How to Take the Pill
The Pill is only effective if it is taken correctly, and that means
taking it both regularly and on schedule. It is 99% effective, and
can benefit a woman's health in several ways. But it is not a good
choice of birth control for anyone who has trouble maintaining a
schedule. Remember, it is important to use a condom during
intercourse if there is any risk of contracting HIV or an STD. The
pill protects you from nothing, except pregnancy.
How to get started
The Pill comes in monthly packs, and the entire pack must be
taken for the pill to be effective. Most women are told to start taking
the pill on a Sunday, or on the first day of their period. There is
nothing special about Sundays when it comes to birth control, it is
just an easy way to remember what day of the week you started on.
Depending on the type of pill a woman has been prescribed, there
will either be 28, or 21 pills in a pack. It is a good idea to take the
pill everyday at the same time, it is more effective, and it is harder
to forget if it is part of your daily routine. (Also, if a woman is
experiencing breakthrough bleeding, taking the pill at the same
time everyday can help).
A woman will take her first pill on either the first Sunday of her
period, or on the first day of her period, depending on what her
doctor prescribed. If she has a 28 pill pack, she should take all 28
pills and then start the new pack immediately. If she has a 21 pill
pack, she should complete one pack, wait 7 days, and then start
another pack. In both cases, the new pack should be started
regardless of what day of the week it is, or what day of her period
she is on.
When a woman first starts taking the pill she should also be using
a back up form of contraception, such as condoms. The pill works
by stimulating a woman's body to cease ovulation, so it is safest to
use a backup through the first cycle of pills; our ovaries can't just
come to a screetching halt.
What if I forget?
It is extremely important that a woman take the pill everyday, but
mistakes happen. If a woman misses one pill she should take the
pill immediately when she remembers, and then take the next pill at
the scheduled time. If she misses two pills in a row she should take
two pills as soon as she remembers, and then take two pills the
next day again. After this she should return to the regular schedule.
In this case she should use a backup method of contraception for 7
days after the missed pills. If she misses three pills in a row she
will probably begin her period. If this is the case or not, she should
throw away the rest of her pack, and begin the next pack as if she
had never been on the pill. For example, a Sunday starter would
start the new pack the next Sunday. She should use backup
contraception util she has been back on the pill for 7 days.
If a woman misses a pill from the fourth week of a 28 pill pack, she
needn't worry. She should throw away the rest of the missed pills
and continue on schedule. These pills do not contain hormones,
they are only a means to keeping a woman on an everyday
If a woman has forgotten one or more pills and doesn't get her
period she should stop taking the pill and use another form of birth
control. She should also have herself tested by her doctor or clinic
for pregnancy, as a home test probably won't be accurate so soon
after a missed period. If there is any question of whether a missed
dose has made the pill ineffective, see a doctor, and use a