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Have to switch birth control pill brands - how to do this safely?

By March 16, 2018 - 7:19am
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I used to take Gynera (by Bayer) that was a 21 day combination pill. I’ve been taking it for the past two years and never had any issues. However I found out from my pharmacist that the pill has been discontinued and recalled. I tried looking it up on the internet, but didn’t see much explanation as to why it was discontinued. I spoke to my GP (he’s the one who prescribed Gynera for me) and he has prescribed another one for me called Femiane, which is also by Bayer. It's also 21 combination pills in a pack and the packaging is very similar to my old brand.

I'm actually on my week break now from the old brand, and I had the usual withdrawal bleeding/period. I will start the new pack this upcoming Sunday, and I'll be using the new brand Femiane.

I basically want to know if there are any precautions I should take now that I’m going to be on a different pill? from what I understand, when on a new pill, you should use a backup method (condom etc) for the first 7 days, and then you should be fine afterwards. My boyfriend and I use condoms along with the pill normally but I’m wondering if we should hold off sex for the first month that I’m on this new pill, or the first pack at least.

I'd really appreciate any thoughts or advice.

Add a Comment5 Comments


Hello. Thank you for posting.

When switching between pills, most doctors recommend that you go straight from one pill type to another with no gap or placebo pills in between. This way your level of hormones doesn’t have a chance to drop and ovulation can’t occur.

If you go straight from one pill to another without a gap, you may not need to use a backup plan or another form of protection. However, to be safe, your doctor may recommend you use a barrier method or other form of protection for up to seven days. Some providers recommend that you wait longer.


March 16, 2018 - 2:00pm
(reply to Helena)

Hi Helen, thanks for responding.
The thing is that I had already started my withdrawal bleeding when I found out that I couldn't get anymore of the Gynera pack - I went to the pharmacy and that's when they told me that it had been discontinued. If i had known before, I would've switched over immediately to another brand.

So would the fact that I'm on the week break before starting the new pack lower my protection levels?

March 16, 2018 - 6:11pm
Guide (reply to cb93)


In that case, make sure you use a backup method of bc for at least 7 days or as directed by your GYN.


March 16, 2018 - 7:18pm
(reply to Helena)

Okay, will do. My boyfriend and I usually use both the pill and condoms but seeing that i've changed brands, i'm not sure how protected I am with the pill right now.

So once those first seven days pass, I should be relatively protected? especially seeing that we also use condoms?

March 19, 2018 - 1:56pm
Guide (reply to cb93)


Condoms are fine to use during the 7 days.


March 19, 2018 - 4:44pm
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