Mini Pill

  • 93 - over 99 % Effective
  • No STI Protection
  • Daily

What is the mini pill?

The mini pill contains the hormone progestogen. It is also known as the progestogen only pill. Progestogen is similar to the hormone produced by the ovaries. It is sold as Microlut®, Locilan® and Noriday® in Australia.

Fpv Mini Pill
photo of mini pill packet

How effective is the mini pill?

Taken correctly the mini pill can be over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. If you miss a pill, vomit within 2 hours of taking a pill, have severe diarrhoea or take certain medications it might only be 93% effective.

What stops the mini pill from working?

The mini pill might not work if:

  • It is taken more than 3 hours late
  • You vomit within 2 hours of taking it
  • You have very severe diarrhoea
  • You are taking some medications or natural remedies (check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist)

How do I use the mini pill?

You take it by swallowing one pill around the same time every day. The pack contains 28 hormone pills. There are no sugar pills.

illustration of person taking the medication

How does the mini pill work?

The mini pill works by thickening the fluid around the cervix (opening to the uterus/womb). This helps to prevent sperm from entering.

illustration of mucus in cervix with labels

Sometimes the mini pill can also prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg.  

illustration of eggs not being released by ovaries

When you are starting the mini pill for the first time or after a break it can take up to three days to start working. Speak with a doctor, nurse or pharmacist about the best way to get started.  

Where can I get the mini pill?

Your doctor will write you a script and you can get the mini pill from your pharmacy. It will be cheaper if you have a healthcare card.

What is good about the mini pill?

  • It starts working quickly
  • It is a low dose of hormone
  • It is another choice if you have difficulty taking the hormone oestrogen. The Pill (combined pill) and vaginal ring contains oestrogen and progestogen. The mini pill only contains progestogen.
  • It can be used while breast feeding
  • Once stopped your fertility quickly returns to normal         

Are there any side effects from taking the mini pill?

Possible side effects for a small number of users can include:

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding
  • Headaches
  • Sore/ tender breasts
  • Changes to your skin
  • Mood changes.

These side effects often settle with time. The mini pill has not been shown to cause weight gain.

Can the mini pill cause any serious health problems?

There are no known serious health risks from taking the mini pill.

Reasons why the mini pill might not be a good option for you:

  • Find taking a tablet at the same time each day difficult
  • Have been treated for breast cancer
  • Have severe liver disease
  • Are taking certain types of medication which might stop the mini pill from working (check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist).

What if I miss a mini pill?

  • Take the missed pill as soon as you notice (this may mean taking 2 pills on the same day)
  • Use condoms for the next 3 days
  • Continue to take your pills as normal
  • If you have had unprotected sex since you missed your pill, you may need emergency contraception.

What happens if I get pregnant while I’m taking the mini pill?

The pill won’t harm the pregnancy. It is safe to continue the pregnancy (and stop the mini pill) or to have an abortion.

Can I take the mini pill after I’ve had a baby?

You can start the mini pill straight after you give birth, even if you are breast feeding.

What if I’m taking the mini pill and I want to become pregnant?

You can stop the mini pill at any time and your fertility will quickly return.

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Where to get more information, support or advice

This is general information only, you should speak to your doctor for advice and further instruction

Last updated: 28 June 2018