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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Birth Control Hormones: The Mini-Pill
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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.
In the first year of use:footnote 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.
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.
Current as of:
October 8, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineRebecca Sue Uranga
Current as of: October 8, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Rebecca Sue Uranga
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