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Birth Control Hormones: The Mini-Pill

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

What are mini-pills?

Mini-pills are used to prevent pregnancy. They release a regular dose of a hormone called progestin. They are different from regular combination birth control pills. Those contain progestin and another hormone called estrogen.

Progestin prevents pregnancy in a few ways. It thickens the mucus in the cervix. This makes it hard for sperm to travel into the uterus. It also thins the lining of the uterus. This makes it harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

And progestin can sometimes stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation).

Mini-pills come in packs. Every pill in the pack contains progestin. There are no spacer pills. You have to take a pill every day at the same time to prevent pregnancy. This means you take a pill even when you have your period.

How well do they work?

In the first year of use:1

Be sure to tell your doctor about any health problems you have or medicines you take. He or she can help you choose the birth control method that is right for you.

What are the advantages of mini-pills?

What are the disadvantages of mini-pills?


References

Citations

  1. Trussell J, Guthrie KA (2011). Choosing a contraceptive: Efficacy, safety, and personal considerations. In RA Hatcher et al., eds., Contraceptive Technology, 20th ed., pp. 45–74. Atlanta: Ardent Media.

Credits for Birth Control Hormones: The Mini-Pill

Current as of: June 16, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Rebecca Sue Uranga


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