5.4.2  How to use the mini-pill

Starting mini-pills

With mini-pills there are hormones in each pill, and there are no spacer pills. It is important for women to take a pill every day, preferably at the same time each day. Forgetting a mini-pill, or taking it late, increases the chance of pregnancy more than missing a COC pill.

The client can improve the effectiveness of mini-pills by adding a back-up method, for example condoms or spermicides (chemicals that kill sperm cells). This is most important during the first three months, and for days 8–18 of your menstrual cycle after that. The client should take the first pill on the first day of her period. She also needs to take one pill daily, at the same time of day, even during her period.

Continuing mini-pills

As soon as she finishes one pack the woman has to begin the next one, and start her next pack even if she is still bleeding, or has not started her period. She should continue taking one pill every day. If she has problems with the mini-pill, she needs to visit the health centre or hospital. She should not stop taking the mini-pill unless she wants to get pregnant or use another method of birth control.

Women who cannot use mini-pills

Every woman is different, and mini-pills are not recommended for all women. Due to the risk of serious health problems, women with the following conditions should not use mini-pills:

  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Known or suspected pregnancy
  • Breast cancer.

Mini-pills are also not recommended for women who are concerned about weight gain, have liver disease, gall bladder disease, heart disease, diabetes, or a history of depression.

5.4.1  How to use COCs

5.5  Advantages and disadvantages of oral contraceptive methods