What is the difference between the combined pill and mini pill? The combined oral contraceptive is an oral tablet used by millions of women all over the world as one of the most effective regular forms of contraception. It is also effective for other hormone related issues and can help to control acne (especially one that is aggravated by menstr...Read More
The combined oral contraceptive is an oral tablet used by millions of women all over the world as one of the most effective regular forms of contraception. It is also effective for other hormone related issues and can help to control acne (especially one that is aggravated by menstrual cycle), relax and reduce period cramps and regulate an irregular menstrual cycle.
This type of pill contains both oestrogen and progestogen and it is taken for 21 days with a 7-day break (i.e. you stop during the week of your period). Most women will be offered the combined pill first as it is generally tolerated very well, readily available (many brands and types) and easy to take.
The mini pill is progestogen (progesterone) only tablet and like the combined oral contraceptive it is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. The mini pill is particularly useful for women that have experienced oestrogen-based side effects in the past (i.e. migraines) and for those women that cannot take oestrogen containing products such as the combined pill. The mini pill is just as effective at preventing pregnancy as the combined pill. The mini pill also doesn’t require the patient to stop for 7 days. It is taken at the same time every day without a break.
Acnocin, BiNovum, Brevinor, Cicafem, Cilest, Clairette, Cyproterone, Dianette, Femodene, Femodette, Loestrin, Logynon, Marvelon, Mercilon, Microgynon, Norimin, Norinyl-1, Ovysmen, Qlaira, Synphase, Triadene, Trinovum, Yasmin, Zoely
Cerazette, Norgeston, Aizea, Micronor, Nacrez, Desomono, Desorex, Noriday, Cerelle, Zelleta
There are some brands including Zoely and Qlaira that differ from the usual routine of combined pills. These brands contain 28 pills and are taken throughout the month making these a good option for women that are not good with a 21/7 split routine.
The combined pill:
Advantages of the combined pill:
Missing a pill
If you miss taking a combined pill the action you take will depend on how many you have missed and where you are in your cycle.
1. One missed tablet or started new pack one day late:
2. You have missed two or more tablets or have started the new pack two or more days late:
3. If there are six or fewer tablets left in the pack:
4. If there are seven or more tablets left in the pack
The mini pill:
Certain medicines can affect the effectiveness of the mini pill. Antibiotics, certain herbal medication and some weight loss medicines can interfere with how well the pill is absorbed into the blood and if you are taking these for a short time you should also use a barrier method of contraception during and for 7 days after stopping. Vomiting and diarrhoea can also affect absorption of both types of pill and additional barrier protection should be used.
Advantages of the mini pill:
Missing a pill
Most progestogen only pills have to be taken within a certain time frame every day. If one is missed or taken late then this could affect how well it works.
For further health advice you can visit the NHS choices website for up-to-date recommendations.
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