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Contracept Technol Update. 1982 Sep;3(9):113-5.

How to use mini-pills: helpful patient instructions.

[No authors listed]



Progestin only birth control pills appeared on the US market in 1973. As there is no estrogen in these mini pills, they may have fewer dangerous side effects than the combined pills. Some clinics suggest mini pills for women who suffer from estrogen excess side effects. The 3 mini pills available in the U.S. are called Micronor, NOR-QD, and Ovrette. Instructions are presented for patients who are interested in using mini pills. The mini pills most likely work by affecting a women's fertility in several ways: act as a messenger to the woman's ovaries and uterus to prevent the release of an egg; thicken the mucous on the cervix, making it difficult for the sperm to "get through" the cervix and reach the egg; and change the lining of the uterus so that it may not develop properly for the fertilized egg to grow. The mini pills can be 97% effective is used perfectly. The mini pills are only effective for as long as a woman takes them. A woman must take a pill every day to prevent pregnancy. A woman should not use the mini pill if she has or ever has had any of these problems: blood clotting problems in veins; stroke; cancer of the breast or reproductive parts of the body; suspected pregnancy, current pregnancy; and undiagnosed, abnormal genital bleeding. Possible benefits for a woman using mini pills include: an effective method of birth control; a method for nursing mothers since it does not seem to affect the amount of their breast milk; and a possible reduction in premenstrual cramps. Possible risks for a woman using mini pills include: irregular periods; and a less effective method if the patient does not take a pill every day. The danger signals to look for are abdominal pain, chest pain, headaches, eye problems, and severe leg pain. A patient should revisit a clinic in the following situations: has not had a period within 45 days of the last period; severe abdominal pains while taking mini pills; experiences a warning signal; any time one thinks the pills are causing trouble; and once a year for a pap smear, breast examination, and laboratory tests.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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