What is the mini pill?
The mini pill, also known as the progesterone only pill (or POP) is a method of birth control (contraception). It’s often used when the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP) is unsuitable, for example due to side effects or a contraindication. It is commonly used by breastfeeding women, because the regular pill can reduce the flow of breast milk.
The mini pill works by thickening the mucus in the cervix, making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus (womb). It also affects the wall of the uterus, making it less likely to allow a fertilised egg to implant. In some women, it stops ovulation too. To work properly, it must be taken every day within the same 3 hour period (there are no pill breaks or sugar pills with the mini pill).
If taken absolutely correctly, the mini pill is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, if it’s not used exactly according to instructions about 9% of users become pregnant within a year.