Birth control pills sound like a simple term, but it is highly effective in preventing pregnancies. 

However, there are different types of pills based on their action and the dose of the hormones they contain. Selecting one from a variety of oral contraceptive pills can be overwhelming.

While your doctor will help you select a pill, it is best to know a few things. For instance, what is the difference in their action, side effects, or cost? This will help you discuss these things with the doctor if you have any concerns.

This article will compare two commonly prescribed birth control pills Min-Ovral or Alesse, to help you make an informed decision. 

Min-Ovral and Alesse

Min-Ovral and Alesse are combined contraceptive pills containing progestin and estrogen. When taken regularly as advised by the doctor and without missing a dose, the pills are effective in 98% – 99% of cases. 

According to the CDC, the use failure rate for Min-Ovral and Alesse maybe 7% if one may miss or not take it properly. However, this rate can be improved when combined with another form of contraceptives such as a condom.

Along with preventing pregnancy, doctors in Canada commonly advise these prescription oral contraceptive pills to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.

How Do Min-Ovral and Alesse Work?

When taken as directed, both Alesse and Min-Ovral prevent pregnancy by:

  • Preventing ovulation during the menstrual cycle.
  • Making your vaginal fluid thicker to prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
  • Altering the uterine lining, preventing attachment of the fertilized egg.
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They may also help you regularize periods, treat acne and decrease blood loss during periods. 

How many tablets are in Min-Ovral?

Min-Ovral comes as a pack of either 21 or 28 tablets. The pack with 21 pills contains only active pills, while the 28 pill packet comes with 21 active pills and seven placebo pills. 

How to take Min-Ovral?

For Min-Ovral 21, one pill is to be taken daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by a break of 7 days. 

For Min-Ovral 28,  take the medication pill for 21 days, followed by a reminder pill for seven days. 

How to take Alesse?

Alesse comes as a pack with either 21 or 28 tablets. The pack with 21 pills contains only active pills, while the 28 pill packet comes with 21 active pills and seven placebo pills. 

For Alesse 21, one pill is to be taken daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by a break of 7 days. 

For Alesse 28,  take the medication pill for 21 days, followed by a reminder pill for seven days. 

Here are certain directions for taking this medicine:

  • Take the pill once daily as directed by your doctor, preferably at the same time every day.
  • Use a backup contraceptive method such as condoms in case of diarrhea and vomiting.
  • One can take the pill at bedtime or after the evening meal, especially if you face nausea or an upset stomach with the medication.
  • It is essential to take this pill at the same time every day, 24 hours apart.

How else are Min-Ovral and Alesse similar?

As mentioned before, both Min-Ovral and Alesse pills include synthetic versions of estrogen and progestin hormones, which means they are produced in laboratories. 

Another similarity between Min-Ovral and Alesse is that both medications are considered low-dose contraceptives. 

The term low dose contraceptive often refers to pills containing less than 0.05mg dose.  This is because the amount of estrogen in various combination pills varies. Since Min-Ovral contains 0.03 mg and Alesse 0.02 mg of estrogen, they are considered low-dose contraceptives.  

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Benefits of Min-Ovral and Alesse

As combination pills, both Min-Ovral and Alesse can potentially help with:

  • Regulating menstrual periods
  • Minimizing blood loss 
  • Preventing pain during periods
  • Managing acne
  • Lowering the risk of ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer

Similarly, both Min-Ovral and Alesse have a similar side effects profile, including the following:

  • Abdominal bloating or cramping
  • Breast pain, swelling, or tenderness
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Back pain
  • Fatigue

Contact a doctor or medical professional if you experience any of the following serious side effects:

  • Mood changes (depression)
  • Breast lumps
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Continuous spotting, sudden heavy bleeding
  • Dark coloured urine

Min-Ovral Vs. Alesse: Do They Cause Acne?

Content of Min-Ovral and Alesse may help reduce the secretion from the skin glands responsible for acne, lessening breakouts.

So, these pills may aid in preventing or managing acne, and the prevalence of acne in women taking these pills is extremely rare.

Which Pill Causes More Weight Gain?

Usually, weight gain with hormonal pills is very rare. Even when a woman gains weight while on these pills, it is due to water retention and not because of an increase in fat.

Alesse Vs. Min-Ovral Price Comparison

Alesse costs about $26 per pack, and Min-Ovral costs $25. So, the cost of both medicines is almost similar.

Check the recent cost of Alesse here.

Check the recent cost of Min-Ovral here.

Which Is The Better Option For You?

As discussed before, both Alesse and Min-Ovral have similar actions and side effects.

But lower estrogen in a contraceptive pill increases the risk of spotting. So, if a woman has breakthrough spotting on Alesse, she can shift on Min-Ovral as it has a higher estrogen dose. However, it is best to switch the contraceptive pills after consulting the doctor.

Min-Ovral Vs. Alesse: Reviews

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Reviews of both the pills are quite similar. Alesse and Min-Ovral have an average rating of 5.2%.


The major benefit reported by the women on this pill is reduced cramps and flow during the menstrual cycle. 

The negative effect includes moodiness. They go through a lot of emotions and cry for no reason. However, this side effect is short-lasting and resolves within and few months of taking Alesse.


Women on this pill were happy as it did not cause bloating or weight gain and helped to regularize their periods.

Some women reported no improvement in cramps during periods.

How Do I Get Min-Ovral and Alesse?

Oral contraceptive pills are available only through a prescription from a registered physician in Canada. So, one needs to consult a doctor to get either of the birth control pills. The doctor will take a medical history. They will also inquire if you are taking any medicines or supplements.

You can reach out to PocketPills and speak to us about how we can help make using birth control an easier experience.

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