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The mini pill is a single hormone contraceptive pill which contains progesterone (the progestogen-only pill). When you begin to take any new contraceptive pill you should read the patient leaflet to make yourself aware of any possible side effects. Many women taking the mini pill will not experience any side effects, however if you do you can discuss these with your doctor who will be able to put your mind at ease.
What are the side effects of the mini pill?
- Skin – you might find that you break out in spots more or that acne develops on your face, chest or back
- Nausea or vomiting
- Breasts – your breasts can feel tender and sore, and you may notice that they get bigger
- Mood – you may find that you have mood swings or are more irritable than usual
- Headaches and migraines
- Sex drive – your interest in sex may increase or decrease
- Ovarian cysts – small fluid-filled sacs can appear on your ovaries, however these can disappear on their own and usually cause no harm
If you experience any of these symptoms while taking the mini pill, these side effects should generally improve overtime and clear up within a few months.
Will the mini pill affect my period?
The mini pill will affect your menstrual cycle, you may not have regular periods or your periods may stop altogether. Many women notice that their periods are lighter, more frequent and that they have spotting between their periods.
Can you get pregnant while you’re on the mini pill?
The mini pill is a very effective method of contraception when used correctly, if taken correctly it is 99% effective and if not used correctly it is 92% effective at preventing pregnancy. You’ll need to take the pill at the same time every day, if you are late in taking the pill for example three hours for the 3-hour pill or twelve hours late for 12-hour pill you may not be protected. Other situations in which you will not be protected against pregnancy include If you are sick within two hours of taking the pill, or have very severe diarrhoea the mini pill may not work.
If you experience any side effects these should improve over time and should stop within a few months after you began taking the pill. However if you’re worried about any of the changes you are experiencing you can speak to your pharmacist or GP.
Similar to other contraceptive pills the mini pill won’t protect you from catching an STI; you will need to use a barrier method of contraception (condom) during sexual activity and intercourse.
If your menstrual cycle is regular the first sign that you might be pregnant is a missed period. However if you are on the pill you may not have regular periods and they could be lighter, more frequent, stop altogether or you may notice spotting between your periods. If you have missed a period or your period has changed you can purchase a pregnancy test or visit your GP.