Progestin-only pills

Progestin-only pills or mini-pills have a very low dose of progestin and do not contain estrogen, so women should take them daily in the same time without making a break. More to say, progestin-only pills is a good choice for breast-feeding women and for those, who can’t use combined pills.

How progestin-only pills work

Progestin-only pills prevent ovulation in about half the cycles, therefore, they are not as reliable as combined pills. Also progestin-only pills cause a thickening of the mucus between uterus and vagina and it prevents sperm from reaching the egg.

Advantages of progestin-only pills

Firstly, progestin-only pills are better and safer for those women, who are over 35 years old, also for breast-feeding women, because these birth control pills don not change milk production. Additionally, progestin-only pills are the perfect choice for smokers, also for women who have a high blood pressure or are overweight. Moreover, mini-pill can be an ideal choice for women, who suffer from migraine, diabetes, thromboembolism, cardiovascular disease, sickle cell disease.

Disadvantages of progestin-only pills

One of the most common side effects is irregular menses, especially more frequent bleeding between periods for several months. Of course, it may be inconvenient, but it does not have any influence on woman health. However, if bleeding is heavy, it is recommended to consult your doctor.

Another common side effect is a weight gain. Many women, who use mini-pills, feel hungry more often and eat more; of course, it may results in a weight gain. But woman will come back to normal when they stop using this birth control method.

Progestin-only pills will protect from pregnancy only after one month of using. It means, that for the first month women have to use an additional method of birth control (for ex., condoms) along with the progestin-only pills. In addition, if woman forgets to take a pill for even one day, she has to use a second birth control method until the next period, because it is forbidden to take two pills the next day.


A woman should not use progestin-only birth control pills if she:

  • Know or suspect pregnancy;
  • Know or suspect breast cancer;
  • Has undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding, which could indicate a reproductive tract cancer.

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