Using The Mini-Pill

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Using The Mini-Pill

Birth Control
The Pill
Using The Mini-Pill
Using The Mini-Pill
The mini-pill is ideal for some women and troublesome for others. Learn who should and should not consider this form of birth control.
InteliHealth Medical Content

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Who Should Use The Mini-Pill

The mini-pill contains a small amount of progestin hormone. As with the combination pill, it must be taken every day, ideally at approximately the same time. The mini-pill works by thickening the cervical mucus and making the uterine lining unfavorable for implantation of a fertilized egg. About half of the women who use the mini-pill ovulate, but they do not become pregnant because sperm become trapped in the thickened cervical mucus, unable to find the egg.

The mini-pill is ideal for women older than 40 who may not ovulate on a regular basis, and for women who are exclusively breast-feeding their infant. It is not recommended, however, for women who have had pregnancy-related gestational diabetes. This is because women who have had gestational diabetes are more likely to develop diabetes as older adults. The progestin-only pill may increase the likelihood that diabetes will develop in such women.

The mini-pill is also a good choice for women who cannot tolerate estrogen and for women who smoke but want to use a hormonal method of birth control.

In general, the ability to become pregnant resumes quickly after discontinuing the mini-pill as compared to women who discontinue using the combination pill. Although menstrual-like bleeding appears within a week of stopping either pill, menstrual-cycle length may not return to normal until the second or third month after stopping the pill.

The mini-pill does not appear to increase the risk of breast cancer.

The most common reason women discontinue the mini-pill is irregular menstrual bleeding including skipped periods or no bleeding, unpredictable spotting, irregular bleeding, and sometimes heavier and prolonged bleeding.


birth control,birth control pill,mini pill,cervical,diabetes,gestational diabetes
Last updated August 03, 2011

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