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Home / Contraception / Mini Pill

Mini Pill

Information about the progestogen only mini pill

The mini pill is a form of oral contraception which is prescribed to more than 100,000 women in the UK. It is highly effective when used correctly, as it lowers the risk of conception during sex to less than 1%. It is different to the better known combined pill (often referred to simply as "the pill") insofar as it only contains progestogen, rather than progestogen as well as oestrogen.

It is often offered to women aged over 35, women who smoke or breastfeed, or women who are allergic to oestrogens used in contraception. It's often the oestrogen used in the standard oral contraceptive that causes side effects, so choosing the mini pill as a method of contraception is considered a safer option for some women. Popular versions of it include Cerazette, Micronor and Noriday. Each of these contraceptives is available with free next day delivery from 121doc.

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Will the mini-pill provide full protection against pregnancy?

Clinical studies show that this is a more effective contraceptive than condoms and is on par with the coil (IUD), although often considered more convenient to obtain and use. Cerazette is one of the most popular types available and has a failure rate of approximately 1% per year. This guideline applies only to women who use it correctly - taking the tablet at roughly the same time every day.

Who can take the mini-pill?

Although generally well tolerated by the majority of users, it is not the best option for everyone. Women should consult with their doctor or healthcare provider before taking it if they are affected by undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, severe artery disease, liver tumours or porphyria. It may also be avoided if a woman has a history of breast cancer.

How does the mini-pill work?

It works slightly differently to the combined pill, as it does not contain oestrogen. Most mini-pills work by thickening the cervical mucus so that the sperm cannot enter and making the womb inhospitable to a fertilised egg, however some types may also prevent ovulation, which makes them as effective as the combined pill at preventing pregnancy.

Are there any side effects?

It is often prescribed to women who suffer from severe side effects when taking the combined pill. As it only contains progestogen the risk of side effects is lowered and those that do occur are likely to be milder and less long-lasting. Some of the most common side effects include nausea, headache, weight gain and irregular periods.

How do you take it?

It is administered as a 28 day tablet pack, and unlike some combined pills, all the tablets within a pack contain equal levels of progestogen. A tablet must be taken at the same time every day. If you miss one or more tablets you may not be fully protected against pregnancy. Always read the patient leaflet before you start taking contraception.

Can you order the mini pill online?

You can place a discreet order at 121doc and, on a doctor's approval, receive your medication within 24 hours. There's no doctor's appointment or trip to the pharmacy; if your order is approved your course of tablets will be delivered to your chosen address using a free next day delivery service.

Fill out a short medical form
Doctor issues prescription
Medication sent from pharmacy