Prescription Options

The Progestin-Only Birth Control Pill

May 23, 2018

The progestin-only birth control pill, also referred to as the minipill, is a type of oral contraceptive (birth control pill). Each progestin-only pill contains a small amount of progestin (which is a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone). These pills don’t have some estrogen.

Progestin-Only Birth Control Pill Pack Size

The MiniPill only comes at a 28-day package.

All 28 pills contain progestin (there are no placebo pills). You just take one pill daily for the 4-week cycle (package ). In this manner, you’re getting a steady dose of the hormone. This means you will have your period while you are still carrying”active” pills. If you begin your progestin-only pill on the first day of your menstrual cycle (and you typically have a 28-day cycle), then you will almost certainly receive your period during the first week on your next pack. But only about 50% of women using this minipill will ovulate regularly, therefore there might be no way to predict when your period may happen. Progestin-only birth control pills do not regulate your cycle the exact same manner that mix pills do.

Progestin-Only Birth Control Pills vs. Blend Pills

Even though both of these pill types are Regarded as hormonal contraception, there are some differences between both to Know about:

  • The quantity of progestin in progestin-only tablets is significantly lower compared to the progestin dose in combination birth control pills.
  • Progestin-only birth control pills are slightly less powerful than the combined pill.
  • The MiniPill tends to cause fewer side effects than blend contraception.
  • Some girls say that progestin-only birth control pills are harder to use than combination pills. This is only because progestin-only tablets have to be taken at the same time every day. Because combination birth control pills comprise of progestin AND estrogen, so you’ve got a bit more flexibility if you don’t take your tablet at precisely the same moment.

    The Way It Works

    Progestin-only birth control pills chiefly prevent pregnancy by altering the consistency of your cervical mucus. The progestin thickens your mucus, and this also makes it much harder for sperm to swim through. The minipill may also function by thinning the lining of your uterus. This could make it less possible for implantation to take place. Progestin-only pills can also block you from ovulating (that is true for about half of the women who use these ).

    Who Should Use Them?

    Since minipills do not include estrogen, they may be a fantastic alternative for women who cannot use combination hormonal imbalances. These include:

    • Cigarette smokers over the age of 35.
    • Women with a history of blood clots.
    • Women with elevated blood pressure.
    • Women who experience intense migraine headaches.

    Progestin-only birth control pills may also be prescribed for breastfeeding moms because the progestin will not negatively impact milk production or harm your baby through breastfeeding. In reality, studies have shown that the minipill may actually help increase the amount of milk produced.

    Kinds of Progestin-Only Pills

    There’s only one formulation (sold under different titles ) of progestin-only pills available in the United States:

    • Norethindrone (.35 milligrams ) 


    Because the minipill contains less progestin than the combination birth control pill,  the progestin’s impact on your cervical mucus lasts for only about 24 hours. That is why it’s important to take progestin-only pills at the same time daily. That being said, that the progestin-only birth control pill is a really effective contraceptive. The minipill is currently 91%-99.7% effective. This means that using typical use, only 9 out of every 100 women will become pregnant through the first period of use. With perfect use, less than 1 will become pregnant.