How you prepareBy Mayo Clinic staff
You'll need to request a prescription for the minipill from your health care provider.
As long as you aren't pregnant, you can start taking the minipill at any time — ideally on the first day of your menstrual period. Your health care provider might recommend using a backup method of birth control, such as a male condom, for the first seven days after you start taking the minipill. You might be able to skip the backup birth control if you start taking the minipill:
- During the first five days of your period
- Between six weeks and six months after giving birth if you're fully or nearly fully breast-feeding and haven't had a period
- Within the first 21 days after giving birth if you're not breast-feeding
- The day after you stop using another hormonal method of contraception
- Immediately after an abortion
If you're switching from a combination birth control pill to the minipill, start taking the minipill the day after you take your last active combination birth control pill.
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- Frequently asked questions: Birth control methods. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.cfm. Accessed Sept. 27, 2011.
- Cullins V. Counseling women seeking hormonal contraception. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 27, 2011.
- Kaunitz AM. Progestin-only (minipills) for contraception. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 27, 2011.
- Schorge JO, et al. Williams Gynecology. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3151449. Accessed Sept. 27, 2011.
- Progestin-only contraceptives. In: Zieman M, et al. A Pocket Guide to Managing Contraception. Tiger, Ga.: Bridging the Gap Communications; 2010:117.