Also known as the Mini-Pill, the Progestin-only pill is provided for breastfeeding women because it is not supposed to effect the flow of milk in the way that estrogen pills do. It is recommended for use during the first six months, especially when breastfeeding is adding to the contraceptive effect, because it is not as safe as the combined pill.
Once breastfeeding is reduced, other methods need to be considered because the effect of this pill declines. In order to maximise its effectiveness, this pill needs to be taken scrupulously, at the same hour each day. This means setting an alarm clock if there is a chance of napping at the allotted time because after 24 hours hormone levels drop and thereafter risk of conception is increased.
The mini-pill can be taken from three weeks after the birth. Recent reports, but no definitive research, points to cases of lactation being effected by the mini-pill when it is started soon after birth. There should be no such problems if the pill is started 6 to 8 weeks after birth.
Progestin-only contraceptives come in many forms apart from oral pills and these include injections (Depo-Provera), IUS and implants (Norplant).
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