Mini Pill

The ‘mini pill’ is also called the progestogen only pill (POP). It is a highly effective long term oral contraceptive option and has key benefits over other treatments.  

  • It is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancies
  • Can be used in women who have sensitivity to oestrogen
  • Is suitable for breastfeeding mothers

Choose your treatment option from the list below, start your FREE online consultation. One of our doctors will review your request and recommend the most suitable treatment for you.

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What is the mini pill?

The mini pill is also called a progestogen only pill (POP) that contains only progestogen and is a highly effective long-term contraceptive. It is thought to provide 99% effectiveness if taken appropriately in preventing pregnancies.

Being a progestogen only pill (no oestrogen) provides key benefits which are discussed below.

It is an oral contraceptive method that contains only progestogen (also known as progesterone) and is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is well tolerated and especially suitable for women who have experienced side effects of the combined pill in the past, whilst still giving the same high level of protection.

How does it work?

It works via three principle mechanisms to prevent pregnancy:
a.Thickens the cervical mucus therefore preventing the sperm from reaching the egg.

b. Alters the lining of the womb by making it thin therefore inhospitable for the fertilised egg to embed onto it.

c. Prevent ovulation.

Benefits of the mini pill

The mini pill does not contain oestrogen, it therefore does not carry the same risk profile as the combined pill. This is advanatagous and is the chosen form of contraception over the combined pill in the following women:

• Breast feeding mothers
• Current smoker
• Women who have high blood pressure
• Women who have had blood clots in the past
• Women who are overweight
• Women over the age of 35

How to take the mini pill

• The mini pill should be taken once daily at the same time for the full 28 days of your cycle
• There is no seven-day break
• You should start your next pack straight after completing one
• Important to take the mini pill as close to your usual time as possible
• When starting the pill, pick a time of the day that is most convenient for you
• Most women find first thing in the morning or last thing at night to be the easiest

What if I miss a pill?

This is common for many women. It is very important to take it as soon as you remember.
There are a few important points to note (only applies to our mini pills):

1. If you have missed your regular time, you can still take these upto 12 hours of your regular time i.e. you normally take it at 9am, you have forgotten to take that morning but remembered before 9pm the same day, so long you take it before 9pm (ie 12 hours) you remain protected.
2. If you are more than 12 hours late, in this case take the tablet as soon as you remember (two tablets in one day is fine to take). Remember that you will have reduced protection for the remainder of the cycle so seek additional barrier contraception such as condoms.
3. If you have had unprotected sex and missed your pill, you could still receive emergency contraception.

Precautions and Side-effects

Bleeding whilst on the pill
This is a common occurrence and even more so when you first start taking it. Sometimes this is referred to as spotting or breakthrough bleeding. Don’t be alarmed, your body is just adjusting to the new hormones. It is recommended to carry on taking the pills, if you experience withdrawal bleeding for over 3 months or large volume bleeding consult your own doctor.

Although the mini pill is well tolerated it should be used with caution in certain women:
• Vaginal bleeding with unknown cause
• Severe cardiovascular or peripheral vascular disease
• Severe liver disease
• If you have a diagnosis of porphyria (blood-based disease)
• Personal or family history of breast cancer

It is very important for you to accurately state your full medical history, including all the medications you are currently on and any allergies you have when filling our consultation. This allows our doctors to make the best treatment recommendation for you.

It is known that some progestogen passes into your breast milk and therefore to the baby. It is widely considered that the mini pill is safe to use in breastfeeding mother.