356 The green pages
To assure effectiveness and minimize spotting (small amounts of bleeding at
other times than your normal monthly bleeding), take the pill at the same time
each day, especially with pills that have low amounts of hormones. If spotting
continues after 3 or 4 months, try one of the brands in Group 3. If there is still
spotting after 3 months, try a brand from Group 4.
But if a woman misses her monthly bleeding for months or is disturbed by the very
light monthly bleeding, she can change to a brand with more estrogen from Group 4.
For a woman who has very heavy monthly bleeding or whose breasts become
painful before her monthly bleeding begins, a brand low in estrogen but high in
progestin may be better. These pills are found in Group 3.
Women who continue to have spotting or miss their monthly bleeding when
using a brand from Group 3, or who became pregnant before while using another
type of pill, can change to a pill that has a little more estrogen. These ‘high dose’
pills are found in Group 4.
Group 4 - High dose pills
These pills are higher in estrogen (50 micrograms of the estrogen ‘ethinyl
estradiol’) and most are also higher in progestin.
Women who are breastfeeding, or who should not use regular pills because of
headaches or mild high blood pressure, may want to use a pill with only progestin.
These pills in Group 5 are also called ‘mini-pills.’
Group 5 - Progestin-only pills
These pills, also known as ‘mini-pills,’ contain only progestin.
these brands can also
be used for Emergency
see next page
Progestin-only pills should be taken at the same time every day, even during the
monthly bleeding. Menstrual bleeding is often irregular.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007