The mini pill

The oral mini pill provides on-going protection from pregnancy when taken at the same time, every day. It comes in a pack that lasts for a month.

The mini pill needs to be taken every day, at the same time each day. You may need to take the mini pill for seven days before it provides contraceptive cover for you, depending on when you start your mini pill in your menstrual cycle.

How well does the mini work at preventing a pregnancy?

  • The mini pill works quite well at preventing a pregnancy. Its ability to stop a pregnancy mostly depends on the woman using it properly, and taking it every day.

  • If 100 women used a mini pill as instructed for a year and carried on with their normal sex life, then only 2 of those women would fall pregnant during that period.

  • If you do not think you will be able to take the mini pill at the same time each day, it may not be the right method for you.

What are other good things about the mini pill?

  • You can take it straight after an abortion.

  • It can be used if you are breast feeding.

  • If you are not suitable for other types of pill which contain two hormones, it can be a good choice for you.

  • Your previous fertility will return immediately after you stop taking the mini pill.

  • It does not interrupt sex.

What else should you know?

  • The mini pill has to be taken at the same time each day. Forgetting to take the pill on a daily basis could cause it to fail.

  • Some women develop frequent or irregular bleeding while taking the mini pill.

  • Unlike condoms, the pill does not protect from sexually transmitted infections.

Day to day life with your mini pill

  • The pill may not work if you have vomiting and diarrhoea.

  • Some other medications can stop the pill from working.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Does the mini pill cause weight gain?
    No, the mini pill itself does not cause weight gain.

  2. Will the mini pill make me feel sick?
    Most women do not feel sick with the mini pill.

Find out about other short term contraceptive methods

Compare methods

Compare different contraceptive methods, and see how well they work at preventing pregnancy.

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