- About the Group of Progesterone Drugs
- The Names of the Drugs that are Included in the Group
- How do the Pills Work?
- Instruction on How to Take the Pills
- When Should You Start Taking the Pills?
- Side Effects of Minipill
- Who is Allowed to Take the Pills?
- What Do You Do if You Forgot to Take the Pill?
- When Should You Immediately Go to Your Gynecologist?
- Drug Interaction
About the Group of Progesterone Drugs
Drugs that contain even a small amount of progesterone are called minipills. They are a type of means of contraception that can successfully replace Combined oral Contraceptives (COCs). “Minimal pills” or mini pills are different from COCs in terms of the ingredients that are used to make them. They contain progestin that was made as a synthetic substitute of progesterone (the hormone that’s produced in the ovaries).
Minipills contain from 300 to 500 µg of progestin. COCs contain synthetic substitutes of progesterone and estrogen. Mind that the amount of them in COCs is bigger. Progestin drugs are not as effective as COCs. At the same time, they don’t have the same effect on the organism of a woman. That’s why those women who have medical contradictions also can take them.
So When Should and Can a Woman Take Minipills?
- During breastfeeding. (They have no effect on the quality and taste of your milk).
- If you’re over 40 and you smoke (nicotine in combination with COCs contribute to the development of blood clots due to the fact that the coagulation is in disorder).
- If you have heart pathologies.
The Names of the Drugs that are Included in the Group
Minipills that make up a separate group of birth control pills:
How do the Pills Work?
Progestin drugs do not suppress the ovulation as COCs do. The effect of the group of these pills is based on the process of changing the quality of mucous that covers the neck of the womb. The mucous becomes thicker and a spermatozoid can’t get through it. If, however, it manages to get through it, the second effect of the pills “enters into force”. Due to the fact that the mucous is changed, an embryo can’t get fixed on to the womb. Besides, the vermicular movement of the fallopian tubes is slowed down (an ovum gets to the uterus cavity through these tubes). The effectivity of progestin drugs amounts to 95 % while the effectivity of COCs amounts to 99 %.
Instruction on How to Take the Pills
The effectivity of progesterone drugs depends largely on how conscious you are in terms of time when you take them. The pills are recommended to be taken everyday (do not miss a day!) at one and the same time. No matter if you have periods or some post-menopausal discharges or not, you should take the pills all the year. The best time to take them is from 18:00 to 20:00. 4 hours later, the pills will have the maximal birth control effect. That’s why you’d better take them in the evening and not in the morning. However, it doesn’t mean that if you have a sexual intercourse during the day the pills will be ineffective. It just means that the best effect is achieved if you take the pills at the time period noticed.
When a woman is breastfeeding, her ovulation is suppressed, she is physiologically infertile. This case is also called lactation amenorrhea. It happens because the ovulation is suppressed. Consequently, a woman has only ovules that do not get out of the ovaries. However, an ovule can turn into an egg before periods start. In this case, ovulation will start. Consequently, a woman gets pregnant even though she hasn’t yet had periods after the labour. That’s why it’s so important to take birth control pills while breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding women are allowed to take minipills. However, once you stop to breastfeed and periods come, you’d better start taking COCs. Anyway, a woman can continue taking progesterone pills if she’s fine with the schedule according to which she should take them.
In order to find out what birth control pills are the best in your case, you need to consult your gynecologist. Your gynecologist will tell you to make some tests and examinations. On the basis of the results, he/she’ll say what is the best drug in your case. Before progestin drugs can be prescribed, a woman should get examined by a gynecologist. Besides, doctors take a smear from the neck of the womb and the vagina (to define the microflora and exclude the possibility of oncological diseases). A woman should also undergo an ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs (in order to be 100 % sure that she’s not pregnant and that she’s physiologically infertile).
When Should You Start Taking the Pills?
You should start taking minipills:
- On the first day of your periods.
- Right after an abortion.
- Six weeks after the labour.
The benefits of the pills:
- A “softer” effect on a woman’s organism.
- Unlike the estrogen that is contained in COCs, minipills do not suppress lactation and do not have an effect on milk.
- Come in effect very fast. 4 hours after you take a pill, it will be maximally effective.
