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Mircette and Breastfeeding

It is generally recommended that women who are breastfeeding avoid combined oral contraceptives (such as Mircette). This is because research suggests that the hormones in birth control pills do pass through breast milk, which can decrease the production and quality of breast milk. Because of the potential risks, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking Mircette and breastfeeding (or thinking of breastfeeding).

Is Mircette Safe During Breastfeeding?

Mircette® (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill that is classified as a combined oral contraceptive because it contains both a progestin and an estrogen. Although combined oral contraceptives are very effective at preventing pregnancy, they are usually not recommended for breastfeeding women.

What Does the Research Say About Mircette and Breastfeeding?

Research suggests that the hormones in birth control pills do pass through breast milk in low amounts. These tiny amounts are probably too low to cause significant problems in breastfeeding infants. However, there have been cases of problems (such as jaundice and breast enlargement) in babies whose mothers took certain types of combined oral contraceptives while breastfeeding.
More importantly, combined contraceptives may decrease the production and quality of breast milk. For this reason, healthcare providers almost always recommend progestin-only oral contraceptives (also known as "mini-pills") instead of combined contraceptives for women who are breastfeeding. However, progestin-only contraceptive pills are usually less effective than combined contraceptives. As soon as you stop breastfeeding, it may be a good idea to ask your healthcare provider about switching to a combined contraceptive product (such as Mircette).
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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