Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The deal with the mini pill: And no, it is not just a smaller sized birth control pill

For some of you ladies that just had some babies, you may already be quite familiar with the mini-pill. For the rest of you ladies, you may have heard about the mini-pill, but may not be quite so sure exactly what it is. Let me enlighten you:

The mini-pill, contrary to it's name, is not a miniature version of normal birth control pills. They didn't just take your orthotricyclen or Yasmin and make the packaging smaller. It is actually a birth control pill that ONLY contains the hormone progesterone, as opposed to the regular birth control pills that contain both progesterone and estrogen. It works by making your cervical mucus (oh yes, we are back to that. More info about cervical mucus here) thick and the lining of your uterus thin, basically making those little sperm swimmers unable to get to your ovaries and any possible fertilized egg from actually implanting. Sometimes the mini-pill suppresses ovulation as well.

Why would you want to take this pill and how come your lady parts doctor hasn't talked to you about it? Well while less hormone does sound great, it does make this form of birth control not as effective as the regular pill. In fact, your chances of getting knocked up on the mini pill are higher mostly because the progesterone only keeps your cervical mucus thick for 24 hours, so you HAVE to take it at exactly the same time every day, leaving NO room for error.

But, there are benefits to using the mini-pill. If you are breastfeeding, you can actually take the mini-pill and it will not change your milk supply (in fact, it may even boost it!). This is great for moms that need the birth control protection but also want to continue breast feeding. Also, some ladies out there don't jive well with estrogen - they may have a higher risk of heart disease, blood clots, high blood pressure or migraines - and the mini-pill is great birth control option for them.

The mini-pill is another great birth control tool to have - just remember that in order for it to actually work it needs to be taken exactly on time!

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