The Progestin-Only Pills (Mini Pill)

What Is The Mini Pill

The progestin only pill is an oral contraceptive method that contains the progestin hormone. On the contrary to the combination pill, the mini pill does not contain oestrogen. Therefore, this medical product is usually prescribed to women who can’t tolerate combination contraceptives.

This contraceptive works in three ways. Firstly, it suppresses the ovulation process. Secondly, it thickens cervical mucus. Thirdly, thins the lining of the uterus. As a result, all these actions prevent sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg. In conclusion, all these processes prevent unwanted pregnancy. In case of achieving the maximum effect, you need to take the mini pill every day.

Combined pills (Micro Pill)

Types OF Mini Pill

You can find a lot of different mini pill brands on the market. They usually come with the name Progestin Only Pills (or POPs). At the same time, they all have the similar ingredient composition. The average daily dosage is 35 micrograms. Still, these information may vary from one product to another. Take a look at the most popular mini pill names:


It’s a widely known contraceptive that tolerable by most of women. The main advantage is that this medical product contains only 0.03 mg progestin. As a result, you have fewer chances to get any side effects. The active ingredient is norethisterone. This hormone is belonged to the steroid group, so a consultation with a doctor may be needed.


The main ingredient of this medical product is Desogestrel. In other words, it’s the 3d generation of synthetic gestagen. The contraceptive has a very high efficiency rate despite the fact that it’s a low dosage product. It contains only 0.075 mg of Desogestrel. As a result, it provides effective protection against unwanted pregnancy.


It’s another oestrogen free pill that women firstly used in 1981. The active element is Desogestrel, which represents the third generation of synthetic hormones. The product contains only 0.075 mg of the ingredient, but it’s more than enough for effective protection. That’s why a lot of women choose Cerazette as their option for preventing unwanted pregnancy.

How Does The Mini Pill Work


First of all, oral hormonal pills are very effective in terms of preventing pregnancy. The mini contraceptive contains only progestin, where combined contraceptives also use oestrogen. That’s doctors recommend the mini option for women who have problems in tolerating oestrogen.

Nevertheless, the mini contraceptive works in three ways:
  • Thickens the fluid in your cervix by creating the so-called mucus. Therefore, the sperm just get stuck in the mucus with little to no chance of entering the egg.
  • It thins the lining in the womb.
  • In addition, it may stop egg releasing from the ovaries.

If you start taking a pill or you have a missed some for a long time, you will need to wait 3 days until the effect starts to kick in. For more about the advantages of taking the mini pill, you may ask from your doctor. The main advantages of taking the mini pill are the small amount of active ingredient that makes no harm to your health. It means fewer chances of getting side effects.

Mini Pill Effectiveness

This type of contraception is one of the most effective on the market. If you take it correctly, then the chance of avoiding pregnancy is up to 99%. Nevertheless, some products may give the chance of only 93%.

In this case, what can prevent the effectivity of the pill?
  • It may be less effective if you don’t take it at the same time every day (at least 3 hours difference);
  • You might have vomited within 2 hours after taking the pill;
  • You suffer from severe diarrhoea;
  • You have been administered some medications that may contradict the effect of this method of contraception.

Mini Pill Side Effects


According to various researches, 10 out of 100 women may get pregnant on the mini pill in one year. The risks of getting pregnant are higher than a combined pill. There is also a small chance of increased risk for babies to be born with defects if they are conceived on the pill. The most common side effects include:

The most common side effects include:
  • Ovarian cysts;
  • Vomiting/nausea;
  • Breast pain and tenderness;
  • Headaches;
  • Depression;
  • Decreased libido;
  • Mood swings;
  • Acne;
  • Spotting and irregular bleeding.
Therefore, in case of happening any of the above mentioned side effects, seek the doctor’s help. Take care about yourself.

Mini Pill vs Combined Pill

The combined pill consists of oestrogen and progestin, where the mini version contains only progestin. For this reason, women who can’t tolerate synthetic oestrogen opt to the mini pill. Moreover, in terms of efficiency, women who take combined contraceptives have more chances to avoid pregnancy.

Statistics show that  3 to 10 out 100 women on progestin-only method – get pregnant. At the same time, the numbers for the combined version is 1 to 5 out of 100.

On the other hand, progestin only contraceptives have fewer side effects. That’s the reason why your doctor may choose them as the first choice.


Frquently Asked Questions

Does the mini pill stop periods? 

Progestin only method may help you to sooth the periods. At the same time, it may facilitate the irregularity of the periods and even stop them. For more information about actions of the specific product, you will need to read the patient’s leaflet.

Can you get pregnant on the mini pill? 

If you take this method of contraception correctly, you will have a 95-98% chance of avoiding pregnancy. Nevertheless, the missed med, vomiting after the intake or diarrhoea may decrease this chance significantly.

Why am I bleeding on the mini pill? 

It may facilitate irregular bleeding and spots. This happens due to the hormone contained in the product. Nevertheless, the irregular bleeding usually happens in the first months of intake, then it may stop.

Does the mini pill help with menopause symptoms? 

Yes, it may help. The menopause occurs due to the lack of progestin and oestrogen. For this reason, the progestin only med may ease the menopause symptoms.

Does the mini pill make you gain weight? 

There is no scientific evidence of that. Although, some women may experience the urge to eating more when using this method of contraception. What can really happen, is the slight change in your figure due to the influx of progestin.

What do you do if you miss a mini pill? 

You will need to take the missed dose as soon as possible. It’s necessary even if it means to take two doses in one day. Use an additional method of contraception during 3 days.

Can I take two mini pills a day? 

On a regular basis – you shouldn’t do that. It may increase the chance of side effects. On the other hand, if you missed a dose, you may take two in a day. Still, in case of the missed one, you will need to use extra protection in sex for 3 more days.

Can mini pill cause thrush? 

These oral contraceptives do not cause thrush. The main reason of thrush is connected to the low or high level of oestrogen. The mini contraceptive method contains only progestin.

Can you top taking mini pill at any time? 

Yes, you can do that even if you are in the middle of the package. Still, it may cause spotting or bleeding as you uterus will need to adapt to the restoring of the natural cycle.