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 two 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 are 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.
Nov. 26, 2014
- Hatcher RA, et al. Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media; 2011:249.
- Cunningham FG, et al. Williams Obstetrics. 23rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=46. Accessed Sept. 27, 2014.
- Kaunitz AM. Progestin-only pills (POPs) for contraception. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 27, 2014.
- Espey E, et al. Effect of progestin vs. combined oral contraceptive pills on lactation: A double-blind randomized controlled trial. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2012;119:5.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. October 16, 2014.