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The mini-pill is also called progesterone-only pill, because it only contains one type of hormone. Unlike combined pills, which contain estrogen and progesterone, the mini pill uses progesterone as its only active ingredient.

Our service allows you to order a repeat prescription for your progesterone pill online - without seeing your GP. Our online doctor will review your request and make sure your can continue taking your minipill. This service is suitable for women who have been taking the same pill for at least three months.

Prescriptions for urgent treatment can be delivered by Pharmacy Collect, usually within an hour. Or you can choose for your prescription to be delivered to your address. Prescriptions can be used at a pharmacy of your choice.

A consultation for the progesterone pill costs €20.

How do progesterone pills work?

Like other contraceptive pills, the mini pill works in three ways. It stops ovulation, prevents sperm from reaching the egg and makes it very difficult for a fertilised egg to implant in the uterus. Progesterone pills are usually recommended to women who cannot take oestrogen (for example because they are breastfeeding) and are 99% effective against pregnancy when used correctly. A pack of the mini pill contains 28 active pills - there is no placebo or 7 day break as with the combined pill – and it's important that you take each pill every day at the same time, no more than three hours late. If you miss this "time window" (i.e. if you miss a pill), you must take the pill that you forgot as soon as you realise and then keep on taking it as usual on the following days.

However, you will also need to use an additional method of contraception (e.g. a condom) for seven days until the progesterone pill becomes effective again. Some types of pills become effective within two to three days, so you might need to ask your GP about the time frame within which you pill provides protection. The best solution remains to take it every day and get used to the daily routine, so that you don't forget. Once you have finished one pack, you can start a new one on the following day without interruption – which will help maintain the routine. Note that if you start taking the mini-pill during the first five days of a period you will enjoy immediate protection against pregnancy. If you start at a different date you will need to use an additional method of contraception for two days.

Advantages Of Progesterone Only Birth Control

Originally, progesterone-only pills were designed for women who were breastfeeding, since oestrogen tends to affect milk production. Over time, the mini-pill has also proven a reliable alternative for women who can not take oestrogen because of conditions such as blood clots, high blood pressure or obesity. It is also suitable for women who are over 35 and smoke, because they are generally advised not to take the combination pill. The progesterone-only pill also helps women have lighter, less painful periods. Women who use progesterone pills commonly report irregular bleeding. The progesterone-only pill does not regulate the menstrual cycle in the same way that combination pills do. If irregular bleeding becomes an issue for you, you should discuss it with your doctor to check whether your bleeding is a side effect or due to an underlying medical issue.

Disadvantages Of Progesterone Only Birth Control

Much like the combined pill, the mini-pill has to be taken every day. However, many find that using progesterone-only pills is less convenient than combined oral pills. This is because the mini-pill needs to be taken every day within a three-hour period, while the combined pill can be taken within a twelve-hour period. However, some new progesterone only pills allow for the same 12h time window as combined oral contraceptives.

Mini-pill Effectiveness

When taken correctly, the mini-pill is about as effective as the normal pill in protecting against pregnancy (99% effective). This means, that one woman in a hundred fall pregnant when using the mini-pill for a year, which is much better than the 85 women in 100 who fall pregnant each year because they don't use any protection at all. Always bear in mind that progesterone-only pills do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).

What If I Vomit After Taking A Progesterone Pill?

If you vomit within three hours of taking the mini-pill, you need to keep on taking it every day as usual, as well as using an additional form of contraception (e.g. condoms) for the next seven days. This advice also applies if you suffer from severe diarrhoea. You should use additional contraception until seven days after you have been feeling ill.

Possible Mini Pill Side Effects

  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Breast soreness or discomfort
  • Side effects of the mini pill are rare and most of these symptoms disappear after the first few months.
  • Precautions
  • Progesterone-only pills may be unsuitable if:
  • You are pregnant
  • You have a cardiovascular disease (i.e. heart or blood circulation issue)
  • You have a liver disease
  • You had or have ovarian cysts
  • You have had breast cancer in the past five years

Additionally, the mini-pill may interact with certain medications (e.g. treatments for epilepsy) so you must make sure you discuss any medical treatment with your doctor.

If you have a question about this service, please email [email protected] with the question, and one of our doctors will get back to you within 24 hours.

Pharmacy Collect

If you need your medication urgently, choose DrEd's Pharmacy Collect service. This service is available between 9am and 4pm Monday - Friday. Orders placed outside of these hours will be processed the next working day. First, our doctors will review your treatment and approve if appropriate. We will then send an advanced notification of your prescription to a pharmacy of your choice. We aim to do this within an hour.

If your chosen pharmacy is unable to fulfil your prescription, we will get in touch with you to arrange alternative collection arrangements.

Prescription sent by mail

You can choose for your paper prescription to be delivered to your address. This takes 3-5 working days.

The Mini Pill

1 Order Prescription

Complete a fast and simple online health questionnaire

2 Doctor Prescribes

Doctor reviews your suitability and if appropriate issues your prescription

3 Prescription Delivered

We’ll send urgent scripts fast to any Irish pharmacy or the paper script to your address

Anytime, Anywhere

You can complete one of our online assessments at any time, whenever it suits you. It’s as easy as 1,2,3.

  1. Choose your medication
    You'll complete a short online health assessment and choose the medication you need. If you\'re unsure, our in-house GPs can also recommend the best treatment for you.

  2. Our GP prescribes your medication
    Our doctors will review your order and issue your prescription.

  3. Free delivery to your door or collect from the pharmacy
    Free delivery to your address is included. Or for urgent orders you can collect straight from your pharmacy

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Save up to €40

We want to make it easier and more affordable for you to access the healthcare you need.

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FREE Fast Delivery

Orders placed before 4pm will be dispatched the same day.

Standard Delivery

Estimated Delivery:
Delivered to your chosen address within 3-5 working days.

Pharmacy Collect

Estimated Delivery:
For urgent orders, delivered to your chosen pharmacy from 1 hour of placing your order if placed Mon-Fri 9am-4pm.

Discreet Packaging

Your prescription will be delivered in plain, unlabeled packaging

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1,000,000 Customers Treated

DrEd is a brand you can trust. We’ve treated over 1,000,000 patients since 2011.

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