How you prepare

By 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.

Dec. 01, 2011