Contraceptive Pill

Contraceptive Mini Pill (Desogestrel 75mcg) (Pack of 84)

Affordable and clinically effective progestogen-only contraceptive pill

  • Progestogen-only
  • Can be used during breast feeding
  • Over 99% effective when taken correctly

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How effective is the Mini Pill?

When taken correctly, the Mini Pill is more than 99% effective. However, certain factors such as missing a dose, being ill with vomiting or diarrhea (‘real life’ use) could reduce the efficacy of the Mini Pill to about 91%.

What is the Mini Pill?

The Mini Pill, also known as a progesterone-only contraceptive (POC) pill, is a daily hormonal contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy in adolescent and adult females of child-bearing age. The Mini Pill contains the active ingredient desogestrel.

The Mini Pill is preferred in women at an increased risk of getting blood clots or certain cancers because it does not contain oestrogen, unlike the combined hormonal contraceptive (CHC) which contains synthetic oestrogen and progesterone. This means the Mini Pill is perfect if you are over 35 years old, smoke or have a history of blood clots in your legs or lungs.

How does the Mini Pill work?

The Mini Pill contains synthetic progesterone called desogestrel. Desogestrel mimics the naturally-occurring female sex hormone progesterone and prevents the release of an egg during the menstrual cycle. The Mini Pill also makes it harder for sperm to reach the egg by thickening the mucus within the cervix.


Is the Mini Pill suitable for me?

The Mini Pill is generally well tolerated and used by many women for effective contraception. The Mini Pill is especially preferred in women at higher risk of blood clots or for those who cannot take oestrogen. This includes women over 35 years, women who smoke and women with a history of blood clots in their legs (thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism).

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How long does it take for the Mini Pill to work?

You should start the Mini Pill ideally on Day 1 of your menstrual cycle (first day of menstrual bleeding) however starting on Day 2 up to Day 5 is fine as well.

If this is your first time taking any hormonal contraceptive, or if you have not had any hormonal contraceptive in the past month, you will need to use additional contraceptive precautions for 7 days (i.e. barrier method).

If you are changing over from a different progesterone-only contraceptive (different mini pill, progesterone-only implant or injection, progesterone-only intrauterine device), you may switch over to the Mini Pill any day as long as there is no break in treatment.

If you are changing over from a combined hormonal contraceptive (combined oral contraceptive, vaginal ring or skin patches), start the Mini Pill preferably on the day after the last active tablet. You can also start the Mini Pill at the latest on the day after the last tablet-free, ring-free, patch-free or placebo tablet interval, but use additional contraceptive precautions for 7 days (i.e. barrier method).

How do I take the Mini Pill?

The Mini Pill comes in a tablet form. Take one tablet daily, swallowed whole. The tablet should be taken at the same time every day (ideally 24 hours between doses). There should be no treatment breaks. It helps if you pick a convenient time of day and link it to a regular task (e.g. after brushing your teeth).

The tablets come in a foil blister labeled with the corresponding days to help you keep track of your doses.

You may notice that your period may become irregular or stop completely when taking the Mini Pill. This is nothing to be concerned about.

What happens if I take the Mini Pill earlier or later than my scheduled time?

If you miss your regular time to take the Mini Pill, and you are less than 12 hours late, take the Mini Pill straight away. This may mean taking 2 tablets in the same day. This should not compromise the effectiveness of the Mini Pill at preventing pregnancy.

If you have missed your dose for longer than 12 hours, take the Mini Pill immediately and continue on with the next tablet at your regular time. This may mean taking 2 tablets in the same day. Use additional contraceptive precautions for the next 7 days (i.e. barrier method).

It is perfectly fine if you have to take your Mini Pill earlier than usual. Take note of the time you took the tablet and make sure your next tablet is 24 hours later, or no later than 36 hours from when you last took the tablet.

It is important to take the Mini Pill correctly for effective contraception. If unprotected sex occurs during the 7 days where additional contraceptive precaution is needed, even if you are taking the Mini Pill during the 7 days, you may need emergency contraception.

Potential Side Effects

Please read the enclosed Patient Information Leaflet carefully before use.The Mini Pill is generally well tolerated. Some common side effects (1 in 10 women) include nausea, headache, reduced libido, mood changes, weight gain, irregular or no periods, breast pain.

Other uncommon side effects (1 in 100 women) include vomiting, tiredness, intolerance to contact lenses, vaginal infections, hair loss, ovarian cysts.

Some people may also be allergic to the medication and come up with a skin rash, itching, swelling around the lips and face, difficulty breathing or swallowing. If this happens, stop the medication immediately and seek medical attention.

If you were to experience the following, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Swelling, redness or pain in leg
  • Sudden and severe lower abdomen pain
  • Breathlessness, chest pain or coughing up blood