Types of mini pills

Updated April 17, 2017

Mini-pills are birth control pills which contain the synthetic hormone progestin but do not contain oestrogen or other hormones. These pills are intended for prevention of pregnancy and are usually taken by women who cannot take birth control pills that contain more than one hormone or higher doses of hormones.


Micronor is a brand name for one type of mini pill. This pill prevents pregnancy by causing the cervical mucus to thicken, which makes it harder for sperm to swim up the cervix to meet with the egg. Additionally, this pill prevents ovulation in about half of the cycles of women who take it. It also affects other hormones relevant to reproduction as well as causes changes in the Fallopian tubes and the uterine lining.


Nora-BE is another type of mini-pill. Like Micronor, it is meant to prevent pregnancy and works in a similar manner to Micronor. Nora-BE as well as other mini pills are usually taken by women who cannot tolerate birth control pills with more than one hormone in them. The most common other hormone in birth control pills is oestrogen, and many women are unable to take pills that contain oestrogen.


Another progesterone-only mini pill is Nor-QD. Mini pills such as Nor-QD and others also work by slowing the movement of the egg through the Fallopian tube, thus making it possible that the egg and sperm will lose viability before they meet. The egg is only viable for approximately 48 hours after ovulation before it cannot be fertilised. Likewise, the sperm is only motile or fertile for two to three days before it will be unable to fertilise the egg.


All three of the above-mentioned pills must be taken at the exact same time or as close to it as possible every day. Missing a pill, taking it more than 3 hours later than usual, or starting a new pack late will increase your pregnancy chances. If any of these occur, you must use backup birth control for the next two days every time you have intercourse. This is something you need to consider if you lead an active life that does not or cannot adhere to a set schedule or frequently deviates from the schedule.


Like all birth control pills, mini pills carry the risk of blood clots, which can be higher if you smoke. You shouldn't smoke and take birth control pills, even mini pills. The mini pill also carries a risk of a stroke occurring. Blurred vision, slurred speech and weakness or numbness on one side of the body is all signs of a stroke and you should seek immediate attention.

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About the Author

Jessica Anne Elizabeth, co-founder of, is an established freelance writer and editor with a expertise in the beauty industry. Her areas of interest include hair, make-up and skincare, as well as reproductive health and pregnancy. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Rutgers University.