method which protect against sexually transmitted infections. To ensure protection from both pregnancy and infection, we recommend "dual protection". This means using a male or female condom in addition to the contraceptive method of your choice to prevent pregnancy.
How do I use progestin-only pill?
- When taking your first pill, choose a convenient time to take it. This can be any time of the day.
- Once you've chosen a time you must then take one progestin-only pill at this same time every day
- After you finish all the pills in the pack start a new pack the next day so there are no breaks between packs
What are the possible risks of using the progestin-only pill?
There are no known health risks associated with use of the progestin-only pill