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If you need a birth control that doesn’t contain estrogen, you need a mini pill like Heather. It’s a mini pill that only contains progesterone, so it’s helpful if you have migraines or other conditions that mean you can’t take estrogen.

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Starting from $71.00
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This page was medically reviewed by Ms Laurenmarie Cormier, Nurse Practitioner on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

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What is Heather?

Heather is a type of birth control pill that only contains one type of hormone: a progestin called norethindrone. You take it at the same time every day for as long as you want to stay protected against pregnancy. If you take it exactly right, it’s more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Some people are sensitive to a hormone called estrogen, that’s used in combined hormonal birth control. They can experience migraines as a result of their estrogen sensitivity.

If you have risk factors for blood clots or a stroke (like being over 35, smoking, being overweight or having high blood pressure) then you may find that a birth control that only contains one type of hormone – sometimes known as a “mini pill” or “POP” – can be a better choice. A mini pill may also make your periods lighter, or stop them altogether.

How does Heather work?

Heather works to prevent pregnancy using a type of progesterone (norethindrone), that’s very similar to a hormone that’s naturally found in the body. It works by making your vaginal fluid thicker to help stop sperm from reaching the egg and fertilizing it. It also changes the lining of your uterus to prevent a fertilized egg from attaching there – this is usually the first stage in pregnancy. For some women, it also stops ovulation, so no egg is released in the first place.

Heather doesn’t protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted diseases, it just reduces the risk of pregnancy. Barrier birth control methods like condoms are the only way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, though these aren’t always 100% effective.

What doses of Heather are there?

Heather comes in one available dose of 0.35mg norethindrone. This is similar to most other mini pills. If this doesn’t work well for you, or you experience any side effects, then you should seek advice from your doctor to see if there are other options available to you.

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How to use Heather

You should always take Heather as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.

Start by reading the information provided along with your medication, to make sure you understand how to use it and to check whether there are any side effects or precautions to take that you need to be aware of.

Here’s how to use Heather:

  • Ideally start taking this medication on the first day of your period.
  • You usually take Heather once a day, at the same time every day.
  • Choose a time that you’re going to remember easily.
  • Take Heather by mouth as directed by your doctor.
  • Continue taking one pill every day.
  • Once you finish one pack of pills you should start the next one the following day. There’s no need to take a break between packs, and you don’t need to take any hormone-free pills in between (like with other types of birth control).

It’s important to take Heather every day, 24 hours apart. This will ensure that you still have the right amount of hormone in your body to prevent pregnancy. Some people find it useful to set a reminder that helps to remind them to take their birth control.

If you don’t begin to take Heather on the first day of your period, use an additional form of non-hormonal birth control (like condoms or spermicide) for the first seven days of starting Heather. This will make sure that you have enough protection in place until Heather starts to work.

If you experience nausea or stomach upsets after using Heather, it may help to take it after your evening meal or at bedtime. You might find that your periods become lighter or that you experience irregular periods or spotting. You shouldn’t stop taking Heather if this happens.

Vomiting, diarrhea and illness can stop all hormonal birth control from working well. If you’ve been unwell you might need to use a back-up birth control method (like condoms) to ensure that you don’t become pregnant.

How long does it take Heather to work?

Heather usually takes 48 hours to start working if you don’t start to take it on the first day of your period. As with any new birth control, it’s always best to use a non-hormonal birth control for 7 days when you first start taking it to ensure that you have enough protection to prevent pregnancy.

What should I do if I make a mistake when using Heather?

If you take Heather late (three or more hours later than usual), miss a pill or have had vomiting or diarrhea soon after you take the pill then you should use a backup method of non-hormonal birth control for the next 48 hours to make sure that you stay protected.

If you miss a pill you need to take the next one at your usual time and continue the rest of your pills as normal, with the addition of non-hormonal birth control for the next 48 hours. Don’t “double-dose” and take the extra pill, because it won’t give you any added protection.

Medically reviewed by
Ms Laurenmarie Cormier
Nurse Practitioner
on August 02, 2022.
Meet Laurenmarie  
This page was medically reviewed by Ms Laurenmarie Cormier, Nurse Practitioner on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

How we source info.

When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

Heather: FAQ

Have something specific you want to know? Search our info below, or ask our experts a question if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

How is Heather different to other birth control?

Heather is a mini pill that only uses one type of hormone to prevent pregnancy. There are also combined pills available that use more than one hormone. They work in a very similar way, but have added benefits like making your period more regular or treating acne.

Many combined pills contain a section of inactive pills in each strip, to simulate a pill-free break. But all of the pills in Heather are active, so you’re effectively taking it without a break.

You should talk to your doctor about which birth control is right for you. In general, the mini pill is a good option for people who can’t take estrogen, are breastfeeding, are over 35 or who smoke.

Is Heather similar to any other treatments?

Heather is similar to Nora-BE, Camila, Deblitane, Norethindrone, Incassia, Jencycla, Jolivette,
Lyza, Errin and Sharobel, because it contains the same hormone (norethindrone) in the same dose (0.35mg).

They’re all made by different companies in a different lab so the packaging may look different and they may contain slightly different stabilizers. Because Heather is more well-known than some of the other brands it may be a little more expensive.

How effective is Heather?

There are slight differences between ‘perfect’ and ‘typical’ use when it comes to the mini pill. If you take the mini pill exactly right and never make a mistake, your chances of becoming unexpectedly pregnant are very slim (less than 1%). For typical (or ‘real world’) use, where occasional mistakes or missed pills happen, it’s estimated that around 9 women out of every 100 taking the mini pill will become pregnant in their first year of taking it.

So to make sure it’s as effective as possible, it’s important to follow the instructions as closely as possible.

Do I need a prescription for Heather?

Heather is a prescription-only medication, so you will need a prescription to be able to take it. This is so that a medical professional can check that you’re able to take Heather safely, and that it’s the best birth control option for you to take.

Why should I buy Heather online with Treated?

At Treated we’ll help you find the right birth control for your needs, and we’ll give you personalized recommendations based on your health and circumstances. We want you to find effective birth control that works with your natural cycle.

You can easily and safely buy Heather online with Treated. All of our medication is delivered safely, securely and discreetly, straight to your door. We’ll also check in with you after you start taking your birth control to make sure that you’re happy with it and it’s working for you.
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