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Started pills the day AFTER I stopped bleeding

By Anonymous December 20, 2010 - 10:34pm
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I'm a first-time pill user (Loette) and I didn't understand that the time of bleeding is considered to be the start of the menstrual cycle, I thought it was days 23-28 not days 1-5. So I started my birth control pills on what is techinically day 6 of my cycle.
I'm now at the end of my second month of taking pills and have just realised my mistake. What should I do? Has my body's cycle adjusted to the pill cycle, or am I at risk of becoming pregnant in that first week? What should I do next? ...

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That's not necessarily true that EVERY woman must use back up for a week, some pills only require that you take the first pill on the first day of your period and you're protected from that day forward (you don't have to wait a week). You only have to use backup protection if you are a "Sunday Starter" (you wait until the Sunday of your period to start).

January 5, 2011 - 9:18pm

It is OK that you started your birth control pills after your bleeding stopped. Your cycle will adjust to the synthetic hormones in the pills.

You are at risk for becoming pregnant during the first week of pills, but EVERY woman is at risk for becoming pregnant during the first week of pills, regardless of what specific day she begins them on. The instructions say, and your doctor should have told you, that you must use back-up birth control (condom) for the first 7 days of taking the pill.

Just continue taking the pill as directed, every day at about same time, and you will most likely have your next "period" (actually is not a true period, but is "withdrawal bleeding") during the week of inactive pills.

Let us know if you have any more questions!

December 21, 2010 - 11:34am
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Anonymous (reply to Alison Beaver)

Thank you so much for the information! You've really set my mind at ease.

I feel really let down by the doctor I saw - she also didn't mention that the first 7 days of contraceptive pills require additional protection - it does say it on the box in fine print, but I was pretty embarrassed about the situation and didn't read it - it's my first time being sexually active. I've decided to move to another medical practice (my current one is far away from where I currently work anyway) and see a new doctor when I go for a smear test, as I don't feel confident in the doctor I was seeing.

My lovely boyfriend has been wonderful about it all - he was very calm about the possibility of being pregnant, angry at the doctor, and perfectly supportive of my fears and embarrassment. We've got the hang of using condoms now and they are disappearing at an alarming rate :)

January 7, 2011 - 10:54pm
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