- They don’t cause headaches or nausea even when you only start taking them.
- You take the pills whether you have a sexual intercourse or not.
- There is no risk of blood clots development.
- Those who suffer from hypertonia shouldn’t worry. The pills don’t increase blood pressure.
- Unlike COCs, the pills have no influence on your mood.
- The pills do not influence your libido.
- A woman is allowed to take the pills during she’s getting ready for an operation. COCs are not recommended in this case.
- The pills decrease menstrual pains.
- You’ll be able to get pregnant soon after you stop taking the pills. (Within 1 month after you stop taking them).
- The pills are to be taken regularly. This requires a woman to be time conscious.
- The pills are less effective than COCs.
- Your weight may change (you may gain or lose several kilograms).
- The pills do not protect you from the infections that are passed on a person during a sexual intercourse.
- The pills become less effective if you take one of the following drugs simultaneously with them: Fenitonin and Fenobrobital (anti-spasmodic drugs), Rafampizin (antituberculous remedy).
- Short-time changes of the periods: there may occur bleedings that shouldn’t be, bleeding may last longer than usually or there may be no bleedings at all.
- The drug may not be cancelled.
- The development of the uterus’ cysts (once you stop taking the pills the cysts will disappear by themselves I 1-2 months).
- Recrudescence of milk-fever if it’s chronic.
- Weakness and nausea in case you have diabetes. They will disappear by themselves. There is no need to stop taking the pills.
- Changes of skin oiliness (temporary).
- You breast may become more sensitive (no need to cancel the pills).
- You may become sensitive to ultraviolet (a woman is not recommended to sunbathe).
- Increased growth of hair on body (rare).
Women who have one of the following are forbidden to take the pills:
- Bleedings from vagina that you don’t know the reason for.
- Severe damage of the heart or brain vessels.
- Malignant tumor in breast.
- A tumor-like diseases of the liver, cirrhosis.
- Serious kidneys pathology.
- Hepatitis in the active phase.
- If you simultaneously take anti-spasmodic drugs.
Who is Allowed to Take the Pills?
- Women of any age, no matter if they have periods or have already been through menopause.
- Breastfeeding women.
- Women who have given birth to a baby but who aren’t breastfeeding.
- Women who smoke.
- Women who have had an abortion.
- Women who can’t take COCs due to medical contradictions.
If a woman wants to start taking COCs instead of the minipills, she should start taking them on the first or the second day of her periods. If it’s possible, start taking COCs before the last pack of the progestin drugs gets empty. If periods don’t come, you need to start taking COCs right after you take the last progestin pill.
If a woman wants to start taking progestin drugs instead of COCs, she can start taking them right after she takes the last pill of COCs. The pills will become fully effective 2 weeks later.
If a woman wants to start using barrier methods of contraception, she’d better take a pack of progestin pills and use a barrier method of contraception simultaneously. This is just to be safe.
What Do You Do if You Forgot to Take the Pill?
It’s not recommended to miss a day when taking the pills. Moreover, you’d better take them atone and the same time. If you are not more than 3 hours late, you need to take the pill immediately and use barrier methods of contraception for a week after it. If you have nausea, 2 hours after you took the pill and you can’t take pill because of it, you need to use additional means of contraception for 2-3 days after it. The same refers to the case if you have diarrhea 12 hours after you take the pill.
When Should You Immediately Go to Your Gynecologist?
If you notice one of the following, you need to go to your gynecologist as soon as possible:
- Strong bleedings that last long.
- Your periods are late and it’s not because you’re pregnant.
- Painful sensations in the pelvic area. They may be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.
If you missed a day (didn’t take the pill) and got pregnant as a result, you need to stop taking minipills. There is no need to have pregnancy terminated. The fact that you took pills all the way up until you got pregnant won’t influence the pregnancy.
These are the same drugs that influence the effectivity of the progestin drugs as the ones that influence the effectivity of COCs. However, if you take such antibiotics as Doksiciklin, Amoksicilin, Tetraciklin, Ampitsilin and Fenoksimetilpenicilin, the minipills will not become less effective. Storage method: Do not keep in wet rooms or in rooms where it’s too hot. Keep away from kids.