Birth Control Pill

Birth Control Pills

Birth Control Pills are a type of hormonal birth control taken orally (by mouth) every day in order to prevent pregnancy.

How Long It Lasts: Each pill is designed to provide hormones for 1 day of use.  Birth control pills generally come in packs of 28 days.  21 of the pills have hormones, and 7 pills are non-hormonal sugar pills.  Menstruation occurs during the 7 days the user is taking sugar pills.  Although sugar pills don’t need to be taken in order to maintain effectiveness, taking the pills help users to maintain their habit of taking a pill each day.

Different Types of Pills: Pills come in different dose levels and different hormonal balances.  If a user is experiencing negative side-effects from their current birth control method, talking to a practitioner about changing to a method with more or less hormones, or a different balance of hormones, may help to reduce or eliminate negative side-effects.

Maintenance: In order to be completely effective, Birth Control Pills must be taken every day at the same time.  Setting a daily alarm is a recommended practice to help users to remember to take their pills.

Pill Specific Concerns: If a user misses a pill or takes a pill late, they should assume that their method will not protect them.  The user should continue to take their pill on schedule, but use a back-up form of non-hormonal birth control (i.e. condoms) for at least 7 days.

Effectiveness:  When used correctly, the pill is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. However, many people forget to take the pill at a specific time each day, and thus the effectiveness goes down. Or sometimes people may be on other medication that can interfere with the effectiveness of the pill. Consult your doctor before taking other types of medication.

Note: Birth Control Pills do not protect the user from Sexually Transmitted Infections.