How long does the mini pill take to work?

The progestogen-only pill (POP), often referred to as the mini pill, is a type of oral contraceptive pill. It is most effective when taken at around the same time every day. Examples of the POP are Cerazette and Cerelle, Feanolla, Zelleta.

The mini pill works to reduce the chance of conception in different ways. One of the main ways it does this is by increasing the amount and thickness of cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to reach and fertilise an egg. This effect is achieved very soon after starting the pill.

When this contraception is first started, you might need to give the pill enough time to start working and use additional precautions to prevent pregnancy, such as condoms or avoiding vaginal sexual intercourse.

For the progestogen only pill, if you start on the first day of your cycle then it'll be effective immediately. If you start at any other time on your cycle then you should use additional protection for 48 hours.

If switching from another form of contraception, additional precautions may apply, depending on whether there has been any risk of unprotected sexual intercourse.

Last updated at: 10 March 2022


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