The Mini Pill is a progestogen-only oral contraceptive pill (POP) which is taken every day to prevent pregnancy.

Progestogen is similar to the hormone progesterone which is naturally produced by the female body.

The Mini Pill is 93% – 99% effective.

It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or blood-borne viruses (BBVs). Practice safer sex by using condoms to reduce the risk of STIs and BBVs.

Mini Pill Guide

Mini Pill FAQs

    What is the Mini Pill?

    The Mini Pill is an oral contraceptive containing a low dose of the hormone progestogen. It is taken every day to prevent pregnancy.

    It is also known as the progestogen only pill. Progestogen is similar to the hormone produced by the ovaries in the female body.

    It is sold as Microlut®, Locilan® and Noriday® in Australia.

    How does the Mini Pill work?

    The Mini Pill works by:

    • Thickening the mucus of the cervix so that sperm cannot enter the uterus (womb).
    • Affecting ovulation (egg release from the ovary) in some women

    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.

    How well does the Mini Pill work

    Taken correctly the mini pill can 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

    If you miss a pill, vomit within 2 hours of taking a pill, are more than 3 hours late in taking the pill and have severe diarrhoea or take certain medications it might only be 93% effective.

    Is the Mini Pill right for me?

    Most women can safely use the Mini Pill however there are some factors which may mean that Mini Pill is not an appropriate for you. These include:

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

    What's good about the Mini Pill?

    The advantages of choosing the Mini Pill include:

    • It contains a very low dose of hormones.
    • It is reversible with a rapid return to usual fertility once stopped.
    • It starts working quickly.
    • It is another choice if you can’t take the hormone oestrogen.
    • You can take the mini pill whilst breast feeding and can start the Mini Pill immediately after having the baby.

    Are there any side effects from taking the Mini Pill?

    Side effects are uncommon but may include:

    • Changes in bleeding patterns including: periods stopping completely, irregular periods.
    • Ovarian cysts – usually there are no symptoms and do not require treatment.
    • Headaches.
    • Breast tenderness.
    • Changes to your skin.
    • Mood changes.

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

    Where can I get the Mini Pill?

    The Mini Pill is available from any pharmacies however you will need a prescription.

    The cost of the Mini Pill is largely dependent on whether you have a Concessions and or Medicare card.

    Starting the Mini Pill for the first time requires an assessment by a doctor. They will explain how to use the Mini Pill and give you a prescription.

    The assessment visit also enables you to ask any questions that you may have about the Mini Pill so you can be certain that it is the most suitable method for you.

    How do I take the Mini Pill?

    You need to take the Mini Pill at the same time every day. The pack contains 28 hormone pills. There are no sugar pills (non – hormone pills).

    Don’t forget to set a reminder on your phone, calendar etc to help you remember to take your Mini Pill to ensure you will be protected from pregnancy.

    What could stop the Mini Pill from working properly?

    The Mini Pill might not work if:

    • If it is taken more than 3 hours late.
    • You vomit within 2 hours of taking the Mini Pill.
    • You have had severe diarrohea.
    • Your taking certain medications and natural remedies. Check with your doctor.

    What do I do if I miss a Mini Pill?

    If you miss a Mini Pill you should:

    • Take the missed pill as soon as you notice (this may mean you may be 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 to take Emergency Contraception.

    Do I need to take Emergency Contraception (EC) if I miss the Mini Pill?

    If you have had unprotected sex since you missed your Mini Pill, you may need to take  Emergency Contraception

    What else do I need to know?

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

    You can take the mini pill whilst breast feeding and can start the Mini Pill immediately after having the baby.

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

    Where can I get more information, support or advice?

    Family Planning Tasmania has clinics in Glenorchy, Launceston, and Burnie. Click here.

    Any of our Doctors or Nurses can assist you with information or support about the Mini Pill, or you can talk to your regular GP.

    You can also download our My Choice App which can help you to be informed and take control of you own sexual health. Go to My Choice

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