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Heather Review

Heather is mini-pills prescribed for a daily application at one and the same time to prevent pregnancy. This preparation contains progestin only.


Indications for use

Hormonal contraception

Mechanism of action

The application of Heather blocks the egg maturation, in this way eliminating an ovulation, and hence the possibility of fertilization. Progestin tablets do not inhibit this function. When taking small doses of progestin, the oocyte “ripens” and ovulation occurs, but the conditions for conception deteriorate substantially:

  • the mucus thickens, which makes it practically impossible for spermatozoa to reach the oocyte.
  • the state of the endometrium (mucous lining the uterus) changes – even if the egg is fertilized, it cannot attach to the tube.

The vermicular movement of the fallopian tubes is slowed down, along which the egg moves. Of course, in comparison with COCs, which in principle exclude the formation of a full-fledged ovum, progestin preparations are not so reliable, but their effectiveness still exceeds 95%. At the same time, the possible negative impact on women’s health is minimal.

Mode of application and dosage

Before you start taking mini-pills – Heather, a woman should consult a doctor and make sure that she is not pregnant. This birth control preparation must be taken on a daily basis, one tablet at the same time. The drug has the strongest effect in 4-5 hours after taking, so it’s best to drink tablets in the evening, from 18 to 20 hours. In the instructions, the maximum time is indicated, which can be delayed without consequences, for most mini-pills, for 3 hours.


Heather is contraindicated in the following cases:

  • breast cancer;
  • severe liver disease (in particular, cirrhosis) and kidneys;
  • hypertension;
  • prior operations to reduce stomach volume;
  • anticonvulsants, antibiotics “Rifampin” or “Rifabutin” application;
  • pregnancy.

Side effects

Heather reduces the ampleness of menstruation, therefore, contraceptive mini-pills are prescribed by physicians during menopause, when bleeding becomes too abundant. Approximately in 20-25% of patients taking such drugs, menstruation almost ceases. If menstruation does not occur within 2 weeks after the due date, you should consult a doctor and possibly take a pregnancy test.

Heather side effects are:

  • chronic migraines;
  • depression;
  • spotting;
  • dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • vomiting;
  • diarrhea;
  • increased skin fat;
  • rashes;
  • increased hair growth;
  • change (increase or decrease) in body weight;
  • ovarian cysts.


The interaction between oral progestin-contraceptives and other medications can lead to breakthrough bleeding and/or a decrease in contraceptive effectiveness. In the manual, the following interactions are reported.

Hepatic Metabolism: Interactions with drugs that induce microsomal enzymes may result in increased clearance of sex hormones (eg, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), primidone, carbamazepine, rifampicin, and probably also oxcarbazepine, rifabutin, topiramate, felbamate, ritonavir, nelfinavir, griseofulvin, and preparations containing St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).

Women using any of these drugs should temporarily use the barrier method in addition to the drug or choose another method of contraception. The barrier method of contraception should be used during the application of these drugs and within 28 days after discontinuation of their administration. For women receiving long-term treatment with inducers of hepatic enzymes, the possibility of using a non-hormonal contraceptive method should be considered.

What if I miss a dose?

Contraceptive protection may decrease if the interval between taking 2 Heather tablets is more than 36 hours. If the delay in taking the tablet is less than 12 hours, then the missed tablet should be taken as soon as the woman realizes it, and the next pill should be taken at the usual time.

If the delay in taking the pill is more than 12 hours, the woman should follow the above recommendations, and also apply an additional contraceptive method within the next 7 days.

Pregnancy should be excluded if the pills were missed in the very first week of taking the drug and there was a sexual intercourse during the week preceding the missed intake of tablets.

Jencycla and pregnancy

Jencycla as a progestin-containing drug may be taken during pregnancy but in doses carefully defined by a doctor.

During lactation, the woman develops lactational amenorrhea – physiological infertility, in which ovulation is suppressed for a while, but in rare cases, the egg begins to “ripen”, and the probability of conception remains (even without the onset of menstruation after childbirth). It is during this period that mini-pills are considered to be the ideal contraceptive option because the absence of estrogen does not affect lactation in any way – milk does not change the taste, its quantity and composition remain stable.

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