The mini pill

How does the mini pill work?

When you take the mini pill a tiny amount of hormones (progestogen) are released. This creates a sticky mucus inside your uterus. The mucus acts like a barrier to stop the sperm from swimming through the opening of your uterus to get to the egg. If the sperm can’t reach the egg, then you can’t get pregnant.

How do I take the mini pill?

Taking the mini pill is easy. Each day, swallow one pill with a glass of water.

You must take the mini pill within the same three-hour window each day for it to be effective. It is best to take it at the same time each day, so you can create a habit of taking it regularly.

Your body will continue with its normal cycle so you will most likely get your period during the time it is due.

Taking your pill each day

Remembering to take your pill each day can be difficult to start with. If you are taking the combined pill, it is best to make it a  habit to take it at the same time each day. If you are taking the mini pill, you need to take it within the same three hours each day.

Here are some tips to remind yourself to take your pill:

Keep your pack beside your bed.

It is a good reminder to take your pill when you wake up or before you go to bed.

Keeping your pack on your bathroom vanity

Is another great way to remind yourself when you brush your teeth, get ready for the day, or get ready for bed.

Set an alarm on your phone

For the same time each day.

Forgetting to take your mini pill

If you forget to take your pill, it’s okay. As soon as you remember, take your pill as normal.

You won’t need to use another form of contraception if you have taken your pill within 3 hours from when you should have taken it; the effectiveness of the pill won’t decrease.

If it has been over 3 hours from the time you should have taken it, still take your pill, but you will need to use another method of contraception for the next 7 days.

Hormones in the mini pill

The mini pill is one of the many options of contraception that contains hormones.

The mini pill only contains progestogen. Progestogen is like the naturally occurring hormone progesterone that your body already produces. This hormone thickens the mucus at the opening to the uterus so sperm can not swim through.

What happens to my period when I am on the mini pill?

Taking the mini pill may change your period. It might become lighter, shorter, or irregular, however, your period will come during the normal time of your cycle. You may also experience spotting between your periods. Unlike the combined pill, you can’t choose whether or not to have your period.

When can I have sex?

You can have sex as soon as you feel ready after starting on the mini pill. However, depending on where you are in your cycle you may need to use other contraception for a little longer.

  1. If you take the mini pill within the first 5 days of your period, you are protected straight away.

  2. If you start the mini pill at any other time during your cycle, you are not protected for the first 7 days. Use another form of contraception for the first week will help prevent pregnancy.

  3. As soon as you stop taking the mini pill, or if you don’t take it within the three-hour window, you’re no longer protected.

The mini pill is a great form of contraception, but it doesn’t protect you from STIs. Only condoms can protect against STI’s.

Stopping the pill

Once you decide the pill is no longer for you, you can stop taking it straight away.

Your fertility will return to normal almost immediately once you stop taking the mini pill. Your body will continue on its normal cycle, so you will get your next period when it is due. Remember that you will no longer be protected once you miss a day.

Learn more

The combined pill

Learn more

Your guide to IUDs

Learn more

Other contraception

Learn more

Ready to take the next step in your journey?

Reach out online or call 0800 226 784 to speak to one of our nurses. We are here to support you every step of the way. This is your journey.

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