The Mini-Pill

What is the Mini-Pill?

The mini-pill is a birth control pill containing only one hormone, progestin. They are not smaller than other birth control pills.

How Does the Mini-Pill Work?

It thickens the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus and fertilizing an egg. It also slows the passage of the egg through the fallopian tube, and thins the uterine lining to prevent the egg from implanting. It prevents ovulation for about half of users.

How Effective is the Mini-Pill?

The mini-pill is somewhat less effective than combined birth control pills. In the first year of use, pregnancy occurs in about 5% of typical users. If taken consistently and correctly, the effectiveness is 99.05%. The mini-pill does require a strict regiment of taking the pill the same time every day within a three hour period. If taken beyond that time period, women are required to use a back up method.

Advantages of the Mini-Pill

The mini-pill is safe for women who:

  • smoke
  • have blood clots
  • are breast feeding
  • should not use combined birth control pills or take estrogen

Disadvantages of the Mini-Pill

  • requires a rigid schedule for taking the pills
  • slight increased risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • less reliable than combined pills
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