Minipill: Is There a Huge Difference With The Pill?

March 21, 2024

Are you trying to understand if minipill is good for you? Among the many birth control options available today, the mini pill has gained substantial popularity. In this post, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the mini pill, its efficacy, potential side effects, and its comparison with the regular pill.

What are the downsides of Minipill?

The mini pill, also known as the progestin-only pill, has several benefits, but like any medication, it also has its downsides.

The most common drawback is its strict adherence schedule.

Unlike combined pills, which allow a 12-hour window, the mini pill must be taken at the same time each day to ensure effectiveness.

In addition, the mini pill can cause irregular menstrual bleeding.

Some women experience spotting between periods, while others may have heavier or lighter periods.

Other potential side effects include breast tenderness, headache, nausea, and ovarian cysts.

It’s also important to note that the mini pill does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Is Minipill as Effective as Regular Pill?

When it comes to effectiveness, the minipill is slightly less effective than the combined pill.

The effectiveness of the minipill is around 92-97%, while that of the combined pill is about 99% with perfect use.

However, the success of the mini pill heavily depends on how consistently and correctly it is used.

Moreover, certain medications, such as anti-seizure medications, and some antibiotics, can lessen the effectiveness of the minipill. Therefore, it is crucial to discuss your medical history and current medications with your healthcare provider before starting the mini pill.

Do You Have a Period on the Minipill?

One of the standout features of the mini pill is its impact on menstrual cycles.

Many women on the mini-pill may find that their periods become irregular or stop altogether – a condition known as amenorrhea.

This can be quite normal and isn’t usually a cause for concern.

However, if you used to have regular periods before taking the mini pill and they stop, it’s advisable to take a pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy.

Some women may also experience spotting or breakthrough bleeding, especially in the first few months of use.

What is the Difference Between the Pill and the Mini pill?

The primary difference between the pill and the mini pill lies in their composition.

The combined pill, commonly known as “the pill”, contains two hormones: estrogen and progestin.

On the other hand, the mini pill only contains progestin, making it a suitable option for women who cannot use methods containing estrogen due to health reasons or side effects.

Furthermore, the mini pill does not have a week of placebo pills, unlike the combined pill. This requires the minipill to be taken every day without any break.

In terms of effectiveness, the pill has a slight edge over the mini pill, but both are highly effective when used correctly.

Does Mini pill Cause Weight Gain?

The idea that hormonal contraception leads to weight gain is a long-standing myth.

Most studies show no evidence that the mini pill directly causes weight gain. However, some women may experience changes in appetite or water retention, which could indirectly lead to slight weight fluctuations.

Remember, everyone’s body reacts differently to hormonal changes.

If you are concerned about weight changes while taking the mini pill, consider discussing this with your healthcare provider to find a solution that works best for you.

Is the Mini Pill Bad for You Long Term?

The minipill is generally safe for long-term use for most women.

In fact, it can offer several long-term benefits such as reduced menstrual pain and bleeding, and protection against pelvic inflammatory disease.

However, it’s worth noting that the minipill may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer and liver cancer.

This risk appears to decrease after stopping the minipill and seems to be related to the length of use.

Above all, it’s crucial to have regular health check-ups and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider to ensure the minipill remains a safe and effective option for you.

We are with you.

The minipill is an effective, safe and suitable contraceptive option for many women.

However, as with any medication, it’s essential to understand its potential downsides and benefits.

Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new medication, including the minipill.

At Parentalife, we aim to provide the information you need to make informed decisions about your health and well-being. Discover our courses!


Machado RB, Politano CA. Progestogen-only oral contraceptives. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2022 Apr;44(4):442-448. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-1748754. Epub 2022 May 27. PMID: 35623623; PMCID: PMC9948109.

About the Author

Severino Cirillo

Health, Wellness and Education Expert. With a degree in Community Health, he is the CEO of Informed Parent and is responsible for validating the blog's scientific information and coordinating the editorial team of experts, consisting of gynecologists, midwives, psychotherapists, and others in pregnancy, perinatal, and parenting wellness and health